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His Reputation Precedes Him

If you attended this “come to Jesus meetin’ “, this is the situation that  precipitated the calling of that emergency meeting.

This week a situation occurred that required the involvement of a repairman. I will not bore you with all the gory details, but will give you an example of what your business practices reflects about you, as we discussed in our meeting.

We rent our home. The management company we rent has a name that is synonymous with honor. Their name implies that you can trust the company. The repair company that was sent out has a name that is a last name, Inc. There is nothing in the name that makes you think you can trust- or distrust- this company.

The repair that was required is outlined in the lease as the responsibility of the owner/management company. However, when I called in the repair request, after asking me a couple of questions, the receptionist told me it sounded like I would be responsible for paying for the repairs. Now, in the over-used words of our president- let me be clear: we are the kind of renters that every home owner dreams of. We do not call in fore repairs on anything unless it is an absolute necessity. We are in our third lease in this home, and this is only the 3rd time we have had to have a repair. The previous two repairs were not emergency repairs, but things we could not take care of. The last repair was an emergency: the air conditioner was not cooling properly. Being that it is one of the hottest summers on record, we are in a drought, and we have five children- this was an emergency.

We change our filters regularly. I keep a very clean house. Yes, even with five kids, I am a neat freak. I cannot function if everything is not in the right place. Clutter makes me crazy. I am a very detailed oriented person, so we have a schedule to make sure filters are changed and vacuumed, and other household chores are taken care of when needed.

We are also people who believe in personal responsibility. If we break something, we feel we are responsible for it.

However, if we are taking care of our responsibilities, and something happens, we believe that it is not our responsibility to take care of it.  The law agrees with us, as our lease specifically addresses this situation.

When the repairman called to get approval to do what he had to do, he was given the third degree as to the condition of the equipment. Now, before I go any further, yes, I understand that there are a lot of people that do not take care of things, nor do they take personal responsibility. Asking the questions to make sure nothing malicious or neglectful caused the problem is understandable. However, grilling the repairman is a completely different thing.

Once it was established that we had not caused the problem, and the cost for repairs was given, the repairman was then grilled about the breakdown of the charges. Now, again, yes, I understand that repairmen are usually not trusted, and many are known to be dishonest. However, when listing out the cost of the actual equipment, tools and other items needed to make the repair, factoring in the cost of travel costs and labor, anyone in the business world knows you have to make a profit to run a business.

The attitude of the owner of the management company was disdain that he would have to take care of the problem. This is the business he is in. He has renters who view the home he rents as their home, not just a rent home. We have never once been late with rent or any other issues.

His actions have reflected a lot less than a business owner with integrity. Not only has his attitude reflected poorly to his renters, but to the repair company as well. This business man- who identifies himself as a Christ follower- has reflected an attitude and actions of dishonor, deceit and untrustworthiness.

His reputation precedes him.

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