Saturday, December 29, 2007

Old economy experience

though i have been reading about and using many old economy services, the recent experience of getting the home painted was revealing and educative in many ways.

first, most of the transaction is based on the spoken word.
discussions on time lines, service levels, way of working etc

second, project management is very dynamic
the plans for the day keep evolving through the day, depending on the weather - or whether : whether the team wants to complete something that day itself or not..

third, the customer is not king..
having handed over the house to them, they rule. make decisions on making themselves comfortable at home

fourth, most of the competent workers are also very smart
want to do the least, if that is OK. one has to keep demanding specifics in terms of detail

fifth, their network is very effective
they can bring in a dozen persons at short notice, if required or they decide to

and sixth, the 'contract' is based on trust

while i felt my patience stressed at times, i can empathize with them - considering their formal training or lack of it, the stress levels : both physical and mental when they take up such jobs..

while having semblances of an organized sector, these are pretty much disorganized.
they lack basic occupational safety protections - which i pointed out to the main contractor. as mentioned earlier, their network is very close. most of the members seem to come from the same village or places that close to the home town of the main contractor.

it also helps to engage affiliates - for instance, in my case, carpenter who was referred by the painter. between them, they coordinate the sequence of polishing, touching up after the carpentry work etc.

i was debating engaging one of the 'professional' agencies to get the job done.
and decided in the last minute to go by word-of-mouth - from a neighbor who had used the services of the painter.

i am happy overall - and satisfied that the vacation days were well spent. after all both a vacation and the home painting was long overdue.

now, i look forward to a real vacation..
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