“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.”
April 1st is not only April Fool’s Day, it marks Ideal’s 52nd year in business. Over the years, we have built an Ideal culture that has served our customers and employees well.
Part of that culture is humor in the workplace. A good laugh and appropriate joke or funny story helps to ease the sometimes difficult routine of the jobs we do every day.
My father is a good example of one who uses appropriate humor and has been part of building humor into our Ideal culture. He remembers funny anecdotes that happened and likes to retell them. Who doesn’t like a funny story? Read on for some humorous encounters while on the job:
The Whisker-Faced Intruder
One day I was running late to an appointment. As I pulled up to the job, I grabbed my homemade roast beef sandwich and inhaled it. As I got out of my truck, a dog met me on the walkway leading to the front door. As a gesture of goodwill, I tossed my last bite to this cute fuzzy faced dog. He seemed grateful; of course he followed me to the door.
When the homeowner answered the door she invited me in and brought me in the master bathroom to show me the repairs needed. As we left the bathroom I went to my truck for tools and materials and the homeowner attended to other matters. When I returned, we found the dog had took up residence on the master bed. The homeowner looked at me and asked, “Is that your dog?” I replied, “No, I thought it was yours.” We then realized the dog had snuck in. Thankfully, we both started to laugh.
The Dog of Terror
Some customers are unable to be at their home for their appointment, so they leave a note and a key. On this day we had a key under the mat and a note: “Beware of Dog. He is locked up in the bedroom. Please repair kitchen faucet and return key to under mat.”
Well, the plumber entered the home and began to go toward the kitchen when he was met by the household dog of terror. In a panic, our tech reached for the front door and flew into it. Instead, he found himself in the coat closet. This was before cell phones, so when the homeowner arrived an hour later, the threat was returned to his doggy room.
The Stare Down
One day one of our technicians was working on a kitchen faucet. As he bent down to get a tool, he found himself staring into the eyes of an agitated dog. The growls started and the tech slowly backed away. As he did so, he said to the homeowner, “I hope he doesn’t bite.”
The homeowner responded, “Oh no, he bites.”
The Business Man who Put on His “Wet” Suit for Work (No, he was Not a Surfer!)
Often customers are distracted and hurried – this experience was classic. The homeowner
was taking me from place to place, showing me what different problems needed repair.
He was in a hurry to leave for a business appointment, dressed in his suit and tie and very
nice shoes. He said I have two problems, the valve sticks open and the handle pulls off in
your hand because you have to pull so hard to get the water on. As he was telling me, he
grabbed the handle and you guessed it, he gave a live demonstration.
A day blessed with a good laugh, a funny story, or an amusing moment seems to increase
our happiness and makes life more interesting and enjoyable. A good sense of humor is an advantage in the sometimes unpredictable world of service and repair. Humor in the moment can help make to things better and help ease the moment.
Yes, there is a time and a place but when I think of life without humor, it’s hard to imagine.