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Doing What You Say You’ll Do Has Never Gone Out of Style

Doing What You Say You’ll Do Has Never Gone Out of Style

by Frank Roche on February 11, 2010

in Performance

We got two backbreaking snows in Philadelphia within five days. While I was in Chicago on Tuesday morning in the middle of a huge snowstorm, I texted my wife: “See if you can hire someone to do our driveway.”

Our backs were sore from digging out the two feet of snow we got over the weekend. Now two more feet of snow was on its way.

Sheryl ran into our 16-year-old next-door-neighbor, JD, and asked him about snowblowing our driveway when the big snow came.

“Forty bucks,” was his answer when Sheryl asked him how much. (Best $40 ever spent, I said.)

The snow came. Local stations called it the “Snowpacalypse” and “Snowmageddon.” It was really bad. We got a foot of heavy, dense snow plus another foot of powder on top of it. It was like white sand. On the order of 50lbs a shovelful.

Here came JD. He came in the morning and cleared the driveway, even though it was snowing two inches per hour. Job done, right?

Not even close.

JD came back at around 7pm. There was at least three feet of snow piled everywhere in the driveway. (Tons of wind made this a real joy.) After about five minutes I heard the snowblower quit. I figured he went home for dinner. Not quite.

At around 8pm, Sheryl looked out the side door.

“Omigod. JD, Jeff, and Teresa are out there SHOVELING,” she said. “Get your coats on.”

The snowblower broke. But instead of giving up, JD went home and enlisted the help of his brother and his mother. Yep, JD’s mom, our friend, was out shoveling our driveway. Sheryl rushed out there.

“We don’t want you guys to shovel our driveway,” she said.

“We made a commitment. We’re going to honor it,” JD said.

How many 16-year-olds would say that? How many 26- or 36- or 56-year olds would say that? If you’re lucky, those people work at your shop.

JD comes from a family of Eagle Scouts and good old-fashioned work ethic. He’s going to go far in this world with that attitude.

These are the kinds of stories that don’t make it on resumes. But I tell you, it’s the kind of thing I look for in people I want to work with.

Doing what you say you’ll do has never gone out of style.

Just to give you a little sense of the Herculean task those guys performed, here’s a short video of the snow piled on the sides of my driveway.

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