Don't ignore your gut (if it feels dodgy, stop)

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There's always the "no worries, absolutely, anytime, sorted, definitely tomorrow, I'll call you back" (yes, usually a man) salesperson.

And (somehow, someway, anyhow) we buy Donny's bullshit. Because Donny is cool, friendly, dresses well, smiles a lot, knows someone I know, and talks tech like an expert, and is just really really Telly Tubby enthusiastic.

So we pay him a deposit. And then he becomes the Invisible Man who is always running out of air time, or battery or cell phone signal, and whose Whatsapp always shows that he is "available" and messages "sorry I can't answer your call right now, I'll call you back later".

But never does.

Until. Until your savoir faire is so dented you, unusually, lose your temper. Your eighty-six year old Mother further adds to your embarrassed irritation when she comments "Clive, I've never ever heard you speak to someone like that?" (and you're in your late 50's).

But you've paid the deposit. And Donny will definitely, absolutely, no worries, guaranteed be there tomorrow (you hope).

And SURPRISE he does arrive to drill your borehole (or paint your house, fix the plumbing, thatch the house, waterproof the roof, deliver compost, trim the tree, install the solar, fix the stove/dishwasher/fridge, service the tractor). And the work starts.


Inextricably the drilling has fractured your and two of your neighbours' houses (this is a true story).

Now this isn't necessarily the fault of Donny. No-one you know (or anyone) has seen or heard of this happening. But because Donny's a dick, it is his fault.

Most definitely ... hopefully.

Now we feel a gnawing pain in our gut: by appointing the wrong person, by believing the bullshit, by paying that deposit. By just accepting his world (and bullshit) on face value.

And now we take on the emotional responsibility.

It IS now our fault.

And we feel like shit. Even though it's not really our fault. But we trusted Donny.

We are always inclined to take on the responsibility of the fuck ups which arise from our choices.

So to avoid this use this checklist for your own "Donny":

  • how prompt is he in responding?
  • does he keep he keep his promises?
  • if he doesn't, is it reasonable?
  • and how often does it happen?
  • does his 'talk' make you comfortable given the above?
  • does his company have insurance (if you're doing major stuff).
  • does his words sound like falsehoods?

Does he feel a little too smooth?

Call his references (and check out the above on the referees).

Ja. It's a bit of work.

But if you want to avoid the pain - the stress, the cost, the guilt, the worry, and the criticism - trust your gut.

Trusting your gut might not always save you money.

But it will definitely save you pain.

(And probably also a lot of money).