One of my favourite columns in Saturday’s Guardian is the ‘What I’m Really Thinking’.
Each week an anonymous member of the public gives the reader an insight into … well, what they’re really thinking!
The personal ones are usually very sad – the jilted wife, the abandoned child, the grieving mother – you get the picture.
However the professional ones are often the best. The dustbin man, the stripper, the beautician, even professions you’d normally have little empathy for, in my case the traffic warden, are quite thought provoking.
Recently, one from a plumber struck a cord with me.
His profession has a reputation of ‘charging through the roof’ for what most of us consider pretty unsophisticated water works!
His point however is not just the hours ‘on the job’ you’re paying for – but also the many years of expertise he has accumulated which makes him more effective and efficient.
Employ someone less qualified and they might have to try two or three different ‘fixes’ before they stumble upon the solution.
I too get the ‘how much a day?’ questioning from some new clients. Yes you can probably get somebody less experienced do the job cheaper. Whether they have the writing skills, media contacts and wider understanding of ‘what makes news’ to take you straight from A to B, is questionable.
It’s not just the contractor’s man-hours that’s costing you money – your time needs to be factored in too!
So whether it’s holding hammer for an in-experienced plumber or re-writing a press release for a straight-out-of-uni PR, pause to consider ‘Are you flushing money down the toilet?”