It’s Monday: How many excuses did you make to yourself, family, friends or strangers last weekend? Made any so far today? We all make excuses, some valid, most not.
Last Sunday I gave a gallery four pieces of art to appraise. Initially the director told me “Tuesday.” I called on Wednesday and spoke to the gallery owner. “I want to take the pictures out of the frames to see if there are any specifying marks. You can have them back on Thursday.” I waited until yesterday – Sunday, a week later – to go by the gallery, thinking even without a phone call that my pictures would be ready. Not so.
Excuse #1. “I’m sorry, I should have called you.” #2. “My framer was sick last week.” #3. “I was out-of-town on Thursday and Friday.” #4. “We haven’t seen any pictures like this before and want to do some more research.” #5. “The owner wants to talk to some other collectors.” Lousy excuses, lousy.
I would have appreciated a phone call. That’s only ten numbers to dial and leave a message or say, “Dee, we’re still working on your appraisal and we’ll call you when it’s done.” I need to know something. It’s the old, “over promise and under deliver” syndrome. I told the director that I was upset. She said she’d definitely call me Monday. I said, “Don’t tell me a day, surprise me. I’ve been disappointed twice.” If she calls today, I’ll be amazed.
We all make excuses; I’m guilty too. Why don’t we just come out and admit our reasons and feelings? Instead of, “Oh, I don’t feel well,” when asked why you left early or didn’t come, why don’t you say, ” I wanted to stay home, or go shopping, or stare into space,” instead? We give friends, co-workers, bosses, clients, patrons, and family members myriad “reasons” for making/doing or not making/doing chores, work, social obligations, telephone calls, appointments… the list goes on. What do we gain from these excuses?
Let’s start a 2010 resolution: No more excuses. Either tell someone – yourself – that you’re going to get the project, the call, the work, the favor done in more hours or days than you know it will take, or just say, “no.” The “over promise and under deliver” costs us time, money, respect and business. “Under promise and over deliver,” helps us make others and ourselves happy and abundant.
No more, “The cat ate it.” No more, “My eyebrows needed trimming.” No more, “My fingers hurt.” Just either do or don’t do, but be honest. It’s such a relief to know that I can trust what you say and to meet your obligations. Don’t you agree? Good.