Monday, February 26, 2007

Waving Goodbye To Margie

Margie is 46. She's a devoted wife and mother. Margie has worked for a cleaning company for the last year. She's proven to be dependable, hard working, and friendly. She's so good that the cleaning company sends her to the same homes week after week. She's so good that her regular clients laud her with compliments, tips, and gifts on a regular basis.

Now the cleaning company knows how valuable Margie is to their success. It's not often that you can lean so hard on an employee in the cleaning industry. So the cleaning company gives Margie a raise. A big raise. Bigger than any other employee in the company. But Margie is upset.

You see, Margie sees those checks coming in from her clients. Her clients are paying the cleaning company about four times her wages. Margie's no dumby. Margie starts adding up her expenses. And she figures out that she can clean those same homes for a lot less than the cleaning company. And she knows that her clients will switch because they have already demanded Margie anyway.

So Margie starts her own cleaning company. And she steals her previous employer's clients. And everybody is happy. Because Margie is making three times what she was making before and her clients are paying way less than they were before.

Everybody's happy until Margie's husband decides to move the family out of town. Margie hates it, but she's got to go. And she's got to go now. So Margie's old clients all wave goodbye. And the carousel begins again.

The old customers start dialing the phone book again. Looking for another Margie. And they'll find her. Because she's not hard to find. She's everywhere. She's everywhere because it's so easy to be Margie. No start up capital. No investment. Nothing but a few cheap supplies from Wal-Mart. And that's why Margie doesn't mind quitting. Because she's got nothing to lose. Margie knows that she can pull off this same scheme in her next town.

So you're the client. You have two choices.

1. You can keep hiring Margie.
2. You can quit hiring Margie.

Hiring Margie again means that you'll end up hiring another Margie down the road. But you'll save money. And you'll get the same person every time. Maybe you'll have to deal with a few late arrivals from Margie. Maybe you'll end up getting so close to Margie that you hate complaining. Or maybe you'll just hire the wrong Margie.

Because the wrong Margie can steal from you and run. Because the wrong Margie can break her ankle in your home and make you pay for it. Because the wrong Margie can just decide to quit cleaning your home one day.

Not hiring Margie again means that you'll be done with Margie. Yes, you'll pay more than Margie charges. But you'll get your home cleaned on-time every time. You'll get to complain when mistakes occur. You'll get to treat your new housecleaner like any other service. Like a real business. Not some lady who just bought a few cleaning supplies from Wal-Mart.

Aren't you sick and tired of waving goodbye to Margie?

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