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Promises Promises

Clyde looks me in the eye. “If you hire me to mow your lawn you won’t regret it. If I say I’ll be there on a certain day, I will be there. I’ll mow, weed-eat, edge and blow off. I’ll even do a little shrub trimming now and then at no extra charge.”

“When can you start?” I grin.

“How about Friday?” He calls on Thursday. “This is Clyde. Is it okay if I mow on Saturday? I have a conflict on Friday.”

I’m impressed. “Sure, Saturday is fine.”

He calls on Saturday. “Would it be okay if I mow on Monday?

I’m disappointed. “Okay.”

He calls on Monday. “Does Tuesday work?’

I’m irritated. “The lawn is looking pretty shabby.”

He shows on Wednesday and hurriedly runs a mower over the lawn leaving piles of long cut grass in a wake behind him. Then he grabs a weed-eater and scalps a wide strip along the cement and calls it a day.

On Thursday Clyde shows up at my door. “Can I get paid for mowing?”

I give him the agreed upon amount but he asks if he can get paid monthly instead of weekly. I grit my teeth and against my better judgment give him a months wage. You know how this went down from there. Can you say Certified Sucker?

I want to give people the benefit of the doubt but after awhile you become a little cynical. Take Politics, for example. Every elected official out there claims they can mow, weed-eat, edge and blow off and do it every Friday to boot. Forgive me if I’m skeptical. Talk is talk. I want action. The guys I've hired to do the job in the past have a proven track record and it ain’t a pretty one. Fool me twice? How about twenty times? This year I want to elect someone who values his customers, works hard and maybe even knows a thing or two about mowing actual lawns.

Every candidate makes promises, of course, but in the end I want one that can deliver.