Sunday, 7 June 2009

On the value of showing goodwill

OK folks so I've been away a week. It's been frustrating not to write, plagued every day at random times by blog 'headlines' beeping across my consciousness....In the olden days, particularly in France I believe, I could've opened a "Salon des Artistes" and claimed to be an Artist with a capital 'A'. Which was generally the lot for those 'possessed' (in all senses) of creative urges. And, which meant you had an excuse to socialise with a bunch of interesting characters getting up to a lot of debauched activities, and drink a lot. Well, nowadays, instead, as a wannabe 'writer', I get to hang out on the ether with you anonymous lot. Rum job. No parties, no wine and absolutely no debauchery! Bloody shame!

I can't remember for the life of me all the blog posts I miscarried this week (I do lament them, for they would have given me much satisfaction had they come to life. So please forgive the metaphor, as politically incorrect as it is).

But there was one about 'HOW TO SAVE MONEY WHEN YOU BUY A HOUSE'. Raincheck on that: I'm not sure how many people really ARE buying a house nowadays (rainchecking on the housebuying itself!) although to be honest we all know that tips on saving money are pretty topical, even if you're an MP...

Oh, and there was the other potential post about Posh Private School Moneyed Mum coming to visit my home-in-progress (and being unimpressed). It would have been about how wealth really can skew your perception (I will resurrect that one, give me time, bloody pissed me off excuse my language. Just when I was so smug and proud of all my hard work you get someone who's only used to paying for interior designers and just doesn't 'get' the need to find (cheap)creative solutions oneself)....

And a post which popped through my head on Good will. Here it is:

All my D-I-Y-ing around the house over the half-term holidays, kids dispatched to grandparents, was a prime example of goodwill. I would personally have preferred to spend half-term doing something more relaxing, and less lonely. But, I showed my husband a form of "Good Will", as it were, by doing things myself, not purely demanding that he open his wallet (not that there'd be much in it! - not like Posh Private School Moneyed Mum who has an army of people to sort out her pad, just send-us-the-invoice type of thing).
No, seriously. Let us not forget that Good Will, Endeavour, Humility, Hard Work, are all endangered traits in our modern consumeristic age (though the credit crunch may well help to reverse the trend). The benefit of such old-fashioned values - young job seekers note!- is that they invariably attract people to your side: arrogance and materialism were rarely in vogue anyway (except amongst those who were already beyond help, financially and otherwise, if you get my drift).

Case in point. Action: my Good Will and hard work. Reaction: hubby, on discovering that a friend's Polish cleaner's father (who owned a building company back home before it went, in his words, "Kaput!") would do all sorts of juicy home-improvement stuff for a mere 120 pounds net a day (=2 hours ex-VAT usual London rate...say no more), suddenly sanctioned the use of a pro!...

Result: Yanush, a very nice and EXTREMELY diligent Pole, nuking my year's frustrations with my home environment, in a mere week:

Kitchen: wallpaper stripped, and painted. Door mended and painted. Floor re-grouted.
Front Room: wallpapered. Skirting boards painted.
Bathroom: regency wallpaper (yes!) stripped. Painted. Mirror hung. Nasty hospital one removed.
Hallway: painted. Mirror hung. Nice, Spanish style cast iron one. Illusion of space..
Loo: tiles put back on wall from which they'd fallen...thank Christ, intact. I wouldn't like to have bought a pack of 200 tiles just to replace 7 or so.
Shower: Damp dealt with, hideous floral brown tiles (you couldn't picture them in all their monstrosity, promise!) primed and painted over with white tile paint.

Conclusion: Voila'! I'm no longer so depressed and forlorn! My home's been reborn at the tune of about a grand! Grand designs - eat your hat!

Moral of the Story: Doing stuff yourself is such a valuable lesson. We underestimate ourselves savagely by outsourcing everything - a product of our convenience culture. It's so easy to learn new skills, if only we'd the courage to try! And...the kickback....first try it yourself before screaming for help (or the financing to pay for help), it shows Good Will! How much sweeter it is to give it a go yourself first and then, when exhausted, have someone else take over and do it propery...(breathe, readers, breathe, I don't mean to be suggestive!)

Let's dig up that old initiative: you'll see, Good Will CAN pay well - it did for me, this week!

No comments:

Post a Comment