Certified Professional Caulker

From the Project Workforce Blog
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The Project Workforce is a blog about managing projects and forecasting capacity with today’s remote, home-based, globally dispersed and project-focused workforce. I also share some of the stories and challenges we at Tenrox and our customers face as we go about doing our project work.

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We had some cracks in and around our shower in the master bathroom. I looked at the job and decided it is small enough for me to take it on alone. After all, how hard can it be to apply new caulking? Little did I know how hard it is to do a good clean caulking job.

I cut the top of a tube and started caulking a small test area ... I was not able to get it to look nice and clean. I got a little bit of caulk everywhere, on me, on the wall. It wasn’t going well. I stopped and searched the net for some answers. I found a few very good how-to videos and articles that explained what I need to do. At this point, my two older kids (13 and 10) got curious seeing me going back and forth, up and down the stairs, looking for tools, watching the online videos, scratching my head.

Kids: “Dad what are you doing?”

Me: “I am caulking”

(They giggled as the word sounded really funny and of course it rhymes with a bad word they know they are not supposed to ever repeat around the house).

Kids: “Caulking? What does that mean?”

I explained and showed them how it works.

My son’s conclusion: “Ok, you are not very good at it dad.”

After several iterations, I was finally able to apply the right amount of caulk and finish the job. It took me a total of three hours and a full tube of caulk to get it done. A pro would probably have done this in less than fifteen minutes.

After I was done I cleaned up and went downstairs for tea. My children, all smiles, had prepared a prize certificate for me:

Rudolf Melik Certified Professional Caulker

I was proud of completing the task. But both I and the kids knew I was no expert caulker!

We often underestimate how much effort, multiple iterations, practice and focus it takes to become good at anything. We assume “it’s easy”.  Project management, looks simple, how hard can that be? You just plan it, delegate then follow up. Integration? Easy stuff, you just map this to that, link this to that …

This was a good reminder for me on why an accidental consultant, project manager … accidental caulker just doesn’t work out too well. We can fix small things around the house for fun but when it comes to our business, I always choose and invest in a focused, experienced professional.

Posted on: December 03, 2010 10:20 AM | Permalink

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