Just Show Up


I ran across an ad on the Next Door website. A single mom asking for house or yardwork to make some extra money. Affordable.

My flower gardens have been misused and abused all summer. I haven’t been well enough to keep up with the usual weeding schedule. As for watering, I’ve managed to water weeds. I look out from my office window to the front flower bed and see–gasp–grass seed heads waving in the wind.

I could use some affordable help in the garden. After a brief discussion with Jim, in which we verbalize the usual pros and cons about ‘hiring it done’, I give single mom my telephone number via the website, let her know its all about the weeds, and wait for her call.

She doesn’t call me right away. Too bad, too, because the weather turned nice last week. Cooler. Wetter. Better.

On Saturday, she calls me. We dicker for a while about how much she expects to make per hour. She tells me her rate for ‘landscaping’ and I tell her what I’ll pay for weeding. We finally agree on a per hour price and then I say, “You know, it’s gonna be really hot next week. I’d prefer to start after Labor Day.”

But no. She’s  hot to get started. For all sorts of reasons. We agree on Tuesday–that’s today–and set 9 am as the start time. I give her directions to the house.

So here it is, Tuesday, 11 am and where is she? No sign of a car. No calls or texts. Nothing.

And I’m left wondering. Did she drive by and, after seeing the yard, decide it was too much? Or maybe the dogs scared her? Did she get a better gig? Or maybe she overslept? Or her kid(s) held her up?

If only she’d call.

Well. Here’s what I’d say to her after I told her that I can’t use her. If I can’t trust you to show up when you say you will, how can I trust you to do a job?

Was it really Woody Allen who said 80 percent of success in life is showing up?


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