This week I’m working for Matthew. He’s my client and he needs some home modifications, and that’s what I do.
Matthew perfectly fits the the old Hebrew meaning of Matthew, “Gift of the Lord”.
Matthew is a gift, he makes me want to understand what his needs are, he helps me to understand my role as a contractor.Â Matthew isÂ my customer, and I look forward to making him happy. Matthew is also mentally retarded and autistic, wow, so he got his parents to communicate his needs to me.
My customer is complete, he is what nature delivered and I need to form my work practices with his needs in mind. I need to be more than a contractor.I need to be an observer and a listener and then a craftsman.
Where is that in all of my certifications?
Matthew is my customer and I need to understand how I can offer value and service, I must keep him safe fromÂ my materials and tools, and I have to make a profit. How do you work with the Matthews?
He’sÂ a beautiful boy.
He deserves an honest job and he requires a more thoughtful approach to what I offer.
Sarah and David.
These are Matthews parents, a smart and educated couple, as nice a people as you could hope to meet. I am so glad I am working for this family, this is why I am a contractor. I have done high end remodels and been very satisfied to be trusted to deliver on some demanding expectations but working for Matthew and his parents is far more meaningful and fulfilling.
So what about Matthew?
He’s a 7 year old boy and very active, he’s curious and lives in a place that only he understands, its finite and I can’t go there. I also know I am working for a family, IÂ know my responsibility means being comfortable with the fact Matthew is important but not likely to tell me what he needs.
I can improve his home so he is safe, I can listen to his parents and try to make something useful for them,. This is what I do.
Remodeling is meeting the wants and needs of my customers,
Remodeling is meeting those needs even when those wants and needs are hard to define.
I’m not only a contractor, I’m a problem solving and sensitive guy, I am here for the client, love them or not I provide a service and that service is custom defined for each and every individual who contracts with me. Working for Matthew and his family defines my role, I can grow into this job or just pretend I know what they need.
Pretend is for pretenders, I am the real deal, bring it on.
Wants and needs, its what keeps us in business, the Matthews of the world give me purpose, they provide income and allow me to practice my trade. Without our customers we are just dilettantes.
Thank you Matthew for the work, thank you for being my customer.
By The Paul
Owner of Silvertree Construction
A MN Remodeling Company
Update to Matthew,
Part of what Silvertree did was to fabricate 2 Dutch doors, this keeps Matthew from the kitchen but allows quick and easy observations or escape.