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When a Professional Isn't

It has probably happened to you and likely more than once. You hire a professional to handle a particular task and provide the necessary information and direction required. The professional provides an estimated date for completing the work and you go on with your other tasks. The deadline arrives but when you call a few days later, not having heard from the professional, all you receive is another promise as to a new expected time of completion. Naturally, that deadline also passes without any communication from the professional and now there is a problem. The task at issue is only the first part of a larger project and its completion is necessary for timely completion of other, dependent tasks which have a fixed end date.
What to do? Asking for yet another promised completion deadline, with no reasonable expectation of completion happening given the previous failures, seems to be a waste of additional time you don’t have. Asking for a return of your materials and the delegated authority to act so that you can move ahead with another professional seems to be the better choice. Not surprisingly, by this time you should feel a strong sense of having been abused by the so-called professional who has failed to keep to the schedule the professional originally set and later updated but still failed to meet. To make matters worse, there is never any communication initiated by the professional to let you know that a delay is likely and asking for an extension.
Herein lies the real problem. If you are hired to do a job and cannot get it done, it is far better to admit your inability than to exacerbate the situation by further delay and making additional promises you can’t or won’t keep. If one has any pride in their business and profession, they are not going to subject their clients or customers to such treatment. Nothing can hasten the failure of a business more than the negative word of mouth/exposure on social media that results from such inability and/or unwillingness to do the required work. Make sure that your approach to your clients doesn’t prove to be a lack of professionalism.


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