Once upon a time, in a place in my career, I was designing many county bridges. Most of them were in remote locations and several miles away from my office, so I teamed up with local engineers and surveyors to help me gather the information I needed to design the project. Almost all the projects were crossing rivers and streams that were heavily wooded, had a lot of underbrush and, in many cases, swampy and muddy.
I was probably considered pushy to my team members because I had schedules and budgets to meet.
One of my projects was located in Missouri’s Ray County, on a tributary to the Missouri River. This was a project so thick with trees and brush, I was prepared to pay twice as much as normal to have it surveyed. The surveyor I hired had been in business for more than 20 years and had a good reputation with the county commission, so it seemed like a good teaming fit.
The scheduled completion date was approaching, so I called up the surveyor to see about the project’s status. He had just sent the survey crew out and he assured me they would complete the project on schedule. Over the next two weeks, I made several calls playing phone tag, and not being able to connect. Then I received a letter that explained it all:
Dear Mr. Youness;
We are unable to complete your project. We are therefore resigning effective immediately. Sorry for any inconvenience that has resulted from this decision, however, my crews refuse to finish this job.
While they were attempting to complete the project they ran into snakes – spiders – and frogs!
Sincerely, (name withheld)
In business and life we often face our greatest fears and use those fears as an excuse to not finish something that we’ve committed to. That’s why I now ask our surveyors, “Are you afraid of frogs?” So far they have all appeared to be fearless. Now you know the inside story.