DIY v. The Professional – A Commentary

When my two daughters were toddlers, they would find the loose change that fell out of my pant pockets and for safekeeping, would insert the pennies, dimes, and nickels between the keys of our piano. Needless to say that after a while, when a key was depressed it stayed that way and soon the piano could not be played. We were a young struggling couple with two children and the thought of spending money we did not have to retrieve pennies from the keyboard seemed frivolous. But, my wife loved to play the piano and it was now challenging to play.

This is when my creativity came forth with a solution. I would take the piano apart, retrieve the coinage, re-assemble the instrument and the problem would be solved. Well, not quite! I gathered the tools I would need. A screwdriver, a small adjustable wrench and a pair of pliers would be all I needed. And so the task began. Like a master craftsman approaching his work with confidence and enthusiasm, I began by taking apart the keyboard lid followed by other parts for which I had no name. Finally, after about thirty minutes I was able to remove the keyboard from its comfortable bed, collect the coins and the surgery was complete except for the re-assembling. With the ivory and ebony teeth of the keyboard flopping to and fro in my hands I started to place the parts back in their respective places. Well, I thought that is where they belonged. After agonizing over the task of putting the piano back together I felt like the King’s men in the Humpty Dumpty rhyme, they could not put Humpty together again.  It was time to call in the Professional.

The Piano Doctor (that was his company name – really!) arrived the next day, surveyed the various parts laying on the living room floor like a piano part graveyard and after a gentle smile and a few comments I did not need to hear, he set to the task. It did not take him very long. Soon the piano was back together and it could once again produce beautiful music. The professional saved the day.

Do It Yourselves (DIY) at home or at work share one common characteristic, they think they can do something because they read about it, they saw it done once, or they heard someone tell a story about it. This would make them an expert in the matter. For many DIY’s this may work provided everything is normal; there are no snags along the way. If, however, they encounter a problem they have never seen, handling it may be much more than was ever bargained for. The professional on the other hand has many years of experience and knowledge about her particular area. There is not much they have not seen or experienced themselves. They can get it solved.

A condo Board of Directors is not any different. The people, who think they can take of care of most situations alone, can wake up to huge surprises. Whether the board is challenged by people, parking or pet issues when dealing with unit owners, we must remember that unit owners are not things; they think, have feelings, and have been known to push back at times. A board’s inexperienced reaction in these situations can make or break an organization. Tackling maintenance and repairs of the mechanical plant, roof patching or replacement, plumbing or electrical malfunctions, Doing It Yourself is not always the best solution. Retaining the services of a professional that specializes in the type of issues a condo faces can not only save time and money but also stress, frustration and undue anxiety. You can attempt to do it yourself, but quite often, it is just better to call the pro.

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