Friday, May 7, 2010

For Sale: One Striking Mule

As the joke goes....
There was an old farmer, whose wife nagged him unmercifully.  The only time he could get a break from her constant nagging, was when he was out ploughing his fields with his faithful old mule.  Some would say he spent a lot more time out ploughing his fields than was absolutely necessary.
One day, when he was ploughing, his wife brought lunch out to him in the field.  He sat there quietly eating his sandwiches while she nagged him steadily, moment after moment.
Suddenly the old mule lashed out with both hind feet, striking the woman in the head, and killing her instantly.
At the funeral some days later, the minister noticed something odd.  Whenever a woman approached the grieving husband and spoke a few words, he would listen for a moment and then quietly nod his head in agreement.  But whenever a man approached him, he would listen and then shake his head in disagreement.
After the funeral, the minister couldn't resist asking why the old man was nodding his head in agreement with the women, but shaking his head in disagreement with the men.
The old farmer explained that whenever the women came over, they would say something nice about his departed wife so he was nodding his head in agreement with them.  The men, however, were all asking if his mule was for sale! 
The problem with nagging is that nobody likes to be either on the giving or the receiving end of it.  But alas, sometimes I find myself in a situation where it feels like I have no other recourse.  We had an engineering firm come in to do some consulting work and testing for us at the very beginning of July last year.  A team came in and worked on our property for 3-4 days.  We were promised a report by the end of the following week.

July went by, we did not hear from them.
August went by, we did not hear from them.
In mid August I telephoned them.
In early September I telephoned them.
In mid September I telephoned them.
In late September I telephoned them.
In early October I telephoned them.
In mid October I telephoned them.
In late October I telephoned them.
Finally in early November I was able to speak directly to the engineer who acted as foreman on the site.  He promised immediate action that would involve fax machines, emails, and overnight couriers.

Two weeks went by, we did not hear from them.
In late November I telephoned them again.
In early December I telephoned them again.
I took a long Christmas break from telephoning them.
In early January I telephoned them again.
In mid January we finally received a detailed invoice with a promise that we would receive test results upon full payment of the invoice.
In a show of what was clearly good faith utter stupidity, we paid the invoice in full.
We still have not received test results.
We continue to telephone them at least once a week.
They continue to promise us immediate action.
I continue to nag them because I do not know what else to do!

Yes, I guess this makes me a nag, and I know it ain't pretty, but really, what else is a person supposed to do?  The thought has occurred to me, however, that if I had the kicking power of a mule, maybe I would get quicker results.  

So the question remains, is it better to be an ineffectual nag or a kickin' ass?


  1. i thought it was just a nagging wife that was bad mojo? This was definitely a case where you should most def. keep asking. :)

  2. Ass! These guys definitely need a kick in the head! Sheesh! They're lucky they're getting away with this. But don't lose heart because has got to be the finest demonstration of nagging i've ever seen :D Go you!



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