The benefits of using a professional

  • Jul 6, 2020

Your A-Z Swagman had a completely non-promotional product lesson over the holiday weekend (July 4, 2020). For some time, I’ve been after my wife — a very successful and much loved veterinarian — to reseal her asphalt parking lot. She doesn’t have one the size of a big box store (think the wally-world type) or even a small box store (is that a category? I’m thinking of the dollar-type). If I measured correctly, it’s just under 5000 square feet.

And here’s where your A-Z Swagman’s hubris stepped up: I can handle that project!

To be fair, I’ve probably saved the clinic about half what it would have cost a professional crew — and the cost in my time is irrelevant at this point. Social distancing norms mean I didn’t have much else on my schedule. And the Swag Son is not yet occupied with band camp, so there’s my helper!

As I write this blog entry, due to weather, timing and materials, the job still has to be completed (currently planned for next weekend).

Had we contracted with a professional crew, I’m sure the overall smoothness would have been better. Definitely, they would have arrived with all the tools and materials needed, rather than carrying eight to nine buckets of sealer at a time in a Subaru Outback (I love my car, but I recognize the benefits of a truck!) And most importantly, they would have planned their supply chain better. Every trip for more sealer was to a further distant Lowes, as apparently several people had the same idea as I did for the holiday weekend!! Planning would have meant they could have been done in a day or so (I’m now running on three days in the heat!)

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the blisters! OK, they’re mentioned, right?

So lesson learned for your A-Z Swagman, right? (No of course not — I’ll make mistakes again, just not resealing asphalt!!)

Let me briefly bring this back to the subject where your A-Z Swagman DOES hold expertise — graphic design! Two times recently — including over this past weekend — I’ve observed signage with major flaws. The most recent was at the Lowes where I picked up one batch of sealer.

This Lowes (I didn’t check the carts of the other ones) apparently had decided to populate some of their carts with advertising. Simply taking sheets of paper, laminating them and attaching them to the cart with zip-ties definitely fits with their DIY message. But without regular checking and maintenance, you wind up with signs that make you worry about infection if you touch them. A professional would have advised a direct imprint on a durable, thick plastic — it could still be zip-tied on for the DIY effect (corners, not top and bottom).

The other signage flaw was at one of those big-box stores mentioned earlier. The one good thing I’ll say for this store is that they have bathrooms without doors (just short, windy halls), so one doesn’t risk touching someone else’s unwashed hand-prints. Let me just show the picture — tell me if you see the problem.

Yup, proofreading is a necessary profession! You may now berate your A-Z Swagman for taking pictures in a men’s room or for missing one of the EM dashes in this blog entry (guess which of those stresses me more!)

I hope you’re all staying well and keeping busy during these crazy times. Please write your A-Z Swagman and tell me about the projects that have been occupying your time.


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