Refiner: Fridge Finders

When I was building homes, one of my jobs was to inspect homes my colleagues built a few days before the keys were given to the homeowners. My job was to come up with the final list of things to finish up. It wasn't a ding against the superintendents... but it did become a point of pride among them to have the fewest inspection items.

I got pretty good at it. The homes I "punched" had the fewest problems found by homeowners. One superintendent was new, enthusiastic, hard working, and very excited to have me inspect his homes. As I walked the homes with him, he showed me the attention to detail he'd put into them, far exceeding our quality standards for fit and finish. I had nothing to list.

But when walked into one home, I made one note: "Missing refrigerator."  He saw my note and explained that the fridge had been a special order and that shipping had been delayed. I nodded and moved on, but he asked, "Are you going to keep that item?" I said yes. He got frustrated. "But look at all the work I've put into the rest of the house! This is way above and beyond." I said, "That's true. It's a beautiful home. Let me ask you something - what do you think the first thing the homeowners will say when they come into the kitchen?" He paused for a second, then quietly said, "'Where's our fridge?'"

Having a second set of eyes review your work is invaluable to your creative process. It keeps you honest and eliminates the blind spots that naturally show up after you work hard on something.