Sunday, February 9, 2014

What's good will worth? Put a dollar value on it.

You can't. It's incalculable.

Sometiimes you cast your bread on the water and the ducks eat it. Other times you get back poached eggs on toast.

The other day I ran into a guy that has been in the business about ten years and we spoke about a guy named Ray that retired about 5 years ago.

When the subject of Ray came up he laughed. He said that Ray had told him about a gallon of paint I had given him out of ship's stores about 20 years ago.

Ray was a dockman at one of the docks I sometimes load out of. Back then we loaded there a lot. One day he mantioned that he was trying to find a certain color paint for his garage door. He said he wanted something that was about the color of the patina on old copper.

I had a few opened cans of pretty good marine paint and we looked. There was a pretty full can of white, some blue and some green and we mixed up a can and got it pretty damned close to what he wanted and I gave it to him.

Why not? It was well past painting season and we were going to get rid of it, anyway.

Some idiot mentioned it to my supervisor and I caught hell for it. The idiot said it didn't matter that we were getting rid of it. We were yada yada yada. He just wanted to hear himself jump on someone's case to gratify his ego.

Anyway the next time we tied the vessel up at the dock Ray told me how good his garage door looked. He also told me we were going to have to sit there for 12 hours until they loaded another unit ahead of us.

It was getting near crew change and we wanted to get off with as little fuss as possible. Getting loaded would facilitate the crew change and I casually mentioned it to Ray. He told me to sit still and a few minutes later returnned and said he pulled a few strings. We were to load at once.

When I notified dispatch that we had gone to the front of the line they asked me how I had pulled it off. They too were in a rush to get this job done. I said it had cost us a gallon of paint. The dispatcher laughed and said it was a pretty good deal.

Over the next several years any vessel I was on was treated royally at that dock if Ray was working. Some things came to us magically, and sometimes bad things simply went away.

I can't calculate how much money my employer made over the years because of the favors that were done and I doubt that even the sharpest bean counter couldn't even come close.

What was interesting is that over the years Ray commented that his garage door looked as good as new because it was good marine paint he had used to paint it.

When Ray mentioned that he was getting ready to paint some trim I simply handed him a can of white marine paint and he was tickled pink. The favors kept on coming. We were royalty.

Another time at a different dock I saw a dockman messing with a piece of cheap sisal line the company had issued him. It was too thin to do the job so he used several parts.

I just went below and peeled off fifteen or twenty feer of good, solid 3/4 inch line, put an eye splice in one end and a crown splice in the other and threw it at him.

He was damned grateful and you can beet your boots he treated us well after that for quite some time.

The bean counters would have a hard time calculating how much profit we turned on a loust 20 foot long piece of rope.

It doesn't take much to create good will and it pays, yet it always seems like the bean counters can never figure out good will.

I suppose if you can't figure it out with a calculator they can't figure it out and if they can't see it in black and white it doesn't exist. Most of them can't see that far.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

1 comment:

  1. Most of the bean counters I have met can't calculate soft costs like these. They simply don't understand them or what they mean.