A fly in the ointment

Recently, a contractor did some work at our home. The crew was professional, and the work was of the highest quality. Their swift, skilled efforts had little impact on our normal household activities. The workers didn’t even use our restroom, as they had brought their own.

And therein, we discovered a fly in the ointment.

For seventeen days beyond the completion of the project, an aged, portable toilet remained upon the stretch of grass between our sidewalk and the street.

For seventeen days, our full enjoyment of the completed work was stymied by the last, incomplete step.

For seventeen days, our satisfaction had an asterisk.

It’s laughable, more than anything. It became a silly conversation piece with friends and neighbors.

But it also points to this: good work — even the best work — can be diminished, if temporarily, by careless cleanup. By a conspicuous, flailing loose end.

It’s a reminder to see a job through to the end so that when the last bit of business is handled, the completed work can be fully appreciated.