Mary was a firm legend. Now a licensed conveyancer, she had been there over forty years and seen partners come and go. She had (almost enthusiastically) cancelled holidays to cover for others. She had hardly (if ever) taken a day off ill. She had done the boring jobs that no one else wanted to do. Above all she worked incredibly hard and her standards were exceptional. She had been described by people inside and outside the firm as “fearsomely thorough”. She wore the badge of “perfectionist” with pride. Everyone wondered how they would cope without Mary.
“But maybe now is the time”, wondered Rob to himself and moments later he said it out loud to Hamish and asked, “So tell me again what happened last week?”. “Ok, but you better check this yourself”, replied Hamish “because I’m not 100% sure and I don’t want to get Mary into trouble ….. but, as I understand it she was meant to be exchanging contracts on three transactions on Friday and none of them happened. Apparently, this was because she found last minute technical problems on two of them and had a shouting match with the solicitors on the other side on the third which caused it to collapse. But I don’t know all the details obviously”.
Rob’s head was in his hands. This wasn’t exactly surprising news, but it was still painful to hear. “Look Hamish, I do appreciate that but I really would value your take on this ….. based on what you do know. I’m going to have to take this further and well ….. what do you think?” Hamish looked intensely thoughtful and spoke very slowly “Well, knowing Mary, she may well have been right on the technical issues. One of them was something about the possibility of a right of way, although apparently the building society involved was ok about going ahead. Not sure about the other technical one. And the problem with the other side - all I know is that at some stage she apparently said something like, “I’m amazed you ever managed to get qualified, you wouldn’t in my day … your attitude is slovenly and your whole approach is more like that of an estate agent” ….. or something like that”. Hamish paused.
Rob’s head went a little deeper into his hands.
What should Rob do (assuming he does some investigating and finds out that there was a 1% chance of a problem with the right of way)?
Add a comment ….. many of us will have come across the well-meaning perfectionist, have you? How do we deal with them and use their strengths? What else could Rob do?
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