If you'd asked me before this week, I would have said that nowadays most people don't take pride in their work. I would have been wrong. Wrong, at least, in the case of Olde England Painting, the company E. and I hired to paint the exterior of our house four years ago.
When we first met Paul Adkins of Olde England, we were favorably impressed. We had interviewed several painters and Paul's bid was quite reasonable. He seemed very knowledgeable about exterior painting in general and also about a particular problem our house presented—the nail heads of the thousands of nails used to hold the clapboards in place had rusted, causing rust to show through the stain applied when the house was built nine years earlier.
Paul proposed to fill each and every nail head with putty, then sand it down, all in preparation for a new coat of stain. His suggestion sounded good to us, so we hired him. We were impressed every step of the way. Paul showed up with his crew exactly when he said he would and he was a hands-on boss, up on the ladder and prepping and painting alongside his men. All of them were pleasant to have around, worked hard, and cleaned up after themselves. They did a great job. So good, in fact, that I offered to act as a reference for Olde England Painting.