You have to own it…..no matter what it takes
A Tale of Two Tubs
We received a referral for a high priority case in Fairfield, CT. This job had to be totally white glove treatment, had to happen within 3 weeks or the job would be canceled and as in all cases for On The Mend Medical Supplies & Equipment, we had to execute at the highest level possible.
This high profile person wants us to install a medical spa tub in her house in an existing barrier raised shower. The use is temporary as the mother visits frequently.
We are going to jump right to the heart of this story.
The day of the scheduled install we realized that the tub wasn’t the perfect fit. It wasn’t going to be easy enough for this adorable mother to get in and out of at 94 years old. We had to make the most integral decision possible: pull the tub out. Operation “own your mistake” had now begun. We had 6 days left to get this done. The only tub that would work was one made by Sanspa USA that was sitting in their warehouse in Arizona.
There was no freight delivery company in the country that could guarantee timely delivery due to the July 4th weekend and we certainly couldn’t risk paying for another tub and not being able to install it.
The answer was simple, on Friday, July 1st, fly to Arizona, rent a Uhaul, and drive it back across the country over the holiday weekend. Lots of details and frustration followed, but after finally finding a @uhaul and leaving Arizona at 4pm Pacific time, we arrived back in Danbury Monday morning 2:27am Eastern time.
Through the whole thing, what comforted everybody involved was the affection and love this daughter showed for her mother. On July 8th, that cute mother was soaking in her new tub. On July 8th, On The Mend felt unstoppable.
We have always felt that no matter what we will do what it takes to help people live independently and to always show up when we promised to. Own your mistakes and do hard things. The book that we listened to while driving across the country was “Do Hard Things” by Steve Magness – it helped a lot, thank you Steve. Thank you to Ahji and Marsi for relentlessly chasing down all of the flights, vehicles and transfers necessary to make this work.
The long version…
The lesson of this story: We want to help everyone. When a family member shows such love for their family – when family takes care of family, when family will not stop until their loved one is the most comfortable, when we see that, it makes us want to do whatever it takes. We love watching family members take care of family members. There is nothing that is better than that.
So about a month ago we got a VIP call to do an assessment of a house on the shore to help find comfort for the 94 year old mother who spends time in Ct with her daughter. This case was a referral from a very important Aging in Place partner of ours, and we needed to move swiftly.
Upon meeting this daughter, the one thing I remember to this day was just how sweet she was and how much she loved her mother. In high profile cases I hate to say it, but we don’t always get that warm friendly vibe.
Anyways as we broke it down we decided and they agreed that we needed to supply 2 reclining lift chairs, and a Medispa tub with jets, aromatherapy and it needed to drain and fill quickly.
We also needed to get it into an existing shower space, off the mother’s bedroom and it needed to be done quickly, as the mother would be visiting July 8th and all work hand deliveries needed to happen before she arrived. Our answer- 3 weeks, No problem, we have this covered.
We love what we get to do.
Fast forward 2 weeks, the tub has arrived. The team is in place, and we head down with the tub with plenty of time to make this customer happy and make good on our promise.
So 3 hours later, after numerous attempts to customize this tub in their space, and a few “well, what if we…..ahh nope still no good.”
Frank, Ken, Hatus, Steve and I concluded, we got the wrong tub…………………..Oh my god!!!! The tub fit, but because of the 6” barrier wall we needed to work over, and the door opening inward, it was going to be too hard for this lovely woman to get into this tub, it actually presented an unsafe path to the tub. UGHHHHH!!
Now as luck would have it, the previous week I was at a med Conference Show with our consulting team VGM and ran into a company Sanspa, who had a new Spa Tub on the market that we loved. The tub door opened outward, it had a grab bar, and not only had all the features, but it also had a heated seat option, first of its kind, that sure would make for a better experience while filling and emptying the tub.
“This tub would work for sure Marsi and I thought”
So it was now Tuesday June 28th, T minus 10 days to get this done as promised.
We call Ed Mazza at Sanspa and tell him of our situation. He has the ability to get a tub ready for us, with all the bells and whistles by Thursday the 30th, pick up in Arizona. GREAT !!!! We got this. Thanks Ed.
Now we have to find a shipping company or freight forwarder who could get this tub to us by the following Tuesday, gives us two days to set the tub, plumb it in, re sheetrock and put everything back together, we could patch and paint and be out of there Thursday night, and we keep our promise.
It’s the perfect plan.
Wednesday we are chasing freight carriers and we are not getting successful results. The upcoming weekend is a holiday weekend, July 4th is Monday and therefore no shipping company could guarantee delivery. (If anybody has shipped anything recently, it was obvious to us we could not rely on a commercial carrier who’s contract reads at the bottom, “we cannot guarantee on time shipping at this time” .
Ok we got USHIP, we have used them before, they are the best. We can hire a private shipper and get this picked up Thursday and delivered by Tuesday, it will still work.
No matter what we were willing to pay we could not guarantee a timely delivery. We could actually pay and not have the tub show up for weeks, therefore just adding insult to injury.
That’s a big NO. There wasn’t a shipper available, nobody who had room and the one guy from California who thought he could make it work called us back late and told us he wouldn’t be able to help us.
Thursday night we made a decision that guaranteed we kept our promise, one we will own forever.
The answer is simple….we fly out there, we rent a truck and we drive the 2800 miles back from Phoenix. Leave Friday, home by Monday. Yes Yes Yes we can do this.
So we did it.
What a team effort this was.
Ahji found a Uhaul, Marsi booked flights and our new plan was in motion.
Step 1- Flight was 6:30 am out of JFK. Check
We got to Arizona, a mere 106 degrees and we started the trek.
Step 2 -Uber to the Uhaul place, grab the Uhaul and go. No check. No Uhaul. “ What do you mean no Uhaul for a one way trip, we reserved it. “
“Its not here. Its actually across town at a baseball card shop that rents Uhauls.” Say what? And they do not open for another hour. 12pm. Ok we have a dead stop pick up of tub at 3pm, no later or they close. We still got this.
Ok that works, lets uber there.
So at about 12:30, at one of the most desolate, hot and sandy shopping plazas ever built, the wait was on, and on and on. Its 12:45, this guy isn’t showing up, and not for nothing, this truck outside looks like the first Uhaul ever made. This is bad.
AHJI to the rescue…..somehow she finds another Uhaul, its brand new, and we can grab across town.
Ahji and Marsi relentlessly scoured the earth and found a way to find a way.
This is the best team ever.
Got to the pick up at 2:45pm. WHEW, we got this.
AND WE DID.
46 hours of driving, we left Phoenix at 4pm on Friday, 7pm our time.
At 2:27 am Monday morning we were back in Danbury. Successful mission. A geography lesson, a trip across this great country and the timeliest book of all time that got us through the journey. Thank you Steve Magness.
On Tuesday morning, the install team of Frank, Kenny, Hatus, Derek and Steve and I met to take that tub out of the Uhaul and put it in the van, and only one question remained, would it be the perfect fit we thought it would be???
NOT SO FAST.
Kenny had one that he was thinking about that almost stopped my heart.
“So did you unbox it to make sure it was the right one?”
Grrrr he knew the answer, hahah and thank god Ed Mazza executed it perfectly.
@800 miles and never thought to check to see if it was the right tub……………………Thank You God!1!!
The guys did the rest, it went in beautifully. Frank and team are just the best.
What a great team.
The customer is so happy.
The referral source is thankful, and so are we.
We owned it. We fulfilled our promise, and to the younger people on our team, we taught a valuable lesson.
Do not break your promises, and own your mistakes. The time was going to pass either way. Either act, or make excuses and fail. We chose A
Thankfully we have built the greatest team alive and pulled it off.
This was one of the greatest weeks in our history.
Ok, next case.