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I have to admit that in my own professional life, I suck at estimating how long something will take. When observing other people's failures in this area (always easier than analyzing your own failures) a frequent source of data is the garage I take my car to for service.
To be honest, I love this place. They do good work, they're conveniently located, and stuff they fix stays fixed. They're maybe a little expensive, but they're honest (as far as I can tell) and the rest is worth it to me. They even go a little out of their way for you (squeezing you in the schedule, doing disgnostics for free sometimes, etc.) if they know and like you.
That said, they suck at estimating time.
|What they estimate||How long it takes|
|10 minutes||20 minutes|
|15 minutes||45 minutes|
|1 hour||half a day|
|3 or 4 hours||all day|
Now I realize that sometimes the schedule gets changed due to unforeseen accidents, squeezing in people they like, and such, but it's so consistent that it seems like they should catch on. If they have caught on and they still underestimate, well that's pretty much lying. It's the only thing I've caught them being dishonest about, so it sticks out, you know?
On other things, they're super honest. Like, if I call up and ask if they could do something change for me or something on a day they're busy, they tell me "no." Usually that means I wait a day or two and try again, but some people would just go someplace else, and I respect the garage for taking that risk by being honest. Anyway, this bit me today so I'm posting about it.
2007.01.10 at 4:00pm EST
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