Monday, May 29, 2023

A Little Bit Better

Entropy is a bitch, to put it lightly. As a business owner, I've learned absolutely everything will eventually break. As a leaseholder of a corporate owned property, I've also learned when it breaks, I'm usually contractually bound to fix it, rather than the landlord. I've replaced the usual things, like carpet and light fixtures, but also doors, toilets, and even sprinkler systems. If it can break, I will eventually need to replace it. This is also true in my RV experience.

My RV is built to the highest RV standards, which is a shockingly low standard, to be frank. It comes with a one year warranty that's so onerous to exercise, I usually just replace broken items myself. What I've learned working on the RV, but also on my Jeep and my business property, is not to just blanket replace junk parts, but to make each replacement an improvement. Spend a little more, do a little more, to make it a little bit better. Just a little, because you can go nuts, which was my downfall with my Jeep. 

On the highway through Sinaloa to Mazatlan, my rear overhead cabinet fell apart. It was a bit overloaded with my sons computer gear, and the rear of the trailer gets the brunt of the abuse. We asked at the RV park if there was someone who could fix it, and was surprised to learn a 20 year RV repair veteran lived in the park. Eric from Manitoba repaired my cabinet and reinforced it with extra wood, RV epoxy, and his staple gun (the weapon of choice in RV repair). At one point a 200 pound Canadian was hanging from this overhead cabinet. "If this cabinet comes down, the roof is coming with it." Eric told me.

"A little bit better" requires paying attention to problems as they arise and having the resources to find an Eric from Manitoba to get the job done. My first car, bought when I was 19, was always broken until the day I sold it seven years later. I only had enough money to fix the things that kept it off the road. The idea I would fix everything was absurd. That car probably set me down the path to "a little bit better" on my personal war against entropy. In my business, it's important to set a tone of what we will tolerate and what requires attention. The wrong manager could let things go until you've got the equivalent of an old muscle car on a grad students budget.

A little bit better cabinet, thanks to Eric from Manitoba

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