From the Back Nine: Live and learn

A 14-year-old boy posted a notice asking if people had chores he could do. Sis and I needed to have weeds pulled, so she called him. The negotiation was highly professional. Since he didn’t know us, he would bring along his 16-year-old brother. And his mom would drive them here and back. Sis hired him.

I’m sure the iffy economics of this situation — his overhead of payback promises must be enormous — will cause his business to flag before the autumn is out. I will never know for sure because, highly professionally, he fired us.

“You have too many spiders in your yard,” he said. “I won’t be back.”

Too many spiders?

Apparently, the arachnid population was so out of hand that even a promise to head-’em-up-and-move-’em-out would not suffice. Frankly, I am not aware of roaming bands of eight-leggers infesting in the backyard. And I would be aware, since I suffer a bit from this particular phobia myself. But then, I’m not the one out there weeding.

This all leads me to think the young lad might want to hone down his list of available services using some common sense. Hate snakes? Don’t watch “Snakes on a Plane.” Have a thing about showers? Don’t watch “Psycho.” Scared of spiders? Don’t do yard work. I’m just saying. But that is a bit harsh. Maybe he’s honing as we speak.

Any of us who started a business know you find yourself doing tasks you never dreamed of:

When you open your office, you are likely to be the one cleaning the carpets because you will not have a janitorial department.

Installing the locks because you will not have a security department.

Learning to keep books because you will not have an accounting department.

Dealing with HR issues because you will not have an HR department.

None of this has anything to do with your skills as a dentist or masseuse or public relationships expert. But it has everything to do with keeping the bill collector from the door.

Or maybe I should say keeping the spiders from the door. I give this young businessman credit for doing the job he was hired to do before deciding he wouldn’t be back. For having the courage to tell us why. For having the ambition to start his enterprise. He’ll live and learn. And I figure, he’ll end up doing it well.

Thanks to a caring Mom and a very obliging big brother for getting him up and running.

Linda B. Myers is the author of 10 novels, including “Starting Over Far Away,” released last month, available at Pacific Mist or on Amazon. You can reach her at