June 24, 2024
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June 24, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Isn’t It Common Courtesy?

It is really frustrating to be in a situation where one expects a reply or a visit to an enquiry and it does not happen. Several years ago those of us who work at The Jewish Link were becoming annoyed that one or two transient visitors would make use of our coffee machine and then leave either cups in the sink or refuse around the area.

I’m sure that many of you can relate to this situation, even at home. In order to combat the issue in our office, we put up a sign in the coffee area suggesting that whoever uses the area cleans up after themselves because, as the sign said, “It is common courtesy.”

Just those words have been on my mind lately. With the great advantage of living in a community where one can easily post queries on various sites requesting suggestions for a particular service, I took full advantage. Immediately people were kind enough to respond, giving names and suggestions of whom to call. Many reminded me to mention their names, assuming, I guess, that that would make a difference in the response that I would get. Or perhaps with the desire for the person to know who they are being highly recommended by, with the idea that the next time that they needed them they would be given preferential treatment.

And so the search began as I contacted several recommended workmen. I would call them and they would arrange to come to our home to check out what needed to be done. Have any of you seen them? Have they come to your house by accident? I am still waiting for people who said they would come by and never showed up. If one is too busy, is it not “common courtesy” to say so and not leave a person waiting for hours?

I am certain that we are not the only ones who have had this experience.

Several weeks before Pesach a highly recommended person/service was suggested to clean cars inside and out at a very reasonable price. I immediately called the individual and made an appointment for him to come to our driveway five days later, early in the morning. By noon I called to ask where he was as I had been waiting for the entire morning. His response: “I’m so busy that I guess I double-booked.” When I asked him when he would be coming to our home he hung up the telephone. Is there something wrong here?

I cannot figure out a solution to the number of times I have heard the frustration in people’s voices when they discuss the challenges they face in getting workers into their homes.

By the way, I am well aware that licensed companies, in most cases, are more reliable than freelance or individual workers fending for themselves. Everyone is looking to save money, but is it really worth it?

I wish that we could convince more of the yeshiva bochurim who spend hours each day for years and years in their yeshivas, to go out and learn a trade. Even if they spent half a day learning and half a day working, wouldn’t that be better than receiving government aid for everything that they do with their lives, and wouldn’t that make the workforce larger and much more accessible to all of us? I would think one is allowed to learn Gemara with some grease on his hands.

It would prevent wives in many cases from the burden of taking care of a household, raising children and going to work. I cannot think of one kollel wife who would complain if her husband decided to ease their financial burden by working for half the day. What community would not be open to hiring young yeshiva men with a useful trade to replace the workers in the community who make appointments and never show up?

I am fortunate in that I did find someone to do the work that needed to be done in my home. He was the first to answer my posting and immediately visited my home with one of his employees. He is a lovely man. I am sorry that I cannot mention his name to anyone, because then I will never see him again!


Nina Glick lives in Bergenfield with her husband, Rabbi Mordechai Glick, after many years of service to the Montreal Jewish community. Nina coordinated all Yachad activities in Montreal and was a co/founder of Maison Shalom, a group home for special needs young adults. She can be reached at [email protected].

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