PROGRESS: “Let’s top it about 90%”
START POINT: Approximately three or four years ago
EXPECTED DATE OF COMPLETION: Before they put their house on the market
STORY: I can’t help but be amused by Christine and Dave’s participation in my project about unfinishedness, because they, hands down, got the most done, in the timeliest manner, out of all my interviews. I hardly had to ask them for anything: they offered photos of their projects without prompting, they sent in any materials I needed almost immediately, and Christine began the conversation by answering some questions she’d already asked herself in preparation for the interview.
She’s wearing a loose, practical but not unstylish brown top, with her hair pulled back, and glasses–a sign to me that the day is nearly over, because if contacts were ever in, they are definitely not now. She takes a few minutes to get settled, commenting on her “needy cone dog” as she ultimately makes her way to her bedroom.
“I started thinking about ‘why haven’t they been finished already?’ and I came up with a couple of things, so just food for thought:
“What they all have in common is they have no critical deadline for completion.
“The incentive is not compelling enough finish it.
“And then another thing is there’s no immediate risk.”
Their projects–finishing the stairs, painting the last few feet of crown molding in the dining room, putting the hardwood down in the closets–have all reached a point where they can function around them without much trouble, and they don’t have any immediate reasons to finish them. “By not finishing we’re not risking our safety or our reputation, it’s not anything that I absolutely have to finish by a certain date on, so we just kind of live with it like it is for now.”
Partway through the call, Dave joins the conversation. Christine and Dave’s interview illuminated the importance of relying on other people when working on completing projects as they both explained that working on the house has been a joint effort. Christine began: “On the steps it was, I painted the boards–” “And then you waited for me to get around to doing the other part, and then when I did that part it was done like a day or so I got all of it and then the guys came the next day to do the work,” finished Dave.