Finding help – for home and for hearing – isn’t so hard after all

By Martin Jurek, Campbell River Hearing Clinic

I’m baaaaack. Did you miss me?

It’s been over two years since I’ve written an article and some of my faithful followers were worried I’d abandoned writing altogether. Don’t panic, dear reader – I haven’t hung up my keyboard or quit my day job at the hearing clinic. Rather, I took on a new project that has consumed much of my time – I built a new home!

I know, I know, you’re thinking, “Why would he do that to himself?!” (You may also be thinking, “What does this have to do with hearing aids?” Patience... )

When Renata joined my wife Jana and me at Campbell River Hearing Clinic a couple of years ago, the time seemed right to follow my dream of building my own home. Since then I’ve been on an incredibly rewarding and humbling experience – and not just because I realized I’m not as irreplaceable at the clinic as I like to think I am!

Glutton for punishment or just naïve? You decide!

Jana and I have lived in many imperfect houses over the years. From moody heating systems to inconceivably awkward layouts, we’ve seen it all. (Seriously, it’s like the people who designed our last home had never cooked a meal or done laundry!) So we began making lists of everything we liked and disliked in houses and started the design process. It was all happening!

Slowly but surely, our house began to grow out of the ground. From foundation up to the trusses, we did much of the work ourselves. I managed to handle the electrical; my dad, a retired plumber, dealt with the waterworks. I even roped my sons into helping out! Painting and finishing, installing cabinets and flooring, we completed a seemingly endless (at the time) number of jobs.

Of course, there were challenges. And naturally, some of the work was more than I was prepared or able to deal with, so I had to turn to others for help. And this is where I started seeing the connection with hearing clinics . . .

Is good help really so hard to find?

Some of my greatest reservations arose when it came time to find good help. I’m the kind of guy who likes things done well, and I wanted to make sure the final product reflected our vision – this was our dream home after all! I can’t emphasize enough just how much anxiety I felt when faced with the daunting task of selecting contractors for the various jobs we couldn’t handle on our own.

When I read advertisements for various contractors I quickly learned that everyone was an “expert,” an “industry leader” or, according to them, simply “the best.” But how could I be sure I was working with the right person?

How could I be sure that the person I hired would really listen to me, and be easy to talk to if something needed to be fixed or done differently? What would I say if they wanted me to pay for something that I felt had been done poorly? Or, worse yet, what if they messed up and simply never came back? Choosing the wrong person would simply add to the already significant anxiety I already felt!

Around that time, one of our hearing clients came in for some follow-up service on his hearing aid. After he was all set he thanked me for what we’d done and said, “I really appreciate what you do for me, and I tell everyone about you guys – thank you.” That’s when the lights came on – I had to ask other people about the contractors I needed!

After all, at Campbell River Hearing Clinic, we strive to do the best job possible and let our customers spread the word for us. Surely there must be contractors who do the same, right? So I started asking around.

The strategy worked. Our office landlord spoke highly about Price-Rite Roofing. And, sure enough, Steve Price did a great job – he was there when he said he would be, kept things tidy and organized and made sure the plywood didn’t get wet before the roofing went on. Then a friend recommended Noel Pike for drywall. They, too, did an excellent job – painting was a breeze on those nice flat walls! Another friend suggested Ed Rosse for my heating, and my fancy in-floor heating works like a dream. To my relief, all our recommended tradespeople lived up to their billings.

Whether drywall or hearing aids, actions speak louder than words

Funny thing is, most of the tradespeople we hired don’t advertise. Some aren’t even in the Yellow Pages! They don't write about how fantastic they are – it’s all word of mouth. The true pros do a great job and then let their work and customers do the advertising for them.

I know that finding the right help can be a challenge. And when it’s a big investment – be it a heating system or a hearing aid – it can also be pretty darned stressful. You need to know you’re in good hands. So ask around.

Talk to others who have gone through the process. Ask them where they went, what they liked and why. Do their hearing aid providers always strive to make their hearing better, making continual adjustments until they’re just right? Are the people knowledgeable, friendly and a pleasure to deal with?

Like the pros who did such great work on our home, we at Campbell River Hearing Clinic put our efforts into making our clients happy – not into advertising. I still plan on writing the occasional article to share my rambling thoughts and educate people about their hearing health, but that’s about it.

The fact is, when you need good help, it’s easy to separate the true pros from the rest of the flock. All you have to do is ask around. In the meantime, we promise to keep doing our best, and we hope our customers will keep sharing our name with others.

If you think it’s time to speak with someone about your hearing, call 250.914.3200 or visit us at 780-D 13th Avenue for a free hearing assessment. (Warning: we may show you pictures of our new home!) Or better yet, ask your friends for a recommendation!