Creating the Call Schedule is Like Picking-Up Dog Poop

I have had a dog or dogs in my life ever since I was a young child.  My parents were always very fond of miniature schnauzers.  When I was a child one of my earliest responsibilities was to clean-up after our dog named Cricket.  Although Cricket was a small dog, as a kid, the size of the dog’s poop seemed pretty big.  Early on my dad gave me an old plastic ice cream bucket and a 3-prong hand rake.  These were the tools that I had been given to do my job.  It was not a hard job, nor did it require a lot of sweat to accomplish.  But never less having to bend down and pick-up 15-20 turds each week was horrible. The worst part is that I have a very sensitive gag reflex.  So each time I would be scooping poop, I would most likely throw-up.  Nice huh.

After I graduated from college I made the decision that I was going to get a dog of my own.  In fact, at one point I had two.  My first dog, Eunice was a beagle/golden retriever mix.  My second dog was a husky/German Sheppard mix.  Needless to say, I had a lot of poop to clean up.  Knowing how crappy this job is and how bad my gag-reflux is also, I decided to journey over to the local Petco and see what new tools had been invented between my childhood years and college to aid someone in poop clean-up.  I was a bit surprised.  There were several good choices of tools that had been created for both the scrapping and scooping part of this job.  Because these new tools were like garden tools, I no longer needed to be so close to the poop that it would make me gag.  SWEET!

As a business owner, I have been fortunate enough to enjoy some of the basic luxuries that most working adults can now enjoy.  Dry-cleaning service, house cleaner, and sometimes even a neighbor kid to cut the grass.  One day at the veterinary office I noticed a flyer for a weekly dog poop clean-up service.  I could not believe my eyes.  Someone actually opened a business around cleaning up other people’s dog poop?  Yes, and I thought it was a great idea.  With one medium-sized dog and 1 large dog, I immediately jumped at the opportunity to have someone else do the dirty work.  I think I paid somewhere around $80 or so per month.  I really did not have to think about it anymore.

Cleaning up poop was never the goal; the ultimate goal was to have a clean yard so that we could cut the lawn without getting dog poop in the wheels of the lawnmower.  Cleaning up poop was one a “to-do” list item to continue to achieve the goal.

The reason I write about this today is that I see a strong correlation between cleaning up dog poop and having to create, maintain, and communicate the doctor’s on-call schedule.  Here are the top 10 similarities:

    1. Both jobs stink
    2. No one wants to do either job
    3. Doing both jobs correctly is important
    4. Doing either job incorrectly has consequences
    5. You can never stop doing either job
    6. It is not likely you will be paid to do either job
    7. Doing either job by hand is unthinkable
    8. Doing either job without tools is foolish
    9. Even with tools, both jobs still suck
    10. You can’t give either job away

As a busy executive, I find it imperative that I take advantage of the tools that exist for me to use to accomplish the good, bad, and ugly in my life.  Cleaning up dog poop is included.  Although I am fully capable of cleaning it up by hand, I choose to use my time more productively and choose to focus on other things.  I find value in saving time, having a clean yard, and not having to do a gross job that makes me gag.

Key Takeaway:  Creating, maintaining, and communicating the call schedule is like picking up dog poop.  Although you can do it painstakingly by hand, why would you?   Reasonably priced, good tools exist, and even companies that will do the work for you.  Why you are doing it the hard way when valuable options exist to help you.

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