Construction Cost & Project Management

A fishy tale

November 16, 2017

(Blog by Steve Lowndes and Andrew Thorp)

In his 2014 TEDx talk, Bob Stuckey draws an interesting distinction between service and hospitality. For him, service is what customers expect to get and is therefore unremarkable (literally ‘not worth talking about’). But hospitality involves going the extra mile, often those small touches which have an impact on the customer and create a story to be shared.

This is a concept we embrace at Poole Dick and we’re proud to report that Neil Cheadle of our Stoke office recently went beyond what’s expected and into the ‘hospitality zone’.

Neil is a resourceful chap and had to dig deep when it came to a challenge he faced in a local primary school. The client wanted a natural feature installed to stimulate the children’s imagination. The original plan was to have a ‘living wall’ but when this didn’t work out they settled on an alternative – a fish tank.

Our man liaised with the supplier over its delivery and positioning but the school insisted that one pupil in particular was “part of the team”. This boy had some behavioural issues but was also fascinated by fish and Neil was happy to allow him to take some pride in Project Fish Tank.

Quite unexpectedly, Neil found himself drawing on his previous experience as a teacher, explaining to the youngster that a certain breed of catfish would not always be 6cm long and therefore not a suitable resident of a modest-sized home!

The pupil was involved throughout the whole process and Neil dealt with him directly on a list of proposed fish breeds, ready for his approval.

A final masterstroke was the idea to create some ‘fish factsheets’, researched by the children themselves, to make them feel more invested in the project.

The School Head was delighted, especially with the positive impact this had on the young pupil in question.

Neil, according to Bob Stuckey you’re now officially ‘a hospitalian’!


Orbicular batfish by Alexander Vasenin license (Creative Commons 3.0)