A Parable

A man was asked to do some renovation on a house. He worked steadily at it for several weeks and finally called his client to come take a look around.

He said, “I was able to keep a lot of the original flooring. I got a good match for the wood and finish where I had to patch and extend the floor. I’m nearly done. I just need to pick up my offcuts and sweep up.”

“Oh good” said the client. “So I’ll arrange to start moving my family back in tomorrow. Sound OK?”


The main picked up some of the debris, and noticed an ugly dark spot under a piece of paper. As he scraped at it, it revealed itself to be the end of a protruding steel rod. By scraping away around it, the man was able to get pliers on it and wiggle it. As he did, something clicked below the floor and now several of the boards creaked as he walked on them. Creaking was one of the things he’d been called in to fix, so he pried up those board to take a look. There he saw that the steel rod was actually a pin that had been rigged to hold together some structural beams. It had been driven down to sit flush with the floor, but was now rusted away and very fragile. As he stared in disbelief, the beams began to drift apart, the house sagged and collapsed in a pile of rubble.

Moral: A job is done or not done, never nearly done.