September 23, 2018

That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

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I’d like to introduce you to a new term. The term is “scope creep.” This is not an obnoxious guy hooked on mouthwash; it has to do with the way projects are handled. Husbands should be very aware of this concept, because wives have a natural instinct for it.

Wives ask husbands to do a project, husbands agree and start on the project, but long before it is completed, the project starts to grow arms and legs. This is “scope creep,” the “scope” of the project is “creeping” outward in every direction.

An example will illustrate this concept.

The week before Thanksgiving, my wife bought seven trees so that I could plant them along the edge of our property for a windbreak. Friday morning, while I was digging holes, she told me that she was going to the nursery to see if they had any living Christmas trees. She asked, “If they have some nice ones, is it okay if I get two or three?”

I said, “Sure.”

“What about four or five?”

“No way,” I said. “I don’t want to spend the whole weekend digging holes.”

When she returned with no trees, I was relieved. Then she said, “You have to take the truck to pick up the trees.”

I asked, “How many did you buy?”

“Six.”

“I told you four or five was too many, why did you get six?”

“Well, they all stood there together, and they looked like a family. I couldn’t break up the family.”

My next mistake was not leaving her home while I went after the trees, because while I was loading the sixth, she found two other family members that apparently must have wandered off while she was buying the original six. So even though we went after six, we brought home eight.

Then she said that she wanted all eight to be together. I told her that I didn’t have room for even six in a row. She said, “If you move those two from there down to the end, and then move this other two beyond them, that leaves room for all eight.”

I said, “That means I have to dig up four trees, dig four new holes for them, and then four more for the last ones.”

She said, “Yeah?”

When I had them all planted, they did look nice, but she wasn’t satisfied. She concluded that five more trees would really make it perfect. We went back to the nursery and bought seven, (not five), more trees. By now I had burned the entire weekend, and was well into Monday morning, but when I was done, it really, really looked nice.

To recap, what started out as seven trees, turned into twenty-two new trees and four old trees moved. Twenty-six holes in all. Well, thirteen hours of digging holes is not really the “whole” weekend.

Now that you know what scope creep means; let me tell what you can do to prevent it from happening…absolutely nothing. So next Christmas when your wife asks you to “hang a few lights,” don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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