Vinish Garg

Technical Writer. Published Author.

‘Jack of all Trades’, or ‘John in this Trade’?

with 2 comments

‘Jack of all Trades’.

Most of us are familiar with this term that points to a person who has general-level expertise in different fields (is multi-skilled) though without mastery in any skill. You can know more about it at:,_master_of_none. While reflecting back at the last two months when I had to deal with people in different industry (Internet Service Providers, furniture houses, foreman for white wash, plumber, somebody to fix glass in windows, and for installation of ACs), I realised that there is a ‘John in this trade’ as well.

Most often I realise that I was calling these guys (because I was their customer and I needed something) till the time I purchased the product or service. And most often I noticed that the frequency of their response and their attention span drop considerably after I have made the payment but the product or service is not fully delivered (even though I am still their customer). Does it mean that the objective was merely to ‘get the customer’?


Worse still in such situations, when I would call an engineer (or service boy, delivery manager, sales engineer), one says ‘I will call you back in 10 minutes’.

Nobody does.

I noticed it for ISPs, furniture house, AC engineers. And I feel that there is a john in every trade. A John, that does not respond. Because John is not trained well. Is not paid well. Is not qualified. Is not professional enough. Is not responsible. Does not use brain.

I wonder if:

  • Is it about cost (phone call cost)? (I doubt it.)
  • Is it about time? (I am interested to meet John and ask what they do in the time that they save by not calling me back.)
  • Is it about how they are trained? (And their common sense?)
  • What are their priorities and goals? (Do they have any?)

I made payment for an air conditioner 4 (FOUR) days ( about 100 hours) back. John said that he would call me in 10 minutes. I am waiting.

My ‘John in this trade’!

Written by Vinish Garg

April 27, 2010 at 4:06 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Well, I can relate to John. I have acted like John many times, even when I worked with you 😉
    Most of the times, Johns are (underpaid?) careless sales guy. Sales guys are mostly bothered about sales not services. Remaining Johns are even more underpaid overworked engineers who simply are overwhelmed with work. Mind it, I said engineers. Engineers are not “that” good at management and as soon as they become good at management they become managers. Rest are simply careless Johns who dont care about customer as soon as they receive their money.
    BTW, consumer courts are there to help you. 🙂

    Kumar Chetan sharma

    April 27, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    • I agree but the bottomline is that the problem is with John.
      If sales John is not responsible for service, why I hear ‘I will call back in 10 minutes’? If engineer John is underpaid, why they (a) commit to me that they will call back in 10 minutes? (b) working there in the first place? (c) this is an excuse of weak-minded. A genuine John is always a genuine John whether well-paid or underpaid.

      Yes Ccourts are there but I am waiting. Cannot afford time for that route. (And who knows, I get a John there too 😉 )


      April 27, 2010 at 4:52 pm

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