Last Saturday, while my wife was out of town, I decided it was time to shampoo the rug. Well, at least parts of it, since my friend and I had messed it up when we decided to replace the tiles in my bathroom and realized that not only had the guy who put them down used glue, but over 10 years the glue had turned black. And of course we tracked black glue all over the rug in 3 rooms because there was no other way to get in and out of the bathroom and still be able to move.


I had never shampooed a rug before; that falls in line with a lot of things I've never done as it pertains to the house, but I'm eager here and there to try new things. I tend to be someone who believes that almost anything we do has lessons to be learned. This turned out to be an interesting adventure, and as such, I found that there were some leadership lessons to be learned as I went through the entire process, and thus I'm going to share them here.

1. It not only pays to listen to instructions, but it pays to have people repeat the instructions back to them. My wife told me how to use the shampooer. When she finished telling me, she then had me walk through the process to make sure I remembered how to do it all.

2. It pays to listen to ALL the instructions. Whereas I remembered how to use the shampooer, I didn't remember that she told me to vacuum the rug before I started. It seems that if you don't, while the shampooer is cleaning it starts clumping dirt into all these little black balls that the shampooer doesn't pick up because it's not a vacuum, which my mind kept thinking it was because I kept going over those things over and over until I realized they weren't coming up that way.

3. If you don't see anything working, it's time to start looking at the reasons why. Everything seemed to be working fine but at one point nothing was happening anymore. I thought maybe the shampooer was broken and took it apart, only to learn that all the water had gone out of it. My wife didn't tell me that would happen, as I thought the water would continue recycling like it does in a bucket; lesson learned.

4. Just because you're not getting the results you were expecting doesn't mean you should totally give up. Did I mention that it was black glue all over the rug? The first time I did it I had to wait for the rug to dry a little bit so I could see what happened. Though there had been some cleaning, there was still glue in the rug. I thought initially that it wasn't going to work but I'm not the type that just gives up. Doing it two more times finally made it all disappear; thank goodness!

5. At the end of a good job, compliments don't hurt. To my wife's credit, when she saw the black glue on the rug after my friend and I had completed the tile work in the bathroom, she didn't complain about the rug because she was surprised I actually was able to put tile down, mainly by myself. When she came back from being out of town and looked at the rug, she complimented me on the good job I did. As I began this post, I said there's not a lot of home projects I've done in the years we've been in this house because, well, more things haven't worked than have worked, but having her compliment me gave me a boost to think about maybe tackling something else one day.

Thinking about it, that is.