Good advice is expensive … or is it?

Good advice is expensive … or is it?

There is a time-honored German saying that translates into the phrase “Good advice is expensive.” However, an email came into our office the other day that just might disprove this notion:

“Dear Sir or Madam,

We are in the process of renovating our bedroom (ceiling height 2.45 m, room length 2.70 m) and live in an apartment that was built in 1998.

At the moment we are wondering whether or not it would be a good decision to place our wardrobe (width 2.50 m, height 2.20 m) along the outside wall. The distance between the window and the wall would be 2.50 m. 

Would we have to worry about mold?”

At first we thought it was either a joke or spam, but after taking a closer look we realized that this helpless soul seriously was asking us for advice. This left us with a bit of a dilemma: How were we supposed to react, or should we bother to answer at all? 

After all, we like to think of ourselves as designers with a decent reputation and excellent, first-rate clients. Wouldn’t it be unfair to them if we started giving out free advice?

On the other hand, we also like to think of ourselves as a very approachable, down-to-earth lot — so what would be the best thing to do?

For a couple days this email circulated around the office as a running joke until one of our team members decided to end our internal dispute by replying to the author with a short answer about what should be considered. 

So in the end, we hope that our mystery emailer will indeed hold our free advice very dear — and maybe even give it a special place, perhaps even something along the lines of the quote from Canadian author Gordon R. Dickson:

“Some people like my advice so much that they frame it upon the wall instead of using it.”