Thursday, September 10, 2009

Some of my favorite customers

*Inspired by actual people and events* I hope this doesn't come across as complaining. I actually say this because these people are funny. And it would be good if we realized any tendency we have towards this ourselves.

The Engineer:

The engineer comes in and tells you he is considering building his own central vacuum. Yes, he's going to buy the parts on the Internet and the vacuum is going to take up most of one of the stalls in his garage. He rattles off a bunch of technical terms, to make himself feel smart and confirm your ineptness, therefore convincing himself (or more importantly, his wife) that he should build his own central vacuum.

The Snob:

The snob literally does keep their head at an upward slant at all times. They ask brief questions, tell you exactly what they want, and cut you off when you utter more than one short sentence. In between, they pepper in information about "their private secretary" or "at our house in Florida" or "or this stone is from Italy." When you call them, you always go to voice mail (or their private secretary) and they return your calls somewhere between 2 to 5 days later. Usually they are nice people, just superior to you in every way. The ones that aren't nice can literally make you feel like cursing or crying after every interaction.

The Nutty Negotiator:
NN: "Well Wal-Mart has the same TV for $999." Me: "Actually, they don't." NN: "Well, they've got TV's for $999." Me: I thought you were specifically looking for the XBR, and wanted it hung on a mount from your ceiling, with it connected to the satellite receiver and DVD player in the closet, with a remote that works through walls?" NN: "Well, all I know is that Wal-Mart has TV's for $999." Me: "You can buy that TV from Wal-Mart and we can install it the way we discussed." NN: "Why don't you have TV's for $999?" And so on.

The Small Town Builder:
The small town builder calls and asks for a bid on something. They ask you to e-mail it to them. You e-mail it. You call them to make sure they got the e-mail. They then tell you it's been a couple weeks since they got on e-mail. A week later you call again to see if they got the e-mail. They say they have. You don't want to insult them by asking them if they opened the attachment you referred to in the e-mail. Two weeks later, on Friday at 4:30 PM they call and say "Yeah, all that work you bid out for me, I need it done on Monday." You turn in the bid and somehow the guys are able to be out there on Monday. The next day you get a call. Small town builder is upset. "This isn't what we discussed." In the conversation you figure out that they didn't open the attachment that was the bid (they didn't understand "you will find the bid in the attached pdf" written in the text of your e-mail) and therefore everything is all wrong, because they never actually read the bid.

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