Submitted By Dylan Conner
Early on in my appliance repair career when I still worked for my dad, I installed a dishwasher for a customer. She had an old Kitchen Aid built by Hobart. You know, the ones built like a Sherman Tank. Anyway, I removed the old unit and noticed the top of her cabinet had a jagged edge and looked to be unfinished. The new dishwasher was a more modern Frigidaire unit that didn’t hide the imperfections in her cabinetry as well as the old tank.
After I finished the job, I called the customer over to show her the installation and instruct her on proper use and care of the new dishwasher. She immediately noticed the cabinet and accused me of having done a sloppy job of cutting it. I explained that I didn’t cut the cabinet and that I didn’t even have a saw on my truck to cut her cabinet. This went over like a fat man on a pole vault. She unleashed her wrath on me. Yelling and calling me a liar. She insisted I call my boss. I agreed and phoned my dad with my giant yellow Nextel phone. As I began to explain to my dad, she grabbed the phone from me and began to go off about, “I don’t need some 14 year old punk telling me about my home” I was 20 at the time, but hey I’m blessed with good genes.
Finally, she handed me the phone and my dad said, “Get the hell out of there.” He didn’t have to tell me twice! I finished my route and met up with my dad at the end of the day. He wanted to have us both go to her place to clear the air and hopefully get paid for the new dishwasher I had installed earlier that day.
My dad was able to calmly explain the situation to the customer who was still fuming. I stood silently and let him do all the schmoozing. At one point the customer asked him, “What are you going to do about this?” Now, I don’t know what came over me, but I had the bright idea to open my mouth. I said, “You know what I think we should do?” She angrily quipped back, “What?!” “I think we need to hug this out. Let’s have a group hug.” I responded. I kid you not, tears welled up in this woman’s eyes and she said, “I think that’s exactly what we need” I saw my dad’s jaw drop in slow motion. I could almost hear his thoughts…Noooooooo. Nevertheless, he embraced the group hug and we hugged it out. We agreed to let her mail the check for the dishwasher and departed. Honestly, I think my dad just wanted to get out of there.
The customer never paid for the dishwasher and we had to write off the loss. At the end of the day the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze. Sometimes you just have to move on to the next deal.
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