A Storm Of Crazy Requests

, , , , | Right | June 25, 2018

(It is pouring rain outside, and our area is under warnings for severe storms. There have been tornadoes touching down in a couple of nearby towns, but nothing close enough to us that our shop would close. It is raining so hard that we can only see several yards outside of the windows, with thunder loud enough to shake the small front office building at times, and bright, frequent lightning. In the middle of this torrential downpour, a customer pulls his car up in one of the parking spaces near the office door and runs inside.)

Customer: *with water dripping off his jacket to puddle on the floor as he comes to my reception desk* “Hi, can someone come outside and look at my car? I need an estimate on repairs.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but we won’t be able to right now. Would you like an appointment for later in the week?”

Customer: “You mean no one can step outside right now?”

(He eyes my coworkers at their desks on the other side of the office.)

Me: “No, sir. I’m sorry. It’s a hazard for our team. Plus, it’ll be hard for them to really see everything that needs fixing in this rain.”

(I chuckle politely, but I’m thinking of the dangers involved in standing in the middle of an open parking lot with all the lightning flashing, not to mention the pouring rain and the hail and tornado warnings going on.)

Customer: “But I’m here now!”

Me: “Sir, there is no way I can send any of our team out there in this weather. We’d love to help you once it clears up, though.”

Customer: “I want to talk to someone now. It’s just the side of my car that needs fixing; it’s not a lot!”

(One of my coworkers comes over, all of them having heard the exchange. He tells the customer the same thing I did, then peeks out the window to try to see what the car’s damage looks like.)

Coworker: “From here, I can tell you that you’ll need…” *lists multiple pieces for the car, including a hood, a headlight, and several things on the side of the car* “And that’s not counting anything internal. You’re looking at least [high dollar amount] for all of those. If you want to come back later, we can definitely write it all up for you and get an exact price.”

Customer: “That much?!”

Coworker: “Yes, I’m afraid so.”

Customer: “Man, I thought this was going to be easy!”

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