Mowing Down The Questions

| MI, USA | Right | December 5, 2016

(I handle special orders at the farm store where I work. Quite a bit of it is parts requests for lawn and garden equipment. In five years I’ve rarely had someone come in prepared with brand and model information, and when pressed for it, they typically get annoyed and try to insinuate that I’m being the difficult one. Case in point:)

Me: “Hello, sir, how are you today?”

Customer: “Well, that all depends on if you’ve got what I want or not.”

Me: “All right, what can I help you find?”

Customer: “I need a part for my mower.”

Me: “Okay, be glad to help. What kind is it?”

Customer: “It’s a rider.”

Me: “I’m sorry; I meant what brand is it?”

Customer: “I don’t know. Aren’t they all universal?”

Me: “Umm… actually, no. There are hundreds of different brands and models, each taking different parts.”

Customer: “Well, mine is the blue one.”

Me: “I’m sorry but I need to know who makes it. Did it have a name or numbers on the side of the hood?”

Customer: “I think so.”

Me: “Great! What did it say?”

Customer: “I painted over all that last year.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “Look, I bought it here; you oughta be able to look something like that up in your computer.”

Me: “I can look up parts and prices, but I need a little information to get started on. Is there anyone at home where the tractor is that can perhaps go out and take a look at it and get the numbers off the serial tag under the seat?”

Customer: *disgusted sigh* “Well, see, the thing is, the dog don’t answer the phone!”

Me: “Ummmkay. Well, there are so many different applications. I just want to make sure you get the right part to get you going again; that’s the only reason I’m asking for more information. If I take down your name and number, can you call me when you get home and read what it says off the serial tag? Then we’ll be able to get you going.”

Customer: “So you’re telling me I wasted a trip in here because you don’t know what the hell you’re doing, then you want me to waste another trip in to get you something you should already have? So are you gonna pay my gas money? I drove all the way from [Neighboring Town, which is two miles down the road]. Forget it, I’m gonna go down the street to your competitor!”

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