Only Got Part-Way There

, , , | Right | October 22, 2019

(My parents bought a small farm and hunting store two years ago and have made significant improvements and additions since then. It had also changed owners a few times in recent years before. A customer comes in one day, saying he hasn’t been in in years. After letting him browse for a bit, I ask him if he needs any help.)

Customer: “I’m looking for a valve for a livestock water bowl. You used to have it right here.”

Me: “Oh… Well, we usually just order in parts because we don’t have space to stock them. I can likely get it in in a few days.”

Customer: “Oh… Well, you used to have it right here…”

(He proceeds to check around the near vicinity, so I humour him by looking around, as well.)

Me: “No, I guess we don’t have it. Do you know the part number?”

(He is still confused that we don’t have it but shows me an unmarked, broken valve that he brought.)

Me: “Okay, do you know the model of the water bowl? It will help to look it up.”

Customer: “No, I don’t see anything on the valve.”

Me: “Okay… I’ll see if I can find anything.”

(I begin looking through all of our sales histories, inventory lists, and supplier databases for any signs of the part, but can’t find anything close.)

Me: “If you could get me the model of the water bowl I could easily find the part.”

Customer: “No, I don’t see it on the valve.”

(I try to convince him to go home and find the number, but he doesn’t bite. He just stands and stares at me. I continue searching for another half-hour, all while he keeps going on about how we used to have it and must have forgotten to restock it. Finally, I find it after some intense cross-referencing of diagrams and part numbers. I order it for him and tell him that it should be in on Tuesday. He is not very happy but agrees and asks me to order another for a backup. I forgot about a holiday on Monday, so our delivery is delayed. The customer comes in and asks for the part.)

Me: “I’m sorry; I forgot about the holiday. Our order was delayed, so it will be in tomorrow.”

Customer: “Oh… Well, you said it would be in today.”

Me: “Yes, I know. I’m sorry about that. I forgot about the holiday. It will definitely be in tomorrow.”

Customer: “Oh.” *stares at me for a few seconds before leaving*

(The customer came back two days later and took one of the two parts he ordered, leaving me with a $40 part that we haven’t sold in at least two years.)

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