Stupidity Must Grow On Trees

, , , , , | Right | January 29, 2018

(I work for a company that cuts down trees. Often, people are sad to see old trees go and become sentimental, asking us not to cut them down. We offer an option that involves cabling the dead tree to other trees, which offers a short-term solution, but often damages the trees the dead tree is cabled to. Every once in a while, someone will call in complaining about the damages, but it can be resolved by showing the contract they signed, accepting the terms and conditions of cabling. One day, we are servicing a client who doesn’t want her tree cut down, and this conversation ensues:)

Client: “I don’t want this tree cut down.”

Me: “Yes, I understand that, but because the tree is structurally unsound, we have to take one of two steps to prevent damage to your property. We have the permanent solution of just cutting the tree, or we can cable the tree to nearby trees, which only serves as a short-term solution, and can damage the other trees.”

Client: “WHAT?! How can those be the only options? This tree has been here since before I was born; I don’t think I could bear to see it go. Surely…”

(At this point, the customer gives me smug smile and proclaims the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.)

Client: “Of course! Like you said, the tree doesn’t have to go yet, right?”

Me: “Yes, but like I also said, it’s structurally unsound. This tree could fall on your house, and cabling it, which does mean not cutting it down, will only keep it up for a short time.”

Client: “There you go! I just won’t cut it down, and I won’t cable it! That way, it will still be there, and it won’t damage the other trees! Like you said, it could fall on my house. That’s not a guarantee; it may not fall!”

Me: “Ma’am, maybe you didn’t understand me. When I say it may fall on your house, I’m not saying it won’t fall; I’m saying it might fall on your house.”

Client: “No, I’ve made up my mind. You won’t cut it down, simple as that.”

Me: “Ma’am—”

Client: “What are you, stupid, or something? You said it might not fall, and it won’t. You can leave now.”

(At this point, I make the customer sign a contract saying that any damages to property are because of the choice she made, and she is therefore liable. She signs, and I go back to headquarters to copy the contract and send her a copy. A few days later, after a heavy rainstorm, I get called to the house of the same client, who is now furious.)

Client: “LOOK AT MY HOUSE! I THOUGHT YOU SAID THE TREE WOULDN’T FALL, AND IT DID! LOOK AT MY HOUSE, YOU F****** T***!”

(I look at the house. The dead tree from before has fallen on the house and crushed half of it.)

Client: “LOOK AT MY F****** HOUSE! YOU’RE GOING TO PAY FOR THIS; I’M GOING TO SUE YOUR A**ES OFF, YOU GODD*** T***!”

Me: “Ma’am, you signed a contract. You are liable for all damages caused by your decision to not cut down your tree.”

Client: “YOU F****** LIED TO ME, YOU F****** C***! YOU SAID THE TREE WAS STRUCTURALLY UNSOUND!”

Me: “Ma’am, do you know what that means?”

Client: “IT MEANS… um… strong?”

Me: “No, ma’am. It means weak, about to fall over, etc. You never bothered to ask about a word you didn’t know, and you signed a contract saying you were liable for any damages. I can assure you that if you take this to court, you will lose.”

(Suddenly, with another smug smile, she holds up the contract, rips it up, and throws it into a nearby puddle. Still with that smug smile, she says:)

Client: “Oh, oops! Was that the contract you were talking about?”

(She looks at me, arms crossed with a triumphant look on her face, which goes away quickly as I start laughing hysterically.)

Client: “And what the hell’s so funny?”

Me: “Ma’am, you may not realize this, but we make copies of contracts for our clients, and that was one of them!”

Client: *screams profanities and swears that she’ll sue the pants off our company*

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