The Hour Turned Sour

, , , , | Right | August 29, 2018

(I am a dog trainer at a large chain store. While I do offer group classes, I also do private lessons. One night, a man calls the store while I am in a class. I ask the person taking the call to take a message, but the man refuses. I apologize to my class and send them to break early to take the call.)

Me: “Thank you for holding. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Man: “Private lesson.”

Me: “You’d like to sign up for a private lesson? Okay, they are [$] for half an hour, [$$] for an hour, or we can do four one-hour sessions for [$$$].”

Man: “I’m not paying [$$] for an hour. I’ll do [$].”

Me: “Okay, so, that’s the half hour—”

Man: “No! I want the hour.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. I misunderstood. So, the hour is [$$], and we just go over—”

Man: “My dog won’t stop pissing in the house.”

Me: “Okay. We do have some behavior skills we can work on for that.”

Man: “Like what?”

Me: “Well, that’s what we would discuss in your lesson. When would you like to come in? I’m available [time #1], [time #2], and [time #3].”

Man: “You can’t just tell me how to make him stop f****** pissing?”

Me: “No, sir, unfortunately, I can’t. That’s why we have private lessons, for one-on-one time to discuss these issues.”

Man: “Okay. I want [time #2], the hour, for [$].”

Me: “I am sorry, but the hour is [$$], not [$].”

Man: “So, you’re rented by the hour? Like a prostitute?” *he laughs*

Me: “No. Not like a prostitute, and not by you. Goodbye, sir.”

(I hang up the phone, furious. The next day I am home when my boss — a very large, intimidating-looking, but actually quite nice man — calls.)

Boss: “Hey, [My Name], just wanted you to know, we have a thirty-minute private lesson signed up today at [time #2]. He said you spoke last night?”

Me: “Really? That a**hole called back?”

Boss: “[My Name]! I know you know better than to talk about a customer like that.”

Me: “He equated me to a prostitute, being rented by the hour. I’ll call him whatever I want.”

Boss: *silence… then:* “Don’t worry about it. I’ll meet with him. But come in at that time, anyway.”

(I go to work that night, anxiously awaiting this man’s arrival. When he comes in, he makes a beeline for me and stands so close I can feel his body heat radiating.)

Man: “So… Are you ready for our hour together?”

Boss: “Actually, I’ll be helping you, sir.”

Man: “I didn’t rent you. I rented her!”

Boss: “We are people, not things to be rented. You can have your lesson with me or you can leave.”

(He left.)

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