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They Have Some Ter-mighty Expectations

, , , | Right | May 6, 2021

I answer the phones for a pest control company. It’s fairly common for customers to call in who just want to have some quick questions about local pest issues answered, so I’m trained and certified to that extent, but I am not an expert and will refer people along if I can’t help them.

Customer: “Do you handle termite inspections?”

Me: “Not personally, but I can schedule an inspection for you.”

The customer laughs condescendingly and keeps that tone for the rest of the call. I try to remain polite, but I know my voice gets strained by the end.

Customer: “Oh, no. Not you. Your company. Does your company offer termite inspections?”

Me: “Of course, sir. We can provide a free estimate for treatment or a state-certified report for the sale or purchase of a home.”

Customer: “It’s for a sale. Can you have someone out today?”

Normally, same-day inspections are our policy. However, it’s 3:00 pm on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. On top of that, we’re short-staffed and we’ve been booked full since just after we opened this morning.

Me: “I’m sorry, but we’re booked out for this afternoon. The first opening we have would be Tuesday after the holiday.”

Customer: “Can you get someone out tomorrow?”

Me: “We don’t have anyone certified for the report you need working tomorrow. Our earliest availability is Tuesday.”

Their tone now passes condescending into full dripping sarcasm.

Customer: “Thanks. You’ve been sooo helpful. I’ll be in touch.”

Me: “Have a great weekend, sir.”

It started pouring rain and thundering less than half an hour after he called, so I doubt he was able to find anyone to come out on such short notice elsewhere.