They’re Not Going Far In Life

, , , , , | Right | September 12, 2018

(We not only rent equipment, but sell bulk material — topsoil, sand, and gravels, etc. We load customers’ vehicles, but cannot tie down loads or do maintenance on their vehicles for liability reasons. A customer has just had a large, top-heavy piece of equipment loaded into the bed of a pickup.)

Me: “Okay, you’re good to go as soon as you tie that down.”

Customer #1: “Oh, I don’t have anything to tie it with. Do you have any ropes?”

Me: “No, unfortunately, we don’t do that anymore as they were never returned. All we have is twine, and you’re welcome to that.”

Customer #1: “It’s okay; I’m not going far.”

(Later, another customer has just had half a yard of gravel loaded into a utility trailer that looks like it hasn’t been on the road since the 1950s. The threadbare tires are so flat that the trailer is practically riding on the rims.)

Me: “Ooh, that doesn’t look good. If you can pull around to our service bay, we have an air hose so you can top the tires up.”

Customer #2: “It’s okay; I’m not going far.”

(Later, yet another customer has rented a 40-foot extension ladder — 20 feet long and quite heavy. He has us put it on top of an old compact car with no roof rack. We give him some cardboard to protect what’s left of his paint.)

Me: “Okay, you’re good to go as soon as you tie it down.”

Customer #2: “I don’t have any rope. Can’t you do that?”

Me: “Unfortunately, we can’t; you have to do that.”

Customer #2: “Well, what do I do?”

Me: “Well, we can give you as much twine as you need, but you have to tie it down yourself.”

(The customer takes about half an hour and half a mile of twine to strap down a ladder that’s far longer than his car. Finally, he’s done.)

Me: “Are you sure that’s going to hold it?”

Customer #2: “Sure. Besides, I’m not going far.”

(The customer was traveling to another town about 30 kilometers away. Sadly, just about everyone who failed to understand their responsibility to safely transport goods or equipment had the same answer: “I’m not going far.” We had a running joke that there must be a vast, subterranean city beneath us, as nobody seemed to ever go “far,” and feared for those who had to share the road with these stunned weekend warriors.)

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