I realize cell phones today are complicated. They have a lot of little buttons and gadgets they didn't have a few years ago. But unfortunately some people still haven't figured out how to use them.
Case in point. The other day my wife hired a local tree service to do some small work at our house. After the work was finished they were supposed to get the payment from my wife at a certain time and they didn't show. Which leads to the phone call.
The tree men left a message on our home phone, just to leave their cell number so we could get their payment to them. No problem at this point, at least until they thought they hung up the cell phone.
That is when they proceeded to call my wife a few things in colorful words like describing her as an unintelligent female dog and other things that should not ever be said, let alone repeated. And this wasn't a few seconds worth of comments but minutes before they realized their phone was still on.
I was never great with business, but this doesn't seem to me to be a great business practice. My mom always taught me if you don't have anything nice to say about anybody, don't say anything at all -- or at least make sure your cell phone is off.
Fortunately my wife and I both have a cool head and never get angry (we bottle up rage) and so when we got the extended message we just laughed it off. And by laughed it off I really mean we were irate and had to calm down before we even returned their phone call.
I was the first to calm, so I attempted to call the owner. Of course nobody answered the phone. Maybe not answering the phone is a practice they teach at the business school I didn't attend.
So I called the individual who originally placed the call to us in the first place. Of course he just said it was the other people in the truck and I made it clear we weren't paying the bill until we talked to the owner.
Unfortunately I had to go out of town for work but my wife had the pleasure to finally talk to the owner. Expecting understanding she got nothing of the sort. Instead she got a "that's just idle guy talk you weren't supposed to hear."
Not supposed to hear? How about not suppose to say at all. A real man wouldn't say something like that at all, let alone about someone who they have never met. I guess that just goes to show you the type of workers some people hire, but then again I guess that comes from the top.
Of course the ol' owner didn't seem to mind. He told my wife he would talk to them but kept trying to play it off as no big deal. I can imagine that conversation. A high-five and a "wow, they sure got ticked off about that," is about all I would expect happened.
Then, against my urging, my wife payed the $100 bill. Once again, not without a catch. Apparently it had to be in cash. That didn't seem right to me, especially after they refused to even give my wife a receipt. The men didn't "want to get in the middle of it." Maybe I should have attended business school because I sure thought that was wrong in a couple ways.
Fortunately for me I know how to use a cell phone correctly. As a matter of fact I proved it when I called the Better Business Bureau and filed my complaint. They were shocked to say the least.
Now by reading this I am not telling anyone not to use this certain tree service. But then again, I will never use them again and you can bet if someone calls and asks me about a tree service, I won't give them a good recommendation. As a matter of fact, I will just play that person a tape of the message they left on our machine -- and you can bet I will remember to hang up the phone.
The opinions of this column do not reflect those of the Standard Democrat or Rust Communications.