It’s the economy.

Stupid.

I thought that the worsening economy would be beneficial to buyers.  Not so.  Went to the local optician in the hopes of getting new glasses.  I continue to try to shop local, despite negative experiences.

There were at least seven people working in that store.  Or not working, as the case may be.  They were standing around talking about sports and stuff.  Nobody even looked up when the little bell on the door rang.  Nobody came over.  And when I walked over to them, I actually had to interrupt to get any attention.  What was the response?

One of the people pointed and said I should look “over there.”

I don’t get it.  Don’t they understand that their jobs are linked to sales?

Last year I needed some service done at my house.  I called the place I’d always used, which charged $85.  Their new price?  $150.  I asked why, and the representative said it was because the economy was bad.

I don’t get it.  Sure, you’re making less money.  So your answer is to gouge the people who patronize your business?

So I called around, and talked with some friendly guy who said his company would do it for $95.  He said it was an easy job, they’d be in and out in 30 minutes.  (Actually, it usually takes 15, and it took 15 this time too.)  He said that on the off chance it took longer, he’d still charge $95.  I told him that where I lived there were a number of homes that use the same service, and he asked if I would recommend him if he did a good job.  I said sure.  I also told him I was on the board of [local citizen organization] and would pass the word on there.

Anyway, he was all friendly up until he asked for my name.  And then his voice got a lot cooler.

His guy came out to the house about a day later.  The service guy (who wasn’t the guy I talked to on the phone) was pretty nice.  He asked why I changed companies and I told him and he shook his head.

I don’t get it, he said.  And now they’ve lost your business.

The next day the Previously-Friendly-Now-Not-So-Friendly guy called and told me that I should have told him about the specifics of the service.  He said he would have charged me at least $150 because of the work involved.  I pointed out that I had read him all the specs over the telephone and that I had already paid his guy $95.

And then he asked me if I would recommend him.  (?!)

So I told him that I would recommend him if he charged less than $150.  He asked if I could guarantee that all my neighbors would use his service.  I told him I could not.  He told me then it wasn’t worth his trouble.

Yeah, I really don’t get it.  But then he called again and asked if he could fax a letter/advertisement to me for distribution to the local group.  But I don’t have a fax.  And that annoyed him.  He said he’d send it by mail, but I never did get it.

That was a year ago.  Today in the mail I got a typewritten postcard advertising his company’s services.  You can even feel the impression of the typewriter, so it was apparently made just for me.  The price?  $98.  Guess maybe it is worth his trouble.  Or something.

It’s the economy.  Stupid.

5 thoughts on “It’s the economy.

  1. wait, people still use typewriters? …and this is the same guy who was annoyed you didn’t have a fax? haha!

  2. LOL js718. I asked him to e-mail it, but he doesn’t have e-mail.

    I’ve come across this before, when white people are all friendly and eager to get your business when they think you are white. And I have to say I just don’t understand this attitude. Money is all green. ;-P

  3. We had to get our roof redone a few years ago and had roofers out to give their bids. The sleek guy with his company polo shirt was excited to meet with us and we were impressed with him and his glossy brochures until he said, “You don’t want to go with those other companies that just pull the Mexicans from off the street to do the work.” I guess since I typically pass as full blooded Anglo he thought he could get away with the comment.

    We decided to go with the guy in sweatpants.

  4. “He asked if I could guarantee that all my neighbors would use his service.”

    Whaaaaa?? This question of his confuses me. Who on this planet can guarantee their neighbors will do ANYTHING? Even the president of america can’t make sure all americans only patronize a single company! (And by “neighbors” he probably meant to say “your people”.) Does he think asian-americans have a hive mind and that you’re our brain?

    BTW, members of my family have gotten HORRIBLY HORRIBLY ripped off by various “home improvement” companies. When you confront these guys, they’ll just laugh in your face.

  5. I need a t-shirt that says that: We have a hive mind and I am the brain!

    Until you mentioned the “your people” thing, I hadn’t thought about it. It did really weird me out, though. I think he was thinking that because I am on the board I could do something official. It isn’t an Asian organization, though.

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