The long fuse?

So I’m at the counter yesterday, frustrated that my credit card
machine won’t take the reprogramming download. I’ve got a phone in
one hand talking with tech support and pressing buttons with the
other. Guy walks in with a leather portfolio, I think I’m in for it.

Him: Do you fix watches?

Me: Yes

Him: How much would it cost?

Me: I have to send it out. Takes six weeks for the estimate.

Him: OK, that’s fine, you take credit cards don’t you?

(Now I know for sure)

Me: Yes, but I’m happy with my processor.

Him: We can save you money.

Me: I’ve heard that from each of the seventeen processor reps who
came in the last two months. I’m not interested. Its like the TV
commercial, Allstate saves Geico customers an average of $428 and
Geico saves Allstate customers $436. I don’t believe it.

Him: We can run a free evaluation for you.

Me: (miffed by now) Look, right now I’m elbow deep into trying to
get my machine back online. I told you, I’m not going to switch.

Him: Hey, I’m just doing my job.

Me: Yeah I know, I got a job to do too, Right now its fixing this

Him: Well, I was over at ABC store down the street, I sent their
statements to our headquarters. In thirty minutes our experts came
back with saving ABC nearly forty dollars a month. (gee WOWEE, I

Me: If it takes an expert thirty minutes to determine what I’m
actually paying, how do I know that within three months you won’t
nickel and dime me til I’m back where I am now or worse. I’m NOT
interested, thank you.

Him: We can save you a lot of money but you don’t want the free
evaluation. OK, well you know the old saying, ‘You can lead a horse
to water…’

Me: Yeah, and today I’m not thirsty. Thank you, please leave.

Hi Neil -

Well, I feel for you, brother! I’m now at the point where I
recognize the phone numbers of the solicitors for someone’s 'better’
card payment processor.

I figure anyone who does it is in it for the money, and the jeweler
is at the bottom of the totem pole. (OK, so I mixed my
metaphors…I’m doing this without my glasses on, giv me a break!)
So, on the chance I have misread the phone ID, I answer. As soon as
teh canned greeting, request for owner/financial officer begins, I
cut them off and tell them, “I already have a card processor. Do you
think I’m an idiot that I would be in business so long already and
not have one? Do you know what it costs to break a contract? Do you
think I haven’t already done my homework on the best service and
rates?” [Imagine this with a constantly raising voice, sonic
amplitude and psycholigical desperation ruse…OK, now that you have
an idea of what I sound like during these calls, let me tell you that
it seems to keep them to a minimum!]

But maybe this procedure only works for women (they have the right
audio frequencies; that is, the ones men respond to)?

FWIW, take comfort in the fact that 4 days after teh time change, my
CC machine has FINALLY reailzed that DST is over!

best regards,
Kelley Dragon


After reading your post, I sat for a moment cherishing the thought of
his tie caught in a buffing motor with his face getting closer,
closer, closer…

I got a warm and fuzzy feeling all over.

Jo Haemer

ive been following this thread and would like to share one that
happened to day -

door bell buzz’z

its two guys with brief cases so i ask through the door what are
they selling

first guy pulls out a jar of some sort of cleaner i say no I am not

guy opens the jar dips his finger in the cleaner and makes a spot of
cleaner on the center of my glass door

I say please dont do that he turns and walks away


Hi Neil;

Me: Yeah, and today I'm not thirsty. Thank you, please leave. 

I know exactly how you feel. I get solicitors every day for
everything from crappy jewelry to credit card processing to those
scam artists selling “lock in your energy costs”. I also get a lot of
people begging for money from everything you can name. Some of them I
actually give money to, if they’re in the community. Then there’s the
phone calls, the same people, add to that these phony companies
saying they’re raising money for our town’s high school football
team. Actually, they’re some racket in a boiler room in Colorado
printing calenders, collecting the money, and donating a small
portion to the team. For the fee, you’ll get a small ad in the
calender, which you’ll never see. I ask them if they can tell me the
name of the football coach, which they can’t, of course, then I blow
them off. I’m on a “don’t call” list, but that doesn’t stop them.
Sometimes I scream at them, "it’s costing me $2 a minute for you to
waste my time, if you call again, I’ve got caller ID and I’m going to
file a complaint with the state’s attorney general, which I’ve
actually done. That gets you a nice form letter from the state’s
attorney generals office saying they’re aware of the problem, etc.

Now I tell them, when they hit the door, “we’re a corporation, I
can’t make any decisions by myself on this stuff, but you’re welcome
to mail any written material you’ve got to us and it will come before
the board”. It’s baloney, of course, but what are they going to say?
They want me to look at their inventory, I tell them, “Call and make
an appointment with our purchasing agent, but I think we’ve already
budgeted for the year.” They know that’s a blow-off, but again, what
are they going to say?

Then, there’s the phone company. I was getting calls 2 or 3 times a
week from the company I have, trying to sell me more services like
high speed Internet, cell phone packages, etc. I asked them to stop
several times until I finally told them, “I get one more call from
you, even one, and I’m switching providers”. So far, no more calls.

That’s one of the problems with retail. You’re door is open and
anyone can walk through it. You phone is listed and anyone can call.
But I’m here, paying rent, etc., to sell stuff, not to buy. It’s not
in my nature to be rude, but I’m having to work harder and harder to
stay that way.

David L. Huffman

Well, Jay calls me “his office manager,” so when these calls come in
asking for him, I (with Jay’s permission) say that I am the one
making these decisions. Then, and yes it is credit card processing
representatives most often, I let them know we are not interested.
When they persist, I say, “what part of NO are you not able to
process?” Jay is usually giggling in the background.

Now when I have problems with Norton, and have to speak with India,
I am not a happy camper. That is a change I will be making very soon.

About the economy, with in excess of 10% unemployment, wouldn’t it
be nice if the customer call centers of companies headquartered in
the United States, and receiving government loans and bailouts, were
required to bring those call centers back into the USA?

My fuse is getting quite short over this issue.

guy opens the jar dips his finger in the cleaner and makes a spot
of cleaner on the center of my glass door 

That’s still better than one retail customer I still remember from
almost 30 years ago. Guy walked in wanting to see some diamond
rings. He looked at a few, the sales girl was sure he’d buy
something, so she was attentively helping. He looked closely at one,
then asked her, “Are you sure this is a real diamond?” But before she
could answer, he pressed that stone down hard against the showcase
glass top and made a few big sweeping swirls, leaving, of course,
deep, big sweeping swirld scratches. He looked at these, and happily
said, “yup, I guess it’s real. I’ll take it.” For some strange
reason, it never occured to him that his cavalier gemological test
had done hundreds of dollars of damage to the costly showcase glass
top, and as well, in a display of remarkable restraint that I’ll
never fully understand, neither the sales girl, nor the manager who
watched all this, said a word to the guy about the damage he’d done.
All this for a ring that was maybe a hundred fifty bucks or so…

Peter Rowe

Now I tell them, when they hit the door, "we're a corporation, I
can't make any decisions by myself on this stuff, but you're
welcome to mail any written material you've got to us and it will
come before the board". It's baloney, of course, but what are they
going to say? 

We have an “employee” named Jake Nelson for this purpose. If a
salesperson won’t take no for an answer, I tell them that they’ll
need to speak to Jake Nelson for approval. If they ever call back to
speak to Jake Nelson, I know it’s a sales call. All of my employees
know about “Fake Jake” and refer to him as needed. I’ve also been
amazed over the years how much junk mail is sent to Jake Nelson.


LOL! I would have come unhinged. I occasionally do knife shows, and
my stuff is finished like jewelry, with semiprecious stones, exotic
hardwoods, Damascus blades, etc. I have pieces that sell for $500 ~
$700, and carefully set up my display. One of my favorites was the
guy that picked one up, then dropped it on top of some other knives.
Then he did it again. I don’t know if he was drunk or just a clod. At
that point I told him ‘Stop! Look but don’t touch!’. Takes all

You could have left the case as it was, and made a small sign to
place there that said "See, they ARE real diamonds!!!'. LOL!