“Hi, my name is Jeff. I’d like to scheduled someone to come out and clean my gutters.” That’s how it started. Simple enough. Like thousands of other calls for service across the country every day of the year. The rest of the conversation, though, went something like this…
Gutters-R-Us: Sure, we’d be happy to come out and give you a free estimate.
Jeff: Uh, no, that’s ok, I really just want to schedule the service.
Gutters-R-Us: We need to do a free estimate.
Jeff: So I can’t just tell you the linear feet, number of downspouts, and pitch of the roof?
Gutters-R-Us: We need to do a free estimate. It’s free.
Jeff: Yeeeeaaaaahhhhh. OK. When can you do that?
Gutters-R-Us: Next Wednesday.
Jeff: *Sighs deeply* What time next Wednesday?
Gutters-R-Us: Is one o’clock ok?
Jeff: Yes. That’s fine.
Gutters-R-Us: *90 second pause*
Jeff: *Clears throat*
Gutters-R-Us: Sir, are you still there? Is one o’clock ok?
Jeff. Yep. One is still ok with me.
Gutters-R-Us: Oh. I thought you were checking your calendar.
Jeff *Bangs head repeatedly on desk*
Gutters-R-Us: OK…We’ll see you on Wednesday. I’ll send an email to confirm.
Jeff: Thanks. *weeps softly for the future of the republic*
So I know “how much is it going to cost” is the first question most people ask. The fact is, I really don’t care. I know the ballpark they’re going to be in. Their service came recommended by two independent sources. I just want someone to show up and clean the damned gutters so I don’t have to schlep around for an entire afternoon doing it myself.
This should have been a simple thing. It’s not moving an armored division across a continent. It’s not flying around the world in a solar powered plane. It’s coming to my house with some ladders, a hose, and a couple of brushes and getting the gunk out of the gutter. I really would just like someone to show up and do that and then send me the bill. Easy peasy.
Instead, now I’m going to have to take at least part of two days off… one of which will be dedicated to someone coming to my house to tell me things I already know (that I would have been happy to tell them over the phone or document with photographic evidence in order to save them the trip and save me the time).
If anyone wants to know why I oppose a $15 an hour minimum wage, I’ll enter this as Exhibit A.