June 12, 2012.
The customer is always right. Thats the expression. However the expression is not “EVERY customer is always right”. Most customers are right, some customers are wrong but when you reveal “right” to them they embrace it and because of their willingness to accept whats right, they become “right” themselves. And then there’s the other 1%, the dumbf@k.
Today I dealt with a dumbf@k. This couple has lived on their boat for 15 years. They've decided to swallow the hook and sell their boat. We pulled the boat from the water and blocked it up for a local broker. As a result of being in constant use for 15 years there’s a few items that need to be taken care of before the broker is willing to dedicate any effort by showing the boat. So we have a very short list of repairs to make.
One of the items was to remedy the “odor” in the head. So I climbed up into the boat to gather the necessary intel to give a proper estimate as to what it might cost to eliminate the airborne foulness. The inch and a half poopie hoses were of 3 different varieties. Ancient black hose, some newer white hose and some clear hose. I've never seen clear poop hose but it would be kinda cool to watch the corn from last nights chili con carne as it made its way to the holding tank. Then there was the leaking manual pump to pump shit overboard and what I believe to be the prototype for the original Jabsco toilet. Even more suspect than the 20 year old toilet was the shelf it sat upon. 20 years of overspray and general head funk had taken its toll on the bowls now sagging, soggy support structure. Can you smell what I'm sayin' here?
I called the owner to give him my opinion that 15 feet of new hose, a new manual pump, a new toilet and rebuilding the toilet base would do the trick in exorcising the malodorous smell. He was already a little peeved that we wouldn't “fix” the floor in his galley by gluing the delaminated flooring back into place. I told him that it would take between 8 and 12 hours to cut out the bad section and repair or replace all the bad substructure and to install new flooring. I had to explain that what we endeavor to do is “fix” problems while what he was asking us to do was “hide” the problem. Huge difference, especially if our names going to be connected to the “fix”.
At one point I thought we had been disconnected. It turns out that he was probably just counting to ten. He was furious that I was insinuating that their head was a shit hole (pun intended). But its really the only way to “fix” the problem because there’s not enough potpourri on the planet to “hide” this one.
He was screaming, I was mondo polite which only seemed to make him madder. After I got off the phone with him we arranged with the broker to have the broker talk to the customer and relay his wishes to us as nobody should have to talk to a dumbf@k like this guy.
While we're waiting for a head odor remedy decision to come through the grapevine from the owner I sent a mechanic onto the boat to knock out the other small already approved items from the punch list.
One was to find and fix the leak at the galley sink which had destroyed the flooring. I wonder how long this has been leaking?
My favorite by far was the tach remounting. The owner left a proper mounting bracket on the boat for us to install. The mechanic opened up the panel and found that the tach was held in place by a catchers mitt sized wad of duct tape globbed over the tach from behind. What was even more interesting was the condition of the tach.
It works, we could mount it with the new bracket and a potential buyers surveyor would never find it. We just won't do it. Somewhere down the line that tachs gonna fail and when they see its condition they're gonna shit. Then they're gonna see that we “installed” it just before the sale and who's gonna look like the bad guy. Ain't gonna happen.
I'm just glad I don't have to make the phone call.....