Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dragon Lady - Learning To Deal With The Stupid!

There's an old saying that "the customer is always right". As a small business owner I find myself struggling to find a happy medium for when the customer is just dead wrong and these times do exist as I have experienced over and over again this past week. One customer in particular, I will refer to as the Dragon Lady, has really begun to pluck my last nerve this week with her demands that my crew pull off the impossible. This is just an example of a recent conversation I had with the Dragon Lady;

Dragon Lady - Here you have requested 17 sheets of sheetrock? Why do you need so many?

Me - Uh, because thats how many are required to complete this job

Dragon Lady - I happen to know it only takes 6

Me - Well in that case, could you please explain to me your method of calculating square footage because I don't care how you flip, spin, turn, or stare at a piece of 4 x 12 sheetrock, it will only give you 48 square foot of coverage.

Dragon Lady - I have been dealing with contractors for 15 years and I know for a fact you can sheetrock a garage with 6 sheets

Me - lets see, 6 sheets to cover 4 walls and the ceiling? That would equal 1 and 1/5 sheet per small is this garage?

Dragon Lady - I think you're unprofessional

Me- I think you don't understand how to do your job much less mine

Dragon Lady - I'll just find another contractor to do this job

Me - Please tell them to let my people watch them do it, they like magic shows

2 hours later my cell rings, it's Dragon Lady's assistant - Dragon Lady wants to know how soon you can start that job if your materials are delivered today?

Me- In the morning, what changed?

Dragon Lady's assistant - She was told by 2 other contractors that it would take 17 sheets of sheetrock and their rates were actually higher.

See my point here, Dragon Lady is not right, will not admit she is wrong and even when proven wrong, will only go as far as having her assistant call me back. I could have refused to do this job and withdrawn my bid however I realize that Dragon Lady is an idiot and I cannot bring myself to hold a grudge against the mentally challenged. The customer is not always right however if you want to be in business for yourself, you will have to learn to deal with people thinking they know your job better than you, just admit when you're wrong, stand your ground when your right, and know the difference.


nanjodogz said...

I feel your pain!

Joanne Cucinello said...

People like that walk around all day with blinders on and earplugs!
Know them well!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Dragon Lady needs a swift kick. Not that I would kick my customers, but WOW! Luckily, I haven't had to meet that challenge yet.

Loraleigh Vance said...

I'm so sorry you have to deal with people like that. You know what they say though, that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Think how much stronger you're getting. Ok, I'll stop now!

Rebecca said...

I have worked for a few Dragon Ladies myself. Great post thanks for sharing.

David Tamayo said...

You are now holding the money of somebody who obviously is averse to giving it up. You may have tamed the dragon for life. She may spit fire and cough blood every time that you deal with her, but she is your dragon to ride all the way to the bank. People like that do what they do to test people. She was trying to get you to drop your prices. You would not budge so she walked. She did some research, realized why you did not budge and that you were more reasonable in the first place...boom...nuff said. =)

Ria said...

I just had a spat with one of the "gorillas" in my office. You're right, sometimes when they are wrong, they couldn't acknowledge that fact but I will stand for my principle. Btw, we got summoned in the "principal's office" for the shouting match we did...hahahaha. I knew I had no match in terms of "kissing the behind of the bigger gorillas" in the office but I know my conscience is clear. When I am right, I AM RIGHT...enough said. Also, I love your articles!