Same Time-Same Station

  After a simple repair, that for the most part had no real hiccups in it,
the next day I received a call from the customer.  The caller didn’t
waste any time chewing me out.

  “What did you do with my radio?”

  “Excuse me, is this about the car that was in yesterday?”

  “You know which one, the one you stole the radio out of.”

  “Sir, I don’t have your radio. I have no reason to take things
from your car. I just…,” he cut me off before I could finish.

  “I know how all of you guys work. Now, if I don’t get my radio back today I’m calling the cops.”

   “You might as well call them. Maybe they can help find your radio, because I can guarantee I don’t have it.”
  “Fine, I’ll see you in court!”

   Ah yes, the old “I’ll see you in court” routine.  When yelling, cursing, and screaming doesn’t get the job done, let’s try the second stage of threats.   You know, I’ve been at this car repair business for quite some time, and this isn’t my first ride on the back of the turnip truck.   I’ve been down this bumpy highway before, and I’ve got the bruises to prove it.  I’m not going to get all excited over this vanishing radio, because these things always find their own way of working out.  It could be this guy just has his AM and FM signals crossed up and 9 chances out of 10 there’s always some explanation to the whole thing.  At this point, I can’t do anymore than tell him the truth… I don’t have it. If these irate callers would turn their volume down just a bit, and check to be sure they’re on the right station maybe things would come in a lot clearer then they might find their answer.

   “Why don’t you bring the car by, and I can take a look at it.  I might be able to do some detective work and determine what might have happened to the radio.”

   “Oh, you just want to slip it back in the car while I’m not looking, so I won’t call the cops.”

   “Sir, I can’t help you if you don’t bring it in.  Once it’s here I think we can get to the bottom of this.”

    Right now all he wants to do is act like this is some sort of radio call in show and vent at somebody. Since I’m the guy on the other end of the phone, I guess it’s my turn. The only difference is I don’t have the 5 second delay before all his ranting goes out over the air waves… It’s coming to me “Live --- On the spot -- broadcasting”.  Click, goes the phone, and my radio debut has ended with the smoke still filtering out of my telephone receiver. 

    Later that day the “talk-show-wanna-be” called back. He still sounded upset, but he was going to let me in on a little secret.   In a very angry tone he told me his son had removed the faceplate to the radio and stuck it behind the driver’s seat.  (His son didn’t want anyone to steal his precious tunes.).  But, of course, he didn’t bother to tell disc jockey dad anything about it. 

    “I’m glad you sorted it out sir, at least it saves you a trip back to the shop,” I said, relieved that I was off the hook, and maybe now my ratings would start to go back up.

    “That doesn’t mean I’m ever coming back to your shop anytime soon,” he said in a harsh and threatening way. Click, went the phone again, no apology, no thanks for trying to help out … no… nothing. So much for my ratings….

    In a way, I’m glad he took the time to call me, and let me know the radio face plate was found. I’m sure it’s more of a personal embarrassment to him that he accused me of doing the deed before checking things out on his own. 

     Then again, guys like this usually tend to be like this about everything they do.  More than likely they do the same thing at a restaurant or other public places.   Telling me, “I’m not coming back to your shop” sounded more like this long time listener-first time caller just didn’t want to admit to it, or say “I’m sorry”… Hey, that’s fine with me, I’m used to it. I can bounce back and be ready for the next caller.

     I’m not happy about losing a customer over something like this, but I’m more relieved this radio program has started to roll the closing credits.  I’m sure my ratings will improve with the next job.  As hard as I try, I can’t win them all. I just wish I could “Click” these demons of the air waves off the air rather than listening to their badgering remarks when I know none of it is true.

     It’s time to end this broadcast and get on with the next job.
Sure would be nice to deal with a customer who’s not so eager
to accuse me of something without checking their facts first.
Oh, they’ll be another crackpot caller sooner or later,
you know there will be, there always is. 

     So, if you’re looking for the guy on the other end of the phone,
look no further, I’ll be right here…. Same time, same station.