I looked up from the 1999 Plymouth Voyager I was working on, and saw a late nineties Ford Escort roll in the front door I recognized. It belonged to a guy who had made an appointment for servicing two weeks ago, but never showed up. I’ve written about the three strike program, where if the customer makes three appointments and breaks them without calling, they’re history. This guy falls into a different category: the kind who makes appointments for a specific date, and then shows up exactly a week late. I’d like to tell you this type is rare, but it’s rather common. I’m sure there are a variety of reasons for this phenomena. Unfortunately, my interest in why people do what they do died about fifteen years ago. They do something goofy, and I automatically compensate. Mr. Ima Weeklate gets out of his Escort with a big smile. Yea, good luck with that.
“Hi, Bernie, I’m a little early for my appointment, but I thought it would be good for getting the paperwork done,” Ima tells me enthusiastically.
“Actually, you’re exactly one week late,” I counter. “Your appointment was for last Friday at 10 AM.”
“No way!” Weeklate shakes his head in disbelief. “You’ve made a mistake.”
“Well, let’s go look,” I reply, opening the office door.
“Are you saying you won’t take my car in today,” Ima is aghast.
“I can’t take it today,” gesturing for him to come in the office. “I already have an appointment for ten which will be coming in any minute.”
“I’ll wait then,” Weeklate states emphatically. “I made the appointment for…”
“Let me show you something,” I break in gently, pointing at his appointment date last week. “See, I know people lose track of time; and things can get confused, so I write down the date and time a person makes an appointment when I put them on the calendar.”
Ima’s whole countenance fell, when he looked at the calendar.
“Here’s a lady, who made an appointment just before you did, and she…”
“Yea… okay… maybe I made a mistake,” Weeklate laments.
“I can fit you in Monday at this time,” I offer.
“Okay, if that’s the soonest,” Ima agrees.
“Yea, it is. I have all I can handle for today, but I’ll see you Monday the 6th,” he sees me write today’s date, and the time next to his appointment on the 6th for his service.”
“I’ve never seen anyone date stamp an appointment before,” Ima remarks, looking over my shoulder.
“See you Monday,” I reply, getting back up out of my chair and walking Weeklate to the door. “The 6th.”
That’s strike one, my friend, I’m thinking to myself as I watch him back out. :)