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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lending Leper

Another humorous adventure in loaner land. As some of you who have read this blog for a while know I only loan out jumper cables, gas can (empty), and a funnel. A twenty dollar deposit or a driver’s license has to be left with me until I get my stuff back. There have been a myriad of reactions to this policy, including outrage, claims of racism (as in if I was white you’d loan it to me without a deposit), and foul mouthed temper tantrums. I’ve also had people take the gas can from my hand, shake it, and look at me with a twisted frustration face. They expected it to be full. I don’t keep gas on premises because if you store even small amounts of gas, there’s an extra hazardous waste fee for doing so. They don’t care for that explanation. Well boo hoo.
Today I had a guy who wanted my jumper cables, my shop battery, and my dolly for carting them. I do this but the person interested has to leave a driver’s license, credit card, and sign a two hundred dollar credit card slip. You can imagine how that goes over, but look at it from my position. The loaners are all free. All you have to do is return them in the same condition I lent them to you. I get my stuff back and you get your stuff back. This guy was not happy with my arrangement.
“Man… can’t you give a brother a break?”
“I only have one brother still alive and you’re not him.”
His face twisted into one of those special feature masks like you see on the face of a pro basketball player after the ref calls him for a foul. On one of those young basketball star’s faces, it makes them look like spoiled brats. On this guy it was not a good look. When the special face only gets a blank look from me, he rips out his wallet, and hands me a driver’s license along with a credit card. Only one problem - the driver’s license picture was not him, and the credit card had a different name on it. I pointed this out to him as I gave them back.
“That’s me on there,” he insisted, jabbing a finger into the license picture for emphasis.
“You’re twenty-three and six feet, four inches tall, huh?” I asked, knowing the guy in front of me was a couple inches shorter than me, and I’m only six feet in my work boots. Also, this guy hadn’t seen twenty-three in twenty years.
He tried the special face on me again with the same result. “Are you callin’ me a liar?”
“Are you calling me stupid?” I’ve done this before.
“I didn’t call you nothin’.”
“If you expect me to believe that’s your picture on that license, you are definitely calling me stupid. Besides, you’re sidestepping the credit card with a different name.”
Since he didn’t have an answer he did an outrage dance with flailing arms and stomping feet. He threw his wallet on the shop floor, picked it up, stomped some more, and turned back to me with the special face. “Are you goin’ to loan me the stuff or not.”
“Not. At least with the license and credit card you gave me. You could leave me two hundred dollars in cash.”
“Will you take a check at least?”
“Okay, that’s the second time you called me stupid. Two hundred in cash.”
He stormed out. I went back to work only to be interrupted again by Stormy. He had two hundred dollars, so I wheeled over the battery and jumper cables. Forty-five minutes later Stormy wheeled my rig back in and it was in the same shape as when it left, so I handed him his two hundred back.
“You ain’t right, man,” Stormy told me as he yanked back his two hundred.
“Well, you could take your borrowing business elsewhere. In fact, this might help you to decide next time you need something for nothing. It will cost you twenty dollars the next time you want to borrow anything here.”
“You can’t do that!”
“Yeah, I can, and I will.” Although this interaction had been mildly amusing, Stormy was beginning to bore me. I didn’t even think twenty bucks would be enough for another Stormy visit.
“I ain’t ever comin’ back here!” Stormy whipped around and out the door in a huff of outrage.
Oh no! Not that! I look up at the clock with a sigh because no way I’m ever getting that half hour back.  :)


RJ Parker said...

That's a good story brother. And yes, I always call you brother as you know lol. Some people are so arrogant hey?Here you are, doing him a favor for absolutely no money, and he's pissed at you? Might as well turn the other cheek.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

I gotta admit it, brother, Stormy pushed it a little out of the humor zone at the end. He just couldn't bring himself to leave off my rig, take his money back, and walk out. He really did act like he was dissatisfied with a paid for job. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

hell you're being more than reasonable here. I wouldn't have the slightest problem with being asked for a desposit like that. It makes perfect sense.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

I don't think people understand, Charles, but they're usually nicer about it. When you add up the worth of a hundred dollar shop battery, twenty-five dollar jumper cables and a seventy dollar dolly, it's obvious I want to see them back in my shop again. :)