18 July 2009

The cost of doing business

David is off on a field trip this morning and while he was out the phone rang. Message from the Guy who is supposed to give David an estimate on replacing his derelict back fence reminding David that he would be by around 2:00 for the walk-around. David should be back then and is very responsible about his appointments (as he generally is about everything), so I didn't worry too much about it.

I went about my business, including retrieving the very lovely flowers that I was given last night by Brian and McCall to celebrate the opening of the show that Brian wrote and I directed.* The flowers were a little overdue for some water and TLC and I don't get flowers so often that I am cavalier about their care, so I brought them in and noticed some guy in a car outside.

A few minutes later the phone rang and it was Jack (the Fence Guy) again. I didn't quite catch what he said, and I don't normally answer David's phone, but I tried to pick it up to let him know that David is out and would be back in time for their appointment. Didn't quite get there in time. So he called again and I answered.

I confirmed that I wasn't the Mrs. but a very good friend. Told Jack about David being out but coming back.

"Oh." (Pause) "Did I just see you carrying flowers into the house?"

"Yes. Is that you outside?"

"Yes." Jack was now hoping that I would let him walk around and look at the fence. I told him that I would be right out and then the Imp with the Weird Sense of Humor that serves as a brain for me added "Of course, you realize that the cost of me doing you a favor is a dozen roses, right?"

"Uhhh... Uhhhh ..."

"Which, of course, would be a pass-through. You'll include it in the estimate."

"Uhhh... okay."

I got outside and Jack (a very pleasant man) told me that, you know, his wife doesn't actually allow him to give other women flowers. She is pretty emphatic about that.

I suggested that he remind her that In This Economy, we have to do what we can to secure business, even if that means giving women-not-his-wife flowers. He was dubious as to whether or not she would believe this but seemed willing to give it a try. Or was willing to pretend he was in order to see the fence.

I walked him around, we looked at a fence that is the Board on Batten equivalent of drunken stupor. He said "hmmmm" and measured things. He made some notes. He rolled his eyes at the way other fences nearby had been installed. We agreed that he would call David this afternoon and then send him the esimate by mail unless David objected.

We parted on good terms and my share of the good-byes included the cheery: "The flowers can be delivered here."

He smiled and laughed. That's because he thinks I'm kidding. Hey, it's a tough economy out there.

*Which played to a full house! Come and see it! "Dictionary" at Montgomery Playhouse at the Kentlands Arts Barn! Playing in rep with five other spiffy one acts! Alternating performances July 17, 18, 24, & 25!

1 comment:

Maureen said...

Congrats on the full house! I won't be able to make it up there, but may you have nothing but full houses.