Monday, September 26, 2005

A customer comes in, hands me an answering machine, box and all. "I need a power adapter for this."

No problem.

I open the box, remove the answering machine itself (because I'll need to insert some test plugs so I can get the right size connector) and walk over to the plug display. A few tries reveals he needs an M-plug but all of ours are right-angles. The body of the plug itself won't fit properly.

At this point the customer is right next to me. I point out the problem, hand him the device and leave him to dick around with it for a few minutes.

Maybe five minutes later the guy comes up to the counter. "Some guy walked off with one of the cardboard inserts and my phone cord. I'll need another."

Hm. That sucks. I go to log into a machine to ring him up and it occurs to me ...this guy wants me to give him the phone cord.

"I can't give it to you."
"You don't have a choice."
"Are you bonkers? The box and it's contents are your responsibility, not mine."
"You took posession of it."
"Yeah, because you handed it to me. I took out the device, put the box down and took posession of the answering machine. You'll notice that's sitting safely on the counter."
"I'm not leaving then."
"Maybe, but you're not getting a cord, end of story."

A co-worker wound up giving him a cord. I really didn't care if he got one, I just resented being blamed for it.

Would his argument have made any sense at all if we just didn't happen to sell phone cords? Suppose he brought in a garage door opener, says the batteries are dead. He hands it to me, I unscrew the thing, remove the batteries and walk to the battery spool. He decides to follow me and in the process someone accidentally takes his keys.

That's my fault??

Does this make any sense?

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