My dryer just broke down. Not a big deal, just an inconvenience. However, as I went to look up the name of a local repair person, I was reminded of my last experience with a repair person. What a nightmare.
I like to use local businesses and mom-and-pop type shops because I’m all about supporting the underdog. The person I called last time was recommended by a family member as someone they knew from church and he was a “good guy” who had been in the repair business for a long time and really knew his stuff. So I took their word for it and called him.
He was a very robust (putting it nicely), older gentleman and he showed up with his wife who seemed very sweet and cordial. At first I was thinking “hey, he’s involving his wife in his work so he must be ok.” Boy was I wrong.
In this instance, it was my washing machine needing a fix. He had to disassemble it and it was partially full of water since it broke down mid-cycle. As he worked on it, he grumbled things to his wife and she jumped whenever he barked at her to hand him a tool or a part. I was sitting in the next room and I immediately started justifying his gruff behavior in my mind. Maybe he was having a bad day, maybe this…maybe that…ugh. Why was I doing that? There is never a good reason to treat anyone that way.
Regardless of his “bad day” or whatever, he was being obnoxiously rude. I started to really feel sorry for her and wishing they would be done already. I started trying to tune them out when suddenly he started yelling frantically at her to “Clean it up! Clean it up!” I saw her scurry around through the kitchen to the other entry way (my laundry room is in a hallway and has two entrances). Then he barked at me to bring him some rags as the remaining water was spilling out on to the floor. His wife gave me the most pathetic “I’m really sorry he just yelled at you” look I have ever seen and I am thinking… really? tell me he’s not like this all the time. I’d shoot him myself.
Trying to stay calm and remain gracious, I went back through the kitchen (since he was blocking the entry way to the bathroom) and grabbed the box of rags from under the sink. His wife and I got on our hands and knees and started mopping up the wet floor. He stood there and watched. Which I found was odd, being that I was paying HIM to fix this machine…and shouldn’t he bring his own towels for clean up? Anyway…
Once the water was cleaned up, he continued working and rudely grumbling at his wife to bring him parts from the truck. At one point he asked for a tool and when she brought in the wrong one, he literally called her an idiot for not knowing the difference between the two. They must have been specialized tools for the machine because I had no idea what they were either and I know my way around a toolbox. The longer he worked, the more I wanted him out of my house.
At some point towards the end of the repair he called me in to explain the issue and as he was finishing up he struck up a conversation about my family. When I said I had two daughters, for whatever reason, he felt the need to start telling me that his wife had quite a few miscarriages before giving birth to their son. Before I could say anything remotely empathetic, he went on to say that she just couldn’t have girls and that there was just something wrong with her because she couldn’t carry a girl baby to term.
At that point I was completely speechless. I think I just stared at him and blinked in disbelief at such an illogical and completely ridiculous thought process.
I then glanced at his wife, who was looking down at the floor, attempting to clean up a spot that didn’t really exist. I’m sure she was just trying to avoid eye contact at that point. I was hoping there was a punchline or some miracle story about to unfold and that he DID NOT just blame all those miscarriages on either his wife’s anatomy or the babies being female (which I kind of think was probably a presumption on his part and not really a fact). As he was telling me about her “problem” he was starting to get worked up again so rather than try to point out that…ummm…maybe it wasn’t his wife’s fault and all because it takes two, buddy, and from what I can see YOU are the defective one in the relationship… I decided it was best not to say anything. He was obviously in a foul mood, was 4 times my size and was being very careless and angry in MY home.
I wrote out a check and was never so happy to see someone leave my house in my entire life. I think I was still in shock that someone could be so one-sided and put so much blame on the one person he should have been supporting. It blew my mind.
I’m sitting here shaking my head as I type. Looking back, I wish I would have said something, but I’m not very tactful when it comes to situations like that. I tend to be very blunt so it was probably wise that I kept my mouth shut. I can, however, make sure I will never support his business again. Nor will I make a referral. In fact, I have shared this story a few times with friends to make sure they DO NOT call this man for service. I do not wish bad things to happen to him but I hope that eventually he realizes that what he is doing is disrespectful to his wife, not to mention completely unprofessional.
And to his wife – should she ever read this: Its not your fault. It never was your fault. Get out and get help. You deserve so much more than to go through life staring at the floor.
As for me… I’ll be calling someone else this time around.
Sign up below to receive inspiration and occasional special offers on Girls Can't WHAT? gifts. It's Free!