Saturday, May 2, 2009

this is more than I asked for..............




I had to buy a dishwasher the other day and had found a suitable unit in a clearance centre which was half price. I was delighted with my find until I asked about delivery and install and discovered that I would have to call an independent guy and it would cost me $175 dollars.

That sounded pretty steep, but seeing as I didn't have a truck of my own or any idea how to install my own dishwasher, I didn't have a lot of other options, besides asking and obliging friends which is something I try to save for emergencies. So I called one of the numbers on the list provided by the store and managed to talk the fellow down to $150.

The delivery fellow did mention that the price discussed was his 'over the phone quote', and could change if there was any extra plumbing to be done but he wouldn't know about it to quote on it, until he got there and took out the old dishwasher.

Right away the red flags started waving. I have been seriously burned in the past by workers "finding" problems after they have already given me a quote, so I must admit, I was wary. Very wary, and I told the guy that I would be there watching to see for myself if there was any damage that needed repair. He said he was fine with that.

It is safe to say that I was very distrusting of the delivery guy I had hired. Before I even met or talked to him, I thought I had him pegged, thought he must be a no good scammer. I prepared myself to hold onto every dollar that he would surely try to pry from my near barren pocketbook.

When he arrived, he seemed like a nice enough guy, but seeing as he was the enemy, I still watched him like a hawk to make sure he wasn't doing something off colour, like bending a pipe that he would have to 'fix'

As we chatted, I warmed up a little, he seemed like a nice guy, courteous, competent, and respectful. He complimented my kids on how well mannered they are. I started to relax.
I mentioned the loose sink fixture to him when he went to turn on the water, and he offered to have a look at it. Even though I was feeling more comfortable about him, I was worried at how much this would cost, but knowing a plumber would charge me $80 just to walk in my door, I decided to let him look at it, seeing as he was here already. I figured it would bump up my bill a bit, I just hoped it wouldn't be too much.

Fixing the fixture turned out to be a bit of trouble but at least it got fixed, and once the dishwasher was in and running, I asked the fellow how much I should make the check out for (and then I braced myself).

My jaw could have fallen on the floor when he said $150, the original price he had quoted. My mind was buzzing, inside I was thinking, What? you mean you aren't going to charge me for the extra work? This is unheard of.....is it possible?..... Can I actually wear my rose colored glasses today and not feel like a total fairy-dust dweeb?

Needless to say, I was impressed that he didn't try to take advantage of me.

So without a word, I wrote the check, but I wrote it for more than $150.

Then I handed it to him,........... he looked at it, clearly confused, and said "This is more than I asked for?"

I looked at him and smiled and said "You did more than you said you would".

We looked at each other in the eyes and the smile that showed up on his face was genuine and priceless, and in one blink of a moment, we saw each other as humans rather than opponents. I was actually hopeful for humanity, and grateful to find that in some ways, in some places, the village still exists.


He took his gear to his truck, and then returned with some items for me to look at, telling me that he and his wife also ran a beauty product company. Then he placed the goodies in my hand and told me, "This is a gift for you".

Clearly he appreciated that I acknowledged his efforts, as much as I appreciated the helping hand without a dollar value attached to it. We were strangers who recognized the humanity in each other, that was the true gift.
Try to see someone today without judging or misunderstanding them. You might be surprised.
warmly, Rach

6 comments:

Jeanne said...

What a GREAT story! You each met someone who wasn't out to cheat you. Not unheard of, but not all that common, either.

rachael chatoor said...

I know, I love when it happens Jeanne!

This was such a neat experience and it was interesting to process afterwards. Even though I am an eternal optimist, in certain situations, I realize I am perfectly capable of judging the content by it's cover. :)

kelly said...

if i lived over there instead of in the good place I would have installed it for free (plus cost of parts of course. I've done mine (twice and a friends who is a very stressed single mom with a jerk face ass of an ex husband...but I digress.

Although I might expect something in return.....

I looove lemon meringue pie.....or actually any dessert...but no coconut please

J-Rock said...

What a great story Rachel!! Nice to know that humanity as it was when I was a lad, still exists in this world!

LOVE how you paid him more than he asked for. It's so nice to be recognized for extra effort and no one ever does it...if they only knew that acknowledging it will harbour more...

Maureen said...

Good on both of you, restoring my faith in humanity :)

Cat said...

Awesome story, I freaking LOVE it when people do stuff like this. Bravo to the both of you. We need a hell of a lot more of deeds like this in the world.