I have a new job that requires going to people's homes and installing TV, internet, and phone services. In the short time i have been doing this i have realized that many of these encounters are bizarre and/or hilarious. I assume many of you have similar stories to tell.
Morning: Installing TV, internet, and phones. Husband welcomes us into the home and immediately starts showing us his collection of blues guitar player autographs, guitars, and guitar player awards he has received. While cool and special to him, it isn't the purpose of our visit and alerts me that something may be a bit wacky this job. I think he realizes we don't give a crap about his personal success and only want to get our job done and quickly shows us where the tv, phones, and computer are located. My coworker begins on the outside of the house while i configure everything inside. I am quickly confronted by a 50 something overweight woman with makeup like Mimi inquiring about the channels we offer. She is concerned that her 28 year old autistic son will be upset about losing any of his favorite channels. I spend 15 minutes trying to put her fears to rest by showing her that she is in fact getting all of her son's favorite channels, however they will be on different numbers and a couple of her favorite channels are not offered (hallmark). I think to myself that i am doing a pretty good job handling this situation, as i understand autism can be a difficult thing to live with, but she begins to tear up. She tells me that she is just "So mad" at her husband for switching their TV service and "Doesn't understand why he has to do things like this!?" I stare blankly. She continues to tell me that they haven't spoken since March 20th due to an argument. I stare blankly, thinking, "I'm not your marriage counselor and i certainly don't need to know about your dirty laundry." I notice her husband is well within earshot of our conversation and she is being passive aggressive as she continues to tell me she wishes she could divorce him, marrying him was the stupidest thing she has ever done, and that he is a stubborn old fool. I stare blankly and attempt to withdraw from the conversation, "Well, i need to get started!" As i do more work around the house she hovers, asking questions about the channels that i already answered, comes close to tears a few times thinking about her 28 year old autistic son and stubborn old fool husband. This goes on pretty much the entire time we are there. As we are wrapping up our install and showing her how to use the remote, registering her internet, etc. she tells us the reason she and her husband have not spoken in nearly a month is because they received an invitation to a class reunion, a huge cause for concern apparently. Me and my coworker are both present for this knowledge and we both just stare blankly, thinking to ourselves "Why me?!" Unfortunately we get a lot of customers like this couple. People who are lonely for whatever reason and jump at the opportunity to relieve that stress on the guy coming to do some work for them. It's a real problem to the extent that our company has special codes for "frequent dispatch" customers.
Afternoon. We head to a very wealthy part of town to do another install. My partner feels that this is going to be a rough one because the customer sounded weird on the phone. I try to keep my spirits up, expect the worse, hope for the best. Our install is going pretty much by routine. My coworker is doing most of the outside work while i do the inside. The customer, however, is hovering, following me around the house and watching me work. I don't really have an issue with this as i know my job, i'm professional, and I have no desire to lose my job by stealing from a customer. But, it is kind of weird having someone follow you everywhere, silently, while you work, even into the attic crawl space. Then it got weird. We had to rest one of the boxes in the master bedroom and i didn't see the customer anywhere. Odd, i thought to myself as me and my coworker waited for the box to reset. We waited for a few minutes, the box reset and began to function normally and we exited the master bedroom. As we walked by the linen closet i notice two shoes, legs and an arm inside the closet. The customer was spying on us from his closet Oh well, i don't judge, he doesn't know who we are so i can't really blame him. But just another weird day at work.