We were planning to get new windows a few weeks ago. The rep from the window company came out to give us a quote. Sometimes you like people instantly. Other times they take a while to grow on you. This guy fitted the first picture. I liked him instantly, but in the best window traditions he soon lost his sparkle.
So I’m sure you’re wondering what took the sheen off Mr Shine? Having poured him some coffee and passed around the chocolate biscuits, he began to speak to my husband as if he was the only person in the room, and as if it was all his idea to get these new windows. My husband wouldn’t recognise our windows in a line-up, never mind our need to get new ones. That did annoy me. But it was more the fact that he spoke to him man to man, as if he alone would understand openings and handles and closing mechanisms and measurements, windows with muntin bars and windows without muntin bars; windows single glazed, double glazed, triple shield.
Well, I don’t think this rep ever heard the saying, ‘Do you want to talk to the man in charge or the woman who knows what’s going on.’ He didn’t realise that I had been discussing the ins and outs of windows with my friends at our weekly coffee morning, in fact I had been studying windows for months. I knew exactly what we wanted before hubby ever made the call to the window company.
But even then I didn’t mind. I let him dazzle hubby with the science of windows; the advantages of Upvc versus our old aluminium; the joy of sash window and twist and turn windows. But where he finally lost me was when I asked him about the lifetime guarantee.
“We were supposed to get one with our last windows,” I said “and we only have them twenty-five years.”
“Well,” he looked me up and down, surveying me more than the windows,” and then with a little laugh said, “I think I have better odds than the last guy. We can safely say you’ll get one with these.”
He thought that was really funny. Hilarious in fact.
I wonder if sales reps, in the cold light of day, ever think about, deliberate or mull over the point at which they lost a contract, one that might have been considered a sure thing.
My hubby likes an easy life. He was sitting at the table with his cheque book open, pen poised, ready to sign the cheque. But he shut it again. He sighed. I know he wanted to say to the guy, “You shouldn’t have said that. I’ve lived with her for the past twenty-five years.” But instead he said, “We’ll be in touch.”
He shook hands with the guy and saw him to the door before coming back in.
“It was all only a joke,” he said.
“Of course,” I said, “ and I’m sure he’ll eventually recognise it as just a small window of lost opportunity.”