Can you read?

The owner of the print shop I work at also owns several other businesses.  One of them is a string of laundromats. Of course we do the printing and advertising for these other businesses.  For the laundromats, a few of them are open 24 hours.  As part of his advertising we did the window perfs for the locations.  Those are the window decals that have holes in them and you can see thru them from the inside out, but from the outside you see printing on them.  Back in the 70’s and early 80’s that was a big thing on van windows. On the ones we did for his locations we added at the bottom of each panel “Printed by ***.  Call us for your window perfs today!” followed by the phone number.

At least once a week we get a call on our voice mail around 11 PM from somebody who got coins stuck in a washer or had a dryer break on them bitching about how WE need to come out there NOW and fix the stuff and give them their money back.  The machines all run on cards that you have to purchase there using a debit or credit card, so no actual money goes into the machines. We usually just ignore them as they rarely leave any call back info or names, but if they do we forward them off to the owner in the morning.

Yesterday we got a call around 8:30 just as we opened.  I answered the phone stating the company name as I always do and the lady on the other line starts off in a string of Spanish so fast I was sure it was all one long word. I actually pull the phone away from my ear for a moment as she is also being quite loud  and after about 30-40 seconds when I sense her tiring I try and break in with ‘no hablar español”, just about the only Spanish I know. She then changes into a very accented English and proceeds to yell at me about ‘my crappy machines’ and how they ripped her off and the washer won’t open up and give her her clothes back, and if we aren’t there in 5 minutes she is going to break the machine to get her clothes out.  At this point I put her on speakerphone, since Bossman (who speaks Spanish) had heard her thru my phone just walking by! So I try and tell her that she called the people who printed the window graphic, not the laundromat, but she wasn’t having it, and kept on yelling.

After a few minutes I had enough and broke in using my loud voice. “Ma’am! I am not the laundromat, I am the printer. I can get you the number to call if you want it.  Or you can go ahead and break the machine as I know they have cameras there watching you and can figure out who you are from your credit card you used. Your choice.”  After a moment of silence, another string of Spanish starts flowing and I can see Bossman just smiling.  A few words later she changes back to English and says ‘Give me the number’. With the tone of her voice I was tempted to give her 867-5309, but I gave her the correct number.  She immediately hung up.  I look at Bossman and he says that she was cussing me out in Spanish and called me all sorts of unsavory names.  Yeah, like I haven’t been called worse before.

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