We were working for one of our worst customers: Mrs. Beale. She was an older lady who lived alone in a gorgeous house in a golf-course community.
Apparently, she had been complaining a lot to the company owner, Benito. She said her yard was a mess, and that none of us on the maintenance crew could do anything right.
According to her, we were all a bunch of “no-good, rotten morons.”
After we finished her yard, Crew Leader Carl marched up to the front door and knocked.
The door flew open, and Mrs. Beale stood there with her hands on her hips. “What do you want?”
“Can we take a walk around the yard?” Carl asked. “I want to show you some of the improvements we’ve made. I think you’ll be impressed.”
“I haven’t been impressed by you morons yet,” Mrs. Beale said, stepping onto the porch and closing the door behind her. “But show me these so-called improvements, if you must.”
Carl led her to the front planter. “As you can see, ma’am, we’ve cut back your junipers and sculpted them into artistic shapes. They were encroaching upon the sidewalk, but now they’re all trimmed and pretty.”
Mrs. Beale shook her head. “Yuck.”
Carl then led her to the side yard. “And here we’ve scaled back your honeysuckles big time. The vines were creeping through the fence and tearing the pickets apart. We cut them back and installed this gorgeous lattice for them to grow on.”
Mrs. Beale sniffed. “Gross.”
Carl led her to the back yard. “And here we’ve raked out the old bark that was filling your planters and replaced it with pretty cobble. The dirt was starting to cover the bark, but now the cobble creates a nice backdrop to your shrubs and flowers.”
Mrs. Beale wrinkled her nose. “Disgusting.”
Carl looked down at her. “I’m sorry, ma’am. Do you not like any of the improvements we’ve made?”
“The improvements are fine,” Mrs. Beale said, fanning her nose. “I was talking about you. You stink!”
“Oh.” Carl’s face turned red.
“It’s like I always tell your boss, Benito,” Mrs. Beale said. “All of you are just a bunch of no-good, rotten morons!”
“We didn’t realize you meant that literally, ma’am,” Carl said.