Non-Customer Calls in to Yell at Me

I don’t normally complain about customers at the nursery, and certainly not on the blog, but this person was not a customer of ours, so I feel like sharing. I do this because there are times when I really just don’t understand people.

A few weeks ago one of our employees gave some free advice over the phone to a person out of state who was not one of our customers. She had a Pachypodium that was elonated, and not doing well, and it was getting no direct sun at all. So our employee, overheard by my partner, advised her to get it more sun. She interpreted this to mean she was supposed to take it outside, which is not what we told her, but outside would be fine too, you’d just need to harden the plant off before putting it into full sun.

Anyway, she called back yesterday and I answered the phone. She started right off yelling at me that we killed her plant. I tried to find out what was going on, and help her further, not even knowing who she was or what she was talking about. Often pachypodiums will lose leaves but aren’t dead. Anyway, after a few minutes trying to tease the details out of her, she finally explained that she put it on her porch and when the sun hit it, within 45 minutes it had lost all its leaves and was dead. Now I was about to tell her it probably wasn’t dead, but instead she yelled at me,

I didn’t call to get any more help. I called to tell you you’ve killed my plant and you’re all idiots.

And then she hung up.

Like I said, I just don’t understand people. She’s not our customer but she called a small out-of-state retail store and she asked for free advice, and then she gets it into her head to call back and call me an idiot. I guess that’s what you get for trying to help non-customers.

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September 2023

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