Ellen Wade Beals, 2/20/2017

Current Occupation: Writer, Blogger, and Novice Photographer
Former Occupation: Freelance writer and editor
Contact Information: I imagine those who make house calls have some crazy stories to tell. Plus the trades have their own vocabulary. I've tried to take into account both those things here. Work is forthcoming in The Offbeat from Michigan State University.  My website is www.solaceinabook.com



On-the-job training

Milt taught me a few things about customer service when you are making a house call and got to install something or fix something.  He knows because he has been in the business for 45 years. No matter what happens, when the homeowner is talking to you, do not notice anything else. The wife comes in naked, do not notice. The kid says something stupid, do not notice. Keep the line of your talk going.  That’s the thing; some of these places you go you wouldn’t believe the customers or the states of their homes. Some places are pigsties. You’ll be at a place that could remind you of your own mother’s home when the teenage daughter walks in asking for money, brassy and ballsy as a red cunt hair. But you keep the old lady’s convo going; you don’t even notice the head-banging chick because that’s not important and the heating system, which by the way has not been serviced in quite some time, needs a partial overhaul–filter, belt, and maybe even the capacitors– since he mentioned that noise. Go down and take a look – let the guy show you the way.

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