“You really charged him double?” Matthew said.
“Well not double but I definitely charged the prick an ‘attitude fee’.”
We were of course discussing the rescue Matthew, my brother, and I had just preformed. Well when I say the two of us, I of course mean I did the rescue and he stood around and watched. At the same time Mr. Beckham, aka Frank Walker, nicknamed after that English soccer player who married the spice rack, because both had a similar single digit IQ, worked on his women hate jokes and comments.
“Must be good to be in your line of work.” Matthew said, I turned and looked at him with what must have been a questionable look on my face. “You can get away with over charging some one yet you still get business. Not a lot of business around that can get away with that.”
“Jealous?” I asked, it wasn’t a serious question, I knew what he was getting at.
“Bloody oath!” he said loudly, then dropped the volume of his voice and added, “I guess I sometimes forget just how much of a country hick you really are.”
”A hick?” If I could have reached across the cabin comfortably and thumped him I would have, how dare he call me a hick without reasonable justification. “Did you just call me a hick?”
“Yeah,” he replied sheepishly.
“Well city boy, let me just remind you were raised in the same household, with the same parents. We are not uneducated, well at least I’m not, and despite both of us growing up in the country I neither have, nor have I ever had, hay behind my ears.”
“Ok my mistake, hill billy!”
Damn this lad was lucky I was negotiating a fairly rough stretch of dirt road and couldn’t safely reach him to give him a thump! As much as city boy was a little insult of my own because like me he’d spent more years in the country than the city he didn’t live as far into the country as I did and his use of American insults for country people seemed to be proving that.
While I waited for him to figure out some Australia insults I decided to ask him where this current line of, surely unwarranted, abuse was coming from.
“Did I explain my point badly?” he asked, obviously still stumbling for words.
“No, it’s not that you explained it badly, it’s more the fact that you don’t seem to have a point.” I said still keeping my eyes on the road and bouncing along.
“Geez, I knew you country folk were slow but I didn’t think I had to explain everything.”
There was a long pause. I took a quick glance at Matthew,he was staring out the windscreen.
“You’ve forgotten what you were insulting me for haven’t you?” I said with a laugh.
“Ah..No…Shut Up!” He stammered before recovering. “What I meant.”
“Oh yeah this will be good!” I interrupted.
“Shut up!” He was trying not to laugh. “What I meant was that it must be good to work out here when when someone pisses you off you can charge them double and still get away with it.”
He did have a point of course, it wasn’t every business that could get away with such a thing and to be fair I don’t do it to many people but like Matthew himself had said Frank did not pass the attitude test. I can put up with a lot of things but an attitude like Frank showed is inexcusable as far as I’m concerned.
Not only does such a chauvinistic attitude belong back in the dark ages common sense and basic manners would suggest you don’t treat the person rescuing you as a piece of shit on the sole of your shoe. It’s like telling the pub chef he’s an inbred goat herder with the brains of banana, it might well be true but verbalising it is a sure fire way to get him to hock a loogie into your chicken parma. Some things just shouldn’t need to be taught!
“Are you suggesting I shouldn’t have charged him?” I asked.
As I have said before in my business you might think getting payments from upset or even dodgy people is difficult, but it’s not as hard as some city businesses have it. I get a credit card, or cash, before I perform the rescue and I get a licence number and name. If a person can’t provide me with all that I make up an excuse to tow them back to town and Nick’s presence and ability to check a persons credentials usually fixes the issue.
In nearly twenty years I’ve had the need to call the debt collectors in less than twenty times and been diddled about three times and they were all small amounts. So while not everyone gets the attitude fee most of them do pay their debt, even if occasionally it takes me a little time to get the bills out.
“Not at all, the guy was a first class dick head.” Matthew said. “It still shocks me to this day that people can survive with such attitudes. It’s not exclusive to blokes, I’ve seen a few woman in the mines who act just as bad but come from a different angle. They think all blokes are useless and want to prove they can do whatever the blokes can and they go over the top stupid to do it instead of just doing the job and proving it without the attitude. But it still surprises me when I see it.”
“See, so it’s a good thing that we are around to charge them accordingly for their attitudes because most other businesses can’t do so.” I replied.
“We?” Matthew asked.
Previous Desert Rescue story here.