saving face

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saving face

what on earth do you mean? they're just fixing it! If you don’t allow people to retain their pride when dealing with them especially when it’s dealing with chasing slow payments – they will take their own steps to do so. This is a true story.


Many years ago, the Branch Manager of a Finance Company in Mackay, Queensland, had to repossess a washing machine from an overweight, 50 year old mother of five who lived on the top floor of a three storey block of units. Now, if you’ve ever lived in a block of flats you know that everyone knows everyone else’s business – or would certainly like to.

Picture the scene.

Mackay, sub-tropical, mid-January, high humidity, extremely hot.
Manager, a white, short-sleeved shirt, sweating profusely, an unpleasant task to be done.
Assistant Manager, same attire, equally hot.

They arrived at the units, climbed the six sets of steps to get to the top and knocked on the door. Neighbours peeking.Come in. Come in“, she said. After the door was closed she burst into tears – couldn’t live without the machine – 5 children – dirty clothes, etc, etc. (Repossessions are NOT fun.) The Manager had no choice, many repayment arrangements had been made but broken and his supervisor had instructed him to take the machine if she didn’t/couldn’t pay.

So, lifting the heavy machine, getting grease on their hands and clean clothes, the Manager and Assistant Manager carefully negotiated the machine down the six flights of steps. Neighbours still peeking. With their now-wet shirts clinging to their bodies they eventually heaved the machine onto the utility and shut the side-flap and started to get into the vehicle to drive away. At that precise moment, as the Manager’s left foot was in the vehicle, his right still on the concrete, he heard the woman’s voice from above.

With a sidelong glance at her nosy neighbours she shouted,

And next time, don’t bring the bxxxxy thing back
… until it’s fixed properly“.

She had retained her pride.

By | 2017-07-13T08:51:43+00:00 January 22nd, 2009|miscellaneous|0 Comments

About the Author:

Have you ever wondered why a client does business with you and then ignores your invoice like they had no intention of paying it in the first place or they treat you like their own personal line of credit, leaving YOU dangling, waiting months for their payment? Unfortunately this situation is all too common and can even be puzzling for the most experienced business owner. If you’ve ever had to handle outstanding accounts or you are just so over non-payers, then we can help. Real-world skills, solutions, tips & strategies to get more accounts paid on time, and, most importantly, how to maintain customer goodwill while keeping YOUR cash flow in the positive. You will find the blog posts helpful but to get real results, contact us by using any of the forms on this site, by email or by phone. I’ve been involved in the management of accounts for over 30 years, heard every excuse in the book, can spot a non-payer at 20 paces. Finance Companies in the 70s (systematic, tough), professional firms in the 80s (no systems, too gentle) and, since then, just about every other sort of business you can think of. I’ve written books on the topic, spoken all over the place about it and the blog in this website is my way of “giving back”. I hope you find it helpful.

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