Aug 012010

My mother used to say that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. I was reminded of that last week when we were at the Winnebago Customer Service facility in Forest City, Iowa.

Several of us who were having our coaches worked on were relaxing outside under the shade of a big old tree, solving all of the problems of the world, when  a couple pulled in with an attitude.

The way things work at Winnebago, if you do not have a scheduled service appointment, your name goes on a list and when you get to the top of that list, you’re the next one in the shop. Apparently that wasn’t good enough for these folks, because from halfway across the parking lot we could hear both of them reaming out the service writer because they were not going to be taken care of immediately, and to hell with everybody else who was patiently waiting their turn.

They didn’t have to wait all that long anyway, and when the service tech assigned to them came out to move their coach inside, we listened as they gave him a hard time, let him know just how important they thought they were, and what a hayseed he and anyone else in Iowa was. A couple of us listening in mentioned that we sure wouldn’t want to be talking that way to the fellow who was then going to drive away in our motorhomes and fix whatever we needed done.

That’s about like treating a waitress rudely in a restaurant. Come to think of it, I bet those two jerks have probably drank some coffee laced with spit in their time!

I was reminded of a fellow I ran into at the Verde Valley Thousand Trails Preserve in Camp Verde, Arizona one time, who obviously thought he walked on water, and Jesus walked one step behind him.

I was at the guard shack when he pulled up, blew his horn to get the attention of the young lady on duty, and then walked past several of us who were waiting in line to demand to be led to a 50 amp full hookup site and hooked up. She explained to him that they only had 30 amp sites, and that they don’t escort campers to their sites, to just go find one, and then come back and let her know where he was parked.

He was a rather large gentleman, who towered over the young lady, and he looked down at her and said “I don’t believe you heard me correctly, my dear. I am Mr. So And So, and I need a 50 amp site, and I need to be taken there now!”

Never being one who has ever been accused of shyness, I spoke up and said “Sir, why do you need 50 amps?”

He but his hands on his hips, leaned down toward me and said, “Because, my friend, I have a 50 amp coach!”

I replied “My bus is 50 amps too, but I just use a dog bone adaptor to plug into 30 amps. They have them here in the store if you don’t have one. You’ll get by just fine on 30 amps, it’s very comfortable weather here, so you won’t need any air conditioning or anything like that.”

He scowled at me and stood up in all his glory and said, “Why, thank you, my good man. Obviously I’m not as smart as I thought I was!”

Well, you just know that old Bad Nick had to get in on the fun, so I smiled right back and said “Maybe not, but you’re just as smart as I thought you were!” He stormed out, and all of us had a good chuckle at his expense.

Why do some folks have that need to put other people down? Does it really make them feel that much superior? Do they really think that they are that much superior?

I learned a long time ago that my mother was right, and that most people will bend over backward to accommodate you, if you just treat them with respect.

Fortunately, the RV lifestyle doesn’t have too many clods like that, but there are a few out there. I usually just ignore them, because I prefer to spend my time with all of the real people we meet who are busy enjoying life and accepting others as they are.

Thought For The Day – If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  6 Responses to “Honey and Vinegar”

  1. Nick,
    Most of those clods are very insecure. They find the only way to find any self-worth is to put others down. Sad. I am sure glad my lifestyle allows me the option to ignore them.

  2. We own a Tiffin and twice we have been offered “Bob Tiffin’s lawyer’s phone number” by another Tiffin owner. My response was that I had never had to go to Bob for anything and I’m saving him for the “biggie.” Had a “biggie” in June at their service center, but I still didn’t have to invoke the “Bob” on anyone. We prefer to allow the service manager to do his job and it has worked every time. Like you say, most of the time if you treat people with respect they will do their best to help you out.

    Another thing about those service centers. . . I don’t want the service people to cringe when they see us and think, “O no, THOSE people again.” I want them to say, “O here comes that couple who love their coach and think we are the best.” I want them to LIKE working for us.


  3. Talk about attitude!

    Not long ago, a group of French Canadians approached our resort manager with the request that the resort swimming pool be reserved once a week, every week during the season for only French Canadians. Our manager smiled pleasantly, and replied that certainly she could accommodate that request. The French Canadians could have the entire pool to themselves every Thursday – but would then have to forego its use the other days of the week. The French Canadians dropped their request.

  4. It takes all kinds of people to make up this world and unfortunately this means jerks also who think only of themselves. As for the French Canadians, we have not met one in all our travels who have not been rude to everyone. Other Canadians do not care for them either we found out. The camp manager handled them with respect even if he was a jerk.

  5. Sounds to me that the jerk who wanted to be escorted to a campsite was not entirely with the program. He sounds to me like a person who had a career where he was allowed to dictate his wishes to everyone. The type that was “in charge” of whatever.The problem is, when you retire or get away from the job scene, no one else cares who you are. Some people can’t change or hope we will all be their subjects, just like they had it in their career. Well sorry dude, we don’t care who you are, were, or think you are. Get in back of the line and wait just like the rest of us common folks!

  6. We real RVers won’t let one bad apple spoil the whole barrel! Our grandmother’s (and mother’s) must have known each other. But you are too sharp, bad Nick. I always think of the perfect comback about 10 min. after the jerk walks off.
    Thanks for a good chuckle!

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