Many a year ago, I was a pre-school teacher for typically developing kiddos, and kiddos with learning difficulties. No matter their developmental level however, we always had to post rules in the classroom, and review them daily before recess. Because a 3 year old forgets everything except the taste of McDonald’s when he hits the playground, and will annihilate his peers with rocks, go face first down a slide, and take his teacher out at the knees with a tricycle if there’s not some simple “review and repeat” before all hell breaks loose. To ensure maximum memory retention, we would even pantomime the rules. For example, I would lay down on the floor as if I had fallen, and have one of the kiddos offer me a hand to help me up and ask “Are you okay?”. We would also practice saying “I’m sorry” and moving slowly. ALOT. And it helped. We had fewer playground tears, and I was using less and less Neosporin ointment and/or hand soap to get kids knees, etc. unstuck from the railings on the bridge to the slide.
Last spring, when I entered the realm of the “Fence Season” for the first time, my office reminded me a lot of the playground prior to the days of “classroom rule review” before recess. Only with grown ups. They were milling around, getting in my (and everyone else’s way), forgetting how to wait their turn, pulling crap off the walls, getting into my snacks, bitching at each other, interrupting any and every conversation, and asking to use the bathroom constantly. I’m sorry – but I do NOT handle that crap well. It’s one thing when you’re 3 years old and still learning. If you’re three, I have infinite patience with you. If you’re above the age of 12 – you had better sit down and act your age before I call your mother. There is a time and a place for that kind of behavior. I MEAN IT.
Not to mention, I get a lot of fence builders that come in hung over and sleep deprived, so they’re whiny anyway. I fixed the majority of that problem by keeping bottled water and Alka-Seltzer in my office. I set them in a corner, with their fizzing dixie cup of hangover cure, and they sort of reduce their growl to a low rumble, and hunker down for 15 minutes or so.
For everyone else – I use my preschool classroom trick. Posted Rules (and additionally, answers to frequently asked questions). They are bright green, they hang on the wall, and I’m thinking of buying frames. For your enjoyment ladies and gents…Rules and FAQ’s:
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:
1) I am 32 years old, not 17
2) I graduated from UNT with a degree in Behavior Analysis
3) I love my job, and do not want another one
4) I love my fiancé Ben, and do not want another one
5) I have been in and around this business my entire life, and yes, I am very good at math (unless I haven’t had my coffee)
6) I am usually here on Wednesday, Thursday & Friday
7) It is easier to get ahold of me by text or email due to the fact that I only have one phone, and all calls go to me directly
1) Treat everyone here (myself, my co-worker, and the other customers) as you would wish to be treated, and please use your manners
2) Prices are firm, all of them – Cash is the only form of payment, and we charge sales tax
3) Prices do change, frequently – any quoted price more than a week old is no longer guaranteed
4) Please make sure you received all of the materials you paid for before you sign your pull ticket and leave, otherwise you are responsible for missing items, and will need to purchase the replacements
5) You may not choose pickets individually to find the pretty ones. All of our bundles are hand graded by a Union worker before being shipped to us. We will load the material as is, and attempt to remove any damaged pickets. If you get home with any damaged pickets, you may bring them to us to be inspected for a potential return. THERE IS NO GUARANTEED RETURN POLICY. You should allow for 10 or so extra pickets with each order to account for a few that you are just not going to like.
6) The customer is not always right, and neither am I – that being said, I tend to be more agreeable with polite people
7) The price of our materials will go up if you are rude, aggressive, or condescending – there is a sliding scale depending on how angry you make me
8) You have 2 chances with me, after which you will be escorted off the property
9) If you have difficulty with and/or do not wish to adhere to the aforementioned guidelines please seek assistance at the following location:
3200 W Irving Blvd
Irving, TX 75061
Disclaimer (at bottom of rules): I am very sorry to have to post rules in my office, this turn of events came about as the result of encounters with a handful of poorly behaved individuals. Generally speaking, we have wonderful customers who are a pleasure to do business with.