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An Angry Man

Before and After, by Don Stec, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com

e was a large man about six foot 3 or 4 inches tall, and I would guess 250 pounds or more in weight. He came into the office and slammed his huge fist down on the front counter, shaking the objects setting on it. “I want an estimate," he demanded loudly, "and I want you to know; I am going to sue the Son of a B----- that hit me, the Insurance Company, and you, if the work does not come out to my satisfaction.” Our receptionist was startled as he leaned past the counter, and over her desk.

I knew I had to defuse the situation before it escalated into a shouting match, which an angry person like this usually wants. Before he could say anything else, I said, “I don’t want to write you an estimate and I don’t want to repair your vehicle.”

“What?” He said, in a slightly lower voice. I asked, “Why would you expect me to want to repair your vehicle when you have told me you are going to sue all the parties involved? It seems your main concern is vengeance; the repair is secondary.”

“But, but…where can I get my car repaired?” He asked in a quieter voice. “There are a lot of body shops in town,” I said.

He walked out of the door, got into his car, and I could see him drive away. "Well, we sure avoided a problem there didn’t we," someone in the office said. We all smiled. But... I thought to myself, he'll be back!

About 20 minutes later I saw his vehicle pull into the parking lot. This was going to go one of two ways, I thought. He will apologize and be civil or…he has come back to argue.

Running a collision repair shop isn’t just about repairing vehicles, it is a life experience. It involves meeting people when they are angry, or sad, or hysterical, or even injured because they were in a collision. Their life has been disrupted and emotions can run high.

We have had far more people break down and cry because they felt the collision was a near death experience and have not had time to calm down. It could be as simple as their vehicle (which they love) just got dented. Sometimes it’s the final straw in a life that is not going too well. Of course there is always the concern; will the vehicle ever be the same again? Will they have to live with a less than perfect repair? Only to be reminded of it every time they look at the vehicle.

Fortunately, an extremely angry person is a rarity. In this case, the owner came directly to the repair shop after the collision. He didn’t give himself time to calm down.

Collisions are often called accidents…because accidents can happen to anyone.

He entered the office and we waited. He spoke softly. “Look I know you guys do good work, I’m sorry. I was angry at the driver that caused the collision”.

He explained, “The last time I had a collision, the Insurance Company made me go to their preferred shop. The repair was not good and the Insurance Company did not help out. I just don’t want to be shafted again.”

After talking to him I realized he really was a nice guy. He was just reliving what had happened to him before, and reacting to it. We repaired his vehicle. He was very satisfied and has been a repeat customer over many years.

Coachmaster Collision repair* -- founded in 1969 is the best equipped body and paint shop in the North Valley. Contact Allan Gordon for an estimate on your car, truck or any type RV. Ask about the many other services we provide. Call 530-243-1310 or visit the business at 6851 Eastside Road, in Redding California. *Click here if you are using a smart phone or other mobile device.

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