I'll Pay You on Tuesday

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Small business owners learn a lot about people.  They learn what type of people are good customers and which are bad customers.  They know the best way for you to get a good deal and to motivate them to give you the best service.  They also remember all the ways people have tried to cheat them...and could recommend a few lines for the ungrateful customer *not* to use.

#1 Bad Customer actually quotes Wimpy (above): "I'll pay you on Tuesday."  Tuesday comes, then next Tuesday, then next Tuesday; you see the "Pay you on Tuesday" customer drive by, but the Tuesday he was talking about could be 20 years from now for all you know.  Everyone in the neighborhood eventually learns not to work for him; he owes $10,000 to just one business down the street.  At least his audacious reference to the cartoon lends a little humor to the situation.

#2 Bad Customer asks, "Do you want me to pay you for this?"  The proprietor is tempted to say, "Of course not; I just do all this (backbreaking work) for fun."  The worst part is when this customer then decides to incorporate bad customer trick #3, "Well..."

#3 Bad Customer  "...I didn't bring my checkbook" or "I forgot my checkbook." Those who truly make the honest mistake of forgetting to bring their checkbook mail a check within the week.  Those who make it a habit of always forgetting their checkbook should think of a better excuse.  This one has been heard a thousand times.  

 Mary, Larry, and Roger were in an uncomfortable situation after Larry forgot his wallet (#3),
 and they keep ordering more and more food to avoid paying the check (#4).

#4 Bad Customer first asks for one thing to be fixed.  Once that is fixed instead of paying he says, "Oh, fix that too."  Then he says, "Oh, and while you're at it you might as well do this."  By the time everything is done the bill has really added up and he groans, "This is way too expensive," takes the project home, and waits months to pay.

#5 Bad Customer says, "Just bill my landlord."  Variations are: "Bill my dad, my son, my neighbor, or my boss (anyone but me)!"  As if they'll be delighted to get a bill for your latest project...

#6 Bad Customer after running out of all other excuses finally writes a check.  After his equipment has been loaded on the trailer he says, "Could you do me a favor?  Wait till the start of next month to cash that, won't you?"  

#7 Bad Customer owed a contractor $20,000.  The bill was returned to the sender marked "Deceased."  Five years later the contractor was talking with a mutual acquaintance when the deceased customer was mentioned:  "Oh, he's been dead for 5 years now, hasn't he?"   "Nope," replied the friend, "I just saw him last week."  


  1. That is the old saying - "If I owe you $20 I have a problem. If I owe you $20,000 YOU have a problem!"

  2. Soo true!!! I will send your this post to my boss, I am sure he will like it :)

  3. Good old saying Hank! Unfortunately it's very true.
    Thanks Liuba! Hope your boss enjoys it (and I hope he hasn't suffered through many cases of customers like I mentioned)!