Confessions of a kitchen retailer: The wrong man

People are funny and in this regular series, our kitchen retailer recounts some of the crazier moments he has had dealing with customers

My kitchen retail business is not huge. Because the members of my small team have worked with me for decades, they have got to know many members of my family, none of whom work for my business, by the way. 

One of my relatives who, for the sake of anonymity, will be called The Relative, is a bit of a prankster. He should have been an actor, because he loves nothing better than to ring us up, sporting different and very believable regional accents, asking to buy a kitchen or pretending to be a supplier. We know it’s him, he knows that we know it’s him, but we try to play along, because he is very funny and he often has completely mad or  outlandish requests. 

We had recently worked on a project for a commercial company that required a swanky staff kitchen in a smart office building. For this job, we designed the kitchen and arranged for it to be delivered directly to site ready to be installed by the client’s builder and not our usual fitters. While we are not based there, the job was in Scotland. 

On a particular gloomy day, we were all working away when the phone rang. One of my designers, who for the sake of anonymity, will be known as The Designer, answered the call in his usual pro–fessional manner. At the other end of the line was a man with a very broad Glaswegian accent. 

“I need your help, your delivery driver has nay turned up,” said the individual, who announced that he was the site agent. “Oh yes,” said The Designer, in a somewhat cynical tone. He then went about setting him straight in an over-the-top, and very bad Scottish accent. He started to laugh, but was surprised by the stony silence he received. The Designer duly put the phone down, turned to me and said “That was The Relative, again.” He then carried on with his work. 

The phone rang again. It was the same mobile number. The Designer picked it up and said “Ahh, diddums, are you still looking for the driver, Sweetcheeks?” 

At this point, the person at the end of the line started to sound quite angry. “I think you’re very rude.” he replied, and then he stated the address of where he was, and our client’s name. The colour drained from The Designer’s face as he suddenly realised that he was speaking with the genuine site agent from the job we were about to start. 

After much back-peddling and lots of apologies, we found the lost driver and all was delivered successfully. The site agent, thankfully, saw the funny side of the situation and forgave the designer, once everything was explained. 

Since then, we are always very careful before we play along to The Relative, who remains ‘at large’.

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