$22 plus tip...

I personally try to avoid any phone call to PJP that starts with "May I speak to an owner or manager, please" because it pretty much guarantees someone wants to sell you something or ask you to donate something.  And if it is a call with a lot of chatter in the background, it is some "Internet directory database" trying to update their information with your business listing...which always gives me pause because where is this alleged Internet directory database and who is in charge of it? So today when the phone rang and the voice on the other end ask for an owner or manager, I prepared myself to say "no thanks" or "we aren't interested" or some other nice variation of sorry#notsorry.  But guess who it was this time?  Our friends at the Ecolab Collections department.

It seems that someone has finally noticed all the unpaid bills for the not purchased chemicals over the past six months or so and called to ask if we were aware of the amount due.  OH.  OH, YES WE ARE.  YES, INDEED.  And at that point, I should have taken a deep breath and asked if that person REALLY wanted to have the conversation about $75 a month for chemicals we don't order.

My very favorite part of the conversation was when she asked when Ecolab could expect payment for those chemicals.  And I said, "0h, the chemicals we never order and never need and don't plan to use?  Never."  And because I'm not one for awkward pauses in the conversation, I followed it all up by stating "I have philosophical issues about the charges."  Ahem.  And then she laughed and said "Oh, I know.  We all know."

And look, maybe that statement was a random half-truth, but I choose to believe that there is a note in our file alerting all Ecolab employees to our long and varied history together.  That would be sort of bad ass, actually.

So, I'm here to say this, Ecolab:

First, serious props to the person who called us.  She was very nice and courteous and without question, the most human person we've dealt with at Ecolab.  Find her and give her a job selling the dishwashers instead of collecting for them because she is completely likable.

Second, I'm not paying it.  We didn't order any chemicals or use any chemicals and if we take any very very very small step for small business in America, then I guess this is it.  Don't charge people for stuff they don't need or want.  It will make the world a nicer place and make it thatmucheasier for small business to succeed.

Third, I scraped up my manicure today digging three teaspoons and a fork out of the dishwasher because it routinely eats small utensils.  Please credit $22 plus tip back to my overdue balance on said chemicals listed above.  Fair enough?