I don't normally say nasty things to people in public -- really -- but a number of years ago, in the grocery store, the woman ahead of me in this jam-packed line had written a check. There were a number of holdups -- price checks, that sort of thing, can't remember the details, but finally she handed the cashier the check and I thought, "Finally!" It was my turn.
But the woman didn't move on. She stood there balancing her checkbook. I wouldn't have minded if she just put the amount in the check register, but she started subtracting past checks and really working on what her balance was. She was flipping those pages back and forth doing the addition and subtraction,
I said to her, "We would all appreciate it if you would do your bookkeeping at home." And she got very offended... Harumph kind of offended. Now that I write it, it really wasn't a nasty thing to say, but maybe it was my tone. I was not offering her a helpful hint, but rather telling her to move her butt on.
So fast forward to the present day and I had success getting paid on that old Rotor Rooter bill from Christmas -- I still had not gotten paid, and I changed my approach. Called accounts payable today, rather than the guy, and referred to it as an "outstanding invoice" instead of going through the whole story. The woman called me back (surprise!) and she said to deduct it from my April maintenance which I was going to do anyway, so that's one problem solved. It was a good lesson in speaking to people in their own language.