The Customer Is Always Right

(Most of the Time)

Vignette: The Customer Is Not Always Righti

He was furious. He was shouting at the sheriff, the two policemen, and me as we were leaving his vessel that morning. The sheriff had just taped to the command deck a lien on his ship.

Steven was known in the marketplace as a tough customer. He was always contesting his invoices and paying late. Although his fishing vessels were hauling good catches and he operated a profitable canning plant on Vancouver Island, he was trying to squeeze every dollar out of his employees and his suppliers.

My company had just refurbished his vessel. He approved all the work daily. I did not want to take any risk of not having his cooperation during the refurbishing process. ...

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