In the Trenches is a collection of stories and tales from shops and warranty departments around the country. It is a strange trip into the hostile, awkward and humorous world of customer service.
It started with a simple request. A man came into the shop with a fairly beat up bike and asked if he could he use some tools to fix a couple things on his bike. As it was, the shop kept a stash of tools under the counter so no one would be stranded for lack of a 5mm or money. We traded his backpack for a handful of tools and he headed outside to start working on his bike.
After an hour the shop was getting busy, and we started hearing comments from various patrons about the guy tearing his bike apart and swearing at it. I was about to go outside to see if he was ok or needed some assistance, when we all heard a feral scream from out front and the tell-tale ping-pinging of tools getting thrown into the street.
Before any of us behind the counter could react, he came charging back into the shop, hand covered in blood with his bike over his shoulder. He flung it at my feet declaring Ive had enough of this bitch of a bike! and asked how much would I buy it for?
I looked down at the blood-smeared heap of a bike and before I could speak he was running back outside, picking up the fallen small parts and leaving a trail of blood across the shop floor. I panned around the shop to see if any of my fellow employees had witness the surreal scene unfolding in front of me. I looked at my fellow wrench and saw my own What the hell is this look mirrored back at me. As the man came back to the shop counter, I let him know my verdict: I wasnt really interested in the bike.
Then things got weird. He froze in his tracks and the broken parts of his bike fell from his hands. He then lifted one bloody hand and started pointing at me and speaking in a language I had never heard. Everything else in the shop had come to a screeching halt and everyone was now staring at this guy bleeding all over the floor and chanting at me in the middle of the shop.
I got the distinct impression that whatever he was saying wasnt nice and I was getting pretty freaked out at this point. Speaking in my best shop manager voice I told him that I couldnt understand him and that he needed to get his bike and get out of the shop. The moment I said said he needed to leave, his eyes got wide. and a huge, creepy grin spread across his face. He then twisted his bloody hand into a claw shape, before moving it toward my face and screaming YOU UNDERSTAND NOTHING! I AM THE ODYSSEY, AND YOU ARE THE IDIOCY!
With that, he grabbed his broken bike and stormed out the door.