09:56:34 pm on
Thursday 20 Jun 2024

Getting an Estimate
Jennifer Flaten

This is an actual transcript of my call to a tree removal company.

Me: "Hi, I would like an estimate to remove a downed tree limb."

"Are you a current customer?"

Me: "No, but I would like to get an estimate to get some work done."

"We only give estimates to customers."

Me: "I want to be a customer, just give me an estimate."

"Sorry, we only give estimates to customers."

Feeling a lot like I stumbled into a Monty Python skit, I hang up before I start affecting British accent and singing about spam.

Look, I do not want access codes to a missile silo; I just want the tree limb removed from my front yard.

Problem is I think I could get the codes easier.

The aforementioned limb fell weeks ago, and while we were able to reduce the size of the limb somewhat, it still looks like a demented beaver decided set up shop in my front yard.

The damn, as I have taken to calling it, is an enormous brush pile and it is irresistible to several roving gangs of squirrels.

The squirrels are currently measuring it for curtains and ordering a suite of bedroom furniture.

It won't be long before all manner of wildlife are calling the brush pile home.

I would like to have the pile removed before that happens. I really don't want to serve an eviction notice to a horde of angry and possibly rabid forest animals.

I thought we were in a recession, a deep dark recession. Apparently, I am under the misapprehension that businesses are struggling to stay afloat. Silly me, I thought a business would jump at the chance to get a new client.

Using considerable effort and a big assist from a well-known search engine, I finally found a couple of tree removal companies willing to give me an estimate.

Of the three who said, they would provide an estimate only one did. I can only assume his estimation skills are so honed he can do it while speeding by my house at 40 miles an hour, since no one ever appeared in my yard to look at the tree.

I realize it's not brain surgery, but I mean I would feel a whole lot better if this fellow honestly looked at the tree before pulling a random figure out of a hat or body part, if you get my drift.

No matter how ridiculous I thought the estimate, it was the only one. Is this a perfect example of supply and demand? I need and they leach.

While I am now in possession of the elusive estimate, I have not the pleasure of hearing the sound of chain saws in the morning.

Perhaps, one day I will turn my head for just an instance and when I turn back voila, the damn pile will be gone, much like how my estimate arrived.

I never saw anyone , but I had an estimate.

I prefer that to the other alternative which that the tree person was here and the squirrels overpowered him and dragged him into the damn brush pile.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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