Yesterday I met the second happiest person* on earth. It’s Billy from Affordable Glass. I needed a windshield replacement and that’s what he does. Greeted me with a smile shook my hand and thanked me for the business.
Two days earlier, I had told my wife to book the cheapest guy who could the job. Windshield repair is not something that you do very often… and it’s not like we’ll be crossing paths again. She insisted that Billy was really nice. I went on a mini-rant (the Patriots were losing, so I wasn’t in the best of moods), about how it doesn’t matter if he’s close friends with the Pope. Nonetheless, Billy’s prices were competitive and in hindsight, I should have trusted her woman’s intuition. Customer service does matter, even if it’s only for a 45-minute job.
He said he’s been replacing windshields for 20 years and that it is the best job ever. I wonder how many would believe him, but he sold it well. He said that he gets to travel all over the state and meet all these interesting people. I originally thought he was an employee of a big corporation, but I was wrong. He’s literally a man with a van. His wife does the scheduling and internet advertising. She comes with him on some calls. I imagine that she can do most of her work with a tablet or cell phone on the road.
We talked about many things. He ask how I found him and I told him that my wife found him on yellowpages.com (I miss San Francisco’s use of Yelp.) He told me that they spend thousands each month to appear in such directories. Then he went into something up my alley, advertising on search engines. He said that Google was the most expensive and his competitors would purposely click on his links to deplete his budget (this is commonly known click fraud that I thought Google had figured out). He said that Bing and Yahoo were a much better value for his advertising dollar.
We talked about his son and daughter and their career plans, what my wife does, what I do (I didn’t mention the blogging thing). We talked about the Patriots and other teams around the NFL. I feel like I could have brought up complex software algorithms and he’d be able to speak intelligently on it.
At the end of the visit, I thought to myself, “The American Dream isn’t home ownership. It’s lifestyle ownership.” Billy had that figured out long ago.
* Who is the happiest person on earth? My son. Just smiles for days. No one can believe that he is this happy. Yesterday he got four shots for vaccinations and screamed from the pain for about 80 seconds and then resumed his laughter. It’s almost like the reaction my dog gets when we go to the dog park, but all the time… lottery-winning level joy.