The Curtain Moved

The Curtain Moved

One of the problems we faced in our milk business was one faced by many companies, the fact that some people don’t like to pay the bill. Sometimes, people fell on harder times and if so, Dad would always try to work with them, but at other times, they felt they didn’t have to pay. Some of this was based on the fact that collecting through the legal system was difficult and often expensive. Dad had used the small claims court a few times, but this was not as cut and dry as it seems and meant he had to show up for court and he usually didn’t have the time.

So, we often had to do our best to collect and failing that, cut our losses. So it was with a particular customer on our Penns Grove route. They had not paid the bill in several months and Dad had quit delivering to them, but he still stopped to see if he could collect every couple of weeks.

On Saturday, we were both on the milk truck even though I was able to drive. I’m not sure why, since he normally would take Saturdays off after I got my driver’s license. Maybe we wanted to finish quicker that day and I could run the milk without the extra time of parking, getting out of the seat and getting the delivery ready. In any case, we were both on the route when we came to this particular customer’s house. 

Dad went up to the door, which was on the side of the house and knocked and received no answer. However, I saw the curtain move and a face look out a front window, so I knew someone was home. When he got back to the truck, I told him what I had seen and he said, “You drive and let me out about 100 feet down the road and go on and deliver the next two customers”. The next two lived in a race track style subdivision with entrances on both ends and we usually went in on one end, delivered to two customers and exited on the same end so I could easily pick him up.

When I got back to the main road, he was there chuckling and told me what had happened. He had gone back to the house and knocked again, where upon the door opened and the woman had blurted out; “No, it can’t be you, you just left here!” Busted!!

She still didn’t pay him anything, but we got a big laugh out of catching her in a lie and maybe later on she had remorse.

Davdan @ 2008-2018