Clerk: Hello sir, welcome to United Delta American Paints, how can I help you today?
Ramon: I need 3 cans of semi-gloss indoor latex in…
Clerk: May I see your painting pass?
Ramon: My what?
Clerk: Well, if you didn’t print it out we may be able to access your painting pass with the credit card you used to pay for your painting reservation.
Ramon: Painting pass? Reservation? I didn’t pre-pay for paint with a credit card. Who pays for paint before they even see it?
Clerk: Nobody. Well, nobody did before United Delta American bought out Sherwin-Williams. I guess you haven’t bought paint in the last few months. Can I see your driver’s license, Mr …?
Ramon: Presson. My name is Ramon Presson. Why do you need to see my driver’s license?
Clerk: We need to confirm that you are the person who bought the paint and will be using the paint.
Ramon: Why do you care who actually uses the paint?
Clerk: We’re just trying to prevent paint fraud, Mr. Presson. When were you planning to start painting?
Ramon: I was planning to paint tomorrow.
Clerk: OK, let me check the options for tomorrow…OK, you can begin painting
tomorrow morning at 6:50 and that will be $345. There’s another painting start at 11:25 for $407. And a paint start at 3:10 for $512.
Ramon: What??!! There’s different prices depending on what time I start painting? That’s ridiculous! Why do you care what time I start painting? Or even what day? What if I wanted to start painting my dining room and kitchen today? Huh? What would you do about that? Huh??
Clerk: You can’t begin painting today, sir.
Ramon: And why not?
Clerk: Well, three of the painting times for today have already passed. And the two remaining times for painting today are all filled.
Ramon: You have got to be kidding. This is nuts! You can’t keep me from painting today if I choose to.
Clerk: Well, sir, you can’t paint your kitchen today if we don’t give you the paint and you don’t have a painting pass.
Ramon: This is crazy!
Clerk: Mr. Presson, when will you be completing the painting of your dining room and kitchen?
Ramon: I don’t know. I guess …
Clerk: Are you planning to paint over a Saturday?
Ramon: It’s probably a two-day job. Lots of trim work. Actually, I thought if I started tomorrow I’d be finished by Thursday.
Clerk: That’s too bad. The paint is always cheaper if you paint over a Saturday.
Ramon: Why does painting over a Saturday matter?
Clerk: Let’s see, if you started painting on Tuesday at 11:25 and finished by Thursday at 5:07 the cost for your three gallons of semi-gloss latex will be $563. Did you have a color preference?
Ramon: Eggshell Creamy Sunrise
Clerk: OK, that’s 3 gallons of semi-gloss latex Eggshell Creamy Sunrise … well darn, the price just went up while were talking. It’s now $614.
Ramon: I’m not believing this. This is insane.
Clerk: Mr. Presson, I believe one of the cans of paint will fit in your car’s front
floorboard but the other two cans will need to go in the trunk. We’ll need to charge you $25 each for the cans that will be transported in the trunk.
Ramon: WHAT??!! This is #@*&%! Whether the paint cans travel in my floorboard or in the trunk or on top of my car, what do you care?
Clerk: You’re starting to sound really agitated. In fact, I think you might be a danger to other painters.
Ramon: You want to see agitation? I’ll show you agitation. I’d like to bludgeon you with can of Glidden primer.
Security Officer: Whoa, OK, that’s it. Mr. Presson, would you just step over here.
Take off your shoes please and have a seat in this chair …
Ramon Presson, PhD, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Franklin
(www.ramonpressontherapy.com) and the author of several books. Reach him at