"I wanna speak to whoever is in charge!"
Whenever those are the first words in a conversation, a complaint is about to be lodged. I had been on the job maybe a month when I received my first such phone call.
"What is it that you need, sir?"
"One of your drivers just ran over my car!"
"Well, are you all right? Are you injured?"
"I'm fine, but I'm following him down the road and he's laughing at me!"
"Wait, if he ran over your car, how are following him?"
"You know what I mean!"
"I have no idea what you mean, sir."
"He clipped me."
"There is a lot of difference between clipped and ran over. Which is it?"
"Look, I want to talk to whoever is in charge, are you gonna let me talk to your boss or not?"
Since my "boss" was not in the office at the moment, I explained that no one there was over me. He calmed down a bit when he realized he had someone in charge.
"So, what are you planning to do for me?"
"What do you mean?"
"Who's gonna pay to fix my car?"
"Sir, I will call me driver and ask for his side of it. If you will call me back later, we can discuss this further."
I got information enough to identify which driver he was claiming hit him, and I talked to the driver. It turned out the man was making the whole thing up. I learned in time that it was a common scam in New York City (where the supposed incident happened) for people to read the phone number off the side of a truck and call the company looking for a payoff. The sharpest of these individuals know how to take an advance the same way a driver might ordinarily get one and avoid using a bank account that would allow their victims to track them down. I was lucky I did not immediately capitulate, because it clearly was a lie. The amazing thing? The man had the gall to call back and ask again what I would do. I told him to file a police report and we would be ready to listen to him. I never heard from him again.