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Weirdos, wackos and people who can't read signs

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Debra Gorgos

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I would like to write a story on some of the stressful, or weird encounters you have had with customers. I would like to know what the customer stated, and also how you handled it. You can PM me or write if you would like: debrag@sscwn.com.
 

Earl Weiss

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I am in a bay with a cone in front, replacing a rotary switch and customer walks up nd asks if it's working to which I reply ."Does it look like it's working?" Customer angrily says "You gave me the wrong answer, all you had to do was say it's not working." My reply" " I gave you the correct answer. It's unfortunate that you did not like it. Have a nice day."
 

MEP001

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Years ago the city put out a bulletin that all car washes that weren't using reclaim water had to shut down because of a water supply issue. I got to the wash and immediately started coning off bays, and as I'm doing so a police officer called and told me the same news. I told him I was shutting it down, 30 seconds later he comes roaring in in his cruiser and acted like I was trying to defy the order. So I'm already a little pissed. I had enough cones and extra trash cans to block five of the bays front and back, only had one cone for bay 1, had an issue with bay 1 that I couldn't turn off the breaker so I was going to disconnect the 24V in the meter box, and someone had pulled in from the back and was washing his car. I turned it off and told him we've been ordered to close, his brilliant response: "I need to wash my car." As I'm handing him his money back I asked "Didn't you see the cone?" His even more brilliant response: "Well, you should have put two cones in it." I was too dumbfounded to say anything else to this Einstein.
 

Roz

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A few months ago I had someone pull up to our touch free Razor on a motorcycle with full body riding armor and helmet, select a wash, and was about to pay. I asked them if I could film them in the wash as this would have been a first. Ended up being another wash owner/friend who purchased the new motorcycle in our town and stopped by to say hello and check out our new equipment. Definitely had me going for a few minutes!
 

Waxman

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I was working at the car wash one Sunday morning when a woman in a Subaru pulled in. She parked her car near my dumpster and got out to talk to me. she was clearly agitated. In a panicky voice, she explained how her luggage carrier on top of the car was locked and she couldn't get into it. I got a short stepladder, some WD-40 and a rag. I fiddled with the key for a few minutes, spraying it with the WD-40 and working it back-and-forth. This kind of thing is sort of a specialty for me and in a few minutes I popped the lock open and was able to open the luggage carrier. There were exactly 2 items in there; a wool blanket like what you would use at a picnic and a fifth of cheap vodka. I grabbed the vodka held it out toward her and said "is this what you need???".
 

Greg_T

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I remember checking on our security cameras, to be surprised by a lady of advanced years (maybe 70) who had used a ladder to get on top of her motorhome and scrub the roof with the foam brush. I had to turn it off - the potential for disaster was just too much.
 

Kimberly Berg

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I would like to write a story on some of the stressful, or weird encounters you have had with customers. I would like to know what the customer stated, and also how you handled it. You can PM me or write if you would like: debrag@sscwn.com.
In December 2021, a garbage truck picking up organic waste from restaurants, misjudged the load & poured it over his windshield. His windshield wipers were ineffective & he couldn't see out. Instead of pulling over & calling his company, the new & inexperienced driver panicked and pulled into my car wash. Since he couldn't fit in my 9' wash bays, he stretched the HP Hose out to his truck and blasted the thick, oily goo EVERYWHERE!! Fortunately, my boyfriend saw it on our cameras & raced out! He parked behind the truck so he couldn't leave. The driver was clueless & defensive. With the pressurized water, he had created a BIGGER mess! The surrounding asphalt was slippery and a oily river flowed to the street - an environmental hazard! I showed up a few minutes later & called his supervisor. We didn't release the driver, until the supervisor arrived. Then, they sent out a cleaning crew. Took 3 guys 3 hours to clean it up! Lots of wiping and pressure washing to remove the oily layers. The smell of rancid garlic hung heavy in the air for hours! 😲😖🤢
 

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soapy

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I had a bay blocked off with a large orange cone while I was working on it. I was walking out to the dumpster to dump some trash and a guy in a
small sports car drove around the cone and into the bay. Before he could get any money in I stopped him and asked if he had seen the cone. He said yes but figured if he could get around it and not hit the cone it meant he could use the bay.
Twice this winter people have started texting before they completely exiting a automatic bay. They end up parked in the doorway as the door comes down. Signs all over telling them to pull forward and not back up or park in doorway. Only a 4 inch space where a photo eye can not be used to prevent this but they manage to find it. Their garage door at home would do the same thing if they did this.
 

DAWGWASH

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I would like to write a story on some of the stressful, or weird encounters you have had with customers. I would like to know what the customer stated, and also how you handled it. You can PM me or write if you would like: debrag@sscwn.com.
One of the best ones I had was a lady came to the dog wash and asked if she could wash her cats in there. I said you can try. She was in there about 20 minutes and came out with two soaked cats. I asked her how it went. She replied “NOT TOO GOID”. I would have liked to had a camera watching that one 😂
 

edredtop

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Ours is similar to Kim's. Kind of.
For about 6 weeks, every couple of days when we pulled up to the wash, it smelled like a toilet and we couldn't figure out why.
We would try to review video for the day but could never seem to find anything to explain it.
Then one night my wife happened to check our camera system at about 1 in the morning about 3 days after the last spike in stink.
There it was! A guy dumping 5 gallon pails of human waste into our drain.
(<--- That's him over there in my profile picture in case you were wondering....can you smell it?)
Mystery solved!
I drove to the wash and found him still there and instructed him to stop his donations or I would involve law enforcement.
He told me he didn't give a sh!t what I did, to which I replied "Apparently you do give a sh!t, every three days in fact."
Law enforcement ultimately did get involved and found he was living with others in an RV up the street from us.

FYI, I don't recommend confronting people like this in the middle of the night, as our lives are worth a tad more than a bucket of feces and urine but sometimes a quick comment to the offender letting them know you're on to them is more fruitful than calling the police which requires hours of waiting and pulling video.
 
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MEP001

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I had one today that fits because of "people who can't read signs." I have one on the changer that says it dispenses tokens and quarters because of changer abuse.

Guy parks halfway into the first bay blocking the path to the changer for everyone else, indicating he's there to get quarters and leave. I was close enough that I was able to walk around his car and stand in front of the changer. He gets out with a can of Modelo in his hand, sets it on the roof of his car, then asks me if the changer is working. I told him "It's working for my customers."
He said "I can't get quarters?"
I said "The changer is for my car wash customers."
He asked "What does it matter?"
He was already on three strikes with me, one for the beer, one for the parking, one for the changer abuse, so I told him "It's my business."
At that point, I saw his wife/girlfriend/baby mama/whatever sitting in the front passenger seat holding an infant, three months old at most, and feeding it with a bottle. I pulled my phone out to call 911. He ripped out of there fast. Lucky for him I didn't get his license plate or the cops would have shown up at his door with clear video of everything.
 

cbchevy4x4

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About a year ago in the spring, (pollen season) mid morning 1030am on a saturday with people packed on the lot im walking through the lot and see a guy with only his underwear on in a bay washing his car, but he is soaking wet as well. the guy behind him in line was laughing and taking pictures. I approached "mr underpants" and asked him if everything was okay, he assured me all was well and i told him he wasnt really dressed properly and needed to have a little more than underwear on, so dress up or move on. He said he was done and left.

2 days later, monday morning, i get a phone call from a good friend that i needed to check my cameras from about 6am that particular morning. Well i was in the middle of installing the cameras so not all the bays had them yet but i recognized the car as the same car from saturday. I called by buddy back and asked him what was up that i didnt have cameras in that bay, but was pretty sure he was going to say someone was in their underwear washing their car again. Well NOPE was i wrong, he was full on stark naked taking a bath. I called pd gave a vehicle description and requested additional patrols in the area.

That same evening i look at the few cameras i have installed on my phone and lo and behold the guy is back at the wash again at my changer getting change, fully clothed this time. I jump in the truck with my 16ft trailer attached pouring rain and haul butt to the wash. Im on the phone with the wife, as i do a driveby... well there he is at 9pm in a wide open bay with his car parked in the next bay over in his birthday suit with a bar of soap, shampoo, razor, shaving cream bath towels etc. The first thought that went through my mind if if hes this crazy on a busy highway doing this what is he going to say or more importantly do if i approach him, i dont want to get into a scuffle with a naked dude. I decided to call the PD they immediately dispatched about 10 units to my location. As they are coming down the street the guy is leaving I had to pull into the entrance with my truck and trailer to block him in. Come to find out the guy was homeless living in his car, i kinda felt bad for him but you gotta run that kind of clientele off. I had him issued a no tresspassed.
 

Randy

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After 42 years in the car wash business I think I’ve seen it all at least once. I’ve seen drug deals, people smoking meth. I’ve had drug users OD at the car wash. I’ve seen people having sex in the bay on video, a group of women bicycle riders using the car wash to take a shower, they didn’t know they were on video. I’ve had a hunter gut and shin a freshly killed deer hung from the foam brush arm and leave the mess. I had a fisherman drive into one of the bays open his trunk of his car and toss out into the parking lot 15 or 20 salmon in the late afternoon, then the night customers ran over them, what a nice mess. I’ve had homeless people try to set up camp in the back of the car wash, I own an acre behind the car wash. I’ve been toe to toe with more than one customer and homeless person. I’ve had people break into the dumpster looking for that special treasure. I’ve had people/customers sit for hours in a bay doing what only God knows. I’ve been called every nasty name you can think of. Yes I carry a weapon now and then.

The best one was when I had a vacant/abandoned house next door and people would drop off litters of kittens every once and awhile so I had about 10 or 12 feral cats hanging around. After a while we started finding cat food tins around the vac islands, around the perimeter of the car wash, mostly in back of the car wash along the fence. Then we started finding cat food tins in a semi-circle along the back fence, there would be 10 or 12 tins in the semi-circle. We started watching the video and this guy would come in on his bicycle between 10 and 11 every night put out cat food tins around the vac islands and then put 10 or 12 cat food tins in a semi-cycle along the back fence he would then sit and read to the cats while they would enjoy their snack. He’d sit there for 20 or 30 minutes reading to the cats then he’d get on his bicycle and leave, he’d come almost every night. Then one day the cats disappeared and so did he. Every time we go to the car wash it’s another adventure, you never know what you’re going to find, what’s going to be missing or broken. The fun never seems to stop.
 
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