what to do

what is your most effective way to make customers leave you alone.
I had this old fart who just could not get the hell out of my hair. I tried to be nice about it but he just was not going to respect my wishes. It came to the point where I told him I am going to stop working when he enters the room and I'll resume when he leaves.
He threw a temper tantrum and yelled at me.
Lucky for him I still did my very best work.
BTW: the guy drove a subaru plastered with john kerry bumper stickers and an apple macintosh sticker. Yet another a-hole customer turns out to be a lib; hmmmmm.
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If someone is bugging me I try to make a lot of noise. Lots of banging around. That works, sometimes. But customers hanging around doesn't usually bother me. Was he asking lots of questions or talking too much?
Or, tell him Kerry's a loser, which he is.
Dave
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Yeah...the "helpful" homeowners are the very worst. If you are firm with them, they happily ignore you. This guy was perfectly aware that he was causing you an inconvenience. Frankly, the bullshit games were all part of his power trip.
Him - the wealthy, powerful homeowner YOU - the lowly service guy putz
So how to deal with him?
I have found that it helps to tell them how long the job SHOULD take. And politely let them know that if they can give me space to work, I should be able to accomplish the job in the specified amount of time. BUT, that if they are curious about what you're doing, you are more than happy to let them know what you're doing and why you're doing it. But that will take more time, and I'll have to charge you for it.
Because it really is all about money chief. If it takes you 7 hours to do a 2-hour job, I don't see where you should care one way or the next. As long as you're getting paid. So don't look at those customers as "inconvenience". Instead, look at them as the guys who are going to pay you 3X what the job is worth.
Also...STRONG SUGGESTION. Get a copy of a book titled How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It's a great book. It sites many many examples of difficult situations. Read this book and it will completely change the way you deal with people.
What you are selling on the job is your TIME and EXPERTISE. If they guy is costing you time, you're not making any money anyways. You won't earn dick when a 2-hour job drags into 4...5.......6 hours. And that shoudl be your only concern. So charge for you time and be the friendliest damn plumber your customers have ever met.
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I stopped drinking with my customers....damn, some people will use any excuse to get smashed. I even lost a job because I could not drink with a guy. I had a number of estimates to give out and can't go with booze on my breath. He was all upset.

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