The Customer Is Always Right! (Saturday Writing Essential)

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on October 26, 2013 0 Comments


With Gather giving us fits for so long and my computer dying on me, I’m having a heck of a time getting my column back on any kind of schedule. Now, I have a new computer and Gather appears to be behaving itself, so it’s back to the old schedule. That means today will be a new challenge.

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I’m a hobby gunsmith and friends/acquaintances will occasionally ask me to make some change to a weapon that I know is either unsafe or illegal. My answer: NO!

A friend once brought in an AR-15 knock off from a “discount” manufacturer. That particular model had one teensy problem: there was a certain screw that, if not locked down correctly, allowed the weapon to fire in full-automatic mode (something that’s illegal). Someone had not locked down the screw properly and the weapon was firing on full auto fire and he wanted me to make that adjustment permanent.

Here’s the difference between a hobby and a business: In a business environment, I would have patiently explained the problems his adjustment might cause. In this hobby situation, I smacked him upside the head and told him I’d return it to semi-auto fire only.

Such a reaction would probably have gotten me fired in the business world, which brings up the question about whether the customer is always right or not and how you tell him/her that (s)he’s wrong.


This Week’s Challenge:

Using prose or poetry, write something (fiction, nonfiction, or essay) about your thoughts on whether the customer is always right or not — and why!



I once told the story about going to K-Mart to buy a new battery for my truck and the girl behind the counter referred to “the book” and said “this” was what I needed. Hmm, the terminals were reversed and that particular battery would not have fit into my truck. It took quite a while to get two managers to follow me into the parking lot to look at my truck and they finally agreed that “the book” was wrong. If you’ve ever faced the problem of having an employee looking at “the book” without thinking about it, tell us.

If you’ve ever been on the other side of that and was required by your company to depend on “the book,” let us know about that.


Watch Out For:

If it’s nonfiction, you might want to be careful about mentioning the company for which you were working.



Because I’ve been silent for a week, I won’t categorize the following submissions by week. I will, however, ask that you take the time to read each of them and either comment or recommend each of them.

Napoleon – Historical Fiction – SatWE, Oct.19, 2013-Gather Writing Essential  by Elsie Duggan


SatWe Challenge10,11,13/ Historical Fiction/ 1940’S USO Dance  by Sharon P.

The Battle of Drina, October 1914 – Saturday Writing Essential  by Irina Dimitric

Becoming a Man: Part One (Saturday Writing Essential)  by Richard Thuss


Weekly reminder: Don’t forget to recommend an article that you like (to learn why, read Ann Marcaida’s article Attract More Writers and Artists to Gather!). Also, try to place a comment on at least one article and say more than you liked the piece. Tell the author what worked and what needs work.


The Rules:

  • Put this challenge statement at the beginning or end of your submission so readers will know what you’re supposed to do.

Challenge: Using prose or poetry, write something (fiction, nonfiction, or essay) about your thoughts on whether the customer is always right or not — and why!

  • There is a limit of three submissions from each member per day. If you’re extremely prolific, spread out your work and post only three submissions per day.
  • Post to Gather Writing Essential.
  • Tag your submission with SatWE.
  • Include (Saturday Writing Essential) as part of your title.
  • I ask that you make your submission(s) by next Friday afternoon.

Good Writing!

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