Those are certainly words to live by. I have never come close to killing a customer. At least, so far as the police know. But I have snapped at a couple of them.
Several years ago during a period when we were extremely busy and running about one week to ten days behind in repairs a guy walked into the old barn. He had a machine which wasn't running and wanted me to take a look at it. I said I would, but that if it required anything serious he'd have to leave it and I'd get to it as soon as I could.
I followed him out to his van and he produced a little General Sewerooter Junior which had wires hanging out of the motor in a terrible jumble. A real bird's nest, my Pops used to say. It would have taken an hour simply to sort everything out, to get all the wiring back in place so that I might then start diagnosing the real problem. I shook my head and said to the man, "You're going to have to leave that with me."
He began, "Well all you have to do is,"
But I cut him off right there. "Then you do it," I replied, admittedly rather harshly.
"I beg your pardon?"
"Then you do it," I repeated. "If it's all that simple, why are you bringing it to me? Why don't you have it done already?"
To this day I stand by that. Why are you bringing it to me if it's so danged easy? Why are you wasting both of our times?
I didn't kill him, but I haven't seen him since either.