“Ed said it doesn't look right,” Edith told Chris over the phone.

“Why not?” Chris asked.

“He didn't say.”

“Then what did he say?”

“He said it doesn't look right.”

“You mentioned that,” Chris said, ready to give up.

Edith was Ed's secretary and wife. Ed ran a renovation company and did some very nice work in our area. Chris had sold a custom millwork package to Ed and had been trying to collect the final payment on it for about two weeks.

While making the millwork selections and negotiating the price, Chris worked hard for Ed, who had very specific needs and went over the order in great detail. Ed also wanted the order in a timely fashion, and Chris met the challenge. During this process, Chris had dealt only with Ed.

In fact, Chris didn't know Ed had a secretary (or a wife) until the final payment went past due.

“Ed said he's concerned about some things,” Edith went on.