I am in the process of being destroyed by furniture delivery companies, but I will not let it happen. Nolite bastardes carborundum.
When I moved into the new apartment, I made a decision that I would no longer live like a college student. To that end, I have purchased a great deal of furniture online, and also given some consideration to buying more than one drinking glass and perhaps a pan that doesn’t look like something a hobo would take with him on his cross-country excursion, in order to heat up beans before the railroad cops steal it and use it to beat in his head.
Cooking remains a mystery to me, is what I’m saying. But I am determined to have someplace to put my socks.
To this end, I went to Target.com and ordered, in the space of a few hours, a bureau, a desk, a kitchen cart and a rug. I’ll show you the rug, but you can’t see the rest, because frankly, we just don’t know each other well enough for you to know what all my furniture looks like. Next you’ll want to know about my underwear and before you know it, we’ll be dating. (Hint: my underwear comes in packages of three from Old Navy and frequently features silhouettes of gender-neutral persons surfing or else ginormous Hawaiian flowers.)
Here’s the rug:
As the rug shows, I’m in the process of turning my home into my grandmother’s house, circa 1978. If I can locate a Formica table, rest assured I will have that installed right under the owl-shaped kitchen clock, and directly to the left of the brass wall hanging shaped like a sailing ship.
Anyway, all of this is fine, if a bit expensive, but the trouble is that most delivery companies suck ass. For one thing, they require you to be home during the day, which is kinda hard if you work for a living. (Which, let’s face it, you probably do, otherwise how could you afford all this furniture you’re having delivered?) Also, the “delivery window” is generally ridiculously large, like 10 to 7, and largely hypothetical. The last problem is that no one wants to be a customer service representative, so the person who fields your inquiry, when your furniture fails to arrive, is either stupid, in prison, or deeply unhappy. (Sometimes all three.)
This is what happened when I called the delivery company to inquire about the location of my kitchen cart.
Customer Service Representative: Hello, this is [blankety-blank courier service]. For quality purposes this phone call may be recorded. How can I help you?
Me: Yeah, I’ve been waiting for a delivery for a couple of days now, and I guess you couldn’t drop it off because I wasn’t home.
CSR: Can I have your tracking number, ma’am?
Me: Sure, it’s [blah, blah, blah].
CSR: OK, ma’am, I’m showing that the third and final delivery attempt was today, and that it could not be delivered because the signator [no, I’m not kidding -JH] was not home.
Me: Oh, yes, I know, see, the thing is, I knew I couldn’t be home, so I asked Target if I could have my neighbor sign for it, and they said yes. So I put a sign on the door and told them to go across the street.
CSR: OK, ma’am, we cannot deliver the package to anyone other than the addressee.
Me: Um, OK. Well, what are our options then?
CSR: You’ll have to come pick up the package.
CSR: It looks like the closest pickup point is on Foster Ave., ma’am.
Me: Foster Ave. Do you know what neighborhood that’s in?
CSR: No, ma’am.
Me: Hmmm. OK. Well, listen. Today’s Monday. Can you hold the package at the Foster Ave. facility til Saturday? Cuz that’s as soon as I’d be able to get over there.
CSR: We can hold the package for five days, ma’am.
Me: OK, so … until Saturday?
CSR: Yes, ma’am.
Me: OK. What are your hours?
CSR: Ma’am, our hours are 9:30-6:00, Monday through Friday.
Me: And what are your hours on Saturday?
CSR: We’re closed on Saturday, ma’am.
At this point, your humble narrator completely lost her shit. I was in the process of threatening to start some sort of grass roots campaign against the company, when my buzzer rang. It was the delivery guy, as you might have suspected. Great, right?
“This package weighs 150 pounds,” he said. “Who’s gonna help me get this up the stairs?”
I opened my arms and beamed, “You’re looking at her!”
He looked me over. I was wearing a skirt and flip-flops. I’m about 5′ 2″.
“Anyone else?” he asked.
At this point, my neighbor from across the street wandered over. This is the guy I was going to have sign for the package in the first place. He runs a store across the street that sells incense and crystals and religious statues and seems to spend most of his time sitting in a round cushy chair outside the entrance, reading a newspaper. He’s Indian and has a long gray beard and smiles almost constantly.
“Hello!” he said. “This gentleman was most anxious to get you this package.”
“This guy’s gonna help me,” The delivery guy told me. “He said earlier.”
Let’s recap, in case you missed that: The delivery guy would rather have the guy across the street, who didn’t strike me as a prematurely gray-haired man, help him with the 150 pound breakfast cart instead of me, a strapping, 30-year-old person who often goes to the gym expressly to pick up heavy things and put them back down again. Sexism!
Eventually, the delivery guy decided he would do it himself, and rolled the box up my steps to the landing, where he pronounced it as delivered as it was gonna be. And then I bid my neighbor goodbye, assuring him that I would call a friend to get the box inside.
“It’s a nice hot day for it!” He said. “Have fun!”
I immediately went upstairs and called Smyres.
“The breakfast cart is here,” I said.
“It is? Jesus. Where was it earlier? In the back yard, or something?”
“It’s a long story. I need your help. Also, I need beer and meat. If you help me, I will buy you beer and meat. What do you say?”
“OK. I’ll leave now.”
This is why Smyres will inherit all of my new furniture when I finally have that stress-related aneurysm.