Monday, July 17, 2006

How Was Your Weekend?

Mine was pretty good, thanks.

First weekend without kids and STBEW in nearly two decades, in fact. Actually, the weekend sorta progressed in a sort of microcosm of my adult life so far.

Friday night, after one of my freelance jobs, I met up with a friend--a coworker, actually--at a bar. He was in a band that had just broken up, and was supposed to be playing at the bar where we were now drinking. He wanted to hear the band that was hired to replace them.

They were loud. Not as loud as the music in the The Michael Todd Room, but still too loud for the space we were in. So loud, that the force of the music was blowing people out the door. So loud, that you had to scream at the top of your lungs right into a person's ear in order to be heard.

As one song was ending, I leaned over to my friend and started yelling something in his ear. I timed it so that the last few words of the sentence were shouted after the band had stopped playing, i.e., in relative silence, so it sounded like I was just too slow to lower my voice.

So, when the song ended, everone around me heard: "...and the swelling's gone down, so it's much easier to walk!"

This is what I consider 'fun.' As does my friend.

As the next song ended, my friend leaned over to me and did the same thing, and the bar patrons heard: "...that's when I found out they weren't really women!"

After the next song, they all heard me say "...I told him the ketchup bottle wouldn't fit, but he insisted!"

We did this until his roomates threatened to leave.

I had fun. I drank four beers--probably three more than I've drank in any one night for quite a few years. And I discovered that, although it was cool for an evening, I don't want a steady diet of that sort of activity ever again.

Saturday night I had a date.

Yep. A date.

With a lady.

Her name is Taylor and she's a photographic archivist, specializing in the cataloging, restoration and preservation of consumer-based photography. In other words, snapshots. Of course, some of the photos are a century old, and it's a pretty cool gig.

She's not from 'round here (She's from LA via Toronto), and she wanted to do something near the lake. I took her to a place called Marge's, which has been around since before I was a sperm.

No, we're not in this picture. But that's the place.

Marge's was originally a beach house (just like all the other cottages that surround it), but during Prohibition, Marge turned her place into a speakeasy, bringing booze from Canada right to her dock, and brewing beer in her basement. After the Twenty-first Amendment was passed, it was one of the first places in the county to get its liquor license. It's been around ever since, with each generation adding stuff to the place almost like sediment. It's one of a kind.

We sat and talked, and then went to another joint for dinner. The food was good, the conversation better. And it ended quite...pleasantly. It was a really nice evening. One I hope to repeat again.

The third part of my weekend falls squarely into the 'not fun' category of adult life. Things like hanging out, having a few pops, being a goofball, going on dates, eating dessert before dinner, all fall into the 'fun' category. 'Not fun' stuff includes paying bills, flossing, getting the gunk out of the drain in the kitchen, and buying dryers.

Actually, buying dryers is ok. Setting up a delivery time is ok.

Dealing with morons who don't really care whether or not you've wasted an entire day waiting for a delivery that was promised but not scheduled is definitiely not ok. That falls waaaay into the 'not fun' category.

But let's start at the beginning.

My rental house had a washer and dryer in the basement. The landlord didn't even know they were there. He didn't care whether or not I used them. I used them. The washer works fine, the dryer conked out about two weeks after I moved in. Because of its age and condition (old and poor), I decided that any attempts to repair it would be at best futile, at worst, costly and futile. Which was not really a problem. I had a back yard, so I bought some clothesline rope and some clothespins, and just hung my clothes on the line to dry. I figured I had until probably October to find a good dryer at a decent price.

Well, one was found, and purchased, and a delivery was scheduled. "We could have it delivered on Saturday, if that's convenient," said the sales associate, whom I shall call Leon*

Well, I have a meeting Saturday morning, but I'll be home after eleven. Can we schedule a delivery for after eleven on Saturday? Otherwise, we could do it on Sunday.

"No, that's no problem," said Leon. "Saturday after eleven is fine."

Saturday morning at 8:30, as I'm about to leave for my meeting, the phone rings. Can anyone guess who was on the line? Can anyone guess what they told me?

Yup. My dryer was going to be at my house in thirty minutes. I explained what Leon had said to the driver. The driver explained that Leon's head was positioned in such a way that he could clearly see the corn he ate for dinner the previous night.

A few minutes later I get a call from the guy who schedules the deliveries, who confirmed the location of Leon's head vis-à-vis his ass, and tells me that the delivery needs to be rescheduled for Sunday. I'll get a courtesy phone call when my dryer is within two hours of being delivered.

This is a disappointment, but not really a problem.

It's not until Sunday afternoon that it becomes a problem.

Because I sit around Sunday morning, and most of Sunday afternoon, waiting for the phone call. At 2:40pm, I call them--I call them--only to hear that my dryer hasn't been delivered to the shipping docks, so it won't be delivered today.

How could it not be delivered to shipping, when it was on a truck Saturday?

This is when it really got ugly.

For anyone who works with customers or clients, here's a tip: If you've got an upset client on the phone, and you've boned him not once but twice, do NOT tell them there's nothing they can do. Do NOT keep repeating the same boilerplate response.

Because that's what I got.

Eventually, after going through three 'supervisors' and actually cancelling my order, I talked to someone who was willing to help. The dryer's getting delivered Friday afternoon. I wanted them to waive the delivery and installation fee, and they couldn't, but they are sending me a gift card that matches the value of that service, plus they threw in a one-year service agreement in free.

I would have preferred the dryer on Saturday afternoon.

But in the end, things worked out ok. Having been on Grand Jury, all my work clothes are clean. I did have to go out and get some underwear (boxerbriefs, if you must know), but I can deal with it.

Now what should I do with the sixty dollars?


*Because that was his name.


Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

What a great post! Sorry about your not-fun but the rest of it sounds like super-fun!

The bar thing made me giggle. We've done that but always accidentally. We're not smart enough to actually plan it.

A date! Yay!

Three beers, yay! I know what you mean. I can't do three. And I'm okay with that.

8:49 AM  
Blogger mal said...

Glad you got some "me" time. Sounds like you decompressed a bit.

We used to do the same thing to freak people in bars *L* Young males were the easiest to freak. Oddly, it is easier now that we are old enough to be (and look) like their mothers.

Glad you hung in on the dryer! I dislike knuckleheads and bad mouthing Leon was not appropriate. Whether Leon is a dimbulb or not is irrelevant. It is THEIR problem, not yours. Good for you in holding them up for compensation for your time

11:22 PM  

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