Sunday, April 4, 2010

Chairman of the Bored

I needed to buy some chairs.

It always starts out so simple doesn’t it?

I needed to buy some chairs because I have been living in this apartment for 2 years now and I have been sitting on folding chairs at my kitchen table.

I use that term “kitchen table” lightly because my kitchen is so tiny that I can’t open the fridge and have a thought at the same time.

My kitchen table actually sits in my living room.


So anyway folding chairs are extremely uncomfortable. I am a fidgety human as it is, but sitting in a folding chair is awful. I have to shift around every 3 minutes until I finally get comfortable with my feet on the lamp and my head under the couch… and then my butt goes numb.

I was getting so angry, not at myself for having not purchased chairs, no, I was mad at my chairs. I was starting to yell at them.

Rich: Man you suck, you know that? You just suck so bad. You are so awful I hate you.
Chair: (Blank stare)

So I decided to buy some nice, new, comfortable chairs.

Having no car and not really wanting to bring chairs on the subway (though that would solve the challenge of finding a seat), I decided to do it online and have them delivered to me thereby saving myself time, stress, and inconvenience.

What I didn’t realize was that I probably could have built my own chairs in the time it was going to take for me to get them in the mail.

I get online and I do my normal dance where I over research something, then order it, then have second thoughts, then cancel it and buy something else.

So by the time all that dust settled I had ordered a pair of this chair.

Exciting right? Yes quite.

Click, buy, confirm, woohoo.

I received an email telling me that the chairs had been shipped from Stockton, California. Hooray! My chairs were on the way!

On March 5th I checked the tracking website and saw that my chairs were “In Transit” in Reno.

And that is when the communication stopped. I went a whole week without hearing about the status of my chairs. I started to worry.

Had my chairs gotten off the truck in Reno to stretch their legs? (Rim shot!)

Thank you, thank you, you’ve been a lovely audience!

But back to my chairs.

Had they stumbled into a casino and lost all of their money? Were they sitting at a craps table with a couple of rough necked barcaloungers with cash to burn? What the hell were my chairs doing in Reno that they couldn’t’ be reached?!

Or maybe the delivery truck driver had lost his mind and decided to keep all of the furniture on the truck for himself. I could see him driving across the country on Route 66 blasting Lynard Skynard with his head out the window laughing like a maniac as he chomped on a cigar.

Sometimes my brain runs wild.

I pictured my chairs sitting on the back of a truck writing me a tear stained letter,

Dear Richard,

We left Reno days ago. I’m so scared. This truck is so dark. I haven’t been sat on in days. I can’t see anything and there is some ottoman in the truck somewhere that keeps screaming in the night. It is so lonely. Help me!


2 Red Chairs

But then good news my chairs had arrived in Jersey. And then Long Island! And then while I was at work one day I saw my chairs were out on the truck for delivery! And then I got home and… I still had no chairs.


I checked the tracking website to find this awesome tidbit.

Wait why?

What did they mean by undeliverable?

I watched as my chairs went back to Long Island, and then Jersey, and then California (curiously skipping Reno on the way back.)

So now I am seething. I am angry. My blood is boiling, I am red. Red like my chairs, which I don’t have because they have been sent, back to California.

So I call the shipper. The conversation went something like this;

Rich: Yo fool! Why you send my chairs away?!
Shipper: Chill playa, the vendor requested them back.
Rich: Word?
Shipper: Word.

So I call the vendor who sold me my chairs. Now I am really really red and trying to control my voice because despite my best efforts, when I get angry my voice doesn’t sound scary, it just gets higher and sounds like I am about to cry.

So I call customer service and I meet my undoing;

A syrupy sweet lady with some southern drawl who is just a pleasant as a peach. And apologizing her head off for the transgressions enacted upon me.

So instantly I feel all bad, but only for a minute because then she asks me;

Well we can have them resent to you or would you rather just cancel the order?

What do you mean would I rather just cancel the order? What kind of logic is that? Well ya know, I really wanted to start sitting on these chairs in early March, and since I’m not going to be able to sit on them until late March, well, jeez, I mean I just don’t know if I can use them then.

OF COURSE I STILL WANT MY CHAIRS! It’s not like these chairs are going to be stale when they get to me. Unless these chairs are made out of bread… are these bread chairs?! Did I accidentally order the Sourdough Dining Set, because if so, let me know and I will cancel.

But as it turns out my chairs were made out of wood, not bread. And they were resent. And they arrived. And they are beautiful. And I am sitting in them as I write this.

They are comfortable too! So comfortable that I don't have to rearrange my existence every 3rd minute. And my butt hasn't fallen asleep either... yet.


It's All Good said...

"they're goin back back to cali cali"... sorry, that song popped into my head when I read that part. Glad you enjoy your new chairs! Also glad that I'm not the only over-thinking online purchaser out there.

M Denise C said...

Your writing made me really feel for those chairs--I am so glad you did not reject them after all that . . . They are lovely.

JerseySjov said...

what an ordeal for your poor chairs. i hope you're sitting in them all the time to make up for their traumatic jaunt through reno.

Rachel said...

This just made my morning. I'm thrilled you finally got your chairs. And that they don't make your hiney go numb...yet.

scala said...

Greetings rich, thanks for entertaining my brain once again.. so i wont lie, i had to find out if by chance i could get my hands on a Bread Chair. (please, google image search: bread chair)... enough said. -Scala, sitting in my bread chair..
btw.. verification word - Druti

Nancy said...

LOL! You never cease to entertain. And if you must know, your chairs called me when they were in Reno. We went down the mountain to pick them up and they stayed with us for a few days. A little skiing, a little night life.... you understand, don't you? Wouldn't you have done the same thing? Did you not see the pictures I posted on Easter? Your chairs were only 22 miles away. They needed a break.

Sarah Shean said...

Ah! Your post was exactly what I needed to read after a (somewhat) terrible day. I mean, my day wasn't on the same level of bad as-vendor-taking-back-comfy-red-chairs-you-ordered-a-month-ago-and-are-now-in-your-state-almost-at-your-door... but you know, it wasn't great. thanks thanks for the smile.

Amber said...

I read this and immediately thought of this comic:

Caroline B said...

You'll just never know what those chairs got up to on their road trip, or if the ones in your house are even the same chairs not some replacement Stepford chairs.....if you go out and find they've shifted position upon your return, I'd start worrying!
That tracking system has it's downside - we've had times where the stuff we are waiting for is at a depot 10 minutes drive away and remains there over the weekend - the thought that you could theoretically just go there yourself & collect it is frustrating to say the least!
Happy sitting!

Ava said...

Good post. I've got to know though-why were they returned to vendor? Did they accidentally send you the chairs with legs stuffed with money or contraband?

Cynthia said...

Richard, I'm happy to read that you finally got your chairs! I fear that I may be experiencing a similar predicament with a laptop I sent in for repair... A few weeks ago. Boy will I be angry if I don't hear back from the service centre soon.

By the way, Calculus doesn't really 'turn me on'... It may stimulate my mind and I may find myself in a trance-like state when performing long-winded calculations that take up too many pages in my exercise books, but... Okay, maybe it does. Just a little. Tiny bit. A skerrick.

I am an engineering student, after all...

I'm just realising that I sound like a pompous prat. Please excuse me as I make some toast.

xoxoKrysten said...

Stopping by from 20SB and I just have to say I LOVED reading this. You're awesome! And I will totally be back!

AND I am so glad this story had a happy ending =-)

zachary said...

You worried at the most important thing of all. Chairs. I couldn't agree more with you about butt and it's blood flow. Hey, my chair is my castle!

At the time of commenting, i was confronted by the comment word verification that spells "pudgeses"

Cathy said...

Gorgeous chairs! Last month I ordered some pens and when tracking them I was startled to see that they had been delayed due to a train derailment! It actually said on the tracking information - Train Derailment! It wasn't on the news or anything! Wouldn't you think that a train derailment would at least be mentioned on the 6 o'clock news!

accidentally, kle said...

Don't you just love tracking websites? They're so detailed yet fundamentally useless! Brilliant post, as always!

Jenny DB said...

I bet they were held up in reno when the truckdriver turned off at one of those legal prostitution places for a few weeks, though i hear even those are feeling this economic downturn ..

seriously tho i work for a company that ships furniture to NY (we sell furn to costco) and NY is the worst, apparently the delivery people dont know what to do with all your stairs and non-houses and so they try for a new york minute (or something) and give up. anywhoo..

Robin Z said...

I simply had to share a shipping story of my own - I KNOW you will appreciate it!

I order boots. Boots are shipped via - well. . .don't want to mention any names, but here's a hint: starts with Fed and ends with Ex. Shipment dropped off at Kansas City Post Office Distribution Center (not making this up.) I live 100 miles south of Kansas City. Typically this would mean boots would be at my house in one or two days. Soon enough for some snow-stomping fun, yes? No.

Here's where it gets interesting. My boots then went to Wisconsin. Seriously. Wisconsin. Wrong direction, would you say. But, you know, accidents happen. It gets better.

Next day - back in KC. Day after than - back to Wisconsin. THIRTY days of this - kid you not!

Called the shipper and they told me the 'package was on time'. Seriously?

Called the vendor - she called the shipper. Called me back and shipped me new boots. She doubted they would *ever* show up at my house. Newly shipped boots arrived ONE WEEK before oldly (?!) shipped boots.

Sadly - returned both pairs. They didn't fit.

The end.