Furniture delivery proves to be a struggle
by Mary Ellen Collins
I finally found a beautiful new dresser. The sale signs blanketing the furniture store made us confident that Jerry, our salesman, would work some magic on the price.
He gave us the old, "Let me see what I can do," and scurried away. When he returned, he said that although our dresser didn't fit the parameters of the existing sales, he could reduce the price by a whopping $21. That irked me, but the $100 delivery charge added insult to injury, considering we live less than 3 miles away.
"It's $100, no matter what you get," Jerry explained. "If you're buying a dresser, a mirror, a bed and nightstands, it's really reasonable!" But we weren't, so it wasn't.
Jerry turned to John and began to push the do-it-yourself solution.
"The dresser's not that heavy. Our guys will put it in your car. I'm sure you and a friend can unload it."
I visualized my strong, fit, 50-something spouse and our youngest, strongest friend wrestling the mahogany monster from the Jeep to the ground to the second floor. Erring on the side of caution and love, I handed Jerry my credit card and waited for the professional delivery three days later.
The dresser came in a wood-reinforced box the size of a piano. The two brawny furniture guys exchanged a frown when they saw the route — nine steps, tight turn, five steps, tight turn, three steps, tight turn and then straight into the bedroom.
I went upstairs and peered over the railing.
"Should I take that picture off the wall?" I asked, indicating a large print on the first landing.
"No, it's OK," said the head guy.
Five minutes later, the box jostled the picture on one side and scratched the newly painted wall on the other. With veins popping and sweat pouring, the poor guys struggled, groaned, turned ashen and tried to direct each other between gasps.
"Push it ... up."
"Wait ... no ... no ...! We need to ..."
"OK. Wait. Try ... uh-oh ... wait."
I winced, held my breath and wondered if delivery guys ever require paramedics in the middle of a job.
Half an hour later, the dresser stood in the appointed spot, the stairwell walls bore numerous war wounds, and the guys had left. I'm grateful I didn't put loved ones at risk just to save a hundred bucks, but there's a part of me that thinks fast-talking Jerry deserves to spend a little time on the heavy lifting part of the business.
Mary Ellen Collins is a freelance writer who lives in St. Petersburg, Fla., with her husband, John. When she's not writing about things that drive her crazy, she reads, draws, and frets about coming up with ideas for this column.