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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Frustrating Chair Sales

You know the counselor is a patient man, a kind man, a man of composure and dignity; 
come Monday mornings when he starts billing.
Mondays around here feel like long weekends because the counselor “doesn’t work” on Mondays.  He starts the day getting the older kids off to school and taking the little kids on a wagon ride, but the fun stops there.  So why the quotes around “doesn’t work”?  Because he doesn’t see clients.  He works, but he works from home on paperwork.
And spends most of the day on the phone calling 1 of 100 insurance companies he contracts with.
Never have I seen the counselor lose his temper or react before thinking.  He’s as logical as he is practical.  Characteristics like this have kept him from having a traffic ticket in the almost 14 years we’ve been married.  He stays organized and has never missed putting the garbage can out the night before the garbage truck comes.  He’s disciplined as shown by his ability to eat organic healthy food (scratch that at Halloween time).  But come Monday’s, when he has to face the evil voice-activated prompt you get when you call an insurance company, he turns into a different man.
I was in the shower this morning and heard strange yelling coming from outside.  I toweled off and peeked out the back door.
“Representative,” the counselor yelled into the phone.
“Customer service!” he yelled even louder and shrugged his shoulders when he caught me spying on him.  His eyes softened.  There he is.  Still the man I love, only he’s yelling at a computer over the phone.
I miss the old days, when the automated system asked you to push a number.
“Press 1 for English, Press 2 for Spanish.”
Now, they want you to verbally say “English” or “Spanish”.  I called my bank a few days ago and the prompt said “If you are calling about your checking account, say Checking Account.”  Then, it wants me to verbally say all 16 numbers of my checking account.  Do you know how difficult it is to say all 16 numbers without being interrupted by someone shorter and cuter then me, like a child or dog.  At our house, with all the kids playing (scratch that, screaming) and yelling “Mom, can you get me some cereal,” the voice-activated prompt keeps asking me to repeat my account number over and over again.
I sympathize with the counselor, even while he wants to chuck the phone in the pool.
My work of selling trash has very few frustrating moments, although there are some.
Like the 3 trashy chairs I purchased, all of which have very unpredictable outcomes.
Sounds like a bad country song, doesn’t it.
Chair #1 was purchased for $8.00 at a garage sale.  
I thought it was amazing. It’s huge and sturdy and shabby chic.  It rocks, literally.  I put it on craigslist for $25.00 and not a single call until this weekend..  The people who came to look at it were an older married couple, the type of couple who are able to finish each others sentences in a way that says they are totally annoyed at each other, but neither reacts because they are so used to it.  In so many words, they both agreed the chair should only cost about $15.00.  I was outnumbered 2 to 1 and I wanted the chair gone.  Profit?  $7.00
Don’t get too excited for me.
Chair #2 was purchased for $20.00 at a garage sale.  
Look at this thing.  It’s so cool.  Isn’t denim still in style?  My mother-in-law has a denim couch that's totally hip.  
So, I assume a denim chair is a sure sale.  It's clean, plush, over-sized and sitting in my living room for almost a month with not a single call from my craigslist advertisement posting of $45.00.  I moved it out of my living room onto my patio and lowered my price to $25.00.  Finally, it got someone’s attention.  It sold to a mother of 6 and she was barely able to fit in her Suburban.  I was worried she might not be able to take it and at that point I can assure you I would have paid her to take it.  Profit?  $5.00.
Chair #3 was purchased for $45.00 at an estate sale and I’m not sure what to do with it.  
I love it.  LOVE IT!  So why is it still sitting in my garage?  I haven’t put it on craigslist yet because I can't part with it and want to do something amazing.  Indecisive me.
I did purchase a pizza tonight for the kiddos; pepperoni and sausage, extra sauce with a side of ranch and the total cleared around $12.00. 
I had just about that in my jean pocket thanks to my chair sales.
Sounds like another bad country song, doesn’t it.


  1. Oh, I know I shouldn't be laughing - but you made me do it!

    I absolutely LOVE that last chair - well, I'm picturing it as more of a stool, with no back, like this, although obviously a *little* different...

  2. I feel for your husband. I cannot stand those voice automated systems. You start speaking louder (like that'll help) and it still gets the wrong number or wrong word. I usually try to hit 0 repeatedly until I get someone, but even that doesn't always work.

    I think it's just their way of trying to frustrate you to the point that you go away and they don't have to help you.

  3. Oh my!! How we can all relate to this post :-) Customer service at it's finest. And then it is really frustrating when that automated message says "I'm sorry, I did not understand you" or "I'm sorry, please call back another time" and THEN HANGS UP!!! Anyway, I love the lines on that last chair. I can see why you feel like you do about it!

  4. That last chair would look really cool with the back cut off level with the arms -- right now, the taller back with that funny shape at the top seems to scream "dated" to me, but with the back cut even with the arms, it would be so contemporary and hip. Course, that's a heck-a-project -- carpentry as well as reupholstery. But if you could pull it off, you'd have a gorgeous chair!!!!

  5. I am glad you were able to sell the top two. Even a little profit is better than none at all.
    But that last chair ROCKS MY WORLD! It's the kind of chair that if I seen it in a thrift store, I would be pushing people out of my way to get to the till and pay for it before anyone else could.
    I love it as is.. but I am sure it would look fabulous recovered too. But please oh please don't cause any harm to it!! *hahah*