my soft spot

just a mom who plays hockey and knits

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Well that BITES.

A while ago, I bought a canopy at Fred Meyer on one of my trips to southern Oregon. I think it was about $20. Since it had not been that long since our hot hot hot camping trip to Lake Siskiyou, where my sister had brought my dad's pop-up canopy, I thought it would be handy, and the price was right.

Well, a month or so later, I tried to put it together. By myself, as I often do. The top is like a flattened pyramid. As I tried to pop the last piece in place of the top, a part opposite it popped out of place. After many repetitions of this, I started taping the pieces in place. Then they started separating in the middle rather than at the corners. Taped the middles, and a corner popped free of its tape. I just could not get it to go together.

I called the number on the instructions, wondering if there was something I just didn't know about, and the gal was very quick to say that they'd be happy to ship me a new one. Huh? Oh, OK. She also implied that it was no big deal to ship me one with netting, so I agreed, thinking that sounded handy. This would still be the 19-piece put-it-together version.

Well, in April, we had a very small outdoor party for Graham's birthday. It being April, inclement weather threatened. I noticed that our local sporting goods store was selling pop-up shelters for $70 (or was it $80?). That seemed pretty darned good to me, especially since I hadn't ended up spending much at all on the party. I bought it and set it up almost entirely by myself. (Needed a little help opening the top all the way, and then raising it up.) Wow, what a difference. So much easier than the multipart ones. And it came in a handy rolling case!

(I'll get to the biting part in just a sec. Hang with me.)

Thus it was time to sell the screened shelter. It was still in its box, sealed. Presumably fits together just fine and so forth. I listed it on Craig's List as a gazebo with screens for $20 and instantly got 6 replies, all slavering over it. I hadn't been able to find a good photo of what it should look like, so I looked some more--and was shocked to find "gazebo screened" brought up photos of wrought-iron fancy backyard permanent fixtures.

I sent out an email to all 6 interested parties, explaining that this was different (and including a link to something somewhat like it), and 5 responded quickly that they were still interested.

I selected one and we set up a time for her to come. No show. (I should have cut my losses and gone to the next one.) Being a forgiving and sometimes forgetful type, I contacted her again and asked if she was still interested. She was, and gave her cell number. Who cares? I thought. It's sitting in front of my garage; she can just come get it whenever, and leave the cash in the mailbox, as I'd told her. Well, a little while went by and I started to get anxious, and said she needed to pick it up by noon today, Tuesday.

"No problem!" she responded. Where was I, again? (it was included in my last email to her.) I sent the info yet again. Went home for lunch at 1PM and was dismayed to see it still there. Came out at 2PM and saw it was gone. Hooray! Checked the mailbox. Two grimy $5s in there. Not $20--$10. WTF?

I still had her cell phone # handy, and called her. She says she put 4 $5s in there, no explanation for why there are 2 there now. This is the kind of mailbox you drop stuff into, not reach forward into. No way they could blow away, and she agreed. I told her I felt a bit ripped off, and she said she didn't feel too great, either. And that's it.

I think it bites. Oh, well, at least I don't have that huge thing in my garage still. But fuck! I wanted the $20 back that I had paid. That's all. I should have chosen someone else.

Moral: Listen to your gut. Choose the least flaky sounding person. And give up earlier.


At 3:42 PM, June 27, 2006, Blogger Andrea said...

UGH! what is *with* people?! i don't understand the flakes...if you say you want something and arrange to pick it up, THEN FOLLOW THE EFF THROUGH!

and don't freaking steal, like the asshole across the street who agreed to pay $20 for the papasan we were going to sell at a garage sale. did we ever see the $20? nope...and then he moved! i hate people sometimes.

At 3:43 PM, June 27, 2006, Blogger Jennie said...

Oh, that's awful. I admit, I was afraid of being completely ripped off, too. Ugh.

I can't believe he took it and never paid before he moved. All he had to do was walk across the street and leave the money for you before he left. Jerk.

At 10:34 AM, June 28, 2006, Blogger wen said...

I had someone steal stuff from my garage sale. And most of the stuff there was very inexpensive (pretty new Costco working space heater for $1 etc.) In fact, when people needed things and didn't have the money, T and I *gave* them the stuff.

Someone walked off with all my personalized "dyke" and "alternative" Barbies, though. They were very cool, and a few of the unfixed ones were out of box but collectable. (There was an in-box collectable, too.)

T. saw someone with them and then later, she asked me where they were as someone was interested. I told her I thought she'd sold them to the person I saw walking off with them.


There were a few other things that walked off as well.

At 12:47 PM, June 29, 2006, Blogger Gandksmom said...

I hate feeling as though I have been taken advantage of. Asswipe. Remember, what goes around, comes around. Sounds like she was waiting for you to be gone.

At 10:02 PM, June 30, 2006, Blogger snarfdog said...

Ok, lame advice (might even be called assvice by some) that my parents gave me when I was very young.

If you want something so badly that you feel you have to steal it, tell us and we'll get it for you. The flip side of that was that if someone feels the need to steal from you, then they must need it much more than you.

While it seems kind of backwards, it has helped me think about the poor person who felt they had to do that either out of incredible need or desire, and be glad I was not them.

At 6:25 PM, July 03, 2006, Blogger Wyatt's Mom said...

Interesting snarfdog. I was raised with something similiar, but instead of thinking of the person is just "money" poor, I was raised with the idea that they are also "soul poor" My great grandmother used to say that all the time (southern) She said you could be so far down that you didn't have two nickles to rub together, but if your good in soul, that's all that matters. Stealing, whether rich or poor, and you're a lost soul. Smart woman my Maam'ma was.


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