18 April 2008

It's not easy to give away a couch these days (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Couch Burning)

So I gave away my couch on craigslist because we got a new one (also from craigslist - it's smaller and less covered in dog foot prints/drool/mystery). Not only did I offer to give away my couch (it's actually a nice couch, just too big for our place after moving some things around) but of offered a free beer (or two if a friend helped)! And not crap, Stella!

For this I was cursed at and derided - but it was mostly funny.

I got 12 separate offers to pick the couch up and told them all "it's first come, first served" as I had the new couch sitting on its side in the middle of the living room (i.e., time was 'of the essense'). Hey, I'm not selling something here, just trying to get it out of the house in a better way than leaving it on the street).

I told everyone to call me around 5:30 if they could pick it up at 6pm after I got back from work. One guy calls at noon (clearly not big on reading the email I sent, but who cares, seems reasonable). Tell him to call back around 5:30 if he can be there with a friend at 6:00 to remove the couch (hey, I'm lazy and don't want to have to move another couch - I've already gotten the new one onto my car then into my house alone).

So the guy (I think it's the same guy - it's certainly from a 415 number) calls back around 5:00 to ask for directions (no google maps? guess not) which I give in great detail as his phone cuts out every 45 seconds so it takes 5 separate calls. He calls again about 5:30 - lost; "I'm at X st. and Y ave, how do I get there?" New directions. Another call 10 minutes later - lost then lost connection "Okay, now I'm at A st. and B ave. Another call 5 minutes later - lost, need new directions. Another call, and another, and another; he just drove down the wrong street. He's getting close though.

At this point I guess someone else with a 415 number called from literally one block away from the last location of the original caller, again, very close to my place. He says, "Okay, I'm at R St. and S. Ave, I know I'm close, how do I get there?" So I give the last set of directions and this guy gets out with his friend and they come in to take the couch (even turn down the free beer because, this is rich, "we've already kinda got our drink on" ... classy, but, hey, who cares?).

As these guys lift the couch, the phone rings ... another 415 number? WTF?
"Hello?"
"Okay, I still can't find it, I'm at (your neighbor's house), how do I get there?"
"Dude, sorry, there's been a miscommunication - I thought I was giving you directions but I also gave them to another set of people. This is my fault, but they did get here first and I have told everyone that it's first come first serve so I gotta let them take it. Sorry, you can still have the bee ... "
"What?!? You fucker. [hangs up]"
[Tires screech in the background]

Two minutes later, this guy finally finds my house and is irate, I get it, he's frustrated at continuing to get lost (which he had kept saying was his own fault). He gets out of the car and is staring down by neighbor ... wow. I call him over and tell him I'm sorry and I'm at fault.

"You stood me up!"
"Sorry, man, this was my fault, sorry"
"You stood me UP!"
"Listen, it was my ..."
[guy jumps in truck and tires screech away]

My landlord, who's standing next to me the whole time, laughed "well, I guess he's not the kinda guy you want to give a couch to any way."
His wife, a supremely forgiving woman, worries aloud, "don't we have a couch we could give him?"

The lesson from all this:
(1) Don't burn your couch, but try to understand others who do it, they're not crazy or all bad, they're just avoiding a-holes.
(2) My landlords are awesome.

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