Monday, July 8, 2013

Appreciating the Little [or Big] Things

Saturday a week ago, Home Depot was supposed to deliver a refrigerator to my condo.  I've never had problems with deliveries at my condo. So I didn't think anything about it and went ahead and gave my old refrigerator to a friend on that Friday before, figuring I could live for one day without refrigeration. [There's a grocery store right across the street, and I have a big cooler.]

Saturday afternoon comes, and everything is going great. The delivery guys called a half an hour before and were on time. But when they got there, this driver -- I got the impression the real problem was that he already had a bunch of tickets -- wouldn't park in front of the building because there's a no-parking sign there.  Now, this is Seattle, and like any big city, there's lots of signs that mean little or nothing for delivery drivers.  Some of the UPS guys just stop in a lane, double-park, whatever.  Same with FedEx, USPS, etc... But this guy wouldn't budge. No, we can't park in a no-parking zone [even though he was parked there in a no-parking zone arguing with me about it for more time than it would have taken them to unload the refrigerator and be gone].  He also would not consider any other solutions, like unloading and then moving the truck to a real parking spot.  He even wouldn't budge when I told him that he would be leaving me with no refrigerator.  And the Customer Service person was nice, but totally useless.  Sorry, there's nothing we can do about it.  To which I responded refund my money and cancel my order.

The problem is that I had to order another refrigerator, and to get the one I wanted [because of sizing, condos aren't the easiest places to buy appliances for], I would have to wait two weeks.

Today is day nine with no refrigeration.  Fortunately, a friend took all my condiments and cheese and stuff like that and is storing it in her refrigerator, because replacing all that stuff would be really pricey.  All the stuff in the freezer, I gave away or threw away. Damn you, Home Depot.

The lesson I've learned [no, not the one about never shopping at Home Depot again, which I did learn the hard way] is that we have so many things that we depend on and never think about how much we use/need them until they're gone. Heat, running water, hot water... refrigeration. [Most Seattlites don't have air conditioning, but in the Southern states, that's a big deal.]  But you know what I miss most, no-refrigerator wise, is ice.  I eat out a lot, so it hasn't been a huge issue in regards to food, but I don't like drinking warm drinks.  I miss ice.  Ice water, ice tea, martinis [which should be served icy cold]... the list goes on and on.

And how far does our dependence spread, when you really start to think about it?  Most humans, at least all of the ones I know, have a very cushy life when examined closely.  Yes, we bitch about work and the weather and the price of gas and so on, but we don't have to haul water or wash our clothes in a stream or grow our own vegetables. We don't have to hunt/slaughter animals for protein. We don't have to make our own wine or bathtub gin.  We don't even have to type term papers on a manual typewriter anymore [one of the banes of my college years].  Yes, some people do many of those things.

But the key words are don't have to.

Even my quilts are pieced using a rotary cutter and a sewing machine; the quilting itself is done by someone I pay who has a long-arm quilting machine.  Oh, and BTW, the cat quilt is finally finished. See. With everything I try to do, the five-bazillion projects I have going at the same time, it took me nearly ten years to finish it.  No, that wasn't working on it every day or even every year.  That was the time span from start to finish.  Imagine how long it would have taken if I'd had to sew and quilt the whole thing by hand.

Sorry that this blog post had nothing to do with writing, but I felt compelled to send this message, that we should all be cognizant of how easy our lives are, at least appliance wise.  Yes, we whine and moan and bitch about how hard things are, but think about what your life would be like... if you didn't have a refrigerator. 

With that said, I'm going to a restaurant and get some dinner.


  1. I applaud your willingness to take a principled stand against really poor customer service, despite the additional inconvenience to you. Many people, possibly myself included, would have taken delivery at a later time, with a different driver, rather than telling Home Depot to "stuff your fridge".

    Since you have been 9 days without, an alternate suggestion is probably too late. But we also keep a mini-fridge with a tiny freezer compartment in the laundry room, mostly for bottled goods. They can be obtained fairly cheaply at a good local warehouse store. ;)

    Cheers - Ken

  2. Ken, no I don't have a little fridge. I have so little space in this condo [my laundry room is a closet with stacking washer/dryer], there's no room for one. And I thought it a waste of money to buy one and then give it to Goodwill for just two weeks.

    But thanks for the good thoughts!!