Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Nice Man

Part of living downtown is that you don’t own a car and I’m fine with that. Very fine, as a matter of fact.

I had a car when I first moved downtown. It sat in the Very Expensive parking garage, virtually unused. The couple of times I did use it, I regretted it. Parking was difficult to find, I’d be stuck in traffic watching the train full of happy passenger whiz by, and I’d return to the Very Expensive parking garage awfully frazzled.

The car got sold and that was almost three years ago. Since then, I’ve no car payments, auto insurance to purchase, Very Expensive parking garage payments, none of that.

That’s why I don’t mind paying “shipping and handling” fees when I order things online, which is a lot. I just compare those fees to the cost of owning and parking a car, and it makes them quite palatable.

Most recently, I bought a new dining room table and chairs which arrived yesterday. (Yay! New stuff!) Shipping was fifty bucks. Fine.

In my apartment building, we have a nice service that accepts our packages and holds them for us. They just put a little notice in our mailbox and we go pick up our packages from the Nice Man who runs the pick-up window in the building.

My very heavy dining room table was there in a big box measuring 4’ x 4’. Normally, the Nice Man has a dolly or a hotel cart with which we can transport such things to our apartments. However, he informed me that someone had taken the dolly and never returned it. The box wouldn’t fit on the hotel cart.

I picked up the big box (which was awfully heavy) and said I’d just try to carry it myself.

“You can’t carry that!” said the Nice Man.

He was probably genuinely worried about my safety in carrying such a heavy object. However, I interpreted his response as, “You can’t have your dining room table which you paid for and that’s your only option.”

I snapped at the Nice Man, “Well, I’m not going to leave it here!”

As I shoved the big box across the lobby, I felt really bad for snapping at the Nice Man. He really is very nice and is always there, Monday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (2:00 to 5:00 pm on Saturdays) faithfully accepting and distributing our packages with a smile. And I snapped at him like a feral tabby cat. Reeeerrr!

After I unloaded the table (and caught my breath) I returned for the chairs which were in smaller, more manageable boxes. The Nice Man had provided a little cart by the time I had returned. With a big smile and a ‘thank you’ I promised I’d bring it right back. Which I did.

I’m expecting the following items within the next few days:

1. Knife sharpener and other sundries from Walgreens
2. Another biography of Mary Todd Lincoln
3. Five bottles of wine from Texas (to have on hand as hostess gifts)
4. New set of dishes
5. Another dorky sweater-vest

I should buy the Nice Man a gift certificate or something. After all, every time I want anything, I punch a few buttons on the computer and he makes sure that I receive it.

Isn't that nice?


At 3:20 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

I want pix of the new table!


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