Design in time for New Years: Part III “Magic carpet ride”


With the kitchen started I could focus on the carpet install. The “big day” finally arrived early on a Tuesday morning, with me up a lot earlier than the scheduled 9:00 am appt so that I could to drive Miss Daisy over to her girlfriend Adele’s for a “play-date”.

I have to say, I was very impressed that mom left without a complaint or a snide remark, honoring my request that she leave for the day so that I could work on a “surprise” here at home. For the week prior to “the day” she didn’t even try to ask for a hint or as to what the surprise may be either.

During the days leading up to the install there was a crazy amount of prep work to be done. Part of the cash “bargain” that I struck with the carpet salesman was that I would make sure that every surface was clear so that the installers wouldn’t have to pack anything or be responsible for breaking anything as they moved the furniture.

So I had to box up everything that was “sitting” on a surface, including all knick-knacks, books, pictures, vases, teddy bears, trinkets, collectibles, paperwork, clocks, remotes. Everything had to be removed, every surface had to be clear and that was a tall order.

A “Ty-Tip”: If you’re moving or need good heavyweight boxes for storage or any other reason, head to your neighborhood Target and ask a sales clerk if you can come back into the store-room with then to retrieve boxes that they have slated for recycling.

Their boxes are not broken down like most stores, they are folded and packed neatly for recycling, clean and ready to use. This alone is a savings of about $12.00(per) for a similarly sized box from FedEx or Staples.

I got about 30 boxes, took them home and spent the week packing up everything on every surface in the condo, starting with things that were merely decorative, saving the things (like alarm clocks and remote controls) until the morning of the install as to not interrupt Miss Cathy’s daily life.

Like most of the work that I’d done and would continue to do, I worked when Miss Cathy was napping or asleep for the night. So, as she slept I packed away her bric and brac, carefully wrapping things I much rather throw away, mindful that “One man’s trash is another’s treasure’ and in this case it was mostly treasure from an island I’d never heard of or care to visit.

But, four days (nights) later I had 99% of every surface clear, clean and ready to move without the threat of something sliding off and breaking.

Waiting for the carpet guys that Tuesday morning I felt like it was Christmas and Santa was going to be pulling up in front of the condo with a sleigh full of presents instead of a truck with strangers hauling padding and carpet-it must be what another “Ty” (Pennington) feels like during an “Extreme Makeover” (although, this wasn’t nearly that bad or drastic a change but in my mind it comes pretty close).

Since it was getting close to 9:00 am I started to move some of the furniture myself, all the more to help them get “in” and “out”. I’d rather help people I hire than stand over them and hover like some upper class matron in pearls and a chignon, following them around reminding them to be careful of her things because “they were worth more than they’d make in their lifetime”.

At 9:30 am no carpet installers so I called and was told that the “guys” had left the warehouse and would arrive soon. After several more calls and a lurking suspicion that I had been ripped of for the$500.00 cash deposit that I gave the salesman I started a calm “panic” (that’s when you’re screaming on the inside but outwardly you appear to be in control-kinda like the look of someone who’s just about to go “postal”).

I beat myself up for being too cheap to sign up for “Angie’s List” (did you know that Angie charges a monthly fee to give you a thumb’s up on trades people?). Nor did I get around to calling the Better Business Bureau like the responsible person that I’d like to think that I am. No, I “trusted” the carpet salesman-a stranger, someone who just came to the condo after I called from an ad in the “PennySaver” and I handed him five hundred dollars cash. Hell, anybody could run an ad, get a business card made up and steal a carpet sample board from someplace-can’t they?

While I stood in the window, less like a kid at Christmas and more like a con-man’s “mark”, I was kicking myself and wondering how I was going to get my money back-if I could ever track down this “carpet” salesman. And what a waste it was to pack up thirty boxes of stuff just to put it all back onto the surfaces of furniture that was going to remain on the nasty carpet I’d grown to despise.

The truck finally pulled up at 11:00 am.

The lead installer, Jose walked in with a grin on his face ready to work, in that moment I had a choice-to let it go and get to work or be a bitch and rail at him for keeping me waiting…. I did both, I let him in to start the work and then I called his boss, the “salesman” and read him the riot act and let him bitch at his employee later when he came by to check on the job.

The carpet company sent two guys, Jose and another young man whose name I never did get. Other than being late and unapologetic they got right to work, they were hard-working, fast and professional. I was impressed with how they were able to navigate moving the furniture-big and old as it was so that they could work.

It was going to be a very long day.

Next week: Design in time for New Years Part IV: “Magic carpet ride” cont’d

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