Since I started working from home 2 1/2 years ago, I spend most of my time right here. That is good with me, because honestly, there is no where on earth I'd rather be. My husband and daughter tease me because when I do go out to a store or something I walk around with wide eyes, entranced by all the STUFF! I tease them right back by muttering, "The colors! THE COLORS!" and acting like I have been living on a desert island or something. I also find that after being out for a bit, having a perfectly marvelous time, I rather suddenly hit a saturation point with all the noise and people and stuff and say, "OK! I'm done. Let's go home."
I recently had an experience which made me remember just why it is that I prefer to be home. Sometimes going "out in the world," (which I call any foray away from here) is just downright annoying. For my birthday, sweet husband Chris gave me an envelope stuffed full of cash. I have been wanting new garage doors, well, ever since we moved here. Ours are old, tired looking, outdated and broken. Our garage is a very nice structure, but those shabby old doors make the whole place look unloved. The envelope full of cash was carefully saved and measured out to buy me lovely, new, carriage house style doors like this:
He had gotten the idea to surprise me with this generous gift when he was in a big box hardware store (I won't mention any names, but it's not the one known for it's orange color scheme,) and noticed that they were having a sale on garage doors. After a chat with the salesman about exactly what kind of doors we wanted, he took his written estimate and saved up the money to let me order my hearts desire. Then on my birthday he gave me the cash, the print out of the estimate, and squired me off to the closest of the chain of stores so we could order the new portals. I was pretty darn excited.
We got to the store and talked to a nice man in the garage door and more department. He couldn't find the estimate that the man at the other store did at the other chain. We showed him the print out and he scoffed. It was all wrong. The guy at the first store had under-quoted by about $600. Blunder #1.
We bit the bullet, massaged our budget, and went forward. We paid to have someone come out and see our site to make sure the measurements and all were correct. They said someone would call us to set up a visit with the week. Three weeks later no one had called. Oversight #2. We called and the nice guy said, "Oops. We sent the request to the wrong department."
The site inspector was scheduled to arrive at 8:00 AM one weekday. This is a bit early for me, because I have a husband to cook breakfast and pack a lunch for, chickens and ducks and rabbits to feed and water, goats and a donkey and a horse to feed and water, baby goats to bottle feed and mama goats to milk. There are cookies to bake for the grooming customers of the day, too. Oh, and a bouncy dog to throw a toy for a thousand times so he is nice and tired. My mornings are not relaxing. At 7:30 that morning I was poised to run upstairs, take a very, VERY fast shower and get dressed so I'd be ready for the guy at 8. Just then he pulled up. I was covered in hay and milk and looking like a very scary person. It was embarrassing. Snafu #3.
They man was very nice, seemed to be nonplussed by my terrifying appearance, and was altogether professional. He sent his information to the big box store, and after 10 days or so they contacted us and told us that the estimate would be more than anticipated because we would need new rails and motors for the doors. More budget massaging ensued.
Today was my day off. I gathered up the cash for the purchase and headed to the store. When I got to the garage doors and more department, the same nice man that had waited on us before was there, talking to another customer. I waited patiently. After a bit he asked, "Can I help you?" I said, "I am here to finalize my garage door order." He spoke to the customer he was helping. The man said, "I'm not done, but I've taken a lot of your time and I'll wait."
The door guy came and punched my information into the computer. "This estimate doesn't include the motorized openers." I replied, "I believe it does." He rolled his eyes a little, "No. No. It doesn't." I sighed. Recalculating.
He punched my information into the computer. Over and over and OVER again. He was unable to add the additional information for the installation. I waited patiently. The other customer waited patiently. The poor door guy began to sweat and mutter. He called his co-worker. "Are you in the building?" He explained his problem. Then he turned to me and said, "I'm sorry. I can't make this work. You will have to come back." I'm a patient woman. I work with animals. My niece calls me, "Epically Patient Aunt Daryl, ( EPAD for short.) I was feeling impatient. I explained to him that it was my day off. That I had come into town for this express purpose. That I had cash to pay for the doors and installation. He shrugged. "Sorry," and turned to the other customer.
As I walked away, I thought, "This is silly. Surely there is a manager that can help with the computer issue." So I went to the customer service desk. A very young man was unoccupied at the first register. I told him my plight. He looked vexed, and would not meet my gaze. His eyes stared at some spot over my head. An older woman next to him was on the phone, multi tasking. "I can help," she said to him. He sighed in relief. When she was done on the phone she said to me, "It's his first week." I understood, and relayed my story to the woman. "Who did you speak to?" she asked. "Gerry," I said. "He was very nice, but was having problems with the computer. I wonder if a manager could help?" She called a manager. "He'll be along. Can you shop a little?" I gave her my cell phone number and immersed myself in the garden department. I waited a while. When I returned, the woman who helped me was no where to be seen. The young guy refused to meet my gaze. I waited. I waited some more. A young woman asked, "Are you here about the garage doors?" I said I was, "The computer is down," she said.
I decided at that moment that I needed ice cream. Good thing Dorman's ice cream shoppe was across the street. Surely some peppermint stick would lower my blood pressure.
I had a scoop. With hot fudge. And whipped cream. Perhaps a few nuts. And a cherry.
While I was out in the world I visited a friend, and ran an errand. Then there was a message on my phone from the store. "I had a brain blink. Come on back and buy your doors." So, no computer failure after all? Hmm.
I called my husband. "Talk me down. I should just go back and pay for the doors, right?" He surprised me said, "I'd advise otherwise." It was 4:48. I called a small local garage door store and explained my plight. He gave me a quote for the same doors and hardware for $400 less in two minutes.
I went straight home and bottle fed the goat kids. I hauled hay, threw a ball for Bravo, brushed the horse and donkey, fed the chickens. I cooked supper. It was good to be home, with no nonsense. Being out in the world makes me grumpy sometimes.