Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sight Unseen

The tile arrived yesterday, wrapped up tight in cellophane after its long trip from Phoenix. I got the call from the truck driver around noon, and he was the friendliest-sounding guy you can imagine, like he wanted to be my best friend forever, like he felt privileged to be able to come to my home and meet me in person.

It was one of those huge vans. As I went out, my new friend was lowering the pallet on a hydraulic lift. Oh gosh, he seemed to say, I'm so glad I'm here. When he got the tile on the ground I stopped him and said that I just needed to inspect the tiles.

OK, after talking with the tile company I knew there was a good chance that the delivery person would not allow this. And, sure enough, my new truck buddy said. "Oh, you're not going to like this, but I can't let you open this before signing for it." He went on to explain that I was free to inspect the boxes from the outside, which he said were as pristine and beautiful as any he had ever delivered. And anyway, his hands were tied, he said almost crying, since it was company policy, and he was just doing his job. If I wouldn't sign, he'd have to send it back.

"Alright," I said, "send it back. I can't accept it without taking a look."

"I completely understand," he said, fighting back some tears. He started up the hydraulic lift, then began pushing the pallet back into the truck, and I knew he wasn't bluffing. And I knew I wasn't about to let that knucklehead drive away with my tile. After all, the boxes did look fine. And who knows if I would ever get them back?

So I had him push all of it into the garage, and I signed the paperwork, but not without a few cuss words, which I'm afraid wounded him deeply. Fortunately the tiles look OK. And the new sink is cute.

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