Mark and I purchased a crib a few months ago from Sears. My mother has generously sponsored our crib-buying (and other furniture-buying) expenses and we are very grateful. In an effort to save money, I purchased a lower-end crib. I figured, hey, they all have to meet Canadian Safety standards or they wouldn't be allowed in the store, right?
So our crib finally arrived at the Sears store near us in early September. I was so excited. This was the last piece of the nursery puzzle. Well, except for the baby itself, that is.
So I hopped into my car and drove to the store loading docks.
"Was this crib purchased through an on-line catalogue?" the shaggy-haired dude at the loading docks asked.
"Well then you'll have to go upstairs to the Catalogue area of the store."
So I parked the car, found the escalators and went upstairs to the Catalogue area. There, they gave me a piece of paper that confirmed that I had paid and that yes, the crib was for me. And they said, "Now you can go pick up your crib in at the loading docks."
Feeling a wee bit frustrated with the system. I went back down the escalators, drove my car around to the loading area and handed shaggy-haired dude my confirmation slip. He wheeled my crib out to the car and put it in. Sadly though, the door wouldn't close. We tried to shimmy and shake the crib. We tried to squeeze it and adjust it. But the thing was not going to fit. I even considered asking the boy if I drove really slow with the crib on my roof, if he'd run next to me and make sure it didn't fall off.
"I'll be back," I told him.
I went home and phoned my friend Deb who owns a minivan. She would be delighted to help me out, she said.
So in a few hours, she and I were in her minivan, driving to the Sears store again.
Same shaggy-haired dude loaded the crib into the minivan without a problem. He waved good-bye. I mistakenly thought that would be the last I'd see of him.
A few hours later, I was assembling the crib when I noticed that the darn thing was crap! There were paint chips peeling off of the footboard and headboard. Now I'm no expert, but children swallowing paint chips, even if they aren't toxic, seems like a terrible idea.
I phoned Sears and communicated to them my deep dismay in the quality of their product. I reported I'd be returning the item and I wanted credit. I also said there was no way in hell I was putting the pieces back in the box.
Mark and I loaded the parts of the crib into our car, which, luckily, could house all the parts of the crib if they weren't in the box.
I drove back to Sears. Shaggy-haired boy looked at me questioningly. "Crib's crap," I said, "I'm returning it."
"You'll just have to go upstairs to the Children's department for your refund."
"Of course," I said.
I went upstairs. I waited in line. I got my refund.
I went home. I searched on-line for a nicer crib....also from Sears. I purchased it.
The new crib arrived at the Sears store last week. I went to pick it up on Monday. The box would be at least the same size, if not bigger, so I had to ask my neighbour, with her SUV to drive me to the store.
And wouldn't you know it, Shaggy-haired dude was working again. He looked at me with recognition as I approached the desk.
"You'll have to go up to the Catalogue area..."
"You're KIDDING me," I exclaimed. I'd forgotten this part. Brenda was waiting at the sidewalk with her hatch open.
I raced to the escalators, found the Catalogue area again and got my stupid confirmation slip.
I returned downstairs. They loaded my new and improved crib into Brenda's SUV. We took it home.
We unloaded it from the car. I settled in for an evening of crib assembly.
And wouldn't you know it?
There's a piece missing.