Sunday, 1 April 2012

Woman who want screw get very cranky when she doesn't get it.

There have been people moving in and out of my apartment block all day.  I haven't really noticed them coming in, but when the vans reverse out of the narrow driveway, their beeping makes them hard to ignore.  I've noticed that trucks are either way too small for the load they're expected to pick up, or inappropriately large for their cargo.

A couple of years ago, I bought a new bed.  The bed frame, head and foot arrived packed flat and had to be assembled.  I was assured by the people in the shop that I would be more than capable of doing it myself, so didn't pay the fee to have someone come and do it for me.  This proved to be a mistake and I spent a night on the couch until one of the men in my life could come and help me.

He arrived and surveyed the scene. The shake of his head was almost imperceptible and I probably wouldn't have noticed if it hadn't been accompanied by a long inhalation and a deep sigh.  We pulled apart what I'd already done and started again.  My hot pink tool kit proved to have all the tools necessary for us to achieve the task.

After a few hours, we finished, but there was a problem.  One of the screws wouldn't screw.  Of course there were no spares and it was a public holiday.  It would be okay to sleep on until I could get a replacement.

The next day I called the retailer and was referred to a warehouse or factory way out the other side of town.  The people answering the telephone seemed to speak mainly Chinese - at least it seemed that I knew more Chinese than they knew English and I don't know very much Chinese! It was quite difficult to convey to them that I needed a replacement screw as soon as possible, let alone provide details of which one in particular.  The conversations were endless, circular and pointless.  At one point they advised that I would have to return the entire bed. That point may have coincided with me losing the plot.

After many conversations with the retailer and the Chinese people in the warehouse, an agreement was reached that a new screw would be delivered the following day at 5pm.

At 6pm an enormous truck pulled into the driveway.  I went down to meet it.  A tiny Chinese man was driving and when he saw me he yelled: "Are you woman who want screw?"

My eyebrows went up.  He may or may not have been aware of what he was offering.  In response I offered the faulty screw on the palm of my hand.

He looked at it and proclaimed that there was nothing wrong with it.  I was back in that place again, trying to explain that the thread on the screw was defective.  At least this time, we were face to face and I was able to mime.  He kept shaking his head and then said that he wanted to see the bed.  This was becoming annoying.  I stood in front of the truck shaking my head until he gave me a replacement.

It all worked fine.

"Thanks for the screw!" I said as I walked back inside.

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