Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Crazy Times and New Furniture

I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve posted, yet it’s really only been a week and a half. I’ve been consumed with many things. First, my place of work had a major construction project going on. We had to stop all operations for two weeks, one of which we were not allowed to be in the building (though we did get a “free” vacation out of the deal). The other week involved moving tons of equipment and shelving, which I was directly involved with. So I got some overtime, which is great for the money (I’m that much closer to buying my Malden), but not so great in that I lost time to myself. Second, my best friend’s wedding is coming up in a few weeks, so I’ve been busy with plans for a bachelorette day, dress alterations and details on the big day itself. Third, my husband and I are doing some updates in the house, so we’ve been meeting with the painter, buying furniture, rearranging some of what we already have and purging some items we no longer want.

We went to several furniture stores before we bought something. This is the first time we’ve shopped anywhere but Ikea for our furniture (most of what we currently have is from there – leftovers from apartment living – or is a hand-me-down from someone else). I am not the type of person who likes to shop, let alone to visit hundreds of places before making a purchase. If I see something I like and the price is right, I buy it. To me, it doesn’t pay to shop around for the best deal when you have to go from place to place to place – the amount you end up saving is the amount you end up spending in time and/or money searching for it in the first place. So I was little reluctant to go to so many stores, especially when we had already found something we liked at Ashley Furniture. But it paid off, in more ways than one.

To tell the end of the story first, we found a couch that we liked better than the one we originally chose. But that was just icing on the cake. Some of the furniture stores by us are more like warehouses – so many items stuffed into a huge box store; nothing organized; you can walk around for hours and still not see the entire store, let alone an employee (unless they’re trying too hard to make a sale and won’t leave you alone); and everything is jumbled together, so you’re forced to walk through bedroom items when you’re only looking for a couch.

So imagine my surprise when we walked into Raymour and Flanigan and found the perfect couch right at the front of the store – on sale too! But we decided to walk around anyway to see other options. The store was so organized – like furniture together (couches with living room items while bedroom items were upstairs, a place where we didn’t need to waste time). It was just so much easier to get around the store, everything laid out in a particular way, leaving ample room to walk and wander, looking more like a store than a dark, dumpy warehouse.

Eventually a sales rep asked if we needed help. So we talked to the guy, got some information. But my husband, being my husband, wanted to check out another store before officially deciding to buy the couch we both saw and loved. (I would rather not have spent the time but marriage is about compromise, right?) Before we left, I looked around at all of the sales reps – my eyes widened. Leaning in to my husband I said, “All of the sales people are holding little black portfolios. They look like planners. I LOVE this place! We need to buy the couch here.” Of course he laughed at me.

On to the other store we went.

Needless to say, we didn’t find anything better than the couch at R&F, so back we went. We ended up with a new sales rep who was carrying one of those little black portfolios. When she put it down on the table to discuss pricing with us, I noticed that indeed it was a planner – a DayTimer planner, to be exact. (I checked to see if the website offers this exact model, but they do not. It was one you would have found at Office Max or Staples about a year or so ago.) I don’t know whether or not she had calendar pages in there. I can tell you that she had a plastic sheet (much like the Filofax credit card holder) with pictures of (I assume) her children. She also had tons of tiny scrap paper, a calculator, a small tape measure, and other items stuffed into the front pocket. This thing had been around the block, used very well. When going over pricing, she pulled out her paycheck and started writing figures on its envelope. And all I could think as she was doing this was If they use planners, why don’t they put blank note paper in there so they don’t have to use random scraps for customers? Then she could hand the paper over to the customers, rather than using her own pay check envelope. But I held my tongue.

After all was said and done and we were on our way out having purchased a new couch, I said to my husband, “See? I told you they were planners. Hers was a DayTimer.”

His response (while shaking his head): “Of course you would know that.”

One thing’s for sure – if I ever decide to go into furniture sales, R&F would the first place I’d beg for a job.

7 comments:

  1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who goes around spying other peoples planners and notebooks!

    I bet you were itching to take her planner, open it up, pull it apart and reorganise it for her!!!!

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  2. Of course, I was! I didn't think it would be appropriate however. One of these days, I just might have to confront someone about their planner though...

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  3. You should be commended for your restraint! If I noticed that all the salespeople carried planners, I would have made a comment (or, you know, bombarded the sales rep with a thousand questions).

    Sounds like life is pretty busy now. Hope your Filofaxes are helping things run smoothly.

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  4. Ha HA! A Day Timer eh??!! Well played R&F...well played :D

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  5. I don't know if they all carried DayTimers, or even planners - possibly some were just portfolio pads. But still!

    m. ng - I maybe would have asked, but we were running late and had somewhere to be, so it would have been a big time issue - because I wouldn't be able to stop with just one question. =)

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  6. While using and "wearing" a Planner sounds very professional, the fact that she didn't have blank notepaper at hand sounds very unprofessional to me! How shameful to have to write a calculation on the back of your private envelop. If I were in her shoes, I'd never in a million years dare to do that!

    Talking about planners "looking professional": my DH went to a business meeting yesterday and for the first time ever he brought his black Pocket Piazza. I asked him why, since he still hasn't taken the time or effort to even enter his name! Says he: because it looks professional to have a fat filofax with you (and fat it is: he carries both 2010 and 2011 pages).
    On the bright side: I got his go-ahead to copy his work schedule and all client data into his little Filo. Makes the misses' happy ... LOL

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  7. Jotje - I agree about the lack of paper. How hard is it? And with DT, you can buy the paper in many stores. Shame on her. ;)

    Yay for the hubby's new Filo! Would he let you post pictures of it?

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