Saturday, July 29, 2006

Not a Bowl of Cherries

Wild swamp blackberries

Reading this blog, one might think that this New Jersey kitchen remodel has all been a piece of cake. And comparatively speaking, it has been. Compared to the forced remodel-from-hell in Minnesota, this one has been a dream. So far. Knock on wood. Shhh.

So far the disappointments have been few. The first one came with the arrival of the farm sink. Remember the sink from eBay I raved about? Well, yes, it was a steal on sale for $555. I had a funny feeling, though, not long after I bought it. First of all, I had problems paying for the darn thing. With half a grand at stake, I wasn’t settling for Paypal protection… I wanted bona fide Mastercard protection in the unlikely event I might be scammed somehow on this transaction. But, Paypal wouldn’t allow me to use my Mastercard unless I first had a zero balance in my Paypal account. So I had to empty my Paypal account of cash. And change all my current preferences. Which sent up all kinds of alarms at Paypal, and they kept sending me messages telling me something suspicious was happening with my account. Yes, I know. I’m the one doing the suspicious stuff. But thanks for your concern. So it took me about 24 hours to pay. I think that’s the longest I’ve ever waited before sending payment on an eBay purchase. I typically pay within minutes.

After payment, I usually get a response from the seller regarding shipping details. Instead I got an email from eBay warning me that the seller had “requested personal information” about me. Weird, but okay. They just wanted to verify my already Paypal-verified address, I suppose. Making sure the person who paid them $555 was the same person who actually purchased the sink. Dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s. Good.

But still I had this little nagging worry in the back of my head. Enough to make me pester the seller with emails about shipping ("has it shipped yet?" "when was it shipped?" “can you give me a date? ETA?”) and tracking ("do you have a tracking number for me?" "that tracking number doesn't seem to be working" "WHAT carrier was that again? I've never heard of it"). And when I finally figured out the obscure tracking, it told me the sink had been delivered. Yesterday. It didn’t list an address. Just my town. I’ve tracked tons of packages. I know how it works, and this didn’t sound right. Shipping companies don't list my town as the holding facility for packages en route. The big town up north of me that starts with a P is the town always listed.

Now, I knew that I did not have said sink in my possession. It wasn’t even hiding under the deck like the pine flooring that came from Maryland (another story). I had seen a UPS truck parked at the house across the street yesterday. My neighbors are still in France. Perhaps their immigrant servants took delivery, unawares. Was my sink on their front porch? So, I emailed the seller again, asking what the tracking meant. He said, no, it’s just been delivered to the town and is waiting to be delivered to the house. Well, that’s odd. My town center consists of about 4 tiny historic houses, an old-fashioned fire station, 2 big churches and 2 big ponds. There is certainly not any UPS delivery warehouse hiding out among them. But, I sat on my hands and waited another day.

The sink arrived next morning while I was out buying sample paint. Naturally, I couldn't wait to open it. Only I did wait because the oversize package was so darn heavy I couldn't even shift it from where it stood on end, teetering at the edge of the porch steps, where it had apparently been unceremoniously dumped by the mysterious UPS-not-really-UPS delivery man. With a package measuring about 4' long x 3' wide x 2' deep, I had to wonder... Was this a kitchen sink or a bathtub?

When DH got home we began the daunting task of unpacking a box sealed within a bag glued inside another box filled with that hard, yellow foam-type insulation that comes out of an aerosol can. It was a bit like an archeological dig, opening that package. And when we finally lifted the prize from its foam grave, before we even opened the inner box, we heard an ominous "clink." Not good.
Despite all the ingenious packing, the whole front corner of the sink was cracked off all the way through the bottom to the drainhole.

The good news is the seller was extremely accommodating, and offered to send a new sink at once. I counter-offered to drive in to Brooklyn and pick it up myself. They assured me that wasn’t necessary. I had to agree. What are the odds a second sink would also arrive damaged? Indeed, the replacement arrived lightning fast and seems to be in perfect condition. So far. Shhh.

I don't have everything yet, but I do have the kitchen sink. Two of them, in fact.

Now, about that paint job.... argh.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the story of the Minnesota remodel-from-hell? Did you just remodel another kitchen as well?

8/30/2006 5:09 PM  

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