The Price of Free

So I’m making a desk for my office here at the casa. Two hollow-core doors (it’s a delightfully massive desk) supported by short bookshelves at either end. I have two doors for the desk, therefore I need four bookshelves.

The other day, my mom passed along a brochure for bookcases that Office Depot sells. Interestingly, they’re very similar to cabinets that I saw at Lowe’s, complete with a dark cherry stain and the same height — but for less than half the price. Score.

Two nights ago, I excitedly ordered them online, and was even more excited that I saw shipping was free.

(Bonus points for me because I found an additional discount code online for more cashola off the total price. Woo!)

I have some gorgeous uber-plush carpeting in the office, so in preparation for the proper office chair I’ll also be buying soon, I decided to add a chair mat to my order.

Recap: four short bookshelves, and one large chair mat. Four + one = five items. Whee.

Beyond being excited for the shipping, I was nothing short of elated to see that the expected delivery date was today. Awesome! A weekend project (bookshelf assembly).

I rolled in the driveway tonight, and passed the front walk without even giving a glance to the front porch. So I came inside, opened up the front door expecting to see the goods, and…


I hopped online to track my order, and it said that all five of my pieces were loaded onto the delivery truck at 2-something this morning (yawn). OK, groovy.

At 7:45am, it said the truck was out for delivery with those same five pieces.

Then at 10:42am, some dude named Marcos apparently signed for my loot, but only for four pieces.


My luck.

I called the assistance number and was connected to a soft-spoken woman named Glen. I explained that not only do I not know anybody named Marcos, I didn’t have any roommates who would be masquerading as him, nor was there anyone on my street by that name. She kept apologizing for the inconvenience, and I kept telling her that it wasn’t her fault unless she was driving the truck or passing herself off as a dude. I also asked her what happened to the fifth item which was clearly in some sort of funky office-supply-warehouse limbo, and she was stumped. Rumor has it they outsource their deliveries to a third-party company called Dynamex (clearly lacking any sort of dynamic element).

She explained that Office Depot would conduct an investigation (my second of the year, the first one being a background check for my current gig) to see where the stuff really ended up, and that someone would call me within the first four business hours tomorrow morning with an update.

(Such a precise deadline for a delivery company which lacked said precision.)

End of the day, not a big deal. Not life-threatening, and the lack of loot isn’t going to break my week. But…sheesh. Bummer.

The moral of the story is that nothing in life is truly ever free. In this case, the price I paid was some minor frustration and about 10 minutes spent talking to Glen. It was a small price to pay, but it was a price all the same.

That said, tonight I am thankful for patient Glen who kindly took my information, and who explained what to expect over the course of tomorrow and next week. While an investigation into my purchase which was nabbed by the greedy hands of Marcos isn’t necessarily what I was hoping for this weekend, I’m thankful for people who kindly take on such tasks as their job, and for those whose investigative powers will hopefully result in the goods finding their way to my casa before too long.

Fingers crossed.

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