Piano Delivery

Monday, September 26, 2005


The delays are supposed to have been because:

1) The dealer wanted to consolidate a couple of shipments to share costs. This was a one week delay, and it was also the one he warned me about ahead of time, so not a big deal...

(On the other hand, he has never mentioned the other two deliveries again, so I don't know what happened to them.)

2) He had his trucks/drivers making relief deliveries down south after Katrina hit. (It's not an independent delivery company, these are the dealer's trucks and employees.)

So obviously I would have to be a heel to complain about THAT, but it was at least inconsiderate not to let me know what the delivery guys were up to. I spent a boring Saturday waiting around and trying to get somebody on the phone who knew what was going on.

3) The truck got turned around about halfway to my place because of not having some piece of essential paperwork for interstate deliveries. You'd think he would have learned at some point what paperwork was required, but even if it's an honest mistake, he should have let me know what happened before I took the morning off and waited around for a truck that wasn't coming.

4) One of the drivers went AWOL or something like that so the truck never left. (The dealer's assistant said something euphemistic about staffing problems and not-to-worry, that the culprit had been fired.)

This time the delivery was supposed to be Friday night or Saturday morning and I didn't find out what had gone wrong until Monday. Whoever was watching the store over the weekend had no idea what the situation was, and for some reason I kept thinking that if I was stubborn enough calling and waiting, the truck would just materialize in my driveway.

5a) The truck got stopped at a weigh station in Tennessee and ended up having to spend the night outside of Nashville because they didn't have a log book. This was odd, because he actually mentioned the log book to me during excuse #3, and also because he told me earlier that morning that they were in Illinois -- and you don't get to Indiana by driving up to Illinois and then back down to Tennessee and then back up north again.

But this was only supposed to push the delivery back until the next morning, and Nashville is only 5 hours from Bloomington, so I figured it wasn't a huge deal. (Maybe the Illinois thing was just a bad guess at where they would be by that point.)

5b) But then the truck didn't show up the next morning either, and the store's answering machine said that they had closed to let employees get out of the way of hurricane Rita.

So I got the dealer on his cell phone, and he said not-to-worry, that the truck and the piano were going to stay in Nashville until the drivers' families could join them there, and then they would all drive up here together to drop off my piano.

And this is what finally made me start imagining some sort of con, because it doesn't make any sense at all. It is a ridiculous plan! If that's really what the drivers did, they would have had time to drive from Nashville to my house and back three or four times while waiting. (And our call got cut off before I could ask him how to get hold of those guys in Tennessee.)

What seemed more likely to me was that the truck had turned around and that the dealer didn't want to tell me the truth about it because he knew he had already screwed up several times in a row... Human nature, maybe.

So anyway I figure like there's a reasonable chance that I'm the one being a jerk here, what with the hurricanes and all. But it's pretty hard to believe that anybody could have such a string of good intentions and bad luck...