Monday, August 4, 2014

Curtains, Part Three

In which we meet the maestros. 

In which the maestros attempt to give us what we, in fact, didn't want and didn't intend to take.   

Someone at the curtain store must have talked to someone, because twenty-four hours after the maestro (workman) and his cut-price curtain rails had jingled their way out of my apartment, the curtain store went into full damage-control mode. They were terribly sweet. The bodega (warehouse) sent regular daily updates on the progress of my new curtain rails, and when, six days later, they called me to tell me that all was ready for a proper installation, they turned themselves into pretzel knots making it clear that they were completely and entirely at my disposal. Any time I liked.
            "Monday, for instance." They said. "Would Monday work for you?"
            "Lovely." I said.
            "Between ten-thirty and eleven in the morning?"
            "You will be home, won't you?" They said anxiously. "We're not putting you out?"
            "I'll be there," I said. "Between ten-thirty and eleven."
            "Wonderful." They said. They bowed themselves off the phone and I looked forward to a nice job very well done.
            Accordingly, when the clock ticked round to twelve-thirty on Monday morning with no sign of the curtain people, I found myself feeling moderately miffed, and I called the shop.
            "Yes." The man on the phone said. "We thought we'd drop by around three.  Four at the latest.  Sound good?"
            "You said ten-thirty to eleven!"
            "Well we did say that." He said, as if it were all perfectly reasonable and obvious. "Yes, we did.  Is three o'clock okay, then?"
            "You've got to  give me a heads-up on this sort of thing " I said. "I can't be at home this afternoon.  I've got a dental appointment at three o'clock!"
            "You do?" He cried. "But we have a delivery!"
            "For ten-thirty this morning!"
            The voice on the phone sobered abruptly. "I'm going to have to talk to my manager about this." He said. And he hung up.

"I understand." His boss said portentously, "that there is an issue of a medical appointment."
            "No." I said. "The issue is that you were supposed to deliver my curtain rails this morning. And you didn't."
            "That isn't the issue." He said. "The issue is that we have a delivery to make and you have declined to be home at the hour set."
            "Three and a half hours after you were supposed to be here? I'm happy to be home for you, but you've got to let me know in advance. You told me you were coming this morning, so I made a dental appointment for this afternoon-"
            "Which is when we're delivering-"
            "Which is not what we discussed-"
            "And if you're not there, we can't deliver."
            "Right!" I cried. "Right! Exactly!"
            "Oh." There was a long, thoughtful pause. "In that case, we'd better reschedule for tomorrow."
            "Yes." I said.
            "Tomorrow." He said. "Will you be home tomorrow between ten-thirty and eleven?"

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