Thursday, August 24, 2006

Stupidnova

Ugh. Every time Tommy Lee leers at one of the female contestants on Rock Star Supernova, I wonder, do they even want this job? Cree-py.

Yesterday I established that I am not yet a true Northwesterner in that I couldn't think of something appropriate to wear to a volcanic, glacial mountain in August. I struggled and settled on a cardigan and my stylish black Value Village jacket. (It's worth noting that I was there as a professional person and wasn't going to be trekking more than a few feet from the car. I'm not totally stupid.)

When I saw the vulcanologist who was driving me, I inwardly slapped my forehead and thought, "Fleece!" I also remembered that last winter I vowed to get one of those Northface-ish jackets, so I better get myself to REI posthaste.

At Target last night, I put the employees to a little customer service test. While trying on sunglasses, I overheard a walkie-talkie buzzing with repeated requests for assistance to various parts of the store. This was followed by an automated voice reminding the crew that there were outstanding requests that needed attending to. For this reason, I decided not to bother asking for help lifting a 5-shelf oak-finish bookcase off the shelf, even though the box warned against injury, had a "Team Lift" sticker on it, and advised employees to call for assistance before attempting to maneuver the box by themselves.

I pushed the long box off the shelf and onto the bottom rack of the shopping cart (where the six-packs usually go). I balanced it horizontally across, making the cart too wide to fit through a standard-sized aisle. I slowly wheeled the thing to the checkout lanes, and made my way to the one cashier whose lane would accommodate me. I overheard another checker say to an old couple, "Would you like some help out to your car?" I thought, "Good, someone will help me with this."

I paid for the bookcase (and sunglasses and impulse-purchased 3-pack of pocket Kleenex) and the cashier said, "Have a nice evening."

I attempted to move the cart through the automatic doors, but misjudged my positioning and got the corner stuck in the doorframe. An employee with a large dolly saw this, and rushed forward to help dislodge the bookcase from the door. Then he said, "Have a nice evening," and allowed me to continue to make my way to my car, unassisted, with a six-foot long box clearly labeled, "Team Lift."

At the car, I slid the box off the lower cart rack, tilted it to its full height, and then leaned it on my back bumper. With the car now supporting the weight of the box (Way to go, team!), I shoved the bookcase into my SUV.

This was quite simple, physically and emotionally, compared to the time I arrived at my Alexandria, Va., apartment to discover there was no elevator and I couldn't carry my TV up three flights of stairs, so I had to grab the first dude I could catch on the stairs. However, once when I removed the box from the shelf and once when I pushed the thing into my car, a finger got compressed under the full weight of the bookcase, and it felt a bit like I'd dropped a scuba tank on it.

Think I'll wait for Rob to get home before I attempt to bring the thing into the house. Although I bet his Herculean mother could carry it with one hand.

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