Today I attempted to put together our crib in anticipation of the twins arriving any day now. However, I ran into a bit of a problem. We recently moved and work paid a company to pack and ship most of our belongings. The individuals assigned to pack our home were completely consumed with getting the most stuff in as little space as possible as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this meant they gave little thought to how much difficulty their errant work would cause us unpacking on the other end. One such oversight/inconvenience involved disassembling furniture and letting the nuts, bolts, etc. ride freestyle and decide for themselves whether to show up on the other end or not. Not being the loyalist of furniture, in the case of the crib this meant I had only seven out of the twelve long bolts required for safe assembly.
Okay, options – I could try to find a local vendor for the obviously custom-made bolts or something compatible (a far shot at best) or I could try to contact the manufacturer and order a replacement set. Fortunately, we had been able to locate the instructions, and I perused them for a website or contact phone number. There was a mailing address in Quebec, but no website, and a 1-800 number listed next to the statement, “In the unlikely event your unit is damaged or you require parts or assembly help, telephone our Customer Assurance Toll Free 1-800-XXX-XXXX.” I was pretty sure the “unlikely event” they referred to was during the original opening of the box, however it was worth a shot to see if I could pay for a few extra bolts. So I called. And the voice answered.
The voice was a recording made by a female who breathed heavily into the receiver before beginning to speak. Either she had just finished sprinting from some far-off place to the answering machine because she was just so gosh-darn excited to tell callers to leave a message after the beep, or I had reached a recording one might expect to find on the other end of a 1-900 number rather than the seemingly innocent 1-800 number I had called to request assistance assembling a piece of infant furniture. As she breathed her next few words, the answer became unmistakably clear. I flushed a deep shade of red and hurriedly mashed the “off” button to terminate the call. My wife and mother happened to be in the room at the time and they both turned their now interested gazes on me as if to inquire why I had so abruptly hung up. I uncomfortably explained that the customer service the nice lady on the other end of the phone had to offer was not likely to get us crib bolts anytime soon.
This awkward moment brought to you by: Thoughtless Packers Inc., Outa Business Crib Co., Phone Number Recyclers R-US and Asian Girls Anonymous.