Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saga of the Klik Klak

When I moved 12 years ago, I bought quite a bit of new furniture, but couldn't afford a new sofa. And even if I could, very few styles appealed to me. So I moved my battered, 1940's era sofa, a second-hand purchase, into my new house and made do.

Over the years, it became even more battered, as three cats used it for a scratching post, and eventually it stayed covered year-round with sheets or quilts and one very ugly slipcover.

It's one good point was that it was very comfortable to nap on, and I could sit on it with all three cats without too much fighting. But it had outlived it's life expectancy years ago.

These days, I still can't afford a new sofa. Not a very fancy one, anyway. And I'm still having trouble finding something I like. And most of the furniture these days is still big, for those big new houses with gymnasium-sized living rooms. Not for my 1950's Cape Cod.

A few years back, I started reminiscing, remembering a sofa (we called it davenport) that we had in the 60's. It was a convertible sofa, meaning you lifted up the front, and then the back folded down, and it became a bed. And there was a storage cabinet underneath. Now, you might be thinking, yeah, a futon, but no, this was upholstered furniture. not a frame and mattress. And it had arms. If you were a tall visiting relative, you had to sleep diagonally so as to avoid the arms. In those days, I loved it, and it was fun. We played on it, slept on it, and I think we even tried to hide a kid or two in the storage underneath. Eventually, it gave way, and we got rid of it, but the memory lingered.

Fast forward to the present. I realized that in my small house, storage is a premium item. I started remembering that sofa, and thinking how clever, and why don't they make something like that today. Then I saw one on "Mission Organization" one day, and the hunt was on. I surfed the web relentlessly, and found a handful of sofas, but either they were mail orider only, or located in Canada, or still too expensive. Then last year, I found the Klik Klak brand, and there were even some in a furniture store about an hour away. This was exactly what I wanted, and I loved the name. Klik Klak! That's the sound it makes when you flip it up and down. How cute!

In July, I was looking through the local Shopko store flyer, and lo-and-behold, they had Klik Klaks! On sale! Four styles! I went right to the store that night, and yes, they had the model I wanted, with arms, upholstered, with storage, all good! Except....out of stock. I got a rain check, and was told I should check back in a week.

Week One: - No Klik Klaks yet. None at any area store. Call again.
Week Two: - Still no Klik Klaks. Another ad comes out; now they're even cheaper. I get a new raincheck.
Week Three: I'm calling twice a week now, because they get trucks in twice a week. But no Klik Klaks, nowhere. Another ad comes out, and now my model Klik Klak is a half page ad, still on sale.

Week Four: I'm calling every store in the area twice a week. Still no Klik Klaks. I know by now that each store has at least 7 on order, but that each store has rain checks out for 12 sofas or more. There might be a problem with the manufacturer, because nobody is getting any.

So last Saturday I wrote a letter to Shopko customer service. I politely asked if they could tell me what was going on. And I also told them, that no matter what store I called, or who I talked to, everyone was extremely polite and helpful. Really. It was amazing. I'm sure other people besides me were calling; they pretty much had the SKU memorized. But never did they act like "oh it's the pesky sofa lady again". Nope. Always very helpful, very sympathetic. All for a cheap sofa. But really, corporate needed to get it's act together.

Monday I received a call from the store manager - corporate had forwarded my e-mail to him. He gave me the inside scoop that they did check into it up the line. They did have problems with the manufacturer, but that stock should start arriving within the next two weeks. They did pull the sofas from upcoming ads until they could fulfill all the outstanding rain checks. And, even though it's not store policy, they WOULD call me when a sofa came in, and I would definitely get one. (I missed out on one that came in the week before because somebody else called at the right time and I did not). I told the manager how pleased I was with the everyone's helpfulness.

And lo and behold, today, about a week ahead of their estimate, I got a call from the store. One more sofa came in, and they were holding it for me until Monday. The timing was perfect; since it was Saturday, I could get my brother to help, and we could take my old sofa to the recycling center, then go get the new one. Which is what we did! And here it is!

Ok, I realize, it's just a cheap sofa. It's not spectacular. But, it's what I can afford, and it's what I want. It's here, it's mine, and I'm going to enjoy stretching out on it and watching the Olympics!

Evenutally, I'm going to move it to the spare bedroom, where it will replace a twin bunk bed. That was the original intent. For the living room, I might get another Klik Klik, or a more traditional sofa. For now, I've perked up the living room and life is good. By the way, when I went to the store to pick it up, I took the staff fresh baked brownies, as a thank-you for being so helpful. Because they genuinely were. Good job!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

How Do They Do It?

I would love to blog everyday. I have been reading several blogs over the summer months. It amazes me that these women have time to knit (some prolifically), work, raise a family, keep house, travel, take photos, and blog about it all. Some manage it every day. How is this possible?

I think some of them must walk around with a camera constantly in their pocket. Even though my camera is small, I don't always remember to take it with me. And then fiddle with the pictures, etc.

Maybe they don't always keep a clean house. You could't tell it from the photos. Maybe they never sleep! I just don't know.

I get up by 6 am, feed the cats and get myself to work. When I come home, I usually make supper, check the mail and e-mail, and then either do chores, work on my ebay and etsy shops, or relax with some tv and knitting. Play with the cats, get ready for the next day, and in bed by 10:30. Chores are usually yardwork in the summertime, or snow shovelling and woodcutting in the winter. The house cleaning type work gets done mostly on weekends, or when I feel like squeezing it in.

I am constantly trying to organize my life, house, and possessions. I am constantly cleaning up after the cats, their food area, litter box, and whatever mess they've made while I was gone (they're good at it, believe me).

And yes, this leaves very little time for socializing. That's ok, I don't have much desire to socialize. I did go to many ball games this summer, and that cut into my free time even more.

I don't know what the secret is, but I'm going to try my darndest to get moving. I've always thought I was a pretty good multi-tasker, but maybe I'm not such a good time manager.

The start of school always stirs feelings of getting organized, getting busy, settling down to a more sturctured routine. Maybe a list of assignments is the answer. A schedule for the off-work hours. We'll see. Something's got to change around here. And it's got to start with me!

In closing, here's a pretty little photo from the backyard.