Thursday, May 27, 2010


I am a Craigslist nut. I love to search for great deals or sometimes even browse the writing/editing jobs in case some amazing company is in the market for a person who wants to work from home and make $80,000+ per year on a part-time basis with an almost 3-year-old Journalism degree that has never been used.

I've been known to sell things on CL, too. I sold the lanterns I used in my wedding reception centerpieces for a song, and the stupid lady who bought them tried to talk me down when she came to pick them up. I was like, "Listen lady, I paid $150 for these lanterns. You are getting them for $50. No, I will not take $25 for them. Get off my property before I let my dog loose on you." She never had to know that Connie would lick her face off before giving her so much as a nibble.

This is not the point of my post, but I have to take a minute here and disucss how much I hate idiots who respond to my posts on CL. It may not be right or fair, but if you can't correctly put together a simple sentence, you go waaaay down on the priority list. If you send me an email saying, "i ken pik them upp on wensday?" I probably won't reply to you unless no one else emails me. And even then, I'll wait a week before responding. Not like your level of literacy impacts your ability to pay for whatever I'm selling, but if you can't spell basic words that are used in every day language, that bothers me.

What makes me even more angry is when people just write a three-word response like, "I'll give you $20." Um ok? First you rudely don't even write any sort of intro or greeting, then you try to offer me an insulting amount for whatever item I posted for sale.

An example of a nice email response is, "Hi, I saw your ad on CL for ______. Would you accept $x? I would be willing to meet you in X location on X day. Thanks, Katie" I always, always write something like this when I'm trying to make a CL purchase, and if you write a similar email to me when you're trying to purchase something I'm selling, you get first dibs, even if you're the 20th person to email me.

ANYWAY, can you tell I recently listed something for sale on CL? Yes, D and I stupidly purchased two convertible car seats online without ever seeing them in person. When they arrived, we discovered that they were monstrously large, so much so that D nicknamed them the Baby La-Z-Boys. Needless to say, they did not fit well in my tiny car. Since we lost the receipts immediately after they arrived on the porch (how does that even happen?), we couldn't return them. So, we decided to take a small hit and sell them on CL.

Well, I listed them for what I felt were pretty reasonable prices. One of them was barely used and the other one was brand new and sealed in the box. So I posted them and waited for the emails to pour in. But for the next couple days, I got crickets.

Finally, I got a reply. Not only did I get a reply, it was actually written in full sentences and was friendly. We emailed back and forth a couple times to negotiate and finally settled on a price. Great.

The only downside was that she lived about an hour away. And of course, she wanted to meet half-way. Since I just wanted to sell the seats and get the cash to buy a new one, I told her I could do it on my lunch yesterday. We would meet at the zoo, which is in an area that I am not even remotely familiar with (and a pretty decent hike from my office).

I'm just at the beginning of my mommy career, so I hadn't been to the zoo in ages. So what do I do? I look it up on Google Maps, of course. MapQuest had done me wrong one too many times, so Google Maps it was. (By the way, Mom? Yeah, I still really want that GPS for Christmas this year.)

Just a memo to you, if you're one of the 10 other people left in the world who, like me, don't have a GPS system: Even though Google Maps will let you just put "X Zoo" into the destination slot instead of an actual address, don't do it. Because Google Maps will incorrectly assume that you are asking for it to show you a scenic tour of the zoo from the back, which is entirely fenced in and does not include an entrance. You will drive through the neighborhood behind the zoo and look through the fence at all the happy people in the zoo, but you will not be able to get there yourself. Not like this happened.

So I finally get myself to the zoo entrance, and find a parking lot adjacent to the parking structure where we agreed to meet. After a couple minutes, I realized I didn't have this lady's cell phone number on me and that I never gave her mine. So I quickly had to call around to people that would be near a computer and wouldn't think I was crazy for asking them to check my email for me. Enter my BFF Barb. (Thanks again Barb.) She laughed at me in the good kind of way that means she thinks it's funny that I'm in the situation but doesn't think I'm a total idiot, and she gave me the number.

So I call the lady and get voicemail. Sweet. By this point, I've been waiting 10 minutes and it's starting to get to the point where I really need to get going to get back to work. Call her cell again. Voicemail again. Then I see a tannish Chevy SUV pull into the parking lot and park, and the driver is just kinda looking around.

The lady told me she'd be driving a black Ford Excursion, but I started wondering if Chevy might not be her. It's like that Office episode where Pam sets Michael up with her apartment landlord and he thinks a different lady in the coffee shop is his date. "I'd give her a 10 for looks and a 3 for her ability to describe herself." That's exactly what went through my head. Like, "Maybe she thinks she drives a black Ford Excursion but really she drives a tannish Chevy SUV?"

So this lady is sitting there, sitting there, and I'm like "whatever, I'm sweating like a pig on a spit, I'm going to ask her." And of course, she wasn't the lady I was meeting. But she did give me a really weird look.

So it's going on 20 minutes of waiting and I really need to get back to work. Of course, all along I'd had the fear of going down to meet this woman only to find that she is actually a he who wants to shoot me in the face and steal all my money or worse, so all the while I was waiting, I was calling D and leaving updates on his voicemail because he was out doing lawns. I think I left 3 voicemails in the span of half an hour, and when he was later asking me why the heck I left so many messages, I was like, "I wanted to give the police something to go on in case I got kidnapped."

So finally, after I left another voicemail for the lady on her cell phone (basically telling her in a friendly but where the heck are you kind of way that I was leaving in 5 minutes if she didn't show), I see this huuuuuuuuuuuuge black Excursion pull into the parking lot. It is large and in charge and it sounds like a bus. The lady driver is looking around and finally parks on the other side of the lot.

So I get out of my car to go ask if she's the one I'm looking for and miracle of miracles, it's her. I pull my car around to give her the seats and we laugh about how she was sitting somewhere else waiting for me the whole time. And then she kinda backhandedly scolded me for not giving her my cell phone number.

So she looks at the car seats and is like, great, I'll take them. And then she kinda backhandedly scoffs at me for buying a car seat without seeing it first. .......Right. Thanks. And then she's like "Oh we should have traded! I have an infant carrier that goes up to 100 lbs!" And I was thinking, "Um do they for real make infant carriers that go up to 100 lbs? Because pretty sure I don't want to carry around a human being who weighs 100 lbs in an infant carrier. L is only 17 lbs and it's near back-breaking to carry him in the stupid infant seat." Like, why would I trade for your infant carrier when you yourself don't want to use it for your 1 year old?

And then she gives me payment in all twenties and asks if I have a 5 to make change for her. I tell her I'm sorry, I never have cash, but I'd be happy to mail her $5. She hesitated and then was like, ::Sigh:: "Noooooooooooo, that's ok." And then I mentally decided that I'm going to mail her the stupid $5 because it's not like I chopped $70 off my original asking price or anything.

So finally I'm leaving and see that I am maybe supposed to pay for parking in this lot. The gate monitor asks me for my parking ticket and since I'm all flustered and stupid I say, "Oh, I didn't actually go into to the zoo, I was just here to exchange."

And her eyes go all serious and her face gets all "WHAT?" and she says, "What do you mean an exchange?"

And then I realize that it could be misconstrued to seem like I was dealing drugs in that parking lot and I said, "Oh no, no, no! I was just here to sell some car seats through Craigslist!"

And then her face cleared and she realized I wasn't doing drugs in her parking lot and she laughed and let me go without paying.

And somehow, I made it back to work on time. And the first thing I did was mail out that $5.

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