Thursday, January 14, 2016

Kijiji This, B*&%h

If you are looking to lose all faith in humanity, the quickest and most effective way (short of visiting a slaughterhouse, dropping yourself in the throes of war, or watching Gilmore Girl reruns) is to put an ad in Kijiji.

In my personal, yet somewhat vast experience, 90% of the citizens of Kijij-land are stark raving mad, sadistic torturers who take some crazy, warped pleasure in luring you into the satisfying delusion that they will actually show up at X o'clock to view whatever it is your are trying to unload, only to leave you waiting, sitting at home, wondering why the heck you ever put that ad up in the first place.
They are brain-numbing, time-killing morons. I now have more sympathy for my single friends who have tried internet dating...too much sifting required, life is way too short. Needles in haystacks have nothing on the Kijiji process.

Last night, a particular person who obviously has a Kijiji passport contacted me multiple times to be sure I would be home for the unloading of a working dishwasher, which was listed at the extraordinarily value price of $25. I arranged my day around this schedule, to be sure to accommodate, so the big deal could go down.

I even texted my friend, Patty who lives across the street because I would be home alone at that time of the Kijiji viewing. A while back, Patty, who seems to have a sense of humour far more warped then even myself has, on occasion, caused me to "laugh out loud" during the texting process. Needing a new furnace, but not happy about the outlay of money required, I texted her to ask if she needed a kidney. I was not prepared for her answer, as she wrote, "Yes, I might actually." Pause. "I had to sell one of mine last month."

Here is the most recent Kijiji texting conversation avec Patty:

Me: I have some guys coming to take our dishwasher from Kijiji and I'm home alone. They should be here in 30 minutes. Could you keep an eye out that I am not kidnapped.

Patty: Haha. Want Rob and me to stop by?

Me: I should be OK, thanks.


Me: Just if you notice me being dragged off flailing...

Patty: OK...keep your phone with you. Our secret code will be, "Help. I'm being kidnapped."

But, alas, all this cautionary set-up was for vain, as two minutes before the scheduled roundez-vous, a woman called to tell me she had lost her bank card.

I found this excuse to be like my upper body strength--a little weak. A lot weak actually, but who's measuring? However, this by far wasn't the lamest excuse I've heard. There was the guy who missed an appointment for a swing set he was to pick up for his mother (she wanted it for her grandkids). Silly sod didn't show, I called his mother to let her know. She had seemed so excited to get the set. She must have worked her motherly charm, as the son soon called to apologize. His highly unusual excuse--he had forgotten about the time change--daylight savings and all that. You may question my qualifying "highly unusual" for who among us hasn't gone, "Oh darn. I forgot about that time change" on the Sunday afternoon or God forbid, the Monday morning of "the change". In fact, my car clock is inaccurate 6 months out of every year. The unusualness of the excuse was the time change had been three weeks earlier. You think he would have noticed the time had changed by now. Kijij Citizen. That's all I can say.

Then there are those other Kijji-ites. You know the ones: the ones that incessantly, text and email, you to hold the item for you. Then, when they don't turn up, you sell it to someone else the next day. And, wouldn't you know it, they contact you two days later, expecting you to still have it. In fact, they are angry, sometimes swear and question your morality, religious affiliation, code of ethics and call you evil, or worse, a Progressive Conservative.

Although Kijiji is a rather new world, the mentality is not. Many moons ago, during the Stone Age (Pre-Kijiji-itis), I "sold" (as in gave away) a complete bathroom suite of tub, sink and toilet. Back in day we used something called "Classified Ads," a form of written communication where people looked in paper newspapers. A family came, loaded all the gear up in their truck, strapped it in tight, and just as they were about to leave announced that they didn't have any money on them and would go to the bank and return with the $30. Before anyone could say, "Bob's your uncle" or "Susie is your sister" or "Hammy is your hamster" they took off never to be seen again. The joke really was on them, though. If you ever go into a house with the ugliest hue of purple-puke toilet, sink and tub in a bathroom, call me, I'll show up to collect.

If you list an original, long-lost Picasso for $5, I can almost guarantee the person showing up at your door will ask if you would take $2.50 for it. However, if you put your five-year-old $70 Bosu Ball for $50, a woman in an Escalade will show up and not even blink as she hands over her crisp $50 bill (I know this to be fact because it happened to me. For real, peeps).

So, if you want to venture into Kijiji-land unarmed, I will impart to you the results of my extensive research. Here is a summary of my findings I like to call The Six Laws of Kijiji--the economic and social findings using the knowledge I gained in my University statistics class (the class I almost failed. Luckily the Prof graded on the curve. I don't know what that means, however, because as I said, I almost failed the class. But, it must be a good thing, because I got the credit.). So, here are my Kijiji Laws. If Newton can have laws, so can Heather...
  1. The lower the price of an item, the greater the likelihood the buyer will ask for a discount.
  2. The higher the frequency the potential buyer emails, texts or calls you is a clear social indicator that they are less likely to actually show up.
  3. There is an inverse relationship between the distance travelled to view the item and chances of the potential buyer actually purchasing the item.
  4. The more pictures, measurements, letters of authenticity, patina hue, etc, the potential buyers ask for, the lower the chances they will purchase.
  5. If something doesn't actually work, purchasers will pay more.
  6. If a person does not show up and you sell the item to someone else, even if it is days later, the original buyer who didn't show up will be mad at you.

There you have it! If you do decide to navigate the waters of Kijiji-land, you have been forewarned. As for me, I probably won't be spotted frequently in that country. Instead, I may be seen in Good Will Land or Salvation Armyville or even, on occasion at the hamlet of Re-Store.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How Many Marathon-Running Women Does it Take to Hang a Clock?

Three. I know because I was involved in such a task last night. It must also be noted that one of the women must be of Herculean cross-fit strength, able to flip tires and dead lift copious amount of weight (ahem* Karen). This is especially true if said clock comes from Urban Barn, is ginormous and weighs a gazillion pounds. Which, for the record, it did. Oh, there also needs to be an electric drill, a Home Depot card and enough knowledge (or charm to ask for assistance) to know what type of plugs to buy. And, finally, a young male doberman is required. He doesn't help in any way. He is there just for show and moral support.
I feel like there has been an incredible amount of changes in the last six months. I, and many around me, are in the midst of transitioning from one season to another in their lives. Some of my long-standing business relations have decided to pitch for another team, totally re-vamping my working career, and my body is not allowing me to run any more due to ligament injuries. My niece just had a new baby and my dear friend, Lyndsay, just celebrated her beautiful wedding! The only thing constant in life is change.
The clock was symbolic of a new season another friend was entering. The near-empty living room and missing furniture were paint strokes, colouring a new era that was about to begin. New memories, hopes and life needed to be created to fill the now empty space. Existing deep sadness coexisting with the hope and promise of future happiness; all in the same bundle of mixed and confused emotion.
The biggest challenge with the clock (besides trying to lift it; I have the upper body strength of gnat. Running does not require great amounts of arm strength) was figuring out how to get the drill bits in and out of the drill itself. It took every ounce I of restraint I possessed not to rip the drill from Karen's hands and press each and every fancy button in attempt to figure out how it worked. However, Karen had a different plan. She read the manual. Other than the one page IKEA picture-instructions, I don't think I've ever actually read a manual. It is quite an efficient way to figure something out. Who knew? Maybe that is why she works in management and IT and I, well, I simply don't.
Lyndsay kept a respectable and neutral distance between herself and the high-powered drilling device, careful not to interfere with Karen reading the instructions and me hovering, occasionally grabbing the drill rudely right from her hands to randomly press some buttons.
In the end, logic prevailed and Karen was up and running, power tool locked and loaded. From there on, it was very simple--if you don't count the requirement of Grade 10 geometry, a calculator, measuring, remeasuring, drilling, holding the clock up, gently getting it on the hooks. I am glad to announce the no dobermans were harmed in the hanging of the clock.
It looked fantastic! We all took turns pretending to walk in the front door and seeing the fantistical clock for the first time, “ahhing” and “cooing” in deep admiration. I sincerely hope that wasn't a large “thud” in the middle of the night...I wasn't going to wait around to find out.
Although anything but a celebration, there may or may not have been vegan pizza, kale chips, and some people may or may not have partaken in martinis of the chocolate persuasion, however, somehow, and I am not sure how, three women and a doberman ended up dancing around an empty living room.
I have to be honest, I don't like every change of season in my life. However, it did occur to me last night that I have little control over most of these changes and whether I embrace or resist them, the big, heavy clock of time keeps ticking. Sometimes the only--and best--thing we can truly do is to stop labelling the changes “good” or “bad”, eat vegan pizza, and simply dance into the new season of our lives.
Since originally penning this post over a year ago, David Bowie has passed. I guess he had the same sentiment. Let's Dance.