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26 Jan 13

Going to the Mattresses

Chris Farmer

Buying a new mattress would seem to be a rather straightforward kind of activity. You go in, test a few out, point, and buy. This simplification, however, is the stuff of fairytales.

Aside from the fact that mattress sellers will try to get you to decide based on a one-square foot scale model mattress (on which lying down is never an option), the going in and testing phase involves a lot of arguing, rolling eyes and general disgruntledness. This comes from the fact that mattresses are huge and the shops selling them are generally small and pulling out eight different mattresses for customers to lie on and say “hmm… I don’t know” is generally a lot of work. Thus far, I can sympathise. 

In our endeavour to obtain a new mattress, we decided in the end to go to a BIG shop – one that was full of choice and devoid of customers – so we could try them out and hmm enough until we got to “hmm…ok.”  And that part of the plan, deployed at Simpo where the employees outnumbered the clients by a factor of five, was quite successful. At length we discovered the Right Mattress.

At this point, however, things started to get complicated. 

The Right Mattress, shown to us by one person and explained by another, had to be written up by a third person, and finally sold by a fourth. Running from one person to the next, we ended up spending an extra half an hour just on internal traffic.

Finally arriving at the Write-Up Person, we got into the discussion as to when the mattress would be delivered. It was late December, dangerously close to the holidays, and we should have anticipated the next complication. They told us that we could expect the mattress to be delivered after New Year. Since this period describes an arc of 364 days, my girlfriend asked her to be more specific. 

-          After New Year.

-          When is that?

-          After January 9th.

-          New Year is January 1st.

-          We don’t work over the New Year.

-          Ok… When after January 9th?

-          Yes.

After a few more minutes of Abbot-and-Costelloing, she relented enough to narrow the date down to the week of January 9th. We then were herded on to the next station, manned by a very friendly lady, where we should have paid. Luckily, we thought, there were no other customers. But the friendly lady then showed us a stack of slips and asked if we could wait about half an hour while they did the paperwork.

When we declined to wait more than five minutes, she became confidential. She told us in a whisper she would ring us up and process the papers later. Great! Is it guaranteed, we wanted to know? Of course, my name is Sunčica. Call me if you have any problems.

And, after all, if you can’t take the word of a clerk in a post-Socialistic structure, whose can you take?

Talk about it!

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