If you haven’t read Part 1 or need a refresher, you can read the first part here.
After several more days, the correct mattress was due for delivery. The delivery men showed up. I talked with them before they brought up the mattress strongly suggesting they check not only the work order and the packaging, but open the wrapping and corroborate the number on the mattress itself. After a few minutes, up came the men with the mattress. As they opened the packaging I requested they locate the model number on the mattress. You guessed it. It was the wrong model. The men were a little sheepish because they hadn’t bothered to look at it before hauling it up to my third floor walk up. Then I asked if they noticed any odor. They acknowledged the odor, adding that all the mattresses smelled. Validation!
With the customer service number now on my speed dial, I phoned once more. They were very surprised and said they would take care of the situation right away and call me back. I was starting to wonder if I was dealing with hookah-smoking caterpillars. The situation was getting more bizarre by the minute. Customer Service phoned back. It seemed that there was a problem with the Octa Spring company having a batch of mislabeled mattresses.
You won’t believe what happened next. I was told that Octa Spring mattresses are made in Europe and are shipped to North America for distribution. Their branch in the U.S. would send a mattress special delivery. As it was a Friday, they could have the mattress to me by Tuesday. Okay, fine. Tuesday arrived. The mattress did not. Why the heck not? Well, the mattress was now having to be shipped from Denmark. How long would that take? Would the mattress be loaded into a container, boated across the Atlantic, then trucked from some unknown port on the North American eastern seaboard? No, I was assured. It will be flown over in a cargo plane and I could have the mattress by Friday. I was on the verge of finding a hookah for myself.
At this point, I decided it was time to talk to these people about compensation for all the hassle, distress, inconvenience, frustration and odor-induced anxiety. They agreed there would be compensation. They would not charge the delivery fee for all the wasted deliveries and returns. Were they insane? I told them that was not acceptable. We agreed to discuss it again once I received the correct mattress. Okay fine.
Friday arrived so did the delivery men with the third Octa Spring. As before, I suggested they check the mattress along with the work order for the model number. As before they did not. As before they went ahead and hauled the mattress up to my apartment. As before, it was the wrong mattress. Strike three! The delivery men left and I hit the speed dial on my phone.
The hookah smokers at Sleep Country were stunned (maybe stoned?) They asked what I wanted to do. I didn’t dare tell them what I really wanted to do. One thing was irrefutable. Octa Spring would never ever be a option. I inquired about the possibility of the memory foam I initially purchased being still in the warehouse. They said returns sell out almost immediately, but they would look into it and call me back. It was a good month since the Serta departed my apartment and the Octa Spring debacle began. My thought was after all this time perhaps the smell might have gassed off. However, if it hadn’t been sold it would still be wrapped and not be odor free. Even if it wasn’t, it couldn’t be close to the evil-smelling Octa Spring, which we all know doesn’t really smell.
Sleep Country phoned and the manager of the warehouse was the caterpillar I would now be dealing with. Miracle of miracles, the Serta was still there. I asked him to make absolutely sure it was the one I previously had. He promised it was. What about the box spring? It had been sold. It would be another week to ship a matching box spring. Suppose I just keep the one from the Octa Spring if it was compatible with the Serta? It was compatible but more expensive. They actually wanted me to pay the difference. My comment was, “Seriously, are you insane?” They agreed not to charge me. With my keeping the current box spring and being Friday, the mattress could be delivered on Monday. Okay fine.
Next we started talking compensation. Wait for it... They wanted to send me a $200 gift card for a Sleep Country product. Again my comment was, “Seriously, are you insane?” They finally agreed to pad my credit card account with a cash amount.
The manager of the warehouse was actually quite a nice fellow. We had a most interesting conversation. After one person after the next and the next and the next (except for the delivery guys) insisting there was no odor to the mattresses, manager guy had quite the revelation. He said how he had just bought a new mattress which was a different brand than the ones I had tried. And, yes, it smelled. In fact, he told me that all mattresses smell these days as they all have memory foam in varying amounts. He shared a discovery he made trying to get his mattress to gas off. He vacuumed the surface of his mattress every day and let it air the rest of the day. Using this method it took about a week to become odor free. I thanked him and would do this myself.
Stay with me, this sorry saga is drawing to a close. Monday came as did the memory foam. All that led up to this day made me very skeptical. I needed to be certain the memory foam was the one I originally bought. When I first had that mattress one of the tags came loose. I safety pinned it on one side. Therefore, if that pinned tag was still there, I would know for sure the mattress was mine. Miracle of miracles #2, it was the original! It was still aromatic, not in a good way, but less offensive than the Octa Spring. It was almost bearable. I took manager guy’s suggestion and started vacuuming the surface. I did this every day, sometimes twice a day for about 2 weeks as well as opening the window and using a fan again.
This fiasco began the first of May. It was close to the end of August before I was finally able to make the bed and leave the sheets on until their regular wash cycle.
In conclusion, despite the drama, trauma, confounding conversations, comings and goings of mattresses most foul, the Serta turned out to be a Goldilocks mattress – just right.
Comments are welcomed.
One fine day I sauntered into Sleep Country on a reconnaissance mission. The plan was to gather intel on the wild and wacky world of mattresses. I had been considering purchasing a new mattress, but not immediately. With nothing more exciting on the day’s agenda, it seemed a good idea to collect data so I could make an informed decision when the time came. Suddenly, I found myself amidst a maze of mattresses – twins, doubles, queens, kings, firm ones, soft ones, medium ones, mattresses to accomodate a myriad of body issues. What does one do in such a situation? Lie down, of course. I tried one, then another, and another. Some were too hard; some too soft and some just right. How do you select the most just right mattress? Goldilocks had it easy.
Early in my mattress investigation, the store salesman, Al, offered his expert 2 cents. Keep in mind the value of 2 cents in the current economy. He suggested about 5 different styles that might suit me. I zeroed in on a mattress designed for people who sleep on their back. Naturally, they did not make the size I wanted. I went with plan B, a Serta. That choice sent me down the rabbit hole not into Wonderland, but into Mattress Hell.
Back to Al for a moment. The same mattress I selected had been ordered by another customer, who ended up cancelling. Al would waive the tax if I accepted delivery within a week. I mulled it over deciding to go for it. It was a reasonable deal. Getting the mattress sooner than later would not be a problem.
Now, here’s why his 2 cents wasn’t worth 2 cents. He neglected to inform me that the Serta was made of memory foam which is known, except to me, for having a terrible odor. Memory foam odor takes approximately forever to gas off. I should also mention that I am very sensitive to odors at the best of times. It soon became the worst of times.
On a Monday afternoon, the new mattress was delivered. I did notice an odor, but figured if I let it air out from it’s packaging for a few hours, all would be well. All was not well. When I tried to go to sleep that night, I was overcome by a vile smell. I set a saucer of apple cider vinegar and eucalyptus oil nearby which became the primary odor. The next morning, after I was up and started to make the bed, more shock. The sheets and bed cover reeked nearly as badly as the mattress itself. I phoned Sleep Country as soon as the store opened. There was a different sales person from Al. This guy insisted the odor would dissipate in 24 to 48 hours. Okay fine. I stripped the bed, opened the window and set up a fan to blow out the smell. There was no change in the intensity of the odor. I phoned customer service and explained the situation. The rep insisted there was no odor to these mattresses. If I was not satisfied, I did have the option to make an exchange within a two month period. I decided not to wait the two months as the smell was making me ill. A friend verified the odor proving I was not delusional. Back to Sleep Country to find a scent free mattress. And so began my warp speed tumble down the rabbit hole into Blunderland.
Al happened to be there on my return. Having an idea of the type of mattress that I seemed to like, he suggested the Octa Spring. I inquired about the materials with which it was manufactured. Would it have the dreaded memory foam? He said that the coils were memory foam but the mattress was constructed in a way that provided air circulation around and through the coils. Consequently, there would be no odor. Smelling is believing.
I sampled a couple different models of the Octa Spring mattresses and decided on the 8500. The mattress exchange would take place in another week. Meanwhile I was stuck with the current odious mattress. Still I stripped the bedding every morning, opened the window and used the fan, hoping for some noticeable reduction of the odor. Not a sniff of a change. The big day finally arrived. Out with the memory foam and in with the Octa Spring. I asked the delivery men before they left to make sure I received the correct model. The paperwork and packaging read #8500. Being a little too anxious to have the mattress issue resolved, I did not check the mattress myself before they left. Colossal mistake.
Soon, I went into my bedroom and sat down on the mattress. It seemed especially firm, not like the one I tried in the store. Furthermore, for a guaranteed non-smelling mattress, this one had an even more revolting odor than the memory foam. I made up the bed that night, hoping that firmness I felt sitting on it would be different lying down. OMG! It was like lying on a cement slab while inhaling what I imagined to be essence of aged corpse. I placed a vinegar/eucalyptus soaked cotton ball under my nose and tried to sleep. The mattress was so hard there was very little sleeping. Next morning my body was in major pain. I was expecting my friend that afternoon. When she arrived I asked her to confirm the smell and check the model number that was stamped on the mattress. Smell confirmed. The model number was not the one I ordered. Back to Sleep Country we went.
Al was there. I told him what happened. We also compared the mattresses in the store with the one I previously tried and the one I received. Yup. Definitely wrong mattress delivered. Al phoned customer service describing what transpired. I inquired into the possibility of getting the memory foam back. It was still in the warehouse if I wanted it. Suddenly visions of smelly memory foams started dancing in my head. Not a good sign.
It is necessary to digress for a moment. Before I made the decision to go for the Octa Spring, I had phoned Serta to learn more about the malodorous memory foam. That customer service person said that it could take up to a month for the memory foam to gas off. I also phoned the Octa Spring company and asked about the odor of their mattresses. The customer service agent emphatically stated there was never an odor to their mattresses. What I have learned over the years dealing with phone, cable etc. companies, is that if you are dissatisfied with the information you receive in the initial call, call back. Invariably a different agent answers and eventually you get the proper particulars. Even though the Octa Spring lady claimed no odor, I wanted more assurance. I spoke with 5 different agents all swearing there was no odor to Octa Spring products. Considering the aroma research , I decided to give Octa Spring another chance. Sleep Country customer service also promised they would deliver the correct, aroma free model. It was going to take another week. What to do? I had no other place to sleep in my apartment. I piled a comforter and blankets on the mattress to try to give some cushioning while I slept. It only helped for a couple of nights. And yes, there was still the stench to cope with. Since this mattress would be gone in a week, I was not going to go through the daily bedding removal, window opening and fan blowing ordeal. A solution occurred to me. Off to the dollar store to procure a plastic drop cloth. I wrapped the mattress in this plastic, thus containing the odor. I also managed to solve the cushioning situation by borrowing a foam (not the memory type) from a friend. The foam went on the plastic encased mattress. The comforter and blankets were piled on top of the foam. All of that provided a tolerable temporary fix.
After several more days, the correct mattress was due for delivery.
Please come back next week for the rest of the story. You will not believe what happened. All true. I promise.
Comments are welcomed.
In order to come out of the closet, one must be in the closet to begin with. This is the story of how I found refuge in a closet and eventually came out. Sound a little enigmatic? Here’s what happened.
Today was the day my apartment and my landlord’s apartment were getting their annual carpet steam cleaning. We’ve used the same company for several years. We have also been fortunate to have the same technician. He always does an awesome job and gives us special treatment. He will certainly be missed whenever he decides to retire which may be sooner than later. Okay, not relevant to this story.
I happen to have extremely sensitive hearing. Loud sounds, whatever the source, tend to do a number on my ears. If any of the nerve endings around my ears gets irritated, my hearing gets a little wonky for a week or two. Fortunately, my actual hearing is fine, it’s just that every sound gets crazy magnified during that period. I try to take precautions when I know there will be abnormal loudness. Garden variety ear plugs are not effective and I have not gotten around to getting something more powerful. You know, along the lines of those head sets construction workers use.
My apartment gets done first as it is on the top floor. D, the technician, works his way downstairs from here.
Knowing how loud the cleaning equipment is, I arranged to stay in the apartment down stairs until he finished here.
Another component of the scenario is my eating requirement. Between meal snacks do not sufficiently hold me over until meal time. Consequently, I need to eat when I need to eat. My plan was to make my lunch and bring it downstairs with me. Well, as Bobby Burns wrote, “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men / Gang aft agley.” My plans definitely ganged agley!
As I was preparing my lunch which included putting on the kettle for a coffee. This coffee is my one a day and must be supremo. In the middle of my preparations I was jolted by a massive sound. D started a little sooner than expected and turned on all of the various equipment at once. There was no way I could finish making my sandwich and the coffee fast enough to bring downstairs. Besides there were hoses and machines all over the place meaning no way out. The sounds were so disturbing I screwed up the coffee which is disasterous in itself. I also realized I could not eat my lunch with all that going on around me. I tried covering my ears with a kitchen towel. It barely muffled the sound. Sitting in my kitchen with a towel over my head for the next 40 minutes was not an option. What to do?
Hmmm. There is a pantry in my kitchen. Only problem is that very little space exists between the edge of the shelves and the door. I squished myself in that space and closed the door. Continuous standing for the next 40 minutes was going to cause pain in my back and legs. I found a way to partially park part of my butt on the bottom shelf. There was no leaning back as the edges of the shelves jutted outward. A partial sitting position was way better than no sitting at all. Fortunately, I had my phone with me so I called a friend to chat the time away. It also distracted me from the now muted noise. We had a lot of fun making fun of my predicament.
D must have realized where I had disappeared. He popped his head into the closet a couple of times to give me updates about how much longer he would be. With his second visit he said it would only be another 10 minutes. Then he informed me that when he shuts off the machines, I will know he was finished. Ya think?
My friend and I continued chatting. Suddenly I heard a different sound. Holy Simon and Garfunkel. It was the sound of silence. I came out of the closet and proceeded to eat my cold lunch and drink the very disappointing coffee. I didn’t have the energy to remake anything. What can I say? Stuff happens. The good news is that the carpets in my apartment are beautiful and I had a little misadventure to share.
Comments are welcomed.
No, this is not more on Halloween. In fact, it is about how a non-word found it’s way into the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 1934. It wasn’t discovered until 1939 and not corrected until 1947. Crazy, right. Consequently, imaginary words which slip through the cracks and find their way to being printed are called ‘ghost words.’ Fortunately for M-W, it was a one-off in it’s entire 190 year history.
What was that ghost word? It was DORD. Apparantly, in 1931 a 3x5 slip of paper with D or d on it worked it’s way through the pipeline. It had come from the chemistry department and the D meant density. Along the way someone thought there was supposed to be a space between the o and r and capitalized the letters making it D O R D. Every letter of a word was capitalized as well as a space between each. The spaces being used for inflection signs and the like. The unsolved mystery is how DORD ever got passed the etymologist. (An etymologist is a person who studies the origin and meaning of words.) Somehow it did and found it’s way into the published dictionary in 1934. Again, it wasn’t discovered for another 5 years. It was also unknown why it took another 8 years for it to be deleted from the next edition.
Here’s the thing. I say we make DORD a real word. I’ll start.
Dord – Noun – a person who is stubborn, inflexible, unyielding, headstrong, obstinate, iron-willed.
Origin: Dord is the Anglo derivation of the Old Norse word diordki, referring to Viking weaponry and protective armour. In fact, they would wear an iron bowl on their heads which was the forerunner of the helmut. Thus, the breadcrumbs leading to a person who is hard-headed or iron-willed.
Now it’s your turn. What are your ideas for a definition of Dord? Would love to hear them.
Comments are welcomed.