Buying a bed in USA
After living here in the USA for five months Audrey my wife informed me we needed a new bed.
I had to admit, the bed we had was well past it’s sell by date. The bed, along with the monster dressing table, ( not sure what they call it here, it’s a large set of drawers with a mirror over it) had been given to us by our son, as we came here with no furniture at all.
Audrey said if we bought a new bed maybe I would not get up in the morning feeling like a revived corpse. She blamed this on the bed of course, not old age.
Buying a bed in this country is a far more complicated procedure than in the UK.
In the UK you just walk in to a store and buy a bed, but not here, oh no. You have to choose a headboard, a box spring, the bed frame and the mattress. It’s like buying a car in separate pieces!
After looking on the Internet and getting more confused, with every page I opened. There were so many different types of springing, memory foam, latex, coil springs and whatever. We decided the best thing to do was to go to the store and try the beds out.
So, of we went to the biggest furniture store around here and after lying on several beds, decided on one we liked. It cost more than I expected, these things always do, but I hopefully thought, this is the last mattress I will buy, so better make it a good one. I may have to lie on it for long periods one day.
The bed was duly delivered and I assembled it. The delivery driver offered to assemble it but, come on, I’m not that old yet, I can still fix things.
On completion we found the bed was so high we needed a ladder to get in it and a parachute to get out of it!
“I’m sure, the bed in the store wasn’t as high as this,” stated Audrey
“It’ll be OK, We’ll get used to it,” I said hopefully.
But I’m afraid we didn’t.
Getting into it entailed either taking a run at it, and hoping you landed safely or leaning over it headfirst then dragging your legs in after. Getting out, you had to pull back the covers and aim your feet for the floor and hope for the best.
As for sitting on the bed to put my socks on, (a procedure that gets more difficult as the years go by), forget it!
After a month of this, and a quite a few reminders from Audrey, I decided we must go back to the store. I measured the bed frame, this is the metal framing that sits on the floor and supports the box spring and the mattress. It measured seven inches from the floor.
“I’m sure they make lower frames than this,” I said, confidently “Maybe we can get the frame changed?”
We entered the store hoping to measure the bed we had tried out in the display.Having been to this place before, I knew we would have first to get by the small army of sales people that would descend on us. In the UK it’s difficult to find a salesman in the store. Here, they come out of the woodwork from all directions.
So, with cries of “It’s OK, mate. We’re just looking” we managed to maneuver through the hordes of sales people, upstairs to the bed displays. Finding the same bed we had bought, I measured the frame height. It was the same as ours?
“OK” I said, “It’s no good, we’ll have to talk to a salesman, lets try to find the one who sold us the bed.”
No chance, it was a big place and the chances of running in to him were pretty remote. So I settled on the smallest guy amongst the herd at the front desk. Anyway it would give me a chance to try out my American accent.
“Cen I help you sirrr?” he asked eagerly
“Howdy,” I said in my best Texan style ‘We bought a bed from here, but it’s too high, cen we get a lowerr bed frame?”
The usual blank expression that Americans have when I speak, appeared on his face
“Lower?” he asked, with a puzzled look
“I mean one nearer the floor, not so high” I answered, thinking, ‘Is there an American word I don’t know for higher and lower?’
“What part of England are you from” he asked
“Here we go,” I thought. So began several minutes of where his Dad was stationed during the war and the places he had been to in England, eventually we got back to the point.
“What you need is a Compact box spring,” he told us confidently “go outside and walk to the end of the building to the pick up warehouse. In there, is Customer Service, ask them to change it.”
“Will they do that, for free?” I asked, hopefully
“Maybe, I’m not sure. You go and ask anyway.”
So, with the idea ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’ we decided to look for Customer Service.
“Lets first go and look at the number of the box spring on display,” I said to Audrey “See if it’s same number as ours on the invoice.”
After another ride on the escalator, we discovered it was a different number!
“This looks good” I said triumphantly “They’ve delivered the wrong box spring.”
I queried this with another salesman, (they were everywhere)
“Go to Customer Service” he also told us “they’ll surely help you. Ah sure don’t know whet the numbers mean”……
.What?? This guy works here and he doesn’t know what the numbers are for?
At Customer Service, we found a rather abrupt young woman, who reluctantly examined our invoice.
“I don’t know what these numbers mean” (Another one? How do they get these jobs?) “You’ll have to ask them at the front desk and we only do a seven day return,” she said in a voice that suggested we were wasting her time.
“What a rude woman” said Audrey, as we left to walk back to the store.
“Maybe that’s why she’s in Customer Service instead of selling furniture in the store’ I answered
After the long route march we arrived back in the store. Surprisingly I found my small salesman again. I told him all about the box spring number and asked if he would check to see if the different numbers meant different sizes?
“No, the numberrrs don’t relate to different sizes at all.” he said scratching his head in a puzzled fashion.
He stood thinking, he obviously didn’t know what the numbers meant either.
“I know” he said, joyfully “What you need is a lower bed frame!!!”
I could have screamed.!
After counting to ten in my head, I said patiently ‘That’s a good idea. Can you tell me where to buy one?”
After pushing a few keys on a computer he said, “Go outside and walk to the end of the building to the pick up warehouse. In therrre. is Customer Service, they might have one”……………..
It cost me $45,and what seemed two miles of furniture store walking, but I suppose it was cheaper than a parachute.