This past spring, we had a new couch delivered – a couch that I researched and contemplated over for weeks before finally deciding to buy it.
We had never purchased furniture online, so I was a bit nervous, especially the fact that it was being shipped all the way from the west coast.
It had been weeks since ordering and I finally got a text that it was being delivered the very next day.
After waiting all day, the time had finally come, a huge U-haul pulled into our driveway (hours after our scheduled delivery window). In hindsight though, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect, because just moments before the truck arrived my husband, Ira, came home from work. Knowing now how things would unfold, I can’t imagine not having him there.
When the driver got out, he looked tired and distraught. He told us that the night before, he was in an accident in PA and had to unpack the original delivery truck and re-load everything into a rented U-haul to continue his delivery route – which was no where close to complete. He told us that many of the items were damaged but he thought he remembered seeing ours and it was “fine”.
I’ll be honest, in that moment the image of a tattered couch came to mind and I braced myself for disappointment.
As he opened the back of the truck, the contents appeared in shambles. Chairs were out of packaging, gouges in the leather, legs off tables, boxes beaten, torn and crushed. The driver tells us the story of his accident, receiving a ticket for violations he knew nothing about, unpacking the totaled truck and repacking everything int the rented U-haul in the dark, by himself.
Needless to say, he was unable to organize the deliveries in the rented truck according to his route, so he had no idea where our couch was…and the truck was full.
The long and short – He had to unpack just about the entire truck into our driveway to find our couch. He said he had done that all day over and over, with no help. And these were all big, heavy, furniture pieces.
So, Ira being the saint he is, tells him that he will help him unpack and reorganize the truck so that his other deliveries will be easier. He was grateful for the offer and said that we were the first people to be understanding and kind.
Of course, our couch was in the very back, but when it finally emerges, the box looked perfect. When we unboxed and removed the packaging, the couch was unharmed. We brought our couch inside and Ira went back out to help the driver re-load the truck, as promised.
After what seemed like forever, the U-haul was finally leaving our driveway and on its way. When Ira came in he said that it was a miracle our couch was unharmed, because every other piece had some kind of damage.
I couldn’t help but feel like our couch arriving in its perfect state was karmic. We could have reacted very differently to the shambled truck, the disorganized driver and it probably would have been justified – but would it have been necessary?
I think about moments like this often. Years ago, I would have called the moving company and made a complaint and although it would have been justified, would it have changed the outcome for the better? Would it be worth the energy?
We all have moments in our lives where things do not go according to plan. Moments when we feel distraught, on the verge of tears and want nothing more than to go home and crawl into bed. The driver told us that he was certain he would lose his job between the ticket, accident and complaints he knew would be made. He would not be back home for another week and had to carry on regardless.
I do believe in defending our principles and will speak up when I feel it is warranted, but what I am finding as I get older and gain more life experience is that there are so many things that may seem important to react to in the heat of the moment, but when we give ourself the time and space to let our initial reactions subside, we see the situation in a completely different light.