Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Salvation Army Sucks!! (A Rant Vent)

I just need to take a moment here to vent about my morning.

Some background: we are still officially renting our old house on Fletcher St. because we're in a lease and that piece of junk house hasn't sold yet. (I can call it a piece of junk now that we live in our lovely new home.) I like to think of it as our second home, except usually that would be the one at the beach, so it doesn't totally work. Anyway. Because we don't have to be out of there until the end of June, we have been in no hurry to get it completely empty and clean. We left a few items that either need to be sold or given to charity. Honestly, there's been enough to do in the new house to keep us more than busy.

Matt went to the old house the other day and discovered the owners had refinished the floors and repainted the place. Would've been nice if they'd told us this was going on - we are still renting it, after all - but whatever. Anything that gets it sold faster could help us. And I love that those dorks have tried to beautify the interior and yet the front stairs are lined with planters. Planters filled with dead leaves and cigarette butts. Now that's attractive to a buyer, wouldn't you say? Is it any wonder that place has been on the market since last July? But I digress.

So I decided last week that I have an urgent need to have that place empty. I want to be done with it. I don't want to drive by and see our floor lamp in the window anymore.

I called the Salvation Army pick-up truck service yesterday and they set up a pick-up for today. Perfect! I would be available all morning or Matt could be there in the afternoon. They told me to call at 9 AM to find out if we were a morning pick-up or afternoon. So far, so good. I couldn't wait to get that old stuff out of there!

So, I dutifully called them at 9 and found out that our time was 9-12; I explained (as I had yesterday) that we were 20 minutes away and that I'd been told the driver could call me half an hour before so I could be there. Oh, no, I hadn't been told that at all, according to today's charmer. I'd apparently lost my chance for that. Okay, so I flew down there with Lyle and got there at 9:30 with no way of knowing if I'd already missed the guy. (Mr. Phone couldn't contact Mr. Truck, I was told. I'm. so. sure.)

Okay, but we were fine. It was a gorgeous day, I had brought Lyle's tricycle so we motored up and down the block (I had to stay within view of the house of course), he got more driving practice, and we explored the old house and remembered what it used to be like. We were fine, that is, until 12:00 approached and Lyle was getting tired and hungry and we'd blown through the snacks. And the truck hadn't arrived. I called Salvation Army back, thinking that maybe our window extended until 1:00 and I'd misunderstood.

"It's 1-4," said Mr. Phone.
"Oh, no, it's definitely not," I told him. "I called at 9 and was told I had the morning window. I just wasn't sure if it ends now or at 1. I don't know how much longer my son and I need to stay."
"Fletcher St.? 60657? Yeah, you're 1-4."
"The guy left out late. Now you're 1-4."
"He left an HOUR late??"
"No," he explained like I was some kind of idiot. "He left OUT late."

I thought my head was going to explode. No one bothered to call me? Who on earth can spend an entire day waiting for a stupid freaking Salvation Army pick-up? It's worse than waiting for the infamous cable guy! Even at their own house it's ridiculous to expect someone to be available for 8 hours, but when you're hanging out trying to make the best of things with a toddler at a vacant home for 4 hours?

I gave him a piece of my mind. You all would've been proud of me.

And then I marched off with my sobbing, exhausted child who was totally confused about the lack of truck and his mad mama, and grieving about leaving his old house again. And mad as hell that I wasn't letting him actually drive home. (Yikes.)

Which means that all the old stuff is still there.

This would be a particularly good time for that flexibility to kick in.


Shan said...

Oh, my. I feel SO sorry for you, but boy did this bring back memories of the (it seemed like) thousands of similar experiences we had during our six years in Chicago with anything service-related. Now, everyone knows I grew to love Chicago and it was truly home for awhile there, and I certainly adore Minneapolis-St. Paul and was devastated to leave, but this has been one of the nicest surprises about moving to a small town. Nothing like this ever happens. Ever. (Well, so far.) People treat me like they know me--like I'm a friend or neighbor--everywhere I go, even if they don't actually know me. At first it threw me for a loop, but now I love it. But I digress. I feel for you--esp. the part about trying to entertain an impatient toddler during all that time! Yikes!

Becky said...

Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others. --Buddha

Apparently Buddha tried to get someone at Sv. Army to pick up his things too!

Anonymous said...

This has got to be the worst charity in the United States, and I recommend that no one ever give a dime to them or donate any goods or services to their stores or any of their service centers. In my 3 years of experience with the Salvation Army, I have found that just about every officer and most of the rank and file are corrupt and dishonest. In Indianapolis, just about every set of officers that's run the Adult Rehabilitation Center has been caught embezzling funds and outright stealing large amounts of donated goods including cars, boats, furniture, jewlery and clothing among other things. This "Rehabilitation Center" takes people looking for help and puts them to work in their thrift store operation for no pay, except the roof over their head, which leaks (they require clients to pay for their meals with food stamps, and they must pay for every meal whether they eat it or not.....FOOD STAMP FRAUD). Every employee takes what he or she wants, while a "beneficiary" (the laughable term they give to their clients) will be kicked out for taking a pair of shoes. The "resident manager" is a convicted murderer, and most of the staff are felons of one stripe or another. I know of two honest employees who have been laid off and the ARC refuses to pay their unemployment claims, stating that they are a charity and don't have to pay. And this is just the ARC. The Corps in Fountain Square has a set of officers that behave much the same way, keeping whatever they like (the chapel is full of large amounts of musical equipment that the Captain claims is his personal property, and goes largely unused). Just a little further south in Johnson County, the youth pastor has been arrested for and admitted to molesting three 13 year old parishioners, one of whom is now pregnant with his child. This man has a long history of this behavior as he has worked at other Corps in the US, since his parents are Corps officers and he travels and lives with them from post to post. AWFUL!!!!!!!!!