One of the things that has been an adventure since I’ve started designing is getting furniture to Wyoming. On the U.S. Census report (I believe again), Wyoming is the state with the lowest population in all of the United States. And that has had a direct affect on getting furniture here.
I should have been on alert for that last year when I went to the World Market in Vegas. Half of the tons of people there hadn’t even heard of Wyoming (until we got to the “lodge living” level of building C. At that point, I had started saying I was from “around” Jackson, because that is the only place people know exists in Wyoming). That’s how it went for a couple of days. A few people were nice, a lot were very disinterested in our business, but on the last day I was there, I was greeted by Angela in the Noir Furniture store. She came, almost running to us, and exclaimed how excited she was to see someone from Wyoming. We really didn’t know what to say! No one had been excited to see us, ever! She told us she was a rep for Wyoming and the surrounding areas, and the other reps were making fun of her, because she gets much less business than they do. Then she said, “I told them I would see someone from Wyoming, and here you are! I got really excited yesterday about someone that came in, but when I got closer, I noticed their tag had the initials W.V. (West Virginia). But I love my clients from Wyoming. They are so loyal, and I knew I would see someone.” (To see Noir’s furniture, which is awesome, click on the link).
This little story leads me into what happened yesterday! I realized, after Market, that shipping furniture here was going to be tricky. A lot of the furniture companies have never even dealt with Wyoming. This is the usual phone conversation when I call a new company. I say, “I’m interested in buying such and such for a client.” We get all of the details worked out, then we get to the “where are we shipping this?” I say “Wyoming,” and there is a short pause. Then (I think I’ve gotten this response 50% of the time)they say: “We’ve never shipped to Wyoming!” Now I just smile when I hear that. “I know, ” I think in my mind.
Yesterday I was expecting a shipment of thirteen pieces of furniture. The shipping company called the day before, confirming the furniture was arriving. I ask them to have the driver call me, because I live a half an hour to fourty minutes away from where the furniture will be dropped. “Absolutely, ” the lady says, “In fact, why don’t we just call an hour ahead? That way everything will be good if you get stuck in traffic.” I agree, but giggle when I get off the phone. They don’t realize that’s just how far apart everyone lives from each other, and that the roads are really icy, so I have to drive slow. The only traffic jam they might get into is a herd of cows going down the road.
The furniture was suppose to arrive at nine o’clock. By now, I’m pretty on edge, because these times are so hard to predict. Nine comes and goes, ten comes and goes, and by eleven I’m calling the shipping company. I just get an answering machine. I try again 15 minutes later. The lady says she will try to contact the driver and see what is going on. I wait some more. Then I get another phone call:
“Is this Tawnya Allred?”
“Yes,” I say.
“This is the Highway Patrol. We have a broken down semi just outside of mile marker 60, just past Allred Flat (I know. I have a “flat” with my last name). I believe there is some furniture on this truck for you, but the truck is really broken down! It’s lost its motor. The driver wanted me to call you because his cell phone has no coverage out here.”
Aww, the joys of Wyoming. I haven’t received the furniture yet. Another truck had to come from Boise (for those of you who don’t know, that’s six hours away) to trade the merchandise, and I will get the furniture in the next day or two. I’m waiting patiently for the phone call….
I do have to say, though, I’ve only had one or two rude people. The companies I’ve worked with have been very friendly and helpful, and for that I’m grateful. And along the way somewhere, the kinks of shipping to the state with a population of 500,000 will all be worked out!The (Unending?) Sequel– I got a call from the trucking company today, saying they had just left Montpelier and they wondered where the exact drop-off was for the furniture. I explained, and then asked them if an hour was an appropriate time-frame to meet them. The reply, “You would know better than me. I’ve never been to Afton…”