If you haven't heard of Freecycle, you should sign up soon. The movement began as a conglomeration of Yahoo Groups with firm guidelines regarding membership (you had to be local to the group) and posting (formatting, the nature of your dealings, etc.) If you have something laying around that you don't want, you list it as an 'offer,' and if someone else in the network wants it, they can arrange to pick it up- no money changes hands. If there's something you would like to have, you can enter a "wanted" post, and some kind soul might just have an extra on hand they're willing to give you for nothing. Freecycle is gradually graduating from Yahoo Groups to it's own centralized site at http://my.freecycle.org/ .
All that to say, I put in a request for some 1-gallon glass jugs for a project of mine and a nice, older lady named Elizabeth responded. She was from just south of us, across the border in the backwoods of PA. We exchanged emails for several days trying to coordinate the logistics (she apparently only checks her inbox once a day.) She was feeling under the weather, so she postponed delivery, but offered to bring them all the way up to Elmira.
So I stopped at a gas station on the fringe of the city and waited for 20 minutes on my way home from work on Friday. Elizabeth, true to her word, showed up in her Escape. She was a petite backwoods granny in a sun-dress with two of the longest sandy-grey pigtails I've ever seen in my life. She seemed tough as nails and sweet has honey. I accepted the goods, thanked her kindly, and we parted ways- as is the beauty of freecycle.
Earlier in the week I happened to meet a gentleman I thought I already knew. A guy from sales, who I'd been dealing with off and on and I assumed to be a sales manager named Joe. He came into my office and said such-and-such about a particular job I was working on. I told him that the take-off was all screwed up and that the guy that took it off had emailed me explaining how he planned to fix it. "I took it off." he said. . . . . It turns out that the guy I thought was Joe the sales manager, was actually Scott the estimator. I played off that blunder pretty well, but that case of mistaken identity was quite a shocker.
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