People... it's not that difficult, is it?


I don't understand people, and probably never will. Simple, common courtesies seem to have vanished over the past few years. I could go on-and-on about how poorly people drive their cars, how inconsiderately they ride their bikes, or how they fail to "share" sidewalks...

But the worst experiences manifest when virtual and physical worlds collide, and the absolute epitome for culturing moronic behavior has to be craigslist. I can't begin to tell you how many frustrating and/or awful experiences I've had when trying to buy or sell stuff on the world's largest online garage sale site.

Take for example my latest "interaction," when I attempted to purchase an extension ladder, so that I could clean the gutters on my 2-story house.

I need a ladder that's around 28-feet tall so that I can climb up to the roof and clear a clogged gutter. A quick spin around the local hardware stores had me reeling from sticker shock - even "cheap" aluminum ladders of this size start at well over $250; nicer ladders will exceed $400.

Since I envision needing to use this ladder maybe once or twice per year, I couldn't justify a $300+ purchase. So, I turned to craigslist.


And I instantly found several ladders that appeared to suit my needs, including a really nice looking 32-foot version. The ad indicated it was located "near Wisconsin Dells" and the seller was asking $80 for their ladder. Pictures accompanied the ad - it looked great.

So, I fired-off the usual e-mail, inquiring if the item was available and if so, when they might be able to meet and sell it to me. Exactly 3 minutes later, I had a reply stating that the ladder was available, and that they could meet on Tuesday or Wednesday night. The person, "Tom," said he had a family commitment on Monday that wouldn't allow him to meet me at any time.

Fair enough. I responded and thanked him for the speedy reply. I said, "Tom - this is perfect timing. I can drive up to your place on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon, whichever is best for you. Let me know your preference, and I'll be there, cash in hand. Thanks again."

I got a reply about 5 minutes later that said, "Steve - my pleasure. I'll see you on Wednesday at around 5:00pm if that works for you? I talked with my wife, and Tuesday looks busy for us. We'll see you Wednesday at 5:00."

Excellent. Done and done. I grabbed $80 cash, set it aside and looked forward to bringing home a 32-foot ladder from Wisconsin Dells.

Fast forward to this morning, when I figured I should send a quick check-in e-mail to 'ole Tom, just to make sure we were still good for the ladder sale tonight. I also realized I didn't have his address, aside from "near Wisconsin Dells."

Tom replied and said, "Hi Steve, my ad has the GPS coordinates on it. We live near Christmas Mountain, and most of the roads are unnamed."

Okee-doekee. Sure enough, there were the GPS coordinates. So, I plugged them into my phone and sent one last e-mail to Tom that said, "Got it. I've entered them in and will be there at around 5:00pm tonight. I have a white Ford Fusion, so when you see me in the driveway, you'll know who it is. Thanks again!"

And about 2 minutes later, I received a final e-mail from Tom.

"Steve - sorry, the ladder sold on Monday night."


You tell me this after several follow-up e-mails? And, let's not forget that Monday was supposed to have been impossible for him to get together due to some other obligations... oye.

I wish this was a unique experience, but I've had different flavors of it occur more often than you'd think. Oh, and he still has the ad posted on Craigslist.

People. Ugh.

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This page contains a single entry by Steve published on August 26, 2015 9:49 AM.

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