Desk: A Maddening Craigslist Story

Posted by admin - 09/05/12 at 12:05 am

Craigslist has changed the way we shop. It’s also changed the way long-haul truckers pick up transsexuals, but that’s beside the point.

I have some furniture I’ve been trying to get out of my house, and I figured Craigslist would be a good place to do that. It’s garage sale priced, which means it’s at a price low enough that you can come buy it before I just throw it away.

It's a desk. I promise.

Among other items, I have a desk. It’s not some half-assed construction of particle board and cardboard you’d buy at Walmart, it’s a legitimate, hard topped, solid desk suitable for writing, computer work, bending your secretary over it Mad-Men-style, or whatever else you’d like to do with it.

I asked $25 on it. That’s not much. I’d gladly pay it if I needed a desk. Hell, that’s a good price for it if you want to chop it up and use it for firewood. There are far crappier items of furniture going for more on Craigslist all the time.

So I listed it, and it didn’t sell, so I relisted it again. And then one more time, all over the course of a week.

I had seven different people contact me to see if the desk was still for sale. Seven. Every time I replied that it was still for sale, and gave them my number to call.

Zero calls.

Not a single call after the emails. They didn’t email me back and ask if I’d take less for it, or anything else. They didn’t inquire as to the color, or if it locked, or if perhaps there might be a treasure map hidden in one of the drawers. They just checked to see if I still had it, then went on their merry way.

I felt like I was in some kind of scavenger hunt, where contestants only had to locate where certain items were just in case they’d be needed later.

Them: “Do you still have that desk?”
Me: “Yes.”
Them: “What about a set of Ikea bookshelves you had to rig together with wire ties?”
Me: “Uh…yep.”
Them: “Do you have a jar of pickles, by any chance?”
Me: “No. Go fish.”

Finally, I had a woman contact me and ask if I would bring the desk to a town 50 minutes away to meet her. Two things here. One, I don’t have a truck to transport it, and two, are you out of your fucking mind? Putting 25 dollars worth of fuel in my car won’t even make my hands smell like gas. Taking two hours to drive 100 miles to deliver a desk for 25 dollars is the kind of money that would have only made sense if I were actually delivering it to 1980, and I could invest that 25 bucks in AT&T stock while I was there.

Eventually, I had a guy come by and look at the desk. You know, see it, touch it, actually verify it existed and was, in fact, a desk.

It made me feel good to know that someone else existed who was able to grasp the concept of “desk.”

— Reid Kerr doesn’t know who “Craig” is, but his list leaves lot to be deserved.

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