Today was a happy day for Jim and me, as we said goodbye to our twenty-year-old, used-to-be-white sofa that had lost its ability to support our frames, and we welcomed a new sofa into our living room.
This reminded me of the chat Jim had with a customer service rep at Article.com, back when we were trying to order swatches to determine which fabric would work best in our space.
A phrase I’ve been saying to myself a lot this year is “do the human thing.” This reminds me to do things like call a friend and not just text; meet up in person; spend time cooking a good meal; be friendly with the cashier; don’t look at my phone while in the waiting room, etc. Basically, make an effort to be fully human and not a distracted machine.
In that vein, Jim’s conversation with Justin—who is very much NOT a bot—gave me hope for humanity. After reading this chat, I bet you will love Justin too.
Article: Thank you for providing your information. How can we help you today?
Jim: Hello! I recently ordered some swatches to help us pick out a good sofa. The swatches arrived today. However, there is one more swatch we wish we would have asked for—the Sven Birch Ivory. We see that this sofa has a great sales price through 11/27, but we fear it won’t get to us by then, given the length of time it took for these swatches to come. Is there any way you could send it via expedited shipping? FYI, our original swatch request # was 112208, which I placed on 11/4. And they just arrived today, on 11/16.
Thank you! An agent will be connecting to answer your Fabric Swatches question shortly.
Justin: Hey there, Jim. I’m Justin.
Jim: Hey Justin!
If you put in another swatch request I can take that request number and ask the swatch folk about that. There are never guarantees with shipping and logistics, of course. It’s more like weather than, say, taxes.
Also, your name is fantastic and reminds me of an excellent maritime folk song from here in Canada.
Is that so? My son works in the maritime trades here in Maryland. What is the song?
Jack Hinks! Made famous by the band Great Big Sea, who made an awful lot of obscure maritime songs famous. (They’re from Newfoundland.)
Very cool. I’ll have to check that out!
I’m putting in the swatch order now. I’ll have it for you in a minute.
Definitely do. They’re a great kitchen party band. Just plain fun, and almost always with a wink.
Alright. Stand by and I’ll do this right before your very eyes.
In the meantime, can you please tell me how does birch ivory compare to winter gray? Is birch ivory darker or lighter than winter gray?
Lighter. It depends a bit on the lighting, but this is one of those cases where I don’t have to qualify or hedge at all. Winter gray is darker for sure.
Oh, man, Jack Hinks is awesome. Love that accordion.
Right?! Great Big Sea was an important band in Canada for a lot of reasons, and one of them is reminding people how to have a heck of a lot of fun.
Thanks for the comparison on those two colors. My wife is afraid that birch ivory will be too light.
You’re welcome. I sent the priority request to the swatch folk as well. It’s in their hands now.
It’s light, but kinda “heathered” with darker grays.
But all of the swatches we received today look darker in person than on screen, so I think it could work.
So it’s not brilliant white or anything, but it’s nowhere near that “18% gray” of the other one.
It’s always darker than people think because the pictures on the website are in direct studio lighting. The heathering makes a big difference in cutting down on how brilliant it is.
So now you’ll have a couch to jump on while you listen to Great Big Sea. What more could anyone need, eh?
Ha! So I guess the question is going to be do we wait for the swatch or just go for it. Lemme ask you this…is the $49 return fee per item or per order?
If we were to buy two pieces and return them both, would the return fee be $49 or $98?
Just hold onto the packaging so you don’t end up with $50 reboxing PER ITEM. That hurts. $49 for the lot as long as you did it in one return.
Got it. That’s a good deal that cuts down on the risk. It’s hard to buy a sofa online. But you’re making it easier…and more fun!
What can I say? I don’t do anything without a soundtrack.
Well, thanks for putting in the request for them to expedite the swatch.
It’s been a pleasure, Justin! Thank you for your service.
Likewise, Jim Hicks.
I’ll see you at the next Great Big Sea concert.
Thanks for taking the risk of connecting with me as a human being. I’ll be the dude with an overly large beard who doesn’t seem to belong there.
Excellent! Until then, farewell.
Be good to yourself. Peace to you and yours.
Thank you, and right back at ya. Good night.