What Now? We’ve Been Floored!

| January 1, 2013 | 0 Comments

If there’s one thing you shouldn’t do, domestically speaking, it’s buying new carpeting. Just keep the carpeting you’ve got, y’know? Never mind the age, its stains, the wear, the kids, the dog.

Especially the dog. In our case, Barney.

Don’t go listening to your kids: “Maaaaaa, your old carpeting is to embarrassing!”

Just go out to dinner.

We wanted wood, or tile, but there go the kids again: “Maaaaa, carpeting is so warm and cozy. Tile and wood are so cold.”

They could just keep their shoes on, y’know.

We gave in, decided to shop around but, surprisingly, the kids chimed in: “Maaaaaa, just go to North Park Carpet. Shopping around will drive you crazy.”


Oh, never mind. Here’s my conversation with Mike Stevenson at North Park Carpet:

LW: You’re the second generation in North Park Carpets? Did you know all about it when it was time to take over? Does dad approve of your management/style?

MS: I went to work for my father in 1975. When he retired, in 1995, I was experienced! And, he’d had it!

LW: HAD it? And he’s the installer!

MS: He was hard-nosed towards employees and hard –to-handle customers. He was a “my way or the highway” kinda guy. I try to please everyone.

LW: So, this abysmal undertaking is not your fault, right? No wonder your dad was so crabby. You’re a nice guy? By the way, not that I’m complaining, but could I have gotten a better price – you’ve seen all the ads?

MS: Advertising takes a hook to work. 50 percent off! Free labor! Sure it’s “free”; just ask the guys doing the work if they are getting paid. It’s always built in. You must lie. I don’t do that, and I hate gimmicks. We don’t have sales. We don’t falsely inflate the price then discount it. Its all BS…Oops! We take a less-than-industry average markup. Do the work ourselves and almost never get beat on price. Think you’re getting a deal? Someone who makes a living doing that has gotten over on you.

LW: This ordeal is just one notch under moving altogether.

MS: We don’t talk our customers into buying (as I hope you experienced). We don’t badger them. When they’re ready, we try to prepare them for the worst. We might split up a large install rather than force a long hard day. It’s more costly for us, but I’ve decided it’s worth it. The alternative is rushing, tossing furniture around and a mad dash to finish … Not our way. Even with our system, we know it’s stressful. I like to remind customers …soon it’s over and you get to enjoy the results for many years!

LW: Any advice for staying …um, sane, during the
process? Do you offer counseling?

MS: Resign yourself! OK, a lot of disruption, no way around it. Ask a lot of questions – and still many will remain unanswered til’ the dreaded day.

LW: I learned a LOT about men (and their women) from Eric and his guys during our installation. Wow. Do you offer counseling?

MS: (Silence)

LW: Hello, Mike? You haven’t said one word about how to deal with a dog, either? You sold me canine-resistant carpeting, right?

MS: I hope you’re loving your new carpet; got a great report from Eric and the boys. The dog cracked them up, too… You were a joy to work with for me. Thanks again!

LW: Good seque. In media training, we call that “deflection.” So, before we’d even begun to recover from the installation, I decided rather than ever do it again, I’d either live in a tent, keep the old carpet forever, or, sorry, Eric, we’d kill Barney:

Wish we had a dog named “Duke”!
He’d be classy and he’d never puke.
Ours up-chucks on the rug,
Strides off smarmy, all smug,
As if it’s just some charming fluke!

Does he care that our carpets are new?
That they cost some big bucks – not some “few”?
But if “Duke” were our pet
We would never fret,
Nor hold noses, nor never shriek, “Yewwww”!

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