Monday, September 30, 2013

Is This the Real Life? Is This Just fantasy?

So, dear readers, I've been living in Boise for about two months.  I'm here to tell you about my experiences thus far.  First, it's really beautiful.  That goes without saying.

You know what else is true?  People here are really nice.  Yeah, yeah, it sounds like a platitude.  It's not, though.  People here are supernaturally nice.  Here are some examples:

  • When I first got here I had to go buy a bunch of house-y type things:  bathmat, broom, dish rack, you get the idea.  While I was in the store buying these things I was welcomed to Boise by no less than 3 different people.  How did they know to do so?  They just started talking to me!  They noticed that my cart was full of move-in things and they actually initiated human contact.  I had to talk myself out of the belief that they weren't planning on following me home and robbing me of my new pile of housewares.  An extension of this item is that every time a stranger learns that I've just moved to Boise they actually say the words "Welcome to Boise!  I think you'll love it here."  It's like the entire Treasure Valley works for the Chamber of Commerce.
  • Somewhere in the move out west, a catch tray on the less-than-a-year old grill disappeared.  Though the grill is still perfectly usable, we decided to see if there were any catch trays in the grill accessories section at Home Depot and Lowe's.  No luck.  The Lowe's employee assigned to that section offered to look up the part in her online database.  It seems that this is not a part that one can order as a lowly consumer.  Typically, I think, this is where  the employees tells us that they're sorry they couldn't help us.  Not this lady.  Lowe's has a super secret ordering system that allows them to get parts for their display models since those get manhandled a lot before they get sold when the newer models arrive.  So rather than just wishing us well, she ordered a catch tray for one of the display grill and will give us a ring when it comes in.  Then she's going to give it to us for free.  Whaaaaat?
  • Lest you think the Boise Lowe's is The Most Helpful Place on Earth, let me tell you about Dmitriy at Home Depot.  One of the screws that holds the surround sound speakers to their stands went missing in the move (see a theme here?).  This is a screw that, when looked at pointy end on, looks like a rectangle instead of a circle.  Two opposing sides are threaded and two are flat.  Also, the head where the screwdriver would normally fit is completely flat.  Not surprisingly, no one sells these weird-ass things.  As we stood dejectedly looking at the massive screw collection at Home Depot, my new best friend Dmitriy came along in his little orange apron and helped us find the regular screws that were the right length and threading (for the record, I'd already figured that part out but I appreciated the confirmation). THEN he spent 15 minutes hunched over with a metal file making a screw that looked like the special Sony screw.  He did this for no apparent gain that I can see.
  • Last week the sale of the house in Massachusetts required that Huppy deposit a decent chunk of money into a local checking account so that it could then be redistributed as closing costs.  She then asked a the teller how long it would take for the funds to be available so that she didn't send it on too soon.  He tapped a few keys and said "Eh, you're good for it.  It's available now."  Ex-squeeze me?  Baking powder?
  • One of the things I had to do before Huppy arrived was make sure I'd found a good place to get haircuts.  After an unpleasant incident before I moved where the guys who work _for_ my former barber refused to cut my hair (he was gone that day) because they don't cut women's hair, I was a little paranoid.  (In their NON-defense, they knew damned well who I was and how long my hair is not)  Anyway, I found one, she's nice (obvs), and Huppy went to get her haircut last week.  Today, the hair dresser called Huppy and said that she had another client in who is also a civil engineer and she told him about her new client who just moved here and it looking for civil work.  He told her to pass his cell phone number and a list of companies on to Huppy.  To be clear, Huppy got a haircut and a headhunter in one swell foop.
I realize these are primarily customer service stories but a) they still count and b) I just got here so my social stories are fewer in number.

Other stray items not related to niceness:

  • If people are home, their garage doors are open.  Like, allllll day.  And from what I can tell, their stuff is still there when they shut the door again at bedtime.  
  • Every parking lot here has a drainage channel in it that I cannot seem to drive slow enough over not to feel like I'm about to bounce out of my car.  The driveways are the same way.  The reason this is noteworthy is that THIS IS A DESERT.  I have yet to figure out why everything is designed to withstand a flood.  Optimism, maybe?
  • A dude kidnapped a young woman after killing her mother and brother in California.  He took her to the wilds of Idaho where he was spotted by four folks on horseback (one of whom works with me!).  On the Today Show when asked why they were suspicious of the pair since the kidnapper was touted as an outdoorsman, one of them replied that he maybe he's California outdoorsy but he's not Idaho outdoorsy.  So, that's a thing.
Enough for now.  All is well here.  My new job is keeping me hopping and eventually I'll be done unpacking all this STUFF that at some point in my life I thought I needed.