If you want to do something good for yourself, listen to Isaac Hayes interpretation of Jimmy Webbs classic By the Time I Get to Phoenix.
Carve out enough time, though, because Ikes version lasts 19 minutes. Its worth every one of them.
Now, for the reason were here: In the song, Hayes, who is driving down the highway after leaving his two-timing woman, sings that by the time he hits Albuquerque, Shell probably stop at lunch just to give her sweet, good thing a call. Oh, shell hear the phone keep right on ringing and ringing and ringing and ringing off the wall. Thats all.
Thats all Almetta Herring heard when she called The Mattress Capital store on Glenwood Avenue last week to pick up the bed she was purchasing for her son and to make another payment on the special one she was buying for herself.
Thats all I heard, too, when I tried to contact the store owner at that number and at another left on the door of the now vacant store. The phone just kept right on ringing and ringing and ringing ...
I was very, very upset, Herring told me, sounding very, very upset still, two weeks after finding out the $200 shed paid had vanished with the store owner. Im a single mother working a temp job, and I work too hard for my money for someone to just come and take it.
That might not seem like a lot of dough to lose to you, but to some people on tight budgets its two weeks groceries or a light-bill payment.
Its a loss of more than just money, though: Its a loss of trust. President Calvin Coolidge said, The business of America is business, and if we get to the point where we cant trust businesses with our layaways a practice, dating from the Great Depression, which its comforting to know still exists then were doomed.
Herring is also upset that the stores absconded owner has all of her vital personal information.
Herring, 48, of Fuquay-Varina said that because she has bad circulation in her legs, she was splurging and buying one of those expensive, electric sleep number beds for herself. She doesnt make a lot of money, she said, so the salesman allowed her to put the beds on layaway. She said shed been making payments bi-weekly, but went by the store to pick up the one for her 6-year-old son.
Thats when she discovered the store and her money were both gone. I went by there Saturday, and the glass front door was stained by handprints and noseprints presumably of people peering inside for some sign of life, some sign of a still-functioning business. All they saw, though, were mismatched mattresses and box springs scattered about the floor.
I had my heart set on it, she said of her fancy mattress. I was paying on it like I was supposed to. They just up and left. I pray this man get whats coming to him. ... All I could do was cry. I want this person stopped.
You know who else wants him stopped?
The owners of two other The Mattress Capital stores that are not affiliated with the one that left Herring and possibly others with no beds or explanations.
If the sudden shuttering of the Glenwood Avenue mattress store is causing angry, restless, tear-filled nights for Herring, its causing headaches and potentially lost business for Matt Boomsma and Kirk Englebright.
Boomsma, owner of the same-named store in Wake Forest, said Im glad theyre gone. My reputation means a whole lot to me, and sharing the same name with a company that leaves customers bed-less threatens that reputation hes built over nine years.
Kirk Englebright, who owns The Mattress Capital stores in Wilmington and Southport, said the same thing, that his business could be thought guilty by association. I tell everybody who calls here (looking for their money back) that were not affiliated with that store. I tell them to call their credit card company and try to stop the payment.
Efforts to reach the owner of the store or the building were unsuccessful.
Herring shouldnt give up on all mattress stores because she may have gotten ripped off by one. Boomsma, owner of the Wake Forest store, has offered to sell her one for cost, for what he said he paid for it.
Upon learning of her distress, Herring said, salesmen from a Mattress Firm store across the avenue on Glenwood have apparently set in motion plans to get her a bed for free or reduced cost.
Perhaps, then, this story will have a happy ending, and by the time the dude who appears to have run off with Herrings money gets to Phoenix or wherever hes going, shell be rising from her new bed.
Saunders: 919-836-2811 or firstname.lastname@example.org