Apparently Beggars CAN be choosers

My departure from San Francisco didn’t go as smoothly as I had expected. When I last posted, I was just waiting for the Salvation Army to come pick up my couch, my bed, some desk drawers and a plastic table & chair set I had on my back porch. I had never had any experience with the Salvation Army before, but I assumed they took peoples’ old stuff and gave it to the less fortunate.

It turns out that assumption was very inaccurate – the Salvation Army is pretty picky. Of all of my stuff, they were only willing to take my couch. The other stuff wasn’t new enough or in mint-enough condition. Well crap. I was planning on heading out of town as soon as they picked up my stuff, and now I’ve got all this stuff in my apartment an no way to get rid of it. I called my landlord to explain the situation, and she said she had never dealt with a problem like this before. Really? I just can’t believe this doesn’t happen fairly often. Surely other people have made the same mistake about “donating” the stuff they didn’t want any more. I mean I thought I was doing a good deed by making this donation, but now I was in quite a pickle.

After my landlord sounded like she was at a loss for ideas and was distraught about figuring out what to do, I had another idea. I called 1-800 GOT JUNK. It turns out this is a brilliant service. They were able to come the following day to pick up my junk. They were a little vague about how much they would charge me, but it sounded like it would be somewhere between $99 (minimum) and around $500 maximum. Sure that sounded steep since I thought someone should be happy to have my “junk,” but I was in a tough place and they sure seemed like my best option. I arranged for them to meet my landlord there first thing the following morning, and they were going to give me an estimate and then I would give them my credit card number over the phone.

I finally got out of town, but it was raining really hard and it was 5 PM on Friday by the time I returned my cable box and the keys to my drum rehearsal space. I was headed to Modesto to visit my friends there one last time on my way out of town. It took me 30 minutes just to get onto I-80, and it took another 2 1/2 hours to get to Modesto. Not as fond of a farewell to San Francisco as I might have hoped for.

The next morning my landlord called and said that the painters showed up at my apartment and said they wanted my “junk,” so she just called 1-800 GOT JUNK and canceled my appointment. (sigh) well at least it got resolved.  I must say I was very impressed with my experience with the good folks at GOT JUNK and I wouldn’t hesitate to use them again should I find myself in the same situation.

I don’t consider my real road trip to have begun until Friday, when I left Modesto. I’ll give you a recap of the first day on the road shortly…

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