Back in the spring, I had vinyl flooring laid everywhere. The carpets were disgusting and when I turned the light on in the lounge I could see crop circles where QT had been sick, (with his delicate gut that was far too often until I discovered coconut oil) and I’d applied products to remove the stains.
I didn't really think it through. I wanted vinyl with a floorboard pattern in a sort of Ash colour. In an attempt at realism the finish was textured to resemble planks of wood - absolutely brilliant - as a dirt trap.
A door mat was now essential to protect the new flooring and me. I was in danger of having my brain warped with the obsessive cleaning of floors that were meant to be low maintenance and proving to be anything but.
It should have been a simple solution - a door mat is a door mat. Not quite. I live in a small space - single mobile home 40’ by 12’ and I have in my possession seven doormats. Well, you need one for each door and I've got three of those. One behind the sofa for the dog to lie on when he dives behind there to avoid going outside or for safety and anonymity purposes when I'm about to go out without him. Two others are utilised as insulation between dog beds and floor and one in the wash so-to-speak.
The mat that formerly resided by the front door was made of coir and useless as a door mat. Excellent as a horizontal scratching post for QT the Bichon, who’d go at it like a canine possessed with the idea of digging his way to freedom. The pattern it once had, became deeply grooved and bits of coir scattered over the small area of floor in the hall was a regular feature.
“Sorry about the mess.”
Became a habitual greeting when anyone called round.
So I’d thrown out the coir mat and was using the ‘spare’ mat there instead but it wasn't big enough - I was going to have to splash the cash for a new super duper mat that sucked up moisture and dirt, was machine washable and guaranteed for ten years - it would be magic, or so the blurb informed me and a neighbour who’d already got one agreed.
So, after careful consideration of size, colour and type, I placed the order. I required a mottled beige one without the rubber border. Well, in a confined space I wanted as much mat as possible – rubber doesn't absorb, it simply gets grubby.
The mat arrived, within the designated time, via courier. With that air of eager anticipation that always accompanies the arrival of anything new, rather than somebody else’s cast off, I ripped off the plastic wrapping and shook out my new
BROWN MAT with a RUBBER BORDER.
My disappointment was absurdly over the top for a mat. I placed it on the floor and it was smaller than the measurements given, though in fairness those had been approximate. But with a rubber border I wasn't maximising my ‘suck up’ area and I hated the colour.
Now, I avoid making complaints. Not strictly true. I’ll complain to other people about stuff, I will rant into the ether but seldom enter into a dialogue with the people responsible for my disquiet. This was going to be the exception because this had cost me money and fear of man wasn't going to deter me.
Armed with a phone number and a written script, in expectation of a Friday afternoon answer machine, I dialled.
A real live man answered but I read him my script anyway.
“Let me see what’s gone wrong.” He purred.
“Ah yes I can see what’s happened, we've messed the order up good and proper. I’ll ensure that the correct beige mat with no border is sent to you as soon as possible and in view of the inconvenience we've caused, we would like you to keep the mat you already have with our compliments.
I was gob-smacked, my sails were devoid of wind and from that point I was putty in his hands. I even thanked him for his generous offer and asked him if he was sure he would be allowed to do that. I'm such a sucker for a kind voice of reason, it’s quite scary.
So now I'm the proud owner of TWO water sucking mats. My beige one sits quietly doing its thing by the front door and the other one – well, I don’t quite know what to do with it to be honest. At the moment it’s rolled up and taking up valuable space in my spare room.