My two Saturday delivery guys, Julio and Allen, work very hard and are extremely conscientious. This past Saturday (02/20/24) was a really hard day. Five stops / 150 mile circuit, and all but one of the stops were very heavy and required careful handling. When you have a lot of weight and can't damage anything, its a real challenge. We started at 7:30 a.m. and they didn't get back until 6:30 p.m, they were pretty tired. They're probably the best delivery team I've ever had though, they show up on time, never complain, and never say "That's going to be too difficult" they just get it done. Neither have good jobs during the week, they make pretty much minimum wage at their full time jobs and struggle to make ends meet just feeding their families. That's why they like working at The Keeping Room. I pay them well, and some customers even give them tips. Julio is from El Salvador and his English is passable - he proudly became a US Citizen 6 years ago and got his kids through college. He had a mild heart attack two years ago and had to stop delivering furniture, but his doctor cleared him after a few months and he came back in to ask for his delivery job back. Of course I gave it back to him. Allen is from Peru, younger and very smart, always thinking. The two of them get going in Spanish and I can't understand a word, its just easier for them to converse that way than English. Customers like them as well, I've never had the first complaint about them.

So the store is winding down - I have my floor models on Clearance and still have several recliners. I told both of them that if wanted a nice recliner for themselves we would work out a really good price. Well, they would smile and nod their heads, but it was pretty clear that even at "A really good price" neither could afford this class of furniture. They sit on old, broken down sofas at home. When they got back this past Saturday Night from deliveries I teased them a little that they each needed a new recliner for the Super Bowl and try these floor models out! They did, obligingly, and I said "What's the worth to you to have in your home?" it was pretty clear groceries and the power bill were more important than recliners and they both said "We have to think about it and ask the wives". Right.

So I just game them the recliners. I don't think anyone has ever given them something before - they didn't really comprehend it at first. I kept telling them "It's a gift - you pay nothing - just take them home". When it finally sunk in you'd have thought they won the Powerball. They could not say 'Thank you Mr Duane" enough and were beaming smiles. And surprisingly, they had enough energy to load them up in the Transit that night and take them to their homes! They earned them.