The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Goodwill Industries, Suck My ----

As part of our ever on-going effort to find the floor, we took a truckload of old clothes, kitchen wares, et cetera to Goodwill in Russellville last Saturday.

We pull up at the drop-off door in back of the store. A very puckered lady steps out and scowls at our truck load of stuff. I can't tell if a hard-life has soured her or if a lifetime of nasty thoughts and deeds has stained her with a black, indelible mark.

"We don't take furniture." The two bar stools are the only furniture in the truck.

"What about the rest of it?"

"We can't take it, it's not boxed right so we can send it to Little Rock. And we don't take furniture." What? We've been bringing stuff here for years. This has never been a problem.

A rat of a man comes out and joins us. "We can't take any of this. Sorry, we don' take furniture."

"Well, is there anywhere that we can take it?" I try not to sound too exasperated. I mean I don't usually take donations to charities as a pretense for picking a fight.

The puckered prune sneers, "You can take it to MARVA, they'll take it."


I climb back into the truck. Scarlet says, "You'd think we pulled up with a truckload of shit they way they looked at it."

"Yeah, and what the fuck was their deal about the furniture? You'd think that’s all we'd brought. Assholes."

I drove down to MARVA. They were the nicest people. And, they took everything. We're going to take them another load next week or so.

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Blogger Ranty said...

What?? How weird! Goodwill in MN takes all my crap, including furniture. (Well, excepting monitors, of course - nobody takes those anymore.)

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Patricia in Jackson, MI said...

Puckered Prune and Rat of a Man? LMAO! You have such a way with words. These people sound like complete turds and I'm glad you had better luck elsewhere. I've taken so much to Goodwill stores in many cities and never ever received such a pithy response. If they have an online way of contacting them I'd lodge a complaint; I really would.

PS do you still have that odd-sized five panel door you wanted to get rid of months ago? Probably not but I thought I'd ask anyway.

3:35 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Wow. I wonder if they even worked for Goodwill. That's the biggest load of trash I've heard all week. Don't take furniture? That's half the store down here... wtf?

8:22 PM  
Blogger B Frye said...

Been there, bought the t-shirt...

Growing up, I learned about giving by the many trips we took to drop off items at a Goodwill. But of late, when I go to any of my local Goodwill with donations (not crap), I'm usually met by an extremely sour attendant who scowls at my mere presence, then stands idly by as I lug bags, couches, microwaves that work, etc, etc to their dock. Usually, after a rolling of the eyes or a heavy sigh at the amount of my drop off (I inherited a few packrat tendencies from my mom), they mumble, ..youwannareceipt?! Which they then begrudgingly tear off a pad of preprinted receipts (not like they had to document the whole lot!)

Sounds like MARVA has an awesome new benefactor!

4:37 PM  
Blogger Ralph's House said...

What crappy customer service! I know your donations were reusable items, but one of our local papers ran a story this week on how the local Goodwill organization spends $120,000 annually to dump donations from its 14 local stores, at $41 per ton. Averaging a daily trip to the dump, they finally bought their own dump truck and also pay off-duty police to guard the donation sites from off-hours dumping. They don't have room for some donations. I admire what Goodwill uses their income for but a smaller organization with less name recognition might be better at putting things up for re-use.

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The way you were treated is not the norm. I work for Goodwill and have had nothing but positive experiences. Try them again and if you get the same response, say something to the manager. Or better yet, contact the administration.

7:07 AM  
Anonymous tobyradloff said...

I had a similar situation a couple of years ago at a Goodwill facility...the main facility in Cleveland, Ohio. I was in the process of moving, and had items including dishes, silverware, clothing, curtains, and two working color TV sets. I drove to the main Goodwill store on East 55th Street (which is also the headquarters for Goodwill Industries in Cleveland), and asked for assistance to unload my truck. Apparently there were no men available to assist me; just a crabby old woman who, like in your experience, dismissed my truckload of doantions as "junk" and wouldn't accept it. In the process of cleaning out my grandmother's old house, I donated two other truckloads of items to that same Goodwill facility with no problems-they always had men available to help me unload; however, that Saturday, only the cashier and her supervisor were on duty, and the supervisor wasn't that enthusiastic about taking donations. I then drove to a nearby Salvation Army facility (again the main Salvation Army facility for Cleveland)...they had a sign posted saying that they do not accept donations in person; only through home pick-up. I then drove to St. Vincent DePaul (a Catholic charity), but found out the hard way that they closed their inner city facility and warehouse (St. Vincent DePaul moved to a large store in a suburban strip center). Ironically, I DID get Goodwill to take my donations...I drove to a collection trailer at a suburban mall, and the worker there was very friendly and helpful regarding unloading my truck and accepting my donations. After unloading my donations, I can imagine the shock that this Goodwill supervisor at the main headquarters would feel when the SAME donations that she refused to accept ended up on one of their trailers. And I would NOT knowingly donate junk. I was cleaning out my grandmother's house, and was in the process of downsizing from her 3 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom apartment. Also, the house was for sale, since my grandmother went into a nursing home. I lived with her. Among the donations was roughly a 50 year accumulation of books, china, and other items belonging to her and my late aunt. My grandmother passed away the following October. Sorry to be long, but my Goodwill donations experiences was something to definitely post about.

6:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry you had that problem with the Russellville store. And those to people you described happens to be the MANAGER (RAT) & Assistant Manager (Prune of a lady) LMAO love your wording. I happened to work at that store for several years, you would not believe how wasteful they are when they get to much of somethings they just throw it away, when there is people in cummuinty that would love to have it. They dont care if an employee is sick or has a family event nothing. Its not as charitable as everyone thinks!!!!!!!!!!

11:47 AM  
Anonymous christine said...

Personally, I would not donate a single thing to Goodwill. IMO, there are much more deserving organizations out there. Goodwill is NOT a not-for-profit organization. Their single stated mission (simplistically stated here) is to provide employment to otherwise un-employable people. However, their employees are most often under paid and not treated very well. I have never met a happy GW employee, and I have been to MANY, MANY stores. They are usually sullen or sad, and often are complaining about their employer. IMO, GW is a greedy organization that is maybe not so ethical. They get basically slave labor and try to squeeze every cent they can out of the donations they receive in order to make a profit, not to "help" anyone. Since they decided to try to be EBay with an online auction site, it is almost impossible to find any treasures in the store like you used to be able to. Anything halfway decent (or anything they THINK is "collectable") is cherry picked for the auction site or is ridiculously overpriced. The chance of finding something great is what used to draw half of their business, so their practices are not even good from a business standpoint. The other half of their clientele are people who truly can't afford to shop elsewhere, so Goodwill's greed certainly isn’t helping that segment of their business either. (Can you tell I HATE Goodwill stores?)

7:36 AM  
Blogger yv2k said...

Top this one:In Fall of 2008, our local goodwill,which was in an older building-closed with plans of moving into a new location. After a year of no new location-we noticed new construction of this building going up in town (Lebanon, Ohio).It's a brand new Goodwill store built from the ground up and very elaborate. It's a HUGE new and ornately landscaped GOODWILL STORE. okay-so they needed a BRAND new store.When it was finished-it was the HUB of something NEW to do in this DEAD town and stayed very busy.Bear in mind that store opened around Spring of 2010. Shortly after that store opened-we noticed MORE new construction on a piece of PRIME real estate.High on a hill that overlooks the entire city.Could it FINALLY be a brand new sit-down restaurant (which this town DESPERATELY NEEDS).The builders had worked feverishly bringing loads of fill dirt to build it up even higher.They built a brown stone retaining wall and landscaping that appears to be a pond at the foot of the hill. Surely with this lavish landscaping-it MUST be a beautiful restaurant overlooking the horizon. NOPE! At this location, about 1.5 miles from the OTHER BRAND NEW GOODWILL STORE-IS ANOTHER BRAND NEW GOODWILL STORE built on PRIME hilltop real estate and landscaped for a Palace. WTF?TWO BRAND NEW GOODWILL STORES BUILT FROM THE GROUND UP WITHIN A YEAR OF EACH OTHER AND ABOUT A MILE APART? WHY? Is this how Goodwill BEST uses proceeds from the sale of merchandise in their stores? Oh and btw-the NEWEST Goodwill on the hilltop-is about 1/2 block from the NEW GOODWILL drop off building (which is in a new strip mall). You do the math- 3 (count 'em) THREE Goodwill properties within a 1.5 mile (or so) radius. All 3 less than about a year old. How much does HILLTOP property cost? How many of these BRAND NEW STORES are popping up-built from the ground up? and sometimes as little as a mile apart? Does anyone else see this as WASTEFUL SPENDING?

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Jordan said...

In china ,there is a saying "A fall into the pit,a gain in your wit" .You can't gain knowledge without practice.

8:23 AM  

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