Some of you know that Mr. Plain(s)feminist and I are about to become first-time homeowners. That process might be something I should blog about at some point, though I suspect that most of my readers have already become homeowners and would not be surprised by the things that surprised us (such as closing costs - ouch!). Many of my friends are already on their second or third houses.
Anyway, in preparation for our upcoming move, I decided to pick up some file boxes so that I could unload and then get rid of some filing cabinets that we don't really need any longer. I had a really good experience with U-Haul boxes (sturdy and just the right size) the last time we moved, so I looked up U-Haul on the internet and set off for one not too far from me.
When I got there, the address was printed in big numbers on the building, and there were storage and U-Haul signs, so I knew I was in the right place. However, there seemed to be no front to the building. There were two doors; one was a heavy, single door, set between two loading docks, with a sign above it that read "Sales." The other was a heavy, double door, next to a dumpster, and opened onto another loading dock. Both were windowless doors that looked like employee or back entrances. There was one window in the building, but there was shelving set against it on the other side. Both doors were locked. I felt certain that I was at the back entrance of the building, but when I tried to drive around to the front of the building, I found that there was no way to get there. The driveway ended and was blocked by a large dumpster. The building itself was set on a block next to a railyard, and the street did not go all the way around the block so that the southern and western sides of the building were inaccessible.
I finally sat in the parking lot and called the number I had gotten off the computer, which remained busy each time I called. Then I called the number on the side of the building and got an answering machine. There were plenty of cars in the parking lot, so I assume that they were open for business. But how their customers were able to get into the building to do any business, I will never figure out.