In every job there are occasional unreasonable requests. One fairly regular request I got on one job was gift-wrapping anything the boss brought in to give as a gift. I guess I did it too well the first time he asked. After that I had to wrap everything he brought in. Art work, light fixtures, tools, odd stuff but the saddle took the prize for sheer weirdness. How are you supposed to wrap a saddle?
First a saddle is big 25 by 12 inches on average and in the neighborhood of 30 pounds. I got the measurements off the internet I wish I had measured the actual saddle. In addition to the saddle there was a fleece pad , the bit and bridle, and whatever else went with it say another 25 pounds. As a present for his daughter’s birthday, he dropped everything in front of my desk with a loud thud. It would have been dumped on top of the desk but it would not fit. He ordered me to wrap it especially pretty for Rachel. How was I supposed to wrap a saddle? That was crazy! He wanted it gift-wrapped?
I considered wrapping it and asked for a box. Soon I was given a large open top box. What was I supposed to do for a top? It all fit in the box, barely, but it was very awkward, very heavy, and now it was my problem.
I got 2 rolls of paper then did some measurements tried to wrap the first one around and went back for a third roll, and tape lots of tape. I dragged it to the employee lunchroom put the first layer of paper down on the table and horsed the box on top of it. The paper wasn’t really wide enough I was going to have to tape two pieces together then fold it around the saddle. Off the table it went. Did I mention it was a glass top table. After the first time I wondered if the glass could handle the weight.
Tape another roll of paper to the first matching the patterns of course. They I tried to move the whole mess back on top of it on the table carefully. I was listening for the shattering glass. Once it was up I would try to do a magicians table cloth trick and slide the paper under the box both rolls together until it was centered. That accomplished I tried to close it up over the top, the open topped box was a problem.
I checked for everywhere for a big box, by phone of course, I couldn’t spend the time it would take to go places looking for one not expecting it to exist. Everyone was very nice but no one had a really big box. I would never find another box that big so I had to make some kind of a top for that box.
A trip to the grocers for old boxes. A banana box worked fairly well with a little adjustment, using one half as the top and the other to fill the holes. Banana boxes are well vented. By now I had gone through half a roll of shipping tape.
Let’s do a little inventory now. Wrapping all the horse’s tack took around four hours, three rolls of paper, half a roll of shipping tape, just over a roll of scotch tape and a large ribbon. I had to leave the office three times leaving the answering machine to deal with incoming calls from customers.
You’d think Larry, “the office means everything,” boss would be upset. But you’d think a birthday present for his kid wouldn’t matter more than the office. I think I could have driven to the factory that made the saddle to get a box, without even leaving the answering on and it would have been fine that day. Kids are everything to doting parents.
I still say the best way to wrap a saddle is don’t! Hang it up somewhere in the barn with a big bow, and maybe a card.
Annette C. Agnello has been writing for 30 years She accepted the Lord in 1976. She is married to Mario G. Agnello for just over three years. They currently live in Windsor, VA
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