I have all my taxes and personal files and several years of old magazine articles and newspaper articles I have written stowed in several cheap filing cabinets.They’re ungainly and frankly a big pain in the ass. So I decided to find a decent used lateral file and replace the three cheap regular ones.

On Craigslist I found a guy selling two and three drawer laterals, and sent a mail.

The Craigslist picture showed a couple that were obviously Hon, so I knew they were good, so I went to pick one up Friday. The guy met me at the townhouse garage at the appropriate time, and I liked him right off.

He had run an architechtural/contracting firm- a large one, by local standards- for a long time. No, he wasn’t retiring, he was downsizing “It’s nice not to have to wrangle thirty, forty employees” he said, and the predominant reason, “I can’t afford to pay them and give them health care anymore”. THe increased cost of healthcare absorbed his profits, and he had just had enough.

He felt bad for some of his employees, but not too bad, he said. “The ones who are good, they’ll land on their feet, most already have other jobs after less than a week”. The ones who are bad? “Most of them were obama voters. Let him take care of them”.

He had enough business he could keep hmself and his wife busy for most of the year, the rest of which they’d spend in a condo in Boca. They bought that selling the building his old business was in. And they had all this furniture.

So i loked at the cabinets- there were a LOT of them- and selected one I recognized. He helped me load it, it was chock full of hanging file folders (I counted, two hundred and fifty plus) and I handed him thirty bucks, which barely paid for the file folders.

The filing cabinet turned out to be a Steelcase, around $650 retail and $200 used anywhere on earth. Heavy enough that it’s necesary to remove the bottom drawer and use the jackscrews to level it to get the drawers to glide properly, and boy, do they ever. It had a scratch on top that 5 minutes of mequiars car cleaner made disapear, and four pieces of double stick tape with took another 5 minutes of Goo Gone to remove. And now I’ve about filled it, and have three crappy two drawer Walmart cabinets that I have already found a new owner for on Freecycle.

I had taken $40 out of the bank to cover the cabinet, and the guy threw in a new condition Steelcase chair for another ten bucks- it still had visqueen sticking out from between the upholstery.

I don’t blame the guy one bit for doing what he had to do, and if his effort and others like it help to turn the tide of this nation, I’m for anything that helps. It’s a pity this isn’t a long term winning strategy, but I wished him luck, and I’m happy to have gotten such a good deal on the stuff.