When Justine downsized her office a couple of years ago, she had to get rid of a bunch of furniture in order to fit into her space – including a beautiful and original mid-century Knoll loveseat. She did everything she could to squeeze the couch into her new office, but the matching chairs just seemed to fit better on their own…
Not ready to totally part with the loveseat, Justine decided she wouldn’t sell it, but rather lend it to her friend Flora who worked just down the hall. The deal was, Flora would house the modern gem until Justine was ready to take it back. Everyone was happy.
Cut to two years later… Justine wandered into to Flora’s office to ask her a question, when she noticed (what she would call) a giant coffee stain on her beloved sofa. She was just in Flora’s office a week ago, and the loveseat was in pristine condition. Why didn’t Flora tell her what happened? So she asked…
A bit flustered, Flora said that just a couple of days ago a client of hers accidentally spilled his coffee all over the fabric and not all of it came out. Justine explained that if Flora had come to her earlier, she probably could have gotten the stain out herself. Justine went on to tell Flora that she knows a professional who specializes in these older fabrics, and while he’s a bit pricey, Flora could call him in to try and get it out.
Flora was of course apologetic, and suggested that they try Justine’s tricks anyway. And if they didn’t work, Justine should she call her guy – but Justine would have to pay for it herself! Flora felt that while she was the one borrowing Justine’s couch, it had been two years, and wear and tear was bound to happen. And if it were her loveseat, she wouldn’t spend a fortune to get out what she thinks of as a minor stain.
Is Flora right to think that Justine should expect some wear and tear, and that anything ‘above and beyond’ should be up to Justine to pay for in terms of keeping her couch in tip top shape? Or is Flora just being cheap and disrespecting her agreement with Justine?
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