And then I burst into flames

Hello! Did you know that most people, when they move, hire some people to come move them, and the people come, and their stuff gets moved, and other than maybe a missed box or a broken chair or something, it’s pretty straightforward and uninteresting?

Those people do not have blogs. Also those people are not me.

If you are me, it has to be a long involved process which may or may not end with your stuff being loaded on a truck for later delivery. Who knows! It’s an adventure! And we lived, so I guess it’s okay.

Last Friday a nice lady came to my house to pack up my grandmother’s china and some other breakable things. I asked her if she knew when the movers were coming on Monday. “Oh, they’ll be here by 9,” she said. “Maybe as early as 7. It depends. You should call them and check.” I thought this was excellent advice, so I called the woman I’d been dealing with at the moving company. I got her voicemail and left her a message.

At about 6:30 on Friday I realized that she’d never called me back, and of course, now they were closed for the weekend. No matter! We would get up early on Monday and wait.

Well, we finished packing at about 2:30 on Monday morning, because Murphy’s Law states that no matter how much crap you have to pack or how many people come to help, you will still be packing into the wee hours because moving is SO MUCH FUN it’s best enjoyed on about 3 hours of sleep.

We then got up at 6, so as to be ready by 7 in case the movers showed early.

7:00 came and went. No matter! We ate leftover Chinese food for breakfast.

8:00 came and went. No matter! We started making a pile of things to take in the car with us, and cleaning surfaces that we could reach around all of the stacks of boxes.

9:00 came and went. Um. Now I was starting to get a little concerned.

At 9:30 I called the moving company. My contact, as it turned out, was on vacation. But this other woman would check into it and get right back to me. She got right back to me and told me they’d be there between noon and 2:00. I swallowed my tongue, which made the rest of the conversation a bit difficult, but I think I managed to convey that I wasn’t entirely overjoyed at this bit of scheduling.

Otto assured me that it was okay. We sat down with our laptops (geeks that we are) and did some work.

Noon came and went.

1:00 came and went.

At about 1:50 the doorbell rang, and I jumped up in delight. I threw open the door to find a man in a moving company t-shirt, and I started to gush about HOW HAPPY we were to see him. Then I noticed something.

“Um,” I said (writers are eloquent at all times), “I cannot help noticing, sir, that you appear to have come in an Oldsmobile rather than a big moving truck. I do not think all of my belongings will fit in there.”

“Oh, I’m just here to do inventory,” he replied with a chuckle, holding up a roll of numbered stickers.

A small piece of my soul withered and died.

“So, uh, when do you think the MOVERS will be here, then?” I asked.

“No idea,” he answered, unbothered. “I’m just the tagger.”

I reported this non-progress to Otto, who suggested I call the moving company again. So I did.

“Oh, let me check on that and call you right back!” my new contact chirped.

I hung up the phone and went back downstairs to discover Otto on my cell phone, spitting nails. Apparently a customer care representative had called my cell to ask if everything had been satisfactory with my move! And Otto had the unparalleled joy of informing her that WE HAD NOT BEEN MOVED YET, and in fact I was on the other phone trying to get some answers.

An hour passed. During this time, many of my noticeably unmoved belongings gained number tags. Whoopdeedo.

I called the moving company again. It was now after 3:00.

“Mrs. Lastname, they’ll be there no later than 4:30,” the same cheerful woman informed me.

“I… you… are you… JOKING?” I stammered.

“No ma’am, by 4:30 for sure.”

It was around this point that my face melted off my skull.

“Okay. No. Listen, we were told the movers would be here between 7 and 9 this morning, and now you’re telling me that they’re not going to be arriving until 4:30? To load an entire 4-bedroom house? We have seven hours to drive tonight and they’re not going to be done until close to 9:00!”

“I know, ma’am, I’m sorry about this, it’s just that your driver called in sick this morning and we’re short-staffed—”

“Wait, did you just say he called in this morning?”

“Yes ma’am, and rather than cancel your move, we have been scrambling to find coverage so we can still get you moved today—”

“Do you have phones there?”

There was a pause. We were talking on the phone, so my question had confused her. Was it a trick question? Or had I lost it completely?

“Yes, we have phones, ma’am….”

“Excellent. Did it occur to you, at any point in this process, to CALL ME and let me know what’s going on? My driver called in THIS MORNING and I have been chasing you by phone all afternoon. I understand that things happen and sometimes it can’t be helped, but you people have my home phone number, my cell phone number, and my husband’s cell phone number. WHY. WASN’T. I. CALLED?”

“I… don’t know, ma’am, I’m very sorry, I understand that this is frustrating—”

“You know, it really is. Incredibly frustrating. And while I’m not trying to yell at you and I know it may not be your fault, for the amount of money I am forking over to your company, I expect on-time service. And if for some unforseeable reason that can’t happen, I do expect the courtesy of some notification.”

“You’re absolutely right, ma’am, we should’ve called.”

“Okay. Thank you. Now. What’s going to happen here?”

Another pause. She was thinking really hard, I could tell.


“Well, right now you’re telling me that my move that was supposed to be complete by noon may be in progress until 9:00 tonight. My husband and I are supposed to drive 7 hours to our destination and because we were up early this morning for the movers that didn’t arrive, we’ve had about 3 hours of sleep. You can see where I’m wondering if your company has any suggestions on how we might salvage this situation.”

She cleared her throat. “I am… uh… not authorized to do anything for you,” she said, and I found myself stifling a hysterical giggle, “but you could maybe call corporate tomorrow and ask them if they’d reimburse you for a motel room.”

My spleen ruptured.

“I see,” I said slowly. “So, let me get this straight. I pay you multiple THOUSANDS of dollars because I am promised the best service in the state, you guys completely botch my move day, and by way of apology you MIGHT be willing to give me $50 for a night in a motel?”

I think I heard a small sob. “Yes…? I’m so sorry.”

I thanked her for her time and hung up. I dialed the sales agent with whom I’d done all my contracts. Here is the message I left him:

“Hi Otto” [his name is Otto as well, which is a little freaky] “this is Mir Lastname and it’s about 3:30 on Monday. You might be wondering if my move went smoothly today, and I just wanted to call and tell you that I STILL HAVE NOT BEEN MOVED and although the guy who’s here with the little number tags is very nice, I am going to pluck out his eyeballs and eat them in another fifteen minutes or so. I AM NOT HAPPY.”

At 4:20 two guys and a truck showed up. One of them tracked tar through my kitchen, looked at all the black marks on the floor, muttered something about “Dunno what that stuff is,” and when I started clutching my heart and sliding towards the ground Otto pulled him aside and asked him to put some cardboard down. So he did. On top of the black stuff. Which I was later not able to remove completely.

At 4:30 I closed my laptop and told Otto he could take the cable equipment over to the Comcast office to turn it in. (Georgia state motto: Not at all Comcastic!) Otto handed me the keys to his car and suggested that I go, instead, because I probably needed to get out of the house for a bit. He’s smart, that man. So I went for a nice drive and handed my cable modem and DVR box to a woman behind some plexiglass which was assumedly there to protect her 5-inch-long leopard-print fingernails. Yep. Gonna miss Comcast.

Back home, there were now THREE moving trucks flanking my house. Apparently they’d sent over all available hands, and in the time it’d taken me to run my errand, they’d almost emptied the house.

A few minutes later, my sales agent showed up to apologize. That was nice, but when I asked him if there would be a price adjustment he said, “Oh, I can’t do that.”

“Of course he can’t,” Otto said later, “that would cut into his commission!”

Sales Guy Otto wished me well and went to give me a hug before he left. Now, I’m a hugger, so I didn’t really mind (despite not knowing him terribly well) but then he KISSED MY CHEEK which was—no matter how you slice it—just plain weird. Sorry we screwed up your move, how about some inappropriate physical contact? (Fortunately MY Otto was in another room when that happened, though when I told him about it later he offered to drive back and punch him. My hero.)

Around 6:30, everything was on the truck except the vacuum cleaner. Otto continued vacuuming upstairs with deliberate determination, unhurried. “They can wait,” he said.


I had one pack of Diet Coke left in the fridge. I took it outside. “If you guys need a cold drink, help yourselves,” I said. Several sweaty men grabbed sodas. I took one for myself, and when I turned around to grab one for Otto, one of the men had picked up the pack and was putting it into the cab of the truck. Oh. Okay, then. “Help yourself” surely sounded like “please take my remaining caffeine along with the dignity and patience you robbed me of earlier today.”

We brought the vacuum out, tipped the guys who were still there (the tagging guy had stayed to load, and had actually been very kind and sympathetic despite hearing me going apoplectic on the phone several times), and the last truck pulled away with everything I own. That we hadn’t crammed into Otto’s car.

Another half hour for cleaning and I pronounced my will completely tapped out. We piled into the car and headed west. Audrey the GPS declared we would reach our destination at 12:33 AM.

We stopped a couple of times to scrape the bugs off the windshield and buy chocolate and stuff like that, so it was closer to 1:30 when we got here.

After a glorious night’s sleep, I am now sitting at the computer with a frothy cappuccino my stepmom made for me, while Otto and my dad chat downstairs. I am considering skipping Georgia altogether and just staying here. This is nice.

Tonight I need to eat my weight in sushi with my parents (while Otto, who doesn’t do raw, eats something prepared by a man with large cleavers), and tomorrow we are headed south.

We close on the new house on Thursday, and nothing is allowed to go wrong because I have already ruined most of my important internal organs.


  1. hollygee

    Thank goodness for those sleep-and-cappuccino-and-sushi breaks to help you come back to a normal blood pressure.

    And not that I’m trying to get that pressure to red line again, but isn’t Joss’s provider Comcaustic? May you be saved from that fate.

  2. jenn

    OH MY GOOD LORD! Are you kidding me? What in the hades has happened to customer service? You would think with all the bad press moving companies have gotten lately, they’d be eager to counteract that. I guess not.

  3. Kris

    Pretty, pretty Mir.

    No matter how much you want to just put it behind you – FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT. Drag that company down until they give you what you so richly deserve. And if they don’t – report them to the Better Business Bureau and name them on your blog. It’s done wonders for other people and who knows, they might, in the end, reimburse you lots of money.

    People give up too easily just to “get it over with.” These companies “will never learn that we control them – NOT the other way around – unless we be the squeaky wheel.

    Bitter much?” you’re probably thinking. Why, yes, I am. And I’m tired of people giving up when they’re deserving of so much more. If you give up, you get nothing. If you keep on them, sooner or later they give in – even just to shut you up. And hey, that money’s just as green as any other kind. Bwa ha haaaaaaa…

    You’re far too pretty to be going through all this crap.

  4. Mrs. CPA

    We are moving in the next few months back to Arkansas from Alabama, and there will be no movers involved. Only my husband, who is slow as Christmas. If I’m lucky, I’ll actually get my winter clothes there by the time it gets cold.

  5. The Other Leanne

    Oh. My. God.

  6. Woman with Kids

    The stress of the actual moving day is horrible (as you know). But just think: Moving day, part 1 is over! And you’re on your way! With Otto! Woohoo!

  7. Daisy

    After you’ve had some sleep and a little more caffeine, request a refund again. And again. And when they realize you have a blog and can badmouth them to kingdom come AND PEOPLE WILL LISTEN maybe they’ll do something about it.
    We wrote a letter to our car dealer titled “The Case of the $600 Spark Plug Wire” and got a $250 reimbursement. Go for it. You’ve earned any penny you get back.

  8. Heather S.

    Wow you poor thing glad you got a good night’s sleep and that Sushi would make me happier too. I say go after that company though they should make things right by you!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Leah

    My head hurts just reading that. Isn’t moving awful enough without a shittastic mover experience?

  10. Kathy from NJ

    AFTER your stuff is unloaded and checked over, you should surely let us know who the mover was. A little bad publicity couldn’t hurt.

  11. ishouldbeworking

    Keep after the moving company until you get some kind of compensation. The way your move was handles is so not acceptable!

    And Sales Guy Otto? I would have punched him myself and taken out some of the frustration that way.

    Hope the worst is over and there is no more rupturing of internal organs or melting of faces of skulls.


  12. Mimipz5wjj

    Hate to say it, but your experience sounds just about right!

    I had packers/movers “lose” my stuff for 3 months!!!! I had to threaten to call the police and report it stolen before they so graciously offered $300 “discount” and delivered my stuff!

  13. Cele

    Scream very loudly. Better yet, borrow Maisy and Sam so he can make Maisy scream (I hear it is effective in melting metal) so it should work on ice cold business hearts.

  14. Lisa

    Oh my word! I agree that you should keep after them until they compensate you for the incredible stupidity of their company! That is not the contract you had. Call corporate or whoever you need to. I also agree that AFTER you get your stuff you should name them on your blog and alert the Better Business Bureau.
    Well sweetie, here’s to all your troubles bein’ behind ya!

  15. Heather

    Oy! Mir, my dear, I’m afraid you seem to have terrible luck with the moving. I suggest you stick around with this Otto fellow for a very long time so you never have to do it again ;-)

  16. Tal

    Wow. Just wow. I’m betting you could have done without the rich motherlode of blog fodder that your day was….here’s hoping the rest of the move goes smoothly!

  17. Liza

    I have a toddler who would love to scream in the background when you call from Georgia to continue to complain and ask for some compensation for the fact that your move was handled so badly.

    Sadly, I’m afraid Georgia is hostage to Comcaustic (I LOVE THAT), which is how I know that my son is an effective background screamer. After spending 2 full days trapped in the house while they pretended they were going to come fix my cable & Internet access, eventually I got 2 months off my bill. Not worth it, but better than nothing.

  18. Bah

    Those darn movers. Those companies are infamous for pulling crap like they pulled on you. I bet the $47.22 in my wallet that you’ll get weird charges added on before they unload the trucks. Get ready to dig your heels in.

    Oh, and the salesmen guy needs a swift kick to the stones.

  19. Susan

    I got a little happy feeling every time you said MY HUSBAND.

    That’s all.

  20. Wendy

    Same thing happen to us when we moved…despite my repeated calls to CONFIRM our move. We live in the same general area you are moving from. I wonder if its the same company? I vowed to never use them again. I think I may have also vowed to do a few other things which I thankfully never did!

    Relax, eat sushi, and drink!

  21. ChristieNY

    Happy you are safe and on the move, fiiiiiiiiinally! With your husband! ::: grin :::

  22. Sophie

    All of that and a kiss too? Gross.

  23. Laura

    I am in awe of your on-the-spot no-shit-taking phone skills. Me, I’d have heard them say the moving guy called in sick that morning, and it would only have been ten minutes later that the significance of that would have hit me. But YOU! You hear this, you get it immediately, and you know just EXACTLY what to say RIGHT THEN AND THERE.


    You so deserve that cappucino and sushi!

  24. Jennifer

    Unfortunately, I think all moving companies suffer from this type of horrible customer service. Maybe they know they’ve got you by the balls (so to speak) and can’t do anything at all at that moment except wait, and wait, and wait for them? That’s no reason you shouldn’t give them hell though. Go girl!


    Bless your heart – I knew (since you’re such a great blogger) that the move would not go smoothly. Really, it’s more because you relied on other human beings to do something at a specific time – those always blow up in your face (and it’s called customer service when it doesn’t). So enjoy the cappucino and sushi. Safe travels to Georgia – wave at me as you pass through Alabama.

  26. ScottsdaleGirl

    Inappropriate physical contact…not good.

  27. Karen

    You said “my husband.” Twice. How freaking cute.

    Wishing you copious amounts of “nothin-more-can-go-wrong-dammit” vibes.

  28. becky

    wow. i would so be calling their corporate office and demanding that discount. and maybe even complaining about the creepiness of the sales guy.

    i really, really hope the rest of your trip goes smoother.

  29. Aimee

    OH MY LORD. Are you freaking serious? I would pursue some sort of a discount, but only after you and your belongings are safe in your new home. Enjoy Otto, enjoy the sushi, and I’m *SO* looking forward to reading something about how the move is finally done and you’re all in the new house enjoying the casino.

  30. Momma Em

    I’d agree with everyone on getting the moving company to pay. I say drag them through the mud! You certainly have plenty to threaten them with. And the inappropriate hugging and kissing?!? Are you freaking kidding me??? By that time I’d probably have knee’d the guy in the groin. (but then again I have pregnancy hormones running wild in my bloodstream)

    Here’s hoping the rest of the move goes smoothly!

  31. Kate

    When we moved from Boston back to the Midwest, the mover told us we had about 1000 lbs more than we thought we would have (based on the weight going out to Boston). So we insisted on a reweigh out here, and indeed their first weight was 1100 lbs more than what we actually had. When we inquired about how this could happen, the guy laughed and said, “I’m not sure, it’s not like we had six guys jump on the truck in Boston!!” Average man is 188 lbs x 6 = 1128 lbs, sounds about right…

    Another move they delivered our stuff 3 weeks late, ripped up a couple of pieces of furniture, lost some stuff, etc. We were fully insured but it took letters to the president of the company to get the money out of them (I highly recommend this method…especially effective if you send the letter via Signature Confirmation). However, the last laugh was on them that time since we got more $ out of them than the move cost.

    Our mover, incidentally, was A!!ied both times. But I think most movers are scums.

    Good luck, and rake them over the coals once you get your stuff out of their clutches.

  32. sassymonkey

    I’m moving in 13 days. This makes me want to curl up into a ball and cry. Or you know, hug a bottle of tequila and whisper sweet nothings to it while draining its contents.

  33. liv

    dayum. i truly can’t believe everything that gets thrown at you. hope the trip to GA goes smoothly, and that you get all of your belongings back and in one piece.

  34. Susan

    F’ing A!

  35. Nicole

    Been there. Done that. About to do it again, unfortunately. I feel for you – really. Hope its almost over.

  36. Wendy

    My face got all hot from reading that. I would drive up there and punch all of them in the face for you.

    I so know where you are coming from. We had a similar experience with a Pottery Barn sofa. Short story, the delivery service said they would bring us our sofa on Sat. and never showed up. I guess I expected too much for the guys in the truck to have cell phones. No one could reach them. They were having a wild time riding around in that truck with my sofa.

    Husband and I bugged the hell out of our local Pottery Barn until they run at the sight of us coming. What else could we do, we gave them our souls for the sofa and the delievery company was closed for the weekend. We finally recieved our sofa on Monday, after the thoughtful suggestion of us waiting until Tues. because they didnt have a truck in our area. We thoughtfully told them they better find a truck or we were coming down them to show them the true meaning of hell. We were without furniture in our living room for 3 days. Pottery Barn was very nice with a $1000 gift certificate.

    I say keep calling. Keep complaining. You need to have some kind of discount for your inconvenice. They would have know hell when I marched down to there office and bit everyone’s head off. And on my rampage, I would be sure to let everyone know how bad the company performed. Of course, I would wait until I finished chewing, because I am still a lady.

    Happy travels.

  37. Cassie

    Ok, I have nothing good to say other than the fact that I’m really impressed that you didn’t manage to strangle anyone over the phone. REALLY REALLY impressed. I probably would have tried to find a way how.

    See, the reality is that because of this bigbadblog, you can always list that company’s name on the interweb and make them look bad until they give you money back. :) I bet it might work!

  38. Mom101

    Oh how I HATE movers! Hate hate HATE HATE HATE. I have nothing but bad moving experiences, from “No, your table must have been broken before we got it” to “If you don’t give us a $500 tip we might not be able to find all your stuff.”

    I am happy to hear you survived. And that you won’t have to do this again for a long, long time.

  39. Barb Cooper

    Gosh, Mir, would you negotiate with my insurance company for me? I hate this kind of BS and I can never think of the right thing to say at the time, which dooms me to endless nights of impotent rage thinking of incredibly cutting come-backs. At the time, though, it’s all I can do not to fall on the floor and strike myself. Sheesh! What a terrible day. Surely, it will get better from here?


  40. Jane

    There isn’t much worse than movers who show up late, make a mess and take your sodas! But your journey is none the less progressing, which is a very good thing.

  41. Sheila

    I was thinking it all sounded about par for the course, with all the bad press moving companies have gotten as of late, but THEN! Then you mentioned the Diet Coke!

    I! Was! FUMING for you! What rude, rude, sweaty men, to take your ENTIRE CASE of liquid refreshments!

    Apparently, I have some kind of caffeine-related issues…

  42. Angel

    You are a tougher woman than I. I think I would have imploded by noon.


  43. Patricia

    Two words for you — MILITARY MOVE!!!!

    All the stress, none of the control. I so pink puffy heart they part when they come in and pack all my crap up in boxes and then I want to rip someones “man parts” out their nose when the big truck comes to load me up and they refuse to take my vintage pinball machine because it isn’t in a crate (like we requested and were told wasn’t needed). And you know that part where they loaded out your 4 bedroom house in a couple of hours? Two bedroom townhouse took 10+ hours to LOAD — and I was facing an 8 day drive across country with 3 cats, a dog, a husband, a trailer, and a 2 year old. Um, yes, I am nominated for sainthood since my miracle is that they all lived to see California, why do you ask?

  44. Erika, Plain Jane Mom

    I’m all worn out just reading about the move, I cannot imagine the stress you are under. Sheesh.

  45. becky

    all of these stories make me think i’ll have to rent a u-haul when we move next year. at least if I break it, i’ll not have to strangle anyone else, or wait on their timing.

  46. sophiagrrl

    Oh no!
    If you have no more moving burps with this company, you will be soooo lucky! turns out that movers are almost wholly unregulated and actually, sucker people all the time. Check this site: (Some folks say the site is also a scam, but hey, that’s internet love.) Anyhow, I’m sending out positive vibes until we get to read that all your stuff is safe at the new digs.

  47. David

    You know, I’ve only moved twice in my life. When I left home, everything I owned fit neatly in the back of my shortbed pickup truck. When I came back to my home state some five years later, a friend and I caravanned my stuff down here in two trips with a u-haul trailer and that same shortbed pickup. I’ve been at the present location for over twenty years, now. If I ever move again (though I don’t plan to) I’ve got this really simple approach planned out. My clothes, my book collection and my laptop will all fit in the back of my truck again. The rest I’m going to have bulldozed into a huge hole in the ground. Simple, yes?

  48. Carrie


    Hope all is well, praying for your safety and your sanity!!!

  49. InterstellarLass

    Moves NEVER work out smoothly. I’ve moved 4 times within my metro area using moving companies and each time I thought I was going to lose a gasket and probably took a couple of years off my life. Glad it’s all done for you now though.

  50. Dana

    Hi! I found your blog through google while looking for moving tips (we have to move 1,241 miles in 2 weeks, found out yesterday). Now I’m about to burst into tears. THANKS.

    :D not really.. ok really. ;)

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