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.