Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Move me

So I lifted this pretty directly from my Myspace blog, where I am not nearly as witty, cynical, or law-related. But basically, I moved to Austin this week. Two days in now, and so far I am loving this city!


Move me

Alright, so let’s cover it, start to finish: the move to Texas.

So, I was originally told that my movers would show up on either May 16th, 17th or 18th. They wouldn’t give me a specific date, since I didn’t have enough furniture and boxes to fill their entire 18-wheeler truck, I was considered a “partial load” and was given the customary partial load pick-up spread of three days. (Insert wide-load jokes here) I was told that whatever day they showed up, they would arrive between 8 and 10 am, and that the driver would give a 24 hour notice call the day before. Fine. Loving this process already.

So, the 15th rolls around, and I wait around optimistically for my 24-hour notice call. Nothing. Then, the 16th rolls around. I wait optimistically for my 24-hour notice call. Nothing. So I decided to call them that afternoon. I talk to Person #1 at the moving company, who says that I am currently on the board for pickup between 8 and 10 AM on the 18th. Last day of the spread, of course. Still, at least I have a timeframe to go by now, right?

The 17th rolls around. My dad flew in that afternoon to help me drive back in my car. He had arranged his flight thinking we would either start the drive directly from the airport, or, if the movers were coming on the 18th, he would get a hotel for the night and we would leave first thing in the morning.

I also get a call on the 17th from Person #2 at the moving company. Same line as before, my movers will arrive between 8 and 10 am the next day. He also confirms my address so that he can print directions for the driver. Good.

The morning of the 18th, I wake up at 6:30 am to pack up my last-minute things: router, my cat’s stuff, etc. I go pick up my dad at his hotel, stop by a Rite Aid for some snacks we might want on the drive, and by 7:30 am, we are back at my apartment ready and waiting for the movers to come. Still naively optimistic, I call the moving company in hopes of seeing just when the movers might show up. I talk to Person #3 that says my movers will be there between 8 and 10 AM that day, but she didn’t have any more specifics.

8 o’clock, then 9 o’clock, then 10 o’clock all tick by. No movers.

So, I call the company back. Where are my movers? It’s person #3 again. She appears to be in charge of dispatch at the Company. She flusteredly tells me that she hasn’t been able to get a hold of the driver yet that morning, but that he has not stopped by their offices with all my paperwork yet, so there is no way he could be at my place for at least another hour and a half. She will call me back when she knows more.

My father and I, faced with staring at each other in a bare apartment with no tv, internet, or stereo, decide to go out to breakfast to kill time. During breakfast, I get a call. Person #3 again. Turns out the mover is several hours away, loading someone else’s stuff (wonder what time they were told to expect the movers…), and that he’ll finish their stuff soon, drive to the company office for the paperwork, then drive to me. I can expect him sometime between 4 and 5 pm. What? !

So, after wasting the afternoon reading almost every magazine a nearby newsstand had, 4:00 rolls around. A phone call. It’s the driver of my moving truck! But he needs to know how to get to my house from the company office. He’s just now leaving there. Wait….I thought you’d be here between 4 and 5….and shouldn’t the company have given you directions to my house? Whatever. I start to give him directions, then say “but wait, I don’t think trucks are allowed on that freeway.” After assuring me that they are indeed allowed and making me spell out every single word I said in the directions, he said he would probably arrive in about 2 hours, around 6 pm. Fan-fucking-tastic.

Oh, but it couldn’t be THAT easy could it? No. The driver gets lost THREE times, including one when he realized that no, trucks are not allowed on the freeway in question, just as I said. One time when he was lost, he couldn’t pronounce the street name he was on, so he spelled it out to me: C-O-L-O-R-A-D-O. Colorado? Like the state? Uh, yeah. So what time do my genius movers finally show up? 8:15 pm. 12 hours late.

Not even close to done yet. They get there, and begin tagging, hauling, and loading my stuff. That box that has glass in it and has stickers proclaiming FRAGILE all over it? Oh, let me THROW it onto my dolly and then crush it with four other boxes. (Maybe if I spelled fragile out for them…) Further, the quote from my movers included them putting my mattress in a mattress box and my glass dining room table cover in crates. Do they? No. They ran out of space for crates. They’ll just wrap them in blankets. At this point I don’t care. Fine. Did I mention their services are costing about two grand?

So, around 10:30 pm, already having been awake for 14 hours, I finally start the drive to Texas in my small little sports car with both my father and my very freaked out cat, Chloe. Let me take some time now to explain a little bit about my father. I love my dad, I really do. But my dad, as a lawyer, makes his life giving people advice. And he really loves to give advice. About everything. So, what is every waking hour in the car with him like? “Daughter, I think you might be better off in that lane.” (Really? Cause this one looks just fine to me.) "Daughter, you’re going a little fast, don’t you think?" (No, Dad, cause the slower I go, the longer I have to be in this car with you.) "Daughter, we should probably get gas again in the next town….” (Wow, you can read the gas gauge too?!)

He is, in fact, the absolute WORST backseat driver I have EVER been in the car with. Now, I don’t claim to be a perfect driver, but I have been driving for 7 years with no accidents and no speeding tickets. So I think I have a clue as to what I am doing. I have never stifled the urge to yell “just shut up, old man!” so many times in my life.

Of course, when not giving advice how to drive, he is giving advice on how to live my life. He isn’t quite as direct about this though—he does it by passive-aggressively quoting random “studies”. For example, “You know, daughter, we probably shouldn’t put a tv in your bedroom. Studies show that people with tv’s in their bedroom are more prone to being overweight.” (Might be true, dad. But then where could I watch porn?) “You know, I just read a study that says women lawyers do much better in jury trials with brown hair instead of blonde.” (That’s great dad. And might even be useful if I planned to be a litigator, which I don’t.) “You know, a recent study suggests that listening to music through Ipod earbuds damages a lot of people’s hearing. Do I need to look into a better headphone options for you?” (No, Dad. I’m listening to my earbuds so that I don’t have to talk to you.) Grrrrrrr.

Anyways, after 22 straight hours of that and my poor little cat making “please let me out of here” meows every once in a while, we finally get to Texas on Friday night. After sleeping for 14 hours in a row, I wake up and start doing things to get my apartment ready. Like the obligatory new-apartment trip to Target.

So, on Monday, my grandmother and I drive down to Austin (about an hour and 10 minutes from the town my dad and grandmother live in) so that she can see my new apartment, have lunch in Austin, and do the Target run with me. So we do that. And all is well.

Until, halfway back to my grandmother’s house, my cell phone rings. It’s the movers. Except, it wasn’t the same movers that packed my stuff. No. They don’t have any idea where that guy went. So now someone completely different is driving my stuff here. And driving it here quickly, apparently, because he says he’s in San Antonio and will be at my apartment in a few hours. WHAT?

I’m sorry, wasn’t I supposed to have 24-hour notice? He called at 3:45 or so to tell me this. There was no way I was going to be able to get my grandmother home, turn around, fight through downtown Austin’s rush hour traffic, and get back to my place in time if the movers are already in San Antonio! So, I instead decide to take my grandmother hostage (she very sweetly claimed not to mind), we turn the car around and head back to my apartment. Where there is nothing to do.

Also, because we didn’t have advance notice, and because the driver had never called in the weight of my load, we hadn’t paid the company yet. But you have to pay the company before they will unload your stuff. And if you don’t have the money paid by the time they show up, then your stuff goes into storage where you will be charged $100 a day until the movers decide they have time to bring it back to you. And, they don’t accept personal checks. So, in addition to my grandmother and I twiddling our thumbs waiting for these movers, my dad now has to go to the bank, take out a few thousand in cash, and then come meet us in Austin so we can pay the movers.

So, all this happens. And then, around 6:30 pm, we get yet another call. They’ve decided to stop for the night just outside San Antonio. They’ll bring my stuff tomorrow. Meaning that all the hustle and bustle, the holding my grandmother hostage, all of it—for nothing.

Still, they are apparently supposed to be there the next day. Yeah, the next day at 7 am. Which means that I had to wake up at 5 am (eek!), load my car and my cat with all the stuff from my dad’s house and beat the movers to my place. Which, of course, I did, since they didn’t actually show up till 8 am (damn one extra hour of sleep they made me miss!) Once they were here, things went smoothly, so far just one chipped drinking glass, a broken standing lamp, and a missing ironing board, but the rest is all here and undamaged.

So now I am sitting here in a sea of partially unpacked boxes, unhung pictures, and all my cardboard-scented stuff, trying to begin the settling in process. According to a study I saw (oh god, I sound like my father, help!) cross-country moves rank second only to divorce as the most stressful event in people’s lives. I’m going to have to say I agree.



At 7:23 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger T said...

That is a well written, and hilarious post. As an actual life experience, however, it was probably an absolute nightmare. You've really just made me glad that I'm going to be heading to a law school 3-4 miles from my apartment.

At 3:45 PM, December 11, 2006, Blogger The Pink Highlighter said...

So, which company was this so I know not to hire them when I go to school next fall? Thanks!


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