Oh the process is quite simple you call an internationally known and trusted long distance carrier (they don’t like the term mover). They come out to your home, walk about your home for 12 or so minutes, sit at your kitchen table and provide you a detailed quote (which is well within you budget). They show up a little early on the scheduled day to pack your belonging “with tender loving care.” The very next day the truck and crew shows up (looking neat and professional). Quickly, efficiently and with great care the crew moves all your worldly possessions into the truck (with the exception of booze and cleaning supplies). When the truck is loaded, with a warm smile the driver says he will see you in 2 days at your new home, and to not worry your stuff will be safe with him and his crew. As promised 2 days later the smiling crew arrives at your new home. They quickly grasp the plan for the unloading of the truck, and quickly proceed to aptly go about unloading the truck. Placing furniture exactly where asked, and moving it about as necessary to please the customer (wife), without so much as a single dirty look or grumble. A few hours later the task is complete and with a quick handshake, and friendly good bye, driver and crew are off to their next destination. That my dear friends is the fantasy version, that is how we were told it would go, gee I wish it had been true. That would have been a nice story, and without a doubt much shorter than the experience I am going to share.
First I didn’t call one vendor, I ended up having to call 3. I was quite surprised with the 1st moving company just rejected my business, claiming that we were moving to little stuff to far. I had been under the impression that moving companies really liked my kinda business but I was set straight. It seems that for them to make a real profit there has or needs to be a move at the other end coming back, or the need to have 2 households packed in the same truck, or at least a household moving in the return direction to make it profitable for them. They did give us some usefool tips, that were in fact cost savings. My wife and I are both readers, and this was before Nooks and Kindles and other devices where you could read electronically. The mover told us the sheer volume of books we wanted to transport would almost double the close of the move. This information was further confirmed by both the other vendors I was offering the job too. The net result was that the public library in Alexandria VA gained over 1,500 books, of which 350 were hardback 1st editions, all with perfect dust covers. After considerable time spent meeting with 3 different movers, we chose the one that started with a “U” and ended with “nited”. The process was to be quite simple Step 1: on the scheduled day the mover would send a team of “professional” packers to the home and pack for shipment anything that wasn’t nailed down with the exception of food, alcohol or cleaning supplies. These boxes were to be labelled (detailing the contents, the room from which packed i.e. Master bedroom and so on, and box “X” of “X” boxes) so we would have expectations to be able to find things when we arrived at the new home. Step 2: The moving truck and professional crew would show up at the allotted time and begin packing. Step 3: on scheduled move in date, the truck would arrive and unpacking and set up would begin and finish. We had in the contract that pick up would be on X date, and that delivery would be on Y date, with an extra 5 days between X and Y (we did pay extra for having those 5 days). Gosh this seemed so clear and clean.
Step 1: on the scheduled day the mover would send a team of “professional” packers to the home and pack for shipment anything that wasn’t nailed down or food. alcohol or cleaning supplies. On the day scheduled for the “packers,” Joey called at about 8:15am and stated the team would be there within the hour to begin, he also when on to say that based on the walk thru they should be done by 4pm. I said no problem Joey and I look forward to seeing them (from the sound of the voice, I had made a terrible assumption, that being that Joey was a guy). At about 9:45am (at least 30 minutes later than promised) “Joey” and 3 other ladies (all 4 women could have been extra’s on any recent women’s prison movie) showed up, and this burly woman, and walked up to me and said “Mr. Hamilton, I’m Josey, we spoke on the phone, sorry we are late.” That was about as polite as Josey was to me the rest of the day, more than once, I was advised that I was in the way, and that I was hampering the work effort. More than once I stated that I would continue to watch because it was my “Stuff” being packed. Josey made a point of advising me that they were the professionals. I will admit right here right now, that nothing Josey and her team packed was broken. But when it came time to unpack the boxes (which was my responsibility), Josey had proved to have won the battle of wills. Of all the packing, her and her team did, only one room was completely correct, that was the dining room. Half the boxes were miss labelled. A box marked den might actually have 2nd bedroom stuff in it. I suspect in total almost half the boxes were miss labelled as to the contents which made unpacking a treasure hunt. Smiling, I had taken time off for this, and my wife was working (at her new job) so my job was to unpack as much as possible. At one point, I thought the “packing team” had taken several of my wrist watches. But 4 months after the unpacking began, I found my watches wrapped in paper, in a box marked garage. It was one of the last boxes I unpacked. But there they were, my 12 wrist watches. I withdrew my complaint. I will say it is amazing how many boxes were used to pack our belonging. It was close to 100 boxes, many of which only had an item or two in them. My biggest surprise of the day was exactly how much booze and cleaning supplies I had in my home. Much more than I had planned on having to drive down there myself,
In addition it needs to be noted that I still had my job in Washington DC. I burned up a lot of comp time and leave flying down on Friday’s and returning Sunday’s or Monday’s. Thank God SWA had cheap fairs and a great frequent flyer program. A good portion of my trips were on flights earned. After we finally got moved in and settled I still could commute back and forth from DC to Tampa, finding ways to spend at least 4 or 5 days at a time about every 3 or 4 weeks. I did this for 2 years.
This concludes Step 1, Step 2 will be following shortly, and Step 3 later in the day. Normally I would have just on typing and typing and typing, but in fairness to you’ll I am breaking it down into smaller posts. With set up and step 1 this post is over 1300 hundred words, had I just continued, it could have become my “War and Peace.” And for those that may have been wondering, music has been ongoing thru out this entire process, trust me my music choices were unique. I just didn’t want to bore you with the playlist.
If at anytime you have questions or concerns please feel free to ask, for those who have comments those are always appreciated. As always thank you for your time. Please take care, Bill