The Penny

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.

[Sunday, April 12, 2009]

We Moved

Well, Laynie and I are in our new apartment, which is a larger unit in the same development we already lived in, Riverstone. The main benefits of this apartment are the second bedroom and the garage, which has a little area for storage. It's so nice to have the Christmas tree out of the laundry room.

Moving stinks. I hate it. But it's worth it to get into a place that can fit all our stuff. I suppose that having less stuff might be an option, but what to get rid of? Therapy materials (I have tons of toys, games, and books)? Books? Cooking stuff? I have definitely dejunked things are not often used, as well as my thin clothes (sniff), but there's still so much.

The best thing about moving is getting a fresh start with the refrigerator. No, the freezer. A fresh start with the freezer is the best. I felt guilty throwing away all of the freezer-burned food at the old apartment, but I loved putting only decent stuff in the new one.

I've been unpacking the kitchen stuff, since that's more my domain. I love to bake, and I'm beginning to enjoy cooking, as well. So it makes sense for me to unpack that area. After we sorted the boxes together, I went to the kitchen and Laynie went to the blue bedroom, and we didn't see each other for several hours. Now it's Laynie's siesta time, so I'm with my best friend, iMac.

Our new apartment looks exactly like our old apartment, except for different countertops and an older microwave. But the off-white walls and white baseboards and molding are the same. You might wonder why I mentioned a blue bedroom. It's not that the walls are blue...

As I began packing, probably Tuesday of last week, I had a stroke of brilliance. Color coding! I knew that our movers would be unobservant (they would be men, after all), so any writing on the boxes would be ignored. Also, I have learned from my many moves that in order to read what is on a box, I have to move all of the boxes on top of it. Don't be intimidated by my intellect. So, I got colored plastic tape and labeled all four sides and the top of each box. Laynie was on board with this and followed my system with only a few reminders. Then, Laynie and I got matching crepe paper streamers (and one package of napkins... why no brown streamers?) and put them on the walls/doorways of the new apartment. The bedrooms were marked blue and green, and those names seem to have the stuck. Well, the color names are superior to what we initially called the rooms: the bedroom and the other bedroom.

Unfortunately, due to a lost keys delay (Laynie accidentally packed the keys to the new apartment and realized this as we pulled up with the movers and their full truck) and pouring rain, I ended up not making the movers follow my system. Instead, I stayed downstairs, watching the guy in the truck, so that he would not put our stuff in the rain for the other guys to bring into the apartment. I'm glad I did, too, because there were a bunch of wet boxes when I went down there. But the colors... best laid plans, I guess. Well, that system did help Laynie and I sort the boxes very quickly today.

Speaking of the movers... why can't movers just be honest? I'm not saying that there are no honest movers. But so far I'm one for three with hiring honest movers. When Laynie and I moved from south Provo to north Provo, we rented a truck and hired hourly workers. There were supposed to be four men, and three showed up. Czechs. They were OK. The driver was a fast talker, of course. Oh, my men, good workers, good men, three move you fast like four. Whatever. What could I do, say no? They stayed half an hour later than I had initially asked, which I expected, since they were a man down. But then the boss tried to charge me more. Right, like I was born yesterday.

For the next move, from Utah to Maryland, I was pretty stressed out about finding someone who wouldn't steal my stuff or change the price when it was time to unload. Stupid internet gives me agita. I ended up finding a good company, and the move was expensive, but they did a great job on both ends. And everyone spoke English, which was a bonus.

This time, I got Russians. If I thought the Czech guy was a fast talker... oh boy, he was nothing compared to the Russian driver. Of course, he tried to get me to sign everything quickly, but I read everything before I would sign. I refused to sign the time they finished and that I had inspected the truck and found it empty, because they were just starting to load. Again, I was not born yesterday. They took an hour and a half to load the truck, and when we got to the new place, the driver again tried to get me to sign the end time and the truck inspection. He put 12:40 as the end time. It was 9:15. I asked him if he really thought they would be there until 12:40. That would be 5 hours (plus a paid travel hour, naturally), as opposed to the 3 they had said. I expected unloading to take longer than loading, because they had to go up stairs and couldn't use the hand trucks. But come on. He said, "I finish 11:40, I give you money back." I was paying cash (like I'd give these people my credit card number), and I knew that if I gave him money, I would never see it again. I said, "You stay after 11:40, and I'll give you more money." I suggested 11:40 mainly because I didn't have the keys (remember, packed) and the office wouldn't open until 10:00. He wanted to argue with me. I told him, "You don't need to overcharge me, I'm going to tip your guys." The man with the missing tooth smiled. He was the nicest one. In fact, he picked up on my color code and tried to follow it for a while. He told the driver to lay off when he kept pestering me to sign that I had inspected the truck and found it empty, when they hadn't even begun unloading it. 

Anyway, after I mentioned tips, things went much more smoothly. I paid the driver and he started the guys moving stuff up to the vestibule. Luckily, Laynie remembered which box she had put the keys in (they were in the pocket of the pants she had worn the day before), and we got things going into the apartment at 9:35. They left at 10:50. Do you suppose I got any money back? 

But I did tip them. It's not the workers' fault that their boss swindles people. Besides, I know that my move was not easy for them due to the many heavy boxes. With my tons of church books and children's books, Laynie's ASL books, my sheet music, and both of our textbooks and "regular" books, we could supply a small library. Then there are the pictures, journals, scrapbooks... oh, gosh, our stuff is heavy.

Actually, I gave the Russians some extra money, because I had persuaded them to bring to Goodwill two heavy pieces of furniture (entertainment center and computer desk) that Laynie and I agreed we are sick of moving. 

The Russian driver emphasized SEVERAL times that I should ask for him by name next time I need to move. Hmmm... I'll have to think about that.

Anyway... nothing broke in this move. At least, not that I've unpacked so far, but I think I've found all of the candidates for breakage. Scratches and dings to everything made of wood, yes, but no breaks. This is due in part to my superior packing skills and in part due to the fact that we stacked the odds in our favor by moving all electronics on Friday. The TVs, computers, videophone, speaker systems, hard drives, DVD players, etc., were all in the apartment before the movers arrived Saturday morning. The piano, too.

I am so glad I did not let the Russians touch my piano.

I had piano movers and Comcast do their respective tasks on Friday. The piano movers from Maryland Piano were nice and did a good job moving my rather unwieldy upright baby grand up a 19-step, straight staircase to this second floor apartment. And I actually got a decent Comcast guy, which was a first for me. Literally. Let me tell you how great this Comcast guy was: he made the cable wire a little longer than it needed to be the reach the cable box, which was on the floor at the time. There was enough slack for the box to be place on, say, an entertainment center. This shows foresight and reasoning skills hitherto unmanifested by said company's technicians. Also, he tested the internet connection rather than just hooking up the modem, and when it was not initially working, he phoned home and got it working. Thank you, Comcast guy, for not increasing my stress. I'll even forgive your use of the f-word when talking to whomever it is you guys talk to (actually, I'd like to use that word when talking to Comcast on the phone). I pity you your dialect, which will likely prevent you from getting a good job, but I fink you was duh nicess Comcass guy ever come hur.

I'm glad the move is over. I think I'd like to stay in this apartment for two years.


Laynie | April 12, 2009 at 10:35 PM

Oh please.. Coloring the boxes were MY IDEA.. I told Annie and she didn't catch it until a few minutes later she suggest the idea to label the color boxes.. I was like WHAT?! THAT WAS MY IDEA! Obviously she was not paying attention.. Sighs.. But that's okay, she can have some attention.

Megan S | April 14, 2009 at 1:19 PM

That was a good idea, Laynie! I have to remember that for when we sell our house and move away from the swamp, someday. I like that idea. I wind up marking every side of the box and that gets old.

We did our move ourselves, when we moved from Virginia to here. Robert can heft quite a lot of weight. He even managed to get the Blue Couch out of the truck and into the house by himself, and I'm sure Annie remembers how much that sucker weighed (it finally died a sad death a few years ago, I had to leave it for the street scavengers, but I did save some pieces of the velvet).

Megan S | April 14, 2009 at 1:20 PM

Whoops, from Utah to Virginia I mean. I think I'm getting senile and have adult-onset dyslexia as well.

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