They say moving is in the top 5 most stressful experiences you can have in your life, up there with changing jobs, getting married (or divorced), someone dying…
I would have to say after yesterday that I wholeheartedly agree – however I want to add in acknowledgement of the distance moved and then insist that it’s irrelevant. As is the number of items. The amount of stress is directly proportionate to the common language skills of all parties and the likelihood that your movers are from a Russian crime syndicate keen on taking you (not just your furniture) on a ride.
Let’s start at the beginning shall we?
This was the list.
– Go to owner of dining table‘s place, pay for and pick up table. Put in back of SUV.
– Go to owner of sofas’ place. Pay for sofa lounges then let her know to wait for movers at 7.
– Go to owner of coffee tables’ place. Pay for coffee tables then let her know to wait for movers at 7.30
– Go home. Assemble dining table and reading chair.
– Receive movers and aforementioned goods around 8pm
Here’s what actually happened.
Before I leave, I assemble the reading chair I’ve received. I’ll show you later.
4pm. I ordered a town car SUV/van. Waited 5 minutes. Got a sedan. Called back. Told them I didn’t order a sedan, and that I needed a van (it wasnt just my body dysmorphia requiring a van.. I actually needed to pick up stuff). Waited another 10 minutes. Got an SUV.
4.16pm Judging by the growth of baby hairs on his chin, SUV driver is around 12 or 13 years old. Think to myself, I may die. Send out final tweet, just in case. Decide (thanks to Natalia) to call him Ramon. Go Ramon, Go!
4.30pm Arrive at dining table residence. Ramon waits outside. Craigslist listing failed to mention table top has a corner missing, that looks like it’s been chewed by a zombie on bath salts. Not sure what to do and conscious of the time I agree to buy a completely different table for the same price.
4.36pm Load table into SUV with Ramon’s help. He is surprisingly strong for a 12 year old.
4.48pm Stuck in shocking traffic. Ramon is muttering into his earpiece. After my third attempt at striking up conversation I find out his name is Eduardo. I decide to stick to Ramon. GO, RAMON, GO!
5.05pm Arrive at the lovely Samantha’s house. She looks radiant with her clean hair and unwrinkled dress. By contrast, at this point my shorts are creased somewhere around my armpits and my tank top is feeling like it grew out of my sweat fungus. I pay her the balance for the sofas, thank her profusely, and run back to Ramon. GO, RAMON, GO!
5.20pm Arrive at the coffee table place. Ramon insists he won’t turn down the actual street because of the traffic. I run from the corner to the middle of the block, then buzz a somewhat dodgy looking doorbell to meet Craigslist person #3. Her name is Magdalia, which my tongue refuses to say. Not sure why. The coffee tables are just as lovely in person, but still loaded with her stuff. In a hurry to clear them off (thinking I am taking them with me) she whips her stereo (by the cord) into the air and catches it. Impressive. I tell her she doesn’t need to hurry – the movers won’t be by until 7pm. She tries to sell me two lamps and give me a microwave. I feel ill at the thought of dealing with any more items today.
5.25pm Back in the SUV, I sit back thinking “Now all I have to do is wait at home, in air conditioned comfort”. Ramon does his best to drive under the speed limit the whole way back. I wonder if what he was mumbling earlier was that he wanted to put me on minutes, rather than the flat fee. I kick myself for not clarifying it first. I imagine a $150 taxi fare. I try to calm myself down thinking about other things, which doesn’t work.
5.35pm Stuck in traffic. Don’t these people have homes to go to? Oh.
5.45pm Get call from Russian movers whilst still in car. Call goes something like this – Him: “(unintelligible) We are outside. What apartment number?” Me: Who is this? What apartment are you at? You’re not booked until 7pm” Him: “(unintelligible) movers (unintelligible) (unintelligible)”, Me: “What. Street. Are. You. On? Are you at Union Street?” Him: “No, no, not Union Street”, Me (fearing they are at my house) “Are you at my house?” (looking back, I realise how dumb that was, but I was flustered, ok?) Him: “Yes yes we are at your house” Me: “WHAT? Where are you. What. Street. Are. You. On.” Him: “We are at blah blah avenue.” Me, guessing they mean the coffee table address: “Go to Apartment ONE R. FOR RABBIT.” He hangs up. I quickly call Craigslist #3 (Magdalia) and warn her they are outside. She croons in her soft, round accent it’s okay with her. I hang up. My phone then rings 4 times in the next 13 minutes. The conversation topics covered:
Him: “Who signs the contract? Your friend?” Me: “What contract? What does it say?” Him: “You need confirm start time” Me: “I know what time you started, you called me when you got there.” He hangs up. So rude, but I start to get used to it. I start cursing loudly in the back seat. Ramon shrinks into his captains chair which is looking larger and larger as he shrinks smaller and smaller. I resist the urge to stroke his hair to calm him down.
5.57pm THE VERY SHORTENED VERSION – more calls. Magdalia: “Um. These guys don’t seem to know where they’re going.” Me: “I emailed them an itinerary yesterday. Let me talk to them” Him: “You text it to me, on my phone”. My car pulls up to the curb. I text the addresses while trying to pay Ramon, who while I have been on the phone has pulled out the dining table (so strong!) and dumped it with the garbage bins on the side of the road. Ramon kindly only charges me $60 for 2 hours driving which I don’t blink at, after worrying about a $100+ fare. He leaves. Whilst texting I notice cars slowing down to inspect my dining table. I stand protectively in front of it, with its four legs under my arm, texting furiously trying not to lose my sunglasses in the bargain. He calls again “How many men you like?” Dumbfounded, I insist. TWO. One to punch and the other to drop kick. F%$K.
6.15pm Somehow get all items inside. Get to work putting dining table together.
6.17pm Send a facebook message to ask our lovely downstairs neighbours to borrow their screwdriver (again). They oblige. I meet them in the backyard. They listen to me complain generously, then (saved by the bell!) their burrito dinner arrives so we all go inside. I get back to work assembling the dining table on my own.
In typical Adriana fashion instead of waiting for someone to help me flip it, I attempt to flip it by myself. Realise my legs are around a foot too short for this task. Flip it anyway.
SHEER WILL PEOPLES.
6.25pm Receive call from first address to say that the movers still dont know where they’re going. Magdalia gets on the phone to transcribe the addresses into written form on an envelope to give to them. I apologise for the hassle, hang up, and suddenly understand why men punch walls.
6.36pm Receive text from second pick up address to say movers have arrived and left. At least they figured out that much.
6.56pm H arrives home. Start telling him adventures so far. He looks at dining table and looks back at me – that’s nothing like what we said. I die inwardly, thinking, if he doesn’t like this table, I might kill him with the table, then I will go into a female jail and become some huge woman’s bitch just to save myself from my teeth being punched in and I’m not sure I could really become sincerely attached to someone that butch but I really like having teeth. He says he likes it. I’m surprised, but relieved.
7.04pm Shock at H’s reaction interrupted by arrival of mover. Small Russian of around 20 years arrives with contract for me to sign but carrying nothing. Contract has no charges on it apart from the agreed $55 per hour. I check start time and sign it. He says he will be back in one moment, has to call Boss.
7.07pm Russian returns, still no items. Contract now displays a total of $265 payable immediately. I almost fall over, then launch into explaining that there is no way I will pay that because it was not what is quoted. He says he doesn’t know what I was quoted, “but this is what cost.”
I will save you from reliving the next 45 minutes. Needless to say it involved alternating repetitions of the following exercises:
– me screaming at the young Russian man, pleading, reasoning, and then screaming some more
– me screaming on the phone to his boss who hangs up on me about 3 times, that’s when he’s not talking over me. (I did start out calmly by the way, but after being hung up on, then someone insists on talking over you, then threatens to sue you when you threaten to call the cops, you start getting shirty)
– Michael screaming at the young Russian and the boss, and me telling him to shut up (because I was doing a much better job, I assure you)
– young Russian insisting it’s not his fault, he gets paid $12 an hour. I feel bad.
8.02pm Finally Michael has the boss agree to take what we originally got quoted, but they are leaving everything on the sidewalk. FINE. Young Russian calls his boss, clearly gets torn a new one, hangs up then goes down stairs, red faced. I feel bad again.
8.05pm Michael asks the amazing downstairs neighbours to help bring our furniture up from the street.
8.18pm We all collapse on the sofas and I decide now is as good a time as any to open a cider. Realise we haven’t eaten. Order the penultimate moving food – Pizza. Except this time, it’s NY Pizza and it’s VODKA PIZZA and when it arrives half an hour later, it’s amazing.
Okay, okay so it’s not the whole story. I did also unpack, windex and assemble everything before bed and set it up so I could show you SEE HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU GUYS? and while I am somewhat concerned I will be the target of a hit, sometime soon, I am glad that we didn’t back down.
PS – Mum – don’t worry – I’m being dramatic. And we’re in a security building.
SO today was all about the sofa.
I wanted to get a sofa that H would like – because if he doesn’t he tends to lie in bed when he gets home and it’s kind of annoying.
In that “where’s my shirt – right there/can’t you ever wear shoes/gets on your nerves after years of living together/I may stab you to death with a teaspoon one day” kind of way.
So the dream is – really – to have a sofa area that will be a bit of a refuge from the storms of the day. Somewhere nice to rest. Somewhere maybe a bit like this?
So i found a one year old leather sofa on Craigslist – actually 2 x sofas, and went to see the lovely Samantha who owns them all the way over in Parkslope – a rather attractive end of Brooklyn that has rather fancy schmancy stores.
I saw these things on the way:
And finally, when I got to Samantha’s place, I saw these two beauties:
They have a soft, deep seat that is pleasant to linger on. I didn’t but I did love the moment I spent on it awkwardly trying not to acknowledge the fact it was now up to my butt (does anyone else find that a bit weird? Oh, do I want it? Lets see what my butt has to say about it”) but that’s what the H asked for – for me to test it out.
For the record, Samantha was a rather lovely Irish girl, and nothing like Samantha from Sex and the City, though I suppose if she was a raging hornbag I probably wouldnt know.
Unless that invitation to have a cup of tea meant she wanted something more than just tea?