Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Moving Part 3 - The Unload and Unpack

OK, so, I've always seemed to be a drama magnet, but the unload and unpack really does take the cake for drama.  It's actually been about 3 days since I wrote Monday's post, so I have some perspective now.  And even with perspective, it was awful.

After sleeping on the floor overnight Thursday night, I was awoken by the driver of our load, chiding me for not telling him about the road he was supposed to turn off on.  Guess he forgot me pulling up the map online before he left and pointing out the turn VERY specifically so that he didn't follow the GPS directions (because the GPS likes to direct you through a tiny wooded path with holes the size of refrigerators...no kidding).  So I got him back on track and about 15 minutes later, the big truck arrived with 3 contracted unload/unpack-ers.

Things were going ok, boxes coming off the truck and heading inside.  Though they were heading inside through 3 different entrances and I was moving like crazy to try to write down all the tag numbers as they came in so I could mark off what we did or didn't receive.  I also caught things being put in the wrong place.  In another situation I could see that maybe they would mistake Bella's room for the master, etc., but I had anticipated this problem and made up printed out sheets with the name of each room and used painters tape to put each up so there was no confusion.  It unfortunately didn't seem to help.

All the doors were open, so my grandfather was keeping Josie out on the back porch so she wasn't running around and I closed Pippen into the laundry room and told everyone where the cat was so they wouldn't accidentally let him out. (he ended up being let out 3 times).  And my grandmother was helping me by watching Bella, which was good because I was barely keeping up anyway.

About 4 hours in, they decided they would all focus on getting everything off the truck and onto the driveway and then run everything in the house together instead of each one doing the whole process alone.  And, murphy's law didn't fail us, everything was off the truck and in the driveway when the clouds started getting dark.  So everyone started running things inside as quickly as possible, regardless of where it was supposed to go just to get it in before the rain started.  It didn't work.  The storm lasted maybe 15 minutes, but it was a really rough storm.  The rain was driving so hard it was hitting the living room windows even though there is a big screened in porch.  I looked out about 5 minutes into the storm and saw a few boxes getting soaked and I had to send guys after them. *le sigh*

In the mahem, things were put all over the place, so I had to go around correcting where boxes went.  The driver later made a point of telling me that according to the contract, once boxes were put down, they were supposed to remain there.  Needless to say, that didn't go over well with me, and boxes ended up being moved anyway.

So, about 3pm, which was around 7 hours in, the contracted help started grumbling that they weren't being paid enough for as big a job as we had.  They said as much to the driver, who was responsible for paying them and he told them that they were only going to get what was agreed upon and left it at that.  So, for about the next 2 hours, every time a mover would pass the driver, they would make a snide comment about getting screwed over on the job.

When I asked if there was anything I could do, they apologized for being discontented in front of me, and that it wasn't about me.  I called the moving company, who told me that it was between the driver and the contracted help.  From there, everyone started getting irritable and pretty much everyone I saw said something to the effect of "now what do we have to do?" as if they couldn't see which boxes had and hadn't been unpacked, or what furniture hadn't been put together.  The biggest problem at that point was that we had zero beds put together.  If they had walked out, I could unpack boxes, but putting together furniture alone was going to be tough.  To make matters worse, we couldn't find the hardware for the beds.  So we started turning things upside down looking for it. Turns out it was already unpacked...and was on the floor of the master bathroom under a huge mound of other stuff that didn't belong in a bathroom, go figure.

So, hardware in hand, we finally started putting together beds and attempting to find all the parts of the mattresses.  We have Select Comfort sleep number beds, which were in pieces and we had to locate them all.  As an aside, moving a select comfort bed is probably best done with the parts all together.  A ton of our parts were torn or damaged or destroyed...over $1000 worth of parts in all.  Exhibit A:

So, we had all been in Bella's bedroom putting things together and I ran downstairs to grab a part that was missing when I started hearing yelling.

The altercation was between the driver and one of the movers, who had decided enough was enough and they weren't going to do any more work for the price agreed upon.  The argument got heated and there was a lot of yelling and I wanted to make sure that Bella wasn't hearing it.  Since I was on a different floor and could hear it, I figured I should ask my grandmother to take her outside for a bit.  So I went to the living room where my grandmother was and I didn't see Bella.

So, I asked where she was and Nanny replied that she thought Bella was still upstairs.  So I went flying up the stairs and into her bedroom yelling, "My daughter is still in here!"  I found her crouched behind the rocking chair, sobbing, and terrified.  I picked her up and assumed they would stop and apologize and take it elsewhere, if necessary, once they saw her, but no such luck.  They kept right on yelling.  So I ran her downstairs and into the master bedroom, closed the door and held her close and rocked her til she calmed down a bit.  She looked at me and said, "Mommy, I want to go home," and I felt like there wasn't a punishment great enough for the idiots who hurt her.  I was shaking and furious.

The driver came to me to talk and she totally lost it again, scared of him, so I gave her over to my grandma and went outside with him.  I wanted them out.  All of them.  Just get out.  He said the guys were wanting to leave and I told him they should all leave.  The 2 guys who weren't involved in the fight apologized and shook my hand and I assured them that I was quite clear on what happened and who was involved.  I tried to lock all the doors so the driver couldn't come back and I could do whatever I needed to outside but I didn't get them all done in time so he came in complaining that he got 'accidentally' locked out of the front door.  Apparently he missed the memo about 'getting out.'

Then he wanted me to sign the paperwork saying the job was done and I told him I wasn't going to sign anything because the job was far from done.  And there were things that he couldn't fix alone.  I told him another team was going to have to finish the job. He was ticked off and I thought he was just going to leave for a while. After a number of phone calls, he told me he would be back in the morning with new people to finish.  This is a little preview of what I was left with:

After talking with Vinny, I went around the house room by room and made a list of things that still needed to be done.  I was up til almost midnight, but it was totally worth it to be able to check things off a little at a time.  The moving company sent 2 guys who actually worked directly for them instead of contracted help.  I was shocked to find out that the moving company still hadn't been told what happened, which of course I fixed no problem.  Things were finally done decently once they were done.  It took them about 2 hours.  And then I finally had my house.

Or rather, I finally had a boatload of stuff to put up.  But that's a story for later.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my God, Jessi! I prepared myself for a humorous story because the first six or seven paragraphs read like something out of a Chevy Chase movie but then the whole situation deteriorated into some kind of James Cheetham dark fiction thing. So sorry you went through all that, it sounds horrible. We miss you already up in New England!