Tuesday, June 29, 2010

To this day....

You know the more I write about my experiences I a disappointed that I did not start this sooner.  Some of these stories would be even more entertaining if they were still fresh in my mind.  However, having said that, this particular encounter has perplexed in such a way that I think I can remember it in it's entirety.

On it' surface this was nothing more than a piano move.  And actually the business part of this story is but a footnote.  The curiosity comes from the details.  When we originally put the address I knew we were going to a REALLY BAD part of town.  Despite the abandon cars on the side of the road, filthy empty lots, and homeless people pushing shopping carts full of their worldly belongs, someone in this neighborhood had acquired a piano.  We drove up to the "house", and save for a few details it looked abandoned.  The grass was literally waist high.  The city had even posted a sign on the side of the house pointing out that it was in violation of a least one of the codes.  The strange part, on the outside at least, was that there was a $20-30k Harley Davidson leaning up against this $15k House.  So from the beginning my curiosity was piqued. 

Considering the context of the house and neighborhood, I have to admit I had a predetermined idea of what the individual inside looked like.  Never in a million years would I have imagined how wrong I was. Standing just inside the opened door was ridiculously attractive young latino woman, wearing a very low cut designer dress (or a knockoff what do I know).  I couldn't wrap my head around all the contradicitions I was witnessing.  If she was indeed the person living here had she skimped on home improvement to pay for her recent augmentation?!  While on that subject, had that procedure reduced sensitivity to a point where she did not realize the areola on full display?!  To be honest, she looked like a PRO that was rather comfortable with a bit of exhibitionism.  In that moment, not only had I forgotten why we were here, but I had also not noticed the inside of this house.  As I came back to my senses and looked around, I don't even know how to describe it.  It basically looked like someone had taken the house and shook it until the insides were scrambled.  However, being relatively sure we have never had a local earthquake, I determined that we must be in the home of a HOARDER.

Every layer of this situation causes confusion.  The piano....almost forgot about that.  Upon meeting us at the door, and the subsequent flashing, she says "oh I didn't know you were coming, let me clean up." She then proceeded to pick up one or two pieces of trash that revealed the outline of a walking path that had been made in the garbage covered floor.  SERIOUSLY?!  First of all, she did know we were coming since we had just talked to her on the phone.  Secondly, "let me clean up" is hilarious for obvious reasons.

So we actually got to the anticlimactic part of the story, the moving of the piano.  However, while we were working she made her way into this little bedroom where she had exactly one chair that wasnt buried.  She sat there with her laptop while we loaded the piano.  When we got ready to leave she locked up, obviously for fear that someone might squat in the house.  She walked out to a car that I thought was abandoned in the high grass.  Much to my surprise, the vehicle came to life after a little effort on her part, and away she went.

To this day I have soooo many questions.  I seriously have no idea what was going on in that house.  And in all honestly, I am sure there are some questions that are better left unasked.....

Monday, June 28, 2010

You shouldn't have....REALLY....

Now I may be overstepping my bounds with the entry, but what are blogs for, if not to do just that.  This is sort of a follow up to my last entry about the client that left 2 beers in the fridge.  I told you the front end of the story, since at the time it amused me the most and briefly restored my faith in mankind.  However, the more I thought about it, the delivery phase of this move might prove to be more entertaining.

Lost in the original story was that we were moving a hutch.  This is a fancy term for a display case of sorts where people show off their "I'm better than you" belongings.  When we got there to retreive this one in particular we could tell it was "unique".  Upon furthur inspection you could tell that it was hand-made, which is why it had several imperfections.  Obviously, we had to document these BEFORE touching it, lest we be blamed for all its shortcomings. 

From her reaction it would seem that the buyer had purchased this item sight unseen, or just through craigslist pictures.  This practice never seems to amaze me.  I can't imagine giving a random stranger more than $10 for something I have not been in the same room with to verify it's condition.  Obviously, from my description, you may have guessed that neither my partner or I thought this piece was particularly great.  However, her reaction or overeaction as it were, made it clear that she had a much higher opinion of it.  She literally FREAKED OUT!!  You would have thought we had showed up at her door with ballons, the late Ed McMahon, and an oversized check.  "Oh my God....it's so beautiful"...this announcement was then followed by the female hands to mouth move that is usually sufficient to ward off hyperventilation or fainting.  Call me a minimalist, but this reaction seemed over the top even if I had shared her opinion of the piece's beauty.  And then she uttered the words still puzzle me.....

"It's sooooo beautiful....HE* will LOVE IT"!!  "This is HIS* 10th Anniversary present".  After hearing this my mind could only come up with one word....SERIOUSLY?!  Now I admit that it is very presumptuous of me to think I know this man better than his wife of 10 years, but....SERIOUSLY?!  It's a dining room hutch.  Then I got to wondering WHY on Earth would she think HE* would love it?  A quick glance around did not reveal the home of a male interior designer or an "artist" of any kind.  What was it that had happened over the course of 10 years of marriage that would result in HIM* preferring a dining room hutch to a pool table or golf clubs?  What had happened to my fellow man?!  Having no way to answer these questions, I suddenly felt very sad for HIM*.  If, as I suspect, he did NOT love this gift as much as his wife expected then it would be somewhat of a disappointment.  However, if he did love it that much, then something along the way must have broken his spirit.  For I can say with relative certainty, that 10 years ago this MAN was NOT thinking if he stayed married or 10 years he would be rewarded with a HUTCH.

For fear of inducing a brain aneurysm I am going to attempt to let this go.  A dining room hutch....SERIOUSLY?!

Pronouns* were used to protect the innocent, and more than likely the disappointed.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Every once in awhile.....

You know, the purpose of this blog was the give you a glimpse into this ridiculous profession.  And 99% of the time that is exactly what it will be.  However, every once in awhile the stars line up, and a miracle happens. We were supposed to move a hutch.  This was a seemingly simple job that I, ever the optomist, was expecting to be another fiasco.  And for the first time in over a year it wasn't.

The seller had sold everything else in the house except for this piece of furniture.  They were not even at the property when we arrived.  So immedately I am in a good mood because there is no one looking over our shoulder.  And since there was NOTHING in the house there was nothing to navigate around.  Or at least I thought the house was empty.  I am not even sure why I looked.  It is not something I ever do, but curiosity got the best of me.  And there it was......ABSOLUTE PERFECTION....

To make a long story short...if you want to make your movers abnormally happy, just follow these few simple rules.

* Don't be there, just leave a key under the mat.

* Move every single piece of furniture out of the dwelling except the piece we are moving.

* Leave two non-domestic beers in the fridge...preferable something dark.

And they lived happily ever after.....

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What's Under YOUR Bed?!

Many of us spend much of our formative years fearing a mythic creature residing under our bed. Whether it be your average run of the mill monster, or the antichrist of the underworld, the Boogey Man...it is NOTHING compared what adults keep under their bed.

When we get older and have the financial resources to purchase whatever our imagination desires, the twisted nature of humankind is on full display UNDER THEIR BEDS. Some of these novelties might be confined to the night stand. However, it seems many of these individuals use all the creativity they have at their disposal for sexual deviency, and have nothing left for coming up with unique hiding places.

What two people (or one or MANY) do in the confines of their home is completely up to the legal age parties involved. However, PLEASE clean under the bed before the movers get there. I really don't care to know what gas-powered, multi adapter piece of equipment you choose to get the job done. And what makes it worse is that the people with these goodies under the bed are NEVER the people you want to imagine implementing said devices.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Rather than tell the long drawn out stories of recent memory I figured I would condence some of them down to just the punchline. This will give you a glimpse into what happens on a daily basis...

* We moved a refrigerator, that someone purchased without measuring it or their doorway. NO ONE MEASURES ANYTHING!! They just assume everything will fit everywhere. In reality this fridge would NOT fit in the front door, no matter what we pulled out of our bag of tricks. The client said, "well I have a sliding glass door on the back of the house that is bigger...it should fit through there." Which it would have...if she had not FORGOTTEN that she had a screened in porch with a very small screen door.

* We move another refrigerator FULL OF FOOD!! It still amazes me that people schedule a mover to move a fridge and they forget to remove the food from it before we get there. However, on this particular job the food was left on purpose, so we thought. For the record, moving a full fridge is a LOT more difficult than moving an empty one. The punchline of this....after wrestling with a fridge full of food we unloaded it and asked the client if they wanted it plugged back in...their response..."nah, we are just going to throw that food out anyway". Are you freaking kidding me?!

* We moved one of the trashiest collections of furniture ever. One of the items was a 20 year old couch. Upon arriving at the delivery address we were asked "can you take that couch out to the curb?" Ummmmmmm....WHY DID WE MOVE THAT?!

* A few boxes = 55 Boxes.....we counted.

* She said..."We have TWO desks we moved them up there by ourselves, we are older now and can't move them back down". Sounds simple right. Well what she should have said is..."we have FOUR pieces of equipment, and we don't know how to count....WE HIRED FOUR GUYS to move them upstairs and we forgot about that". When the husband heard the story that we were told by the wife he rolled his eyes...it almost made the near death experience moving the desks worth it.

More punchlines to come.....

Do you have stairs?

This seems like such a simple question, and anyone with reasonable intelligence should be able to answer. Unfortunately, from my experience, people that seek moving assistance via craigslist are not of reasonable intelligence. I have yet to determine if it is ignorance on their part, or an outright attempt at deception to secure a cheaper rate of service. Either way, it never ceases to amaze me.

We are hired to move a piano. The difficulty of this job can vary greatly. However, if we are allowed to use the tools of our trade, and there are no surprises it is manageable. THERE ARE ALWAYS SURPRISE!! This seemed like a simple move, one piano. We loaded it up and transported it without issue. In setting up the job we asked the all important question, DO YOU HAVE STAIRS? This kindly woman of 50 or so assured us that she did not. And upon meeting her, she seemed like an honest soul. My opinion of her changed dramatically when we arrived at the delivery address. There it was, her ignorance/deception right in front of us....

WE WERE MOVING THIS PIANO INTO A MOBILE HOME!! First off, Seriously?! The floors of a single wide trailer are NOT meant to support a full sized piano. That not withstanding, what do ALL trailers require for entrance? STAIRS!! For those of you that have accessed a trailer before, those stairs are STEEP!! For those of you lucky enough to avoid ever having to move a full sized piano into a single ide trailer...REJOICE! For it is definitely a scenario to avoid at all costs. After explaining to this lady that the wood and metal contraptions attached to both her front and back doors were in fact stairs, we set to task. To make a ridiculous story short, just short of a hernia later we got the piano in the back door. As to whether or not that piano is still in her laundry room, or it fell through her floor and rendered her dwelling unliveable I cannot say. I can say, with relative certainty, it will not be the last time someone answers that question wrong.

Why does everyone hate moving?

Because it sucks....that's why people pay idiots like me to do it for them. Who could blame them?

Welcome to The Angry Mover's Blog. This should be an adventure for us both. While I get to fight off heatstroke, and avoid falling down stairs, you get free entertainment. I honestly wish that I had started this blog from the beginning. As good as my memory is, I am sure I cannot remember all of the ridiculousness that I have encountered. Luckily for you, in this industry, the next horror story is only the next job away.

How did it come to this? I am a personal trainer by trade. Most of the year I make my living helping people reach their goals. It is something I am passionate about doing, and I really enjoy it. However, as we all know, New Year's Eve Resolutions melt in Summer's heat. By the time Fall rolls around next year seems like the best time to get in shape. The fitness industry has a 3 month lull which is hard on the wallet. So a friend of mine and I decided to start a movning company to supplement our income. How hard could it be right? I pick up heavy stuff in the gym all the time without getting paid. This seemed like a good idea. After a years worth of ridiculous stories I realize how wrong I was. Picking up several hundred pounds in the gym is a challenge. However, it is nothing like picking up a $20 particle board bookcase from Target that someone expects you to treat like a family heirloom and hope it doesnt fall apart in the process.

I will post some retroactive stories as I recall them, as well as update you on the day to day adventure. Please remain seated until the ride comes to a complete halt.