Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What's REALLY Important....

Barbie 2009 Holiday Doll

Just some random hilariousness for the day.  We moved a couch for a guy today.  No real adventure as far as the moving aspect goes.  However,  the seller was officially "A Trip".  Do people still say that?!

Anyway, she was a very (ok VERY) attractive woman  in her late 20s, early 30s...."with the mind of a much younger woman".  She had just sold her "$2600 couch for $225", so business and math was NOT her forte.  And from the look of her home, she may not have had the best domestic skill set other.  Everything was very nice, and very expensive (for the sake of being expensive) but very dirty.  The house was a mess.

She was mourning the loss of her couch.  She said that the new, bigger, better, more expensive couch wouldn't get there for three days.  "We'll have to break out the bean bag chairs....like in college."  She even mentioned "Mad Dog 20 20", and all I could think was WOW.  Because to look at her you would think she was a prim and proper "lady". She actually was married and had a kid. Her husband was there during all this.  I failed to mention him until now because he never said a word and hardly made any eye contact.

When we went to leave she mentioned that they were relocating and might need our help.  We asked where and she said "I dunno he hasn't decided yet."  Turns out her husband is a partner in a law firm (Theres a CLUE).  When we asked which one she literally said, " I dunno....one downtown, it has a really long name...I have a debit card from them though *hehe*".

All I could think again was WOW!!  No wonder this guy never made eye contact.  He was just counting the hours until Monday when he could go back to work and support his HABIT...which obviously was her.  I would venture to guess where her true talents lie, and what she was bringing to the marriage that he would want to support "the lifestyle she was accustomed to....", but I will let you draw your own conclusions......

Monday, July 19, 2010

Quick Easy Job...No Problem

This is a GARAGE DOOR!

This is a standard size door


People never cease to amaze me.  We actually had a woman argue with us about this.  She bought a refrigerator, and called us to pick it up and deliver it.  She said we were taking it from a GARAGE, and delivering it to her home.  She even told us it was a "one man job...no problem".  Now I think you all know where this is going.....

We get to the address, and first we think we are at the wrong place.  Something is missing....NO GARAGE!!  We knock on the door, and yes we are at the right place.  The homeowner leads us through the STANDARD SIZE DOOR to the storage room that the refrigerator is in.  I have been doing this long enough to KNOW that this refrigerator is NOT going to fit out this door without some labor involved. 

So now we call the lady to let her know that this is going to take at least an extra half an hour....and that we need to be PAID for that extra half hour. She proceeds to argue with us. She tried to convince us that the 10'X12' storage room that we were currently standing in was a garage.  While I admit that, if you moved the Christmas decorations around, the new Smart Car may in fact have fit in there...it still would not have fit through the door. 

Eventually, she calmed down enough, and realized that she was wrong.  All this time the clock is ticking.  Not that it matters at this point, this job has turned into a complete joke.  She agrees to the extra half an hour, which still isn't enough, but oh well. 

So the job that was supposed to be a one hour, one man job taking a refrigerator out of a garage...turned into a two hour, two man job that we had to remove the door to the STORAGE ROOM, AND remove the handles to the fridge. 

Seriously, I am not sure if it is ignorance, or tryin to get a job done for as cheap as possible.  Probably a litle from column A and a little from column B.  Why people can't be honest with us beforehand is frustrating to say the least.  I forgot to mention that this lady lived in BFE!! Her 15miles from one property to the other turned out to be close to 30, and that is after driving 40mins across town to get to her.  And when we were done....you guessed it...we were still in BFE!!  So this quick one hour job, took almost three, of which we were paid for about half of it.  THIS is why bigger moving companies charge minimums, set up fees, and anything else they can get away with.  All we try to do is get paid for the time we actually work, and people act like we are tryin to rip them off.  Good Times.....

Friday, July 16, 2010

What's That Smell?!

Obviously from past posts you might have guessed that we aren't doing a lot of work at luxury resorts.  From the Botchulism post you know that some of the places are downright disgusting.  Well yesterday one of the places was just straight up interesting.  From the outside it was a pretty nice looking apartment complex.  However, upon further review, looks can be deceiving.  The stairwells were littered with trash, and hollowed out cigarettes..do I have to explain "why someone would do that"?  There even were some fine, upstanding, young gentlemen slingin dice in the hallway.  However....there were two GREAT SIGHTINGS....

Trying to keep this on the topic of moving, this is a GREAT use of Packing Tape.  I just hope the battery doesn't die....

My only question for this is....I wonder what his underwear looks like.  I mean SERIOUSLY...what is the point of this?  Even though I failed to document it, the other side had a hole almost as big.....

On this particular job we also got to play one of our favorite games..."WHAT'S THAT SMELL"?!?!  It's such a fun game, the only problem is there really is no way to win.  Even after you identify the odor, you still have to endure it.  Yesterday the exact culprit was never identifed...I can only describe it as A CITY BUS THAT WAS TRANSPORTING DEAD BODIES!  It was a combination of some decease animal(s), bleach, and blasting the ac.  

Good times....

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Will Work for FREE!!!

Sometimes I really wonder what people are thinking.  Since I would venture to guess that at least 51% (how's that for conservative) of the clients we get from Craigslist are hourly emplyoyees, I don't understand why the wage per hour concept escapes them.  It is pretty simple math.  We have a standard hourly labor cost, and paying for 1 hour of work buys you just that, 1 HOUR!!

Now as far as I know an hour is a pretty standard unit of measure.  Maybe I am missing something.  If we start a job at 2pm, and we were paid to work for 1hr, then at 3:01 we either stop working or we negotiate for more time.  And obviously the added time will be paid for.  If an hourly employee had a boss ask them to "clock out" and then finish up I am pretty sure they would be in the HR department by the end of the day.  So why do they expect me to be ok with that, when they obviously never would?

These people hire someone to move their belongings for whatever reason.  And then suddenly they expect me to be their best friend, and "help them out"....because I obviously love moving furniture (for the record once I get accepted into Car Wash School I am sooo quitting).  It's ridiculous.  When they call we quote a price "sight unseen" and they KNOW that it is a quote.  Half the time they call and say they have to move THAT DAY!!  For whatever reason...divorce, bad break up, eviction, etc...gotta be done that day.  Then when we somehow manage to accomodate their request, they don't want to hand over any more $$ once we realize that we are going to go over the original time quoted.  Even though they have seen us NOT STOP MOVING the entire time, and witnessed us avoiding all the pitfalls and boobytraps that they failed to mention...still somehow it is our fault for not being able to bend the laws of time.

Didn't measure to see if the new fridge would fit...too bad get it done on time. 

Forgot to unhook, disassemble, dismantle the furniture to be moved...no problem the movers can do that.

Left everything in the drawers so the dresser is 4Xs as heavy as it should be...no problem as long as it is easier for you.

Doesn't EVERY stove fit in EVERY house?!

Whatever you do don't move ANYTHING out of the way before the movers get there...we love extra work.

And please own a lot of glass things....

Sorry for the mini rant.  Got a little off topic.  The worst part about the hourly rate is that once the stuff is loaded up, if we run over time and they dont want to pay we are stuck either way.  No matter what, we have to unload their stuff.  It can be one of the more frustrating parts of the business, and that is saying a lot considering.  That is why bigger moving companies have set up fees, and minimums to cover all these issues.  In an effort to save people some money, considering the economy, and it usually winds up biting us on the backside...more specifically the wallet.

Quote of the day...."Oh I'm sorry.....I was going to give you guys a tip for your hard work, but I need all this money"

Guess what lady...with all due respect I need that money too....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pandora's Box

In Greek myth Pandora's Box was said to contain all evil's in the world.  And when curiosity got the best of her, Pandora released that evil into the world.

This storage bin on the other hand seems safe enough. However, for some strange reason, when people go to move they seem to think it is just as magical.  Rather than opening it up and releasing evil, the exact opposite phenomenon seems to happen.  People, women more often than not (no offense), seem to forget about the earth gravitational pull.  Which is ironic, since it is something they use every day to determine their mood, by way of the bathroom scale. 

Funny enough though, the same math that adds pounds to the scale every time you gorge yourself on chocolate, also adds weight to the storage bin when you decide to throw all your books from college that you can't bear to part with.  Seriously ladies, this happens all the time.  Just because those books will fit into ONE container does not mean its a good idea.  Remember, you are moving, and that requires MOVING!!  Eventually you are going to have to pick the thing up.

I can't tell you how many times we show to move some one and "some boxes" turns out to be a plastic storage bins filled beyond capacity.  Then we are expected to move this bin WITHOUT it falling apart.  And when it does start to give way under the strain, the laws of physics are suddenly our fault.  What's even funnier, or not as it were, is they they usually have multiple bins but they put all the books in just one.  Rather than take time to THINK, and spread the weight out so as not to test the limits of construction, all the heavy stuff goes in the same bin.  Whenever we get to a new place, in the back of my mind I feel like a contestant on Press Your Luck.  Silently repeating, "No whammy...No Whammy....", but whenever I see the bin marked BOOKS my back immediately starts to hurt.  All I ask is that you put a little thought into it, but then I know I am asking too much.

Monday, July 5, 2010

National Botchulism Week??!

Ok...I was recently discussing the topic of this post with a friend when they pointed out that Botchulism isn't airborne and can only be contracted upon consumption of bad food. However, after further research it is actually possible to contract through an open wound. Honestly, whether it is appropriate to the subject matter or not I just think it is a cool word.

So why was last week National Botchulism Week? Honestly I do not know which Magistrate decided it, as it was not marked on any calendars that I encountered. However, after the events of the week I must assume that some governing body held a secret meeting and decided, at the very least, that it should be celebrated in my small part of the World.

Now I know that primarily advertising on craigslist you are drawing from a certain population. And before I come off as "looking down from my ivory tower"...I am in fact a craigslist person. However, in any group, whether it be religious, political, or cheap people there are always EXTREMES. These pics show some of the extremes. Now I admit that I am NOT a germophobe, and there might be some dust in my current dwelling, however at no time would visitors feel the need to don a Hazmat Suit to safely enter.

Sometimes the smell from these places are so bad, you wonder how the current residents managed to breathe. I mean I know that you can get used to smells over time. When I was younger my grandfather had a farm and I got used to all kinds of barnyard aromas. This doesn’t mean that I wanted to set up a kitchen table in the pig pen and eat lunch. While I am on the subject of foul odors...whenever we come into a house of HEAVY SMOKERS...it is almost as bad. My eyes wind up watering, and I usually feel like crap for the rest of the day. I still don't get how people enjoy that, but then that is another subject for another day.

I just hope, in vain I'm sure, that National Botchulism Week only comes once this year. Getting a tetanus shot once a month is painful, and bathing in antibacterial lotion is pricey.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Truth in advertising...

...or a lack there of.

Ok, I going to try not to go off on too many tangents with this post.  However, this is a subject that has always annoyed me.  The P. T. Barnum line, "there's a sucker born every minute" was undoubtedly a conservative estimate.  My personal belief is that late night TV ads are a pretty good watermark of where we are as a civilization.  How scary is that when you think about it?  The irony of an ad trying to sell us on adding a "4th Meal" to our already sedintary day....being followed up by an ad for a weight loss product that magically blocks the added calories of that "beef product taco" without the "pain and discomfort of diet/exercise".  Like I said, I am going to try to stay on point here.

The specific reason for this post is that I saw another ad for "The Forearm Forklift".  Now I know posting a bad review on this page may seem a tad hypocritical sense I am sure google will have some form of "magical lifting strap" advertised somewhere to the right of these words.  However, in google's defense, what else are they going to try to sell on a Mover's Blog?  It's not like the late Billy May's and his brethren are spending a lot of time hocking equipment to make moving easier.  And who could blame them, even if you make moving slightly easier it's still too much physical activity for the average American to willingly participate in.  It is so much easier just to pay some poor schmuck like me to do it.

Again trying to get back on point, The commercials for The Forearm Forklift are an absolute JOKE!  Now don't get me wrong, the straps work for some limited applications.  They honestly make moving some things easier.  However, they make moving some things even more awkward, so it's kind of a wash.  Having been in this business for over a year I know how heavy things are on average.  To me it is insulting when you see two 100lb women moving a refrigerator.  Now before I am mistaken for a chauvinist, the reason it is insulting is because I can tell that they have gutted the fridge so it only weight 50lbs.  And then you see these same "heroin chic" models carrying a plastic piano downstairs or some other impossible move. 

For the record, I am NOT a critic that criticizes things I know nothing about.  I have actually used the straps several times.  We have had them for over a year.  And after fighting with them for about a month, we have pretty much never used them, except in specific situations.  Basically, they do help in certain circumstances, but they are not as magical as the commercials would have you believe.  What I wish they would sell is "common sense".  Honestly, that is what most moving clients really need, but then so does the rest of humanity.  The guy (or gal) that comes up with a way to sell THAT will be an instant Bazillionaire, but I have just eaten breakfast...so I digest.

Caveat Emptor...Let the buyer beware