“As the Shade Spins…the Hubby Loses it!”

I can’t speak to your usual customs during intermission…but I hope you’ve refreshed your spirits, refilled your bowls, settled in the comfy chair, and are anxiously awaiting the next chapter of our little drama.  If so with your permission, here we go…

As the Shade Spins, Part III

We left our cast at the end of a very long, very cold, very anxious, and extremely infuriating day 2…to sleep the sleep of the damned!  The next morning was the coldest yet, frigid is just a word we use because we can think of no other.  Dang it was cold.  But no time to dottle   We stuffed our luggage up, down, in, around, and under anything we could in our two cars and hit the road.  We needed to be in Virginia by 10am the following day for our walk through and our closing was at 2pm that same day!

Yeah buddy.

(Oh, and by the way, the fully loaded F-150 of my father’s?  Yeah, still in Vermont.  We are now 31 days in, and it’s still there loaded with MY stuff.  No help for it though.  What with health issues, weather issues, lack of finding someone able to drive it down here issues, it is what it is.  A truck ready for anything that could possibly occur if the need should arise, as it’s full of lamps, Christmas decorations, books, movies, bookcases, garden tools, trash cans, bedding, ladders, and even a small charcoal grill and a lantern!  So don’t worry Dad, if you get caught out in the weather and need a place to stay?  Climb in the back…you’re good to go.)

I’m sure there’s a post in me somewhere for detailing the wonders and the beauty of the drive down, and you know me, I’ll add some photos…but for the sake of this little drama, I’ll just say good thing it was pretty.  That’s all I have to say about that!  It was a looooooooooong day and my ass hurt, and I get ugly when my ass hurts.  We landed in Virginia late, tired, hungry, and thirsty as hell for something that didn’t need a straw or a cover on the cup!

W I N E…give me wine!

We made our walk through (we’d managed to put it off until noon), found the water heater had mysteriously shit the bed, the work under the crawl space that had been contracted per our professional home inspection was not done as directed, and the gas fireplace wouldn’t work, so closing was delayed a couple hours while the seller/realtor/and powers that be got it all straight that these things would be corrected ASAP at no cost to us.  Great, fine, good to go.

Meanwhile, the movers, who had given me a delivery window of 7 days (yes..7 days) had called no less than 3 times while we were at the attorney’s office, wanting to know when we would be at the house so they could unload.  They were sitting there, parked in front of the house, pretty as you please!!!

Really?

It was already late afternoon.

Really?

What happened to the 7 days and we’ll call you with the exact date?

Are we really going to be doing this IN THE DARK?

AGAIN?

Foreboding.  You knew the feeling was coming yeah?

Forefuckingboding hit me like a brick.

So…no post-closing celebratory dinner for us (or any for that matter).  No moment to walk the empty house, placing furniture (what there was of it) in my head, no looking forward to the first chance at a decent night’s sleep in days.  No, for us…it was ‘same shit different day’ time.

F I N E—BRING IT!

We got to the house after 4:00 and sure enough, there they were.  The moving crew from hell!  Did I say they were from Haiti?  I should have said they were from Hades!

First things first…the driver gets out alone, says he can’t open the doors until we pay him the balance due (50% paid up front).

Not “I’ll get my guys started while we settle the paperwork.”  Nope, plain and simple, he cannot open the doors until we give him a credit card.

Oooooh, I saw the look on the Hub’s face and it was not pretty.  Worse…it was eerily murderous.  He was in the driver’s face in a flash, and I mean Silver Bullet type fast.  The driver never had a chance.  Next thing you know the three of us were in the house, there were three different phones being put to use at the same time…and while we were all waiting our respective call backs (you didn’t think we could actually get anyone on the phone did ya?) this is what the driver had to say…paraphrased in English of course…and my inner most thoughts in parenthesis, per usual:

Driver says:

“Sir, I need to tell you that I hurt my back off-loading a piano from that other load that was on the truck with yours (what? there was a piano in there somewhere? and when the hell did you have time?  oh, those poor other customers) and I can’t lift anything (WTF?) and I only have one of my cousins (you mean crew member right?) with me ’cause I had to drop the other one off back in Massachusetts (you went to Massachusetts AGAIN? and it’s just you and ONE guy? and you can’t LIFT? Wait, WHAT?)”

He continues…

“So, if you’ll just pay me, I’ll go to a truck stop I saw about 20 miles back up the road and hire a couple of guys. (huh? what did you just say?  truck stop? hire? wait, WHAT?)”

Okay…here is where it goes out of control.  Well, at least where my husband goes out of control (mine comes later.  oh and same thing applies here…my inner thinking in parenthesis).

Husband says:

“Are you kidding me?  You expect me to hand over my credit card so you can go hire some fucking random, thugs you picked up at some truck stop?  You are out of your mind! (you go honey)  I hired a MOVING COMPANY…I did NOT hire three thugs and a fucking truck!  (whoo hoo) I want what I paid for!  (that’s telling him babe) You get on the phone to your dispatcher and have him make arrangements to have qualified help here tomorrow. (that did it hon, we’ve got him now)”

Driver says:

“Sir, I do this all the time. I hire people off Craigslist too (did he really say that out loud?)”

Husband replies:

“You what? (yeah that’s what I said) Don’t you work for CVLRD? (good point honey) And isn’t that a CVLRD truck you are driving? (yup) And just whose name is on this paperwork? (it ain’t three thugs and a fucking truck I can tell ya that much) Are you telling me you routinely go out and hire random people, of your own volition, to finish jobs your company was hired to do?  (you’re in trouble now buddy)”

Driver says:

😯

The Hubster:

“I’m telling you right now, you will NOT get one red cent from me for that, or for anything else for that matter, until you get your dispatcher on the phone…RIGHT NOW! (whoa babe, you’re even scaring me!)  You get on the phone, tell him what you told me about being hurt and what you want to do about getting this job done!”

Meanwhile, we’d finally gotten our coördinator on the line, and she passed us to the dispatcher, who as it turned out, is just as knuckleheaded as his driver.  He said no, they were not in the habit of hiring from truck stops or Craigslist; yes, the driver works for them; yes, the truck belongs to them; yes, he understands why we’d react to being told such a thing; no, he had not been informed that the driver was hurt or missing a crew member; no, he’s more than sorry, but there was no way to get him qualified help in time to finish this job because this job HAD to be done that day as the truck and crew were already booked for another job the next day; (wait for it….) and finally yes, we needed to give the driver our credit card before he could open the doors!  Oh, but could he please speak with the driver to find out about this ‘injury’ as he wouldn’t expect him to work hurt.

Remember that clip from Poltergeist?

W H A T  I S  H A P P E N I N G ????

Are we even still on EARTH?

Long story short (hahaha, now THAT’S funny), the driver lied through his pearly whites, told his dispatcher he was NOT hurt and could finish this job no problem, all he wanted was to tell us he needed to be paid first, and we reacted irrationally.  Now, understand, we could HEAR him (amazingly clear English I might add).  Did he not get that?  My husband didn’t let him finish his conversation before getting back on the phone and telling the dispatcher he’d just been lied to.  Either that or WE’D been lied to.  When the driver heard my husband say that, he huffed out the door saying this exact thing (in English and everything):

“I don’t need this shit.  This isn’t even my REAL job!”

Ummmmmmmm…what’s that word?  Gobsmacked?  Yeah, that’s it!  Gobsmacked.  And not because we didn’t believe it (no one would mistake this clown for a professional) but to say it?  In front of us while on the phone with HIS boss?

omgomgomgomgomgomg…can this day get any worse?

Seems it can…join me next time for “When the Door Opens” on the next installment of “As the Shade Spins”

“As the Shade Spins Some More Still”

As we get ready to join our already-in-progress play of numb-nuts and dumb-bells. I invite you to refill your bowls.  There’s a surprisingly large quantity left (what? you don’t like it?) so I’ve kept it warming on the stove. It may be a tad thicker than it should be, but you could always add a drop or two of that Canadian almost beer…the little dirt eaters could probably use it.  And please, let me know if you are in a part of the world where the sun is just rising, I can fry up an egg to top your stew…I believe I can retrieve one or two from the face of our leading man…the driver.

We’ll pick up with our little ensemble right where we left them…in the freezing dark…at the end of day one. To refresh your mind, and get you in the mood, here is where we stand:

Husband  😯

Wife  👿

Driver  😥

And now we return to…As the Shade Spins, Part II

Before the crew left that first night, we tried to find out where they were staying the night and what the plan was for the following day.  Not as easy as one would imagine…owing to the fact that the driver’s particular Haitian dialect was out of our scope and our particular English one was gibberish to him.  Apparently.

We did manage to conclude this though…he was planning on returning to Massachusetts (260 miles one way) because his cousin (cough…I mean, one of his crew) needed to be home in the morning for something ‘important’.

Now, maybe we are just too finicky, or too demanding, or just too damned too too…but if I were to say to you we were more than a little pissed off to find out our stuff was being schlepped an added 520 miles, for something that has absolutely nothing to do with our job, adding an inordinate amount of unnecessary liability…would we be wrong?  PLUS…would you have believed him when he said not to worry because he’d be back by 8am?  Even if he fervently and repeatedly stated he’d be back by 8am no matter HOW much sleep he got?

No, we didn’t either.

And because we lost almost an entire day the first day, we were then in the position of HAVING to finish (finish? shit…start the bloody job) the packing, loading of the house, packing and loading of our storage unit (no electric there either), cleaning and closing both, and making the 800 mile trip to Virginia in one day and not two because we had to be present for our final walk through on the new house in two days time!

Pissed?  Just a little.

So…day two dawns just as cold as the day before and they were just as late.  Yes, it seems our driver has a ‘waking up’ problem. They managed to roll in somewhere around 11:30am, a mere 3 and a half hours past his feverish and fervently promised 8am.  I won’t bother with the emoticons…you can just imagine!  Nor will I mention the many, rather colorful, telephone conversations with ‘corporate’.  And remember my mentioning in Part I the little detail about daylight being at a premium up there (12 miles from the Canadian border)?  Right.  We now have about 4 hours ’til dark, and I mean DARK, and they’ve only just arrived and the entire job still to do!

No. Fucking. Way.  KISS MY ASS AND CALL ME FRED (Now you know why I dubbed this my 50th Shade – what the hell next?)

Well, I’ll tell you what next…Mayhem!  I couldn’t believe it when I went out to the porch to have a smoke, and saw through the gaping mouth that was the open doors of that truck, what could only be considered CHAOS inside!  It looked like a couple of drunks had gotten in and started throwing things hither and yon looking for another bottle!

U N B E L I E V A B L E!

I had to leave; had to get out before I killed someone.  My husband had been so busy doing their job (dismantling furniture because they had no tools, packing boxes using packing paper they didn’t seem to be using, trying to MARK boxes they had packed because they didn’t realize they had to) and I was trying to keep an eye on how things were being wrapped, etc…that we’d not had a chance to see what was going on until then.

Other than telling them to stop, unload the truck, and get the hell out, there was nothing to be done in the time we had left.  So, I had to leave.  I drove down to the house periodically to check on my husband, who was working harder than all three of the others, and each time it became more and more evident that my husband had been right…there was NO way this truck was big enough. Especially with the way it was being packed, if you can even call it that.  Not for what was in the house and certainly not what was in storage.

O. M. G.  Kill me now!

(I’m so sure you all need a potty break by now, or perhaps more stew?  But let’s see if we can at least get out of Vermont before we have a commercial. Trust me though, I need one too!)

We end the day at 10:30pm, in the pitch black, bitterly cold, frozen north…steaming mad.  When all was said and done this day, in addition to the truck, we now have our two cars, my father’s pick-up truck filled to bursting (where to put our luggage? yeah, like that) (how the hell are two people going to drive three vehicles?  yeah, like that) and STILL, items tucked in his barn that won’t fit into either of those three additional transports.

The parting of the driver, crew, and truck wasn’t without a sigh of relief all the same.  They even left us a present.  Yes ladies and gents, never let it be said that these folks don’t respect their customers.  No sir.  They lavished us with two plastic carry bags full of garbage, three empty work boot boxes, a broken Styrofoam cooler, and a sundry of packing material trash…strewn carefully and cleverly in the middle of our driveway!  And as an encore, they even managed to hit the retaining wall on the way out, knocking the railroad ties flat.  Yes indeed…consummate professionals right to the bitter end!

After a few hours of what is sure to be nightmare filled sleep…we hit the road in the morning.  It can’t get much worse, so we’ll see what happens on the other end next time on…

As the Shade Spins, Part III

How about a tease for what’s to come?  Okay…have a look-see below…oh boy!

THIS IS MY LIFE! Toilet Brush and Tooth Brushes? Together? Unprotected in the same box? (yeah, like that)

THIS IS MY LIFE!
Toilet Brush and Tooth Brushes?
Together?
Unprotected in the same box?
(yeah, like that)

(God, I need a drink! I’m just writing it, it already happened, and it’s only 10am…but I NEED it!)

“As the Shade Spins Some More”

Grab a bowl of warm can o’ worm stew off the stove, and please make sure you only take what you can eat…there is plenty, but we want everyone to get their fair share.  Yum!  Oh, and there’s some (Canadian) almost-beer in the cooler to choke it down with. (You’re welcome NB) Then pull up your favorite soap-opera-watching-tv-chair ’cause we’re ready to go.

As we return to our saga…we are about to enter the Final Act, which, you’ll recall, has been referred to as the “then shit REALLY got interesting” act. This is an act of more than one part…so we’ll begin with part I:

After months of searching and a dozen or more unanswered emails and phone calls, as well as the same amount saying they’d love to help but they don’t service our area, I finally found a moving company to pack us, load us, and deliver us from evil….I mean from the north.

I did my due diligence, checked BBB (a couple of issues, but nothing unresolved), checked previous client testimonials (no red flags there), did a background check on the owner, who seemed a long-standing professional in her field. Though I’d never heard of them, they were a national mover, based in Florida, but serviced more than their fair share of relocations from the northeast.

Cool.  And.  Phew.

I mean, we were right down to the wire and I was so thrilled to have the worst of the moving process settled..someone to pack the stuff, load the stuff, and deliver the stuff.  Not cheap, but not out of line with the current industry rates either.

Happy      😆

Moving day is here!  YAY

Zero degrees outside and I know once they are here the heat will go off because the door will be open, but so what?  I am so excited it’s finally happening that I don’t care.  Coats, scarves, gloves inside?  Psshaw…nothing to it.

I’d spent the previous two days making sure all was ready for them.  Nothing on the walls, soft goods tucked neatly in drawers, like items all in one place, kitchen gadgets and little bits placed in baggies for easy packing, all important papers and cables, etc. boxed and in my car, bottled water aplenty, toilet paper left on the holder for those special moments…what more could I ask for.  I was breathing easy and actually looking forward to the crew’s arrival…

Promptly at 9am

No – slightly late at 11am

Whoops – damned late at 1:30pm

Shit – you’re so damned late why bother showing up at all friggin’ late at 2:30pm. (And they show up in a truck too small by half and already half full!)

Says the husband:

“No fucking way will our stuff fit in THAT!”

Says the wife:

“Now, now Dear (teehee, not really), let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.  You know how movers are…they can fit 50 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag.  It’s an art!”

Says the diver: (at least this is what we think he said)

“Slept late, so sorry.  Phone didn’t work, please excuse.  Needed to stop and buy work boots, so glad we passed a Wal-Mart on the way here.”

Husband  😡

Wife  🙄

Driver  😯

Uh Huh.  Okay then, daylight’s at a premium up here in the Northeast Kingdom this time of year, so they best get cracking if anything was to be done with what was left of the day (which, as it turned out for them, was about 4 hours, the last 3 of which were in the dark!  More on this in Part II).

Time to get rolling on the process, the paperwork, and to get the crew working on bringing in boxes and packing material.

We get the process explanation (sorta); no sign of the crew.

We get the paperwork and the explanation of that (sorta); no sign of the crew.

We get frustrated with the back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, due to a language/communication problem (sorta); still no sign of the crew.

Husband  👿

Wife  😕

Driver  😯

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, seems the driver had told his two-man-crew to stay put while he got the paperwork done (one hour and one translator later).  We are now at 3 dark thirty, which is fine for packing inside, but shit for loading a truck with overhead lights blocked by the previously loaded job.  By damn-ass-dark thirty, an hour later still, all that had been accomplished was bringing boxes and ‘some’ packing material inside rendering what little floor space left, utterly useless.

Hmmm, where to find room to tape these boxes together.  Hmmm, I know, let’s not worry about that now.  Let’s start wrapping some furniture and taking it out to the truck.  Yes…let’s do that.  Let’s fill the nooks and crannies usually filled in nicely with boxes with MY FURNITURE instead because you can’t get to your job on time, can’t get your crew working without your paperwork being done, you can’t speak English, and can’t get your head out of your ass long enough to see it’s FUCKING PITCH BLACK OUT THERE!

Husband  😯

Wife  👿

Driver  😥

More in part II…I’ll save some stew  🙂