“Efficiency is intelligent laziness.” – David Dunham
Have finally started clearing out the house. Managed to clean out the kitchen, linen closet, bathroom and basement today, and am not sure how thrilled the management would be when they see the trash cans in the garage overflowing beyond belief with boxes and odds and ends. Thank God the Pitches bought the piano and Johns and the Chips took away a lot of the furniture tonight. Am now hoping the bed and desk will sell, or will have to make the Salvation Army or Buffalo City Mission come and pick them up. Hate bloody moving. And after telling the story of how UPS Freight came to take away the boxes last Friday to Shirley, Johns and Maddi — all three of whom found it simultaneously horrifying and hilarious — will regale it here as well, as a future reference to impending/aspiring movers/immigrants/emigrants.
Lucy from EuroUSA (shipping company): Do you have someone to help you put the boxes on the curbside?
Me: No, I live alone.
Lucy: Did Patrick tell you that you have to have the boxes on the curbside ready for the driver?
Me: (beginning to panic) Wait, no…
Lucy: Well, you have to have the boxes on the curbside, because the driver won’t come into the house unless you pay a small gratuity.
Me: (figuring that since am already hemorrhaging money into the shipping company’s pocket…) Oh, that’s OK, I’ll pay the gratuity.
Lucy: OK. Do you live in an apartment building or a house?
Me: Apartment, but I’m on the first floor.
Lucy: Are there steps going into the building?
Me: Yes, but there are only like three steps up. Why…?
Lucy: Well, the driver will not enter your apartment if there are steps, because he’s in the labor union and they don’t allow that.
Me: (disbelief) OK, nobody told me that, and I live alone, so what else was I supposed to do?
Lucy: You can call Labor Ready and ask them to come and move the boxes out for you.
Me: OK, let me get back to you on that.
A few minutes later…
LR: (Labor Ready): We charge by the hour, but it’s a four-hour minimum.
Me: (horrified silence; it would have taken only less than 15 minutes to move the boxes from apartment to sidewalk)
LR: What time would you like them to come?
Me: (yet another horrified silence; the email from the shipping company states that the driver would arrive anytime between 2PM and 6PM) Let me call you back…
As more time goes by…
Me: Is there any way I can check to see what time the driver will be coming? I don’t want Labor Ready to get here at 2 and run the risk of making them wait until possibly 5:30.
Lucy: Yes, there is a 1-800 number you can call, but you can only call tomorrow between noon and 2PM. And anyway it says on the packing order that the driver will call you when he’s on his way so you can get the boxes ready.
Me: (almost hysterical now) But Labor Ready requires a two-hour heads-up so that they can get people to come out here…!
After all the back and forth haggling and raging, managed to get Jeremy to come over after his morning classes to help.
Jeremy: Is that a honk?
(A huge white truck pulls up outside the apartment. Jeremy looks out the window and on the passenger door of the truck it reads UPS Freight)
Me: But it’s only 1:30…!
Jeremy: And the driver didn’t call!
(At this point the driver, who fortunately turns out to be a very nice man on overtime, is already at the door and am frantically labeling boxes with Jeremy’s help)
Me: I’m so sorry you have to wait. But the shipping company said that you were coming between 2 and 6, and that you were going to call when you were on your way so I could have the boxes ready.
Driver: Well, we got an email saying we had to come over here and get your boxes, but it didn’t say anything about calling ahead or what time.
Jeremy: Fucking shipping company is telling you guys different things. (turns to the driver) Are you really not allowed to go up and down steps, even though there are only like two?
Driver: Technically we’re not supposed to, but it’s OK, I’ll help you. Whatever makes the job easier.
(After Jeremy carries out the twin 24x24x32 boxes, he comes back in and lifts a 23x32x27)
Jeremy: Are these the shoes?
Me: No, the first two boxes you took were the shoes.
Driver: Wait, those two boxes were just shoes?
Jeremy: She’s a girl.