Friday, August 25, 2006

And they shall know us by the trail of crumbs . . .

Ok, so, the move. Let me tell you about The Move. The Move did not go as well as I had hoped it would. It began with rr deciding that we should use the movers that they’d used at work once, movers who had done a good job. We picked said moving company. Dugan’s, it is called. I do not recommend them. That’s ok, though, because Brad Dugan doesn’t want my business or need me to recommend him to anyone. He told me so himself, right after he yelled at me. But I get ahead of myself.

So, rr calls the movers and arranges a time for moving. Mr. Dugan asks how many bedrooms we have, but doesn’t ask square footage, doesn’t ask for a list of our furniture, nothing like that. We think nothing of it at first, because he’s supposed to be the professional, right? So if he needs a list of our furniture or needs to know how much stuff we have, he’d ask, right? Well, just to be sure, rr called him back that same night and told him that, among other things, we have four large bookshelves and several smaller ones full of books. He said, “but they’ll be in boxes, right?” RR said yes, they would be. He assured us it would be no problem.

So we just go on our merry packing-up-our-belongings way. The night before we move—or maybe it’s two nights before—rr calls him again and has to leave a message. In the message she confirms our time for the move and reminds him that we have a lot of stuff. The next morning he calls back to confirm the move, so he must have received her message. The day of the move his crew is running behind, so we call him to tell him we’re going to run an errand, and at that point rr reminds him we have a lot of stuff, and she says we have in the neighborhood of 200 boxes. It turns out we didn’t have near that many boxes, but we wanted to make sure he knew we had a lot of boxes. And also, of the boxes we did have, many, many of them were very small—one book shipped from size or smaller. So while there may have been a good number of them, they didn’t take up too much space.

So finally the mover guys (finally) show up. The trailer they are towing is clearly not big enough, and in the bed of the pickup that’s hauling it is a tall chest of drawers, so not much can fit back there with it. The mover guys come in, take a look at our stuff, and confirm our suspicions that the trailer won’t hold all our stuff. First the crew chief tells us that they’ll have to make two trips (convenient, since they get paid by the hour), and then tells us no less that three times how many more moves that still have to do that day, basically implying that they cannot make two trips for us. We become very upset, because now we have to hire someone else to finish the job or get a U-haul and do it ourselves, neither of which is in the moving budget.

So the guys eat the lunches we had bought for them and began loading up our stuff. One of the guys tells me that they’ve had a number of complaints about using trailers that are too small to move people. And sure enough, all our stuff will not fit on the trailer. On the way to our place, I call Mr. Dugan to complain, very upset. I tell him that I’m upset that he’d send a trailer that was too small, and that I would tell all my friends not to use his company. And he responds, very professionally, by yelling at me. He tells me that it’s our fault because we didn’t tell him how much stuff we had. It’s true that we didn’t provide a detailed list, but that’s because he didn’t ask for one, and since he was the professional, we figured if he needed one, he’d ask. He says that the amount of stuff we had was way out of line for a two-bedroom apartment. Well, since he wasn’t there, he doesn’t have any idea how much stuff we actually had, but I told him that two-bedrooms can range in size from 800 square feet to 1200 square feet, and as it happens we had a large two-bedroom apartment. Of course, we didn’t even have a sofa, and we both have twin beds, so it’s not like our furniture was taking up too much space. Our kitchen was tiny, and we’d warned him about how many books we had, so I’m not sure why it was our fault. But he yelled at me that it was, and then he yelled at me for threatening him and for being abusive. I told him I didn’t know what he was talking about, I didn’t threaten to not pay him, or to report him to the Better Business Bureau, or to sue him, so I’m not sure how I was being threatening or abusive, but man, he just would not let up. He just kept yelling and yelling at me until I finally hung up on him. What made me the angriest was that he’d had a giant fish symbol on the side of his trailer. Very Christian-like behavior, I don’t think.

Then we finally get to our new home. The movers unload fairly quickly, but the crew chief guy, though nice (all the guys doing the actual moving were nice), did that thing they seem to do—reveal too much personal information to someone he’d just met. I know how much he pays in child support to how many different women, for instance. He also told me the trials of being in the moving business. Once, he said, a man cussed him out after he’d finished moving the guy, so to get even he said he grabbed several pieces of the guy’s furniture and put it back on his truck and dared the guy to keep talking like that. So apparently he doesn’t take too well to complaints, either.

When all our stuff had (apparently) been unloaded, he had us go out and look in the trailer to make sure they hadn’t forgotten anything, and although they had all their moving gear in the trailer, I didn’t see any furniture, so we signed their little form. It was only after they had left that we noticed that they’d left without unloading my bedrails. So my mattress is just on the floor. I have propped my headboard up against the wall to sort of make it look like the bed is set up, but it isn’t. We didn’t bother to contact the guy to ask about the rails because I didn’t feel like being yelled at again, and I had a feeling it wouldn’t do any good, anyway.

Also, they damaged some of our furniture. So I do not recommend using their services.

That, of course, was just the beginning. That was on a Thursday. That night, we didn’t get much sleep at all, because one of our cats (not the one who had her leg amputated) was nervous about the new surroundings and did not stop meowing the entire night. I mean, the entire night. The only time he’d be quiet was if you were petting him.

Then on that Sunday, rr and I rented a U-haul van. We got the cargo van instead of a larger truck because we weren’t sure we’d be able to drive anything larger. My poor parents and my brother helped us on the first trip, in 104 degree heat, which was excruciating. We made a second trip ourselves. Then we had to go back on two separate occasions to get the rest of our stuff. We just finished this past Saturday. Then the unpacking fun began. Unfortunately, our new place is quite smaller than our old one, so we have done nothing but unpack and buy more storage stuff and unpack since then. It has involved me (and rr, too) being very sweaty for the greater part of the month of August, and you can imagine how I’ve felt about that.

I feel really bad for rr, who was supposed to have several weeks of vacation before she started school, but who only gets this weekend off, and even that will be spent unpacking some of the time, and the only reason she’s getting any time off at all is because she’s finally resigned herself to the fact that she just can’t get everything done before school starts.

Then on top of that we are so broke because moving turned out to cost way more than we’d budgeted for, and we’d budgeted a good deal, so that was kind of depressing. We thought we’d have the time and money to at least go visit our friend in Austin who just had a baby, but no such luck.

So moving was not fun, we are not settled in, and everything is not all comfy cozy. But the worst part is over, we hope, and if we can just resign ourselves to getting rid of a lot more of our stuff, everything will be fine. We are both very nervous about the next month or so (her, school; me, new job), but we bought a nice big bottle of Mylanta just for that. (We've both been feeling nothing but nauseated lately, and we spend much of our time eating crackers. Cracker crumbs, everywhere.) So, eventually, things should be ok. We just have to hang in there until then.

Also, our grocery store is 2 miles away. *Sniff*. I miss the city. We went to Central Market yesterday because several people had assured us that it was not far at all, just up the road, but we’d forgotten that in Texas suburb talk, “not far” is anything within a 30-minute drive, because if you live in the ‘burbs, particularly the D/FW metroplex area, everything is far away, but almost nothing is more than an hour away, so people just get used to driving and to being able to get whatever they need if they are willing to drive for it. So, yeah, CM, not so close.

On the plus side, I had lunch this week with my new boss, and I had forgotten how much I love downtown Fort Worth. So I’m really looking forward to getting to be there everyday—terrified about my new job, but excited about the locale.

And that’s all the news for now. I’m sure that both rr and I will have lots of fun stuff to talk about in the next month or so, but for right now we’re both kind of burnt out and a little down. But at the same time, we have a lot of optimism about the future.


jes said...

I promise never to use Dugan's. Ignorant, ignorant man.

You should write a letter to ... someone. Telling them. About Dugan's.


JLR said...

I agree! But who to tell . . . who to tell . . .

EmmaSometimes said...

jlr, does he have a church? Pastor might take a sympathetic ear.

I would also consider the reasons behind complaining. Revenge is a dish best served cold, but you might end up with a food fight.

If you do complain, go to BBB and any other association he may deal with or be associated with. I write these letters professionally (ie..I got a mortage co to reverse $3200 in pre pay penalties) but you went to law school and I am under the suspicion you can hold your own, but regardless, I offer my services. :o) free of charge hehe. or his page on local or even might like to hear the experience, too.

If he is licensed and bonded, you might consider drafting a letter to the insurance liability company that takes things like that DEEPLY into consideration (especially on the keeping the furniture of another person).

TX State online has a Consumer Protection Complaint Form

I'm part secret service agent you know.

Amstaff Mom said...

Poor, poor JLR and RR. Moves are bad enough without all the "issues" that y'all had to go through. That's terrible!

That company shouldn't be in business, that's really sad that they get away with treating their customers like that.

Are the cats getting used to the place? Do you like your apt.? I know it's smaller, but it's ok?

You know they're opening a new CM in Southlake, right? I guess that won't be any closer for you though. Hmmm.

Sorry about the sweating in August. I really am. I know how y'all hate that.

I'm just glad that you have each other as you go through this change in your lives. And you listening audience, of course!

Come up and see me sometime soon!

Katie said...


and sorry

sounds like an ordeal, not fun at all, but at least it's over

glad you survived the move