It started off with finding black marker on our comforter and bed skirt. Awesome. Looks like we will be making a claim with this move. Our first ever claim. Sure things have been broken along the way but when when 2 margarita glasses and one press board special already on its last leg fall apart you figure whats the point in claiming them. So yeah, our first claim.
The Movers showed up, took a look around then said they would be back. They told Hubby that they couldn't get the moving truck back to us. The driver said he needed to pick up a Uhaul truck to transfer our household goods (or HHG in military speak) to the large truck. This was not a good sign. From watching no less than Four neighbors move in and out our street the driver could in fact get that large truck back onto our street. Why, he felt he couldn't is beyond me. Regardless, I was not happy about the transferring of items. I insisted that Hubby follow the truck and watch them transfer the items. My reasoning was not for theft but more for damage. The more you handle the HHG the more likely it is to get damaged.
So they plugged along packing the uHaul truck with our stuff when the Driver starts asking me several questions we have never been asked before. "Does your coffee table come apart?" "Does this come apart?" "Does this break down?" Then he says it. "Space is tight on the truck." I ask him what he means. "It's going to be close." um... excuse me? Are you implying that you may or may not be able fit our stuff on your truck? "It will fit. I'll Make it fit."
Enter panic attack number 3 of the day for those of you keeping score.
The movers filled up the uhaul and went to transfer the items. Hubby followed them over and watched them as they moved from one truck to the other. He calls me and says that before they even put an item of ours inside the big truck there was more than half the truck filled up. NOT GOOD. Why, because I know our stuff takes up at least half the truck. When they finish the first transfer Hubby add... "its not going to fit. I'm not a professional mover, but I just don't see it happening."
Hubby added that saw liquid, which they can not move, floating around in a bag of his hunting gear. It turns out one of the movers picked up our bin of liquids. Which any mover would know can not be taken. What was floating in the bag was half a large bottle of roundup that had spilled. This kills me because we mentioned to them that we were going to be taking that but there was no spot to really put it. They say no problem we can't move it anyway. Sure enough the new guy tried to move it.
They go to lunch and hubby goes to get our lunch as well. Hubby got stuck behind some traffic mess and the movers showed up ready to work before he got back. The driver then starts asking for "Boss Man". Um.. Huh? Boss Man? You mean my Husband? Yeah he's out grabbing lunch and will be right back. The driver then says Boss Man no less than 20 times in the 15 minute conversation I had with him. Then he says "I need to ask Boss Man some questions. When will he be back?" I say soon but then tell him I can more than likely answer his questions. "No, I'll wait for Boss Man." Awesome so I'm incapable of answering questions about the move yet I am the point of contact for the move? Makes no sense but whatever. I was at my breaking point so I just let that one go. Boss Man can handle it ;)
What he had to ask Boss Man was when we planned on being in Maryland. We were told he would be there 10 days (give or take) from the date of pick up. You can imagine our shock when he tells us he will be there in 2 days. We weren't taking possession of the house for another 5 days so clearly this wasn't adding up. The date we were told was a no later than date. Not the the drop off date like we had been told. What this all means is that our HHG's would go into storage. Meaning they would have to come off the movers truck, into the storage unit, back onto another truck, then into our new house. Remember what I said about things being handled too much? This is what I was talking about.
At this point I'm ready to flip on someone for any stupid little reason they give. Thankful people steered clear of me long enough for me to calm down a bit. While it doesn't seem like that big of deal, it was just another thing to add to the Laundry list of crap that was quickly adding up.
The couch quite literally dropped on the boxes containing our fine china. The law mower improperly broken down snapping a cable. And now our things would be going into storage. This sadly is just the short list of things that went wrong. If I listed them all we would be here for days. At any rate, I knew it wouldn't end here.
They take over another load of stuff. I stealthy try to take the picture above. That's them moving our stuff. The uhaul with the door open the mile or so to the truck because of the movers. This has me on edge as very little is actually tied down at this point.
So I spend the rest of the time in panic about our stuff not fitting. About our stuff fall off the truck while they drive it to the big truck. That the extra handling means more broken things on the other end.
One of the things about being in panic mode during a pack out is that there is also this sweet adorable little human named Bear that also needs all of his needs met as well as some extra attention. They thankfully left the gated area until the very last bit so it gave him a space to play and run around without being in the way. He handled the day much better than I did.
In an effort to put my emotions to good use I started to clean where I could. I managed to clean ceiling fans, wipe down base boards, and even clean the windows and blinds of all three additional bedrooms. Leaving only the floors of those rooms to vacuum. I also was able to do the baseboards, fans, windows, and blinds of every room but the master all before they even left with the last transfer load of household goods on the uHaul.
Several more trips were made and finally by 8:30PM the last of our stuff was on the uhaul truck heading over the big Truck. This is the only load that went over without someone following them because Hubby was watching now the movers at the big truck move and rearrange everything in an attempt to make it all fit. Which it wasn't looking good. I sweep out the garage, close the door, and head inside to evaluate the cleaning I had ahead of me.
According to hubby, they had at that time most of our stuff out of the truck on the dirt as they were attempting to rearrange the previous load of HHG to make more space. It wasn't pretty he said. I am thankful he was there instead of me. There were several times when hubby had to correct and redirect the way they were arranging things. For example they wanted to put the lawn mower from the previous load on its side next to our boxes. While there wasn't any gas in it there was more than likely oil still in it. This can also ruin the lawn mower. No it's not our but what if it leaked? We couldn't take the chance.
Fighting the last of the daylight Hubby starts to talk to the driver. What if it doesn't fit? You can play Tetris all night but Hubby said it all could not fit in the truck. The driver refused to acknowledge the possibility of it not fitting. Or the repercussions from it.
That's when I get a call from hubby. It's now 11pm and he is still at the sight watching them load the truck. Hubby tells me that it all won't fit in the truck. That they would be putting things strapped to the back of the truck. Insert another panic moment by me. I'm ready to call his boss and hubby tells me he's got it under control. I got this picture sent to my phone.
The driver told him that they had to strap items to the back of the truck to get it all to fit. Hubby said as long as he got to pick the items that would be fine. I was not thrilled with this idea at all! If I were there I would have been on the phone with the drivers boss and whole fiasco would more than likely have screwed up the entire move. This one time and one time only I'm glad Hubby made the decisions and not me. So on the back of the truck went 2 mattress, 1 box spring, our patio chairs, a wheel barrel and a kiddie pool. The other kiddie pool got left at the site per hubby's instructions because $8 was not worth another hour of rearranging to make it fit. While I wasn't happy with stuff on the back at least it was items that if lost weren't that big of a deal. I mean it's not as if the put the box of handmade quilts on the outside of the truck.
In addition to things on the outside they also had items in the belly of the truck (underneath) as well as one packed bin wedged between the driver and passenger seat.
To attempt to ease our nerves a bit the driver said he would stay at guarded rest stops since things were on the back. None of this made me feel any better.
I had already gotten it into my mind that nothing not a single thing was going to make it to Maryland in one piece if it even made it there at all! Anything that arrived in good condition was simply a bonus in my mind.
So anyone traveling from Louisiana to Maryland that felt uneasy traveling behind this big moving truck with crap strapped to the back I am sorry.
I want to take a second and say that the drama with this move is not the norm. We have had amazing moves in the past and great movers for that matter. I will not hold it against our next movers whenever we PCS again for that matter. Additionally, this is where those phone calls come in handy for anyone new to PCSing. You have someone directing the move so speak, a point of contact, a coordinator. They always call to ask how things are going. When you are being boxes up and when the movers are loading the truck. Be honest with them. Slip away and talk to them if you have to. You don't have to talk in front of the people boxing you up or loading the truck. If it's good then by all means speak in front of them but if it's bad, do it in private. Again, be honest. They are there to help you! Had we gotten a call on this day I would have expressed my concerns to them about it not being able to fit and establishing a back up plan of it didn't. In hindsight, I wish when I had not received that call that I would have called them to voice those very concerns. Learn from my mistakes!
The truck was loaded with all our crap and heading to Maryland. We would be leaving the following day in that direction.