29 August 2006

On Having Moved

It's early, yes, so take this for what it's worth, but I really need to verbalise this and my partner has disallowed my saying it out loud: I really dislike this new apartment and I wish we'd never left Chicago.


23 August 2006

On Moving

I am the only person I know who has not had a completely disastrous experience with a certain moving company whose name is (credit where it's due) a pretty delicious play on words implying that one should do one's own carrying. I'm not sure what allowed me to get away with this in my last intra-city move, but clearly I'm feeling lucky, punk, as I committed myself about three weeks ago to the use of their services for my upcoming inter-state move.

Originally, we wanted to pick up the truck this Sunday, the 27th. Our plans changed in a dramatic and vehicular way shortly after I made my first reservation, however, requiring that I bump the res. date up one day, to the 26th. One might think that, having made the res. on-line, one could change the res. on line. I suppose one would be right, if one was willing to accept that an emailed date change would be addressed in "no more than 48 hours." Fourty-eight hours?! This is the fyoo-chure, friends, and a business email untended for 48 hours—especially when your (doubtlessly) underpaid peons are staffing your phone (and I would assume e-mail) lines from, oh, 4:00 AM to 11:00 PM mountain standard time—is totally unbelievable. Hell, I only work from 9 to 5 CST, and I manage to respond to nearly everything, especially those things that require immediate action, in mere hours.

I decided to use the power of telephone, thinking that perhaps the status of this voice transmission device as somewhat of an elder statesman of near-instantanious communication would maybe get the job done faster. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Say a prayer for the phonebank, the operator, the switchboard: my phone call was immediately converted by the staff person into an email, which he then sent to scheduling. I won't even bother to talk about my hold time, as 20 minutes is neither unusual nor exceptional. It's practically fast, and given that I was able to do work during the hold, it was almost nice to point to the phone and make gestures indicating that I was on a call, which turns out to be an effective excuse for not answering questions from office bystanders like "are you excited about your move?" and "are you all packed up?"

(1. Not right now, I'm not, and 2. Surely not, fool.)

I called the moving hotline on Monday morning and entered my plea for a date change. They told me "someone" would "get back to me" that day or the next (again with the 48 hours! Useless!). I called on Tuesday and made a second request, mentioning that I hadn't heard back the previous day. I was "assured" that "someone" would "return" my call that day. Today is Wednesday and upon my arrival to the office I was filled with such unecessary and self-righteous phone rage that I felt it might be a good idea to call and make three separate requests to three different operators, mentioning each time that I had called for three days running, each day receiving another assurance that "someone" in the ether of scheduling would contact me. Then I dropped an ultimatum: "Mary, I have called three times. It is now 72 hours from my desired pick-up day. If I do not hear back from U today, I will U-se another Haul-ing company and cancel this service. Just for my personal reference, what's the easiest way to cancel U-r Haul-ing service so that I may employ another company?"

I do not believe in subtext. I am, as my new friend Adam pointed out last night, a "straight shooter." I also belive in the power of the first name, and I say this as a veteran of the phone bank: few things catch the attention of someone on the phone like the pointed use of their name. It says either "I'm on to you, bucko" or "I have a fixation with names and I might be a little crazy," both of which can be troublesome when one has become lulled by the relative safety of the non-face-to-face phone relationship.

I got a confirmation call back about an hour after my strongly worded, not not threatening phone call. My date has been moved. Additionally, having exorcised my fury on the phone bank, I can remain calm in what is sure to be a long, slow line at the understaffed local pick-up office of this rental company this Saturday.

Take heart, y'all: being one of those assholes can pay off. I have many proofs of this.

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18 August 2006

Always tap, never blow.

Check one, halla. Halla. Hey, hey. One. One. Check one, halla halla.


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