The Move

Prologue:
We can only get an elevator booking from 9-11 am on the 31st, as every other time is booked. The new tenant can only get an elevator booking from noon-2pm on the 31st. Reluctantly, Leah and I agree to be completely moved out by noon on the 31st, on the condition that the new tenant doesn’t expect us to do all the cleaning we should (behind the stove/fridge/etc). I promise to sweep and make it ‘normal’ clean.

January 31st,1:45 am.
Awash in a sea of boxes, some still left to fill, I collapse into bed. Leah stays up and finishes most of the packing.
January 31st, 6:15 am.
I awake, continue packing. At ten-to-eight, I drop Leah off at work. I now have an hour before the movers show up. I put almost everything into boxes, excepting the contents of our fridge and other things. I take apart the bed, move that downstairs. I run out of packing tape, so run to the Sev to get some more.
January 31st, 9:00 am.
The movers buzz up. Two scruffy looking guys show up who smell strongly of B.O. and…alcohol. It quickly becomes clear that the guy who stinks of alcohol doesn’t really know how to move – the bearded one keeps showing him how to load dollies, etc. In addition, the guy who smells of alcohol sucks back water from the tap seemingly every 5-10 minutes (keeping the sick away?). In about 30 minutes, it becomes clear that this guy can’t really lift anything, as he starts complaining about a bad back. We now have the elevator booked until 11:00 am.
January 31st, 11:15 am.
I come back from buying yet more tape, to start boxing/wrapping up the food and the like. Slightly less than half of our stuff has been taken out to the truck. I go down and wander out back to see what’s up. Rather than extending their loading ramp to the top of the stairs outback, so they could simply roll the dollies onto the truck, they instead must unload the dollies, cary whatever down the stairs, then up the ramp into the truck. I suggest that they move the truck so they could roll the stuff onto the truck. The bearded one makes some exuse that the janitor wouldn’t let them. I go talk to the janitor, who seems as confused as I why they couldn’t do that. I inform the movers. The bearded doesn’t think the truck will fit underneath the awning. It’s a fricking loading bay, and every other moving truck that has ever pulled up to our building has done so. And their truck, while big, is certainly not as big as some that I’ve seen. But and so they don’t move the truck. Loading is still done by hand, by the bearded one, who must do most of the work, as the other one can’t lift very well. When there are heavy things upstairs, he leaves the truck, comes upstairs and fills the dolly too.
January 31st, 11:45am.
I take the cats over to the new place, forgetting their litter box back at the old place. The new place is currently being painted, and smells strongly of paint and nicotine (the old tenants were heavy smokers). I lock the cats into the study/spare bedroom, and leave again. Twitch cowers in his box, while Sam won’t stop meowing.
January 31st, 12:15pm.
I return from having dropped the cats off at the new place. Our old landlord is standing in the suite with the new tenant. Fortunately, his movers are late. We exchange pleasantries while my movers are loading the truck downstairs. The old landlord says ‘I didn’t know you had a cat – you aren’t allowed those here’ I say ‘yeah, we just got it a week ago, for our anniversary. I didn’t think a week would matter.’ As I say this, I glance across the the room, seeing bits of fur everywhere. He nods and smiles – I think it’s ok. I take the litterbox down to the car. I guess that they have possibly two more elevator loads, or 15 minutes left to get us all out of there.
January 31st, 1:00pm.
The truck is finally loaded, 4.5 hours later. I do a cursory sweep up of the place, so that it’s not disgusting for the new tenant. I forget to clean the fridge. Apparently, the less there is left in the place. the less room there is in the elevator, or on the dollies, or something. As we pull out, the new tenant’s moving truck pulls up.
January 31st, 1:20pm. The movers arrive at the new place, and promptly say ‘this’ll take a while – we’ll have to carry everything in by hand’. I agree, and I also help them. We cart boxes non-stop. The guy with the bad back seems to be able to carry small boxes, and so we set him on that. As I just want things in as quick as possible, I give up on the system Leah and I had devised, where everybox had it’s destination listed on top (ie. Books – living room. Computer – study), in favour of filling up any available space.
January 31st, 3:15 pm.
I leave to go get some food and cash to pay these guys. The car, parked up at the end of the alleyway, now has some nice white scrapes over the driver’s side wheel well. Some jerk has scraped up our car. I get some food, go to the bank. I take out $600, expecting that to cover this move, for which I had budgeted about $350.00
January 31st, 4:00 pm.
A third mover shows up. He brings in one box, and the move is completed. I’m handed the bill, which is for $629.96, 7.5 hours work!!!!! They give me $10.00 off for a coupon I’ve forgotten. I stare incredulously, but am too tired to argue. I ache all over and am pretty sure I wrenched my back while helping to move the couch (which of course the drunk guy couldn’t help with). I pay them, and include a $50 tip. Why? because I’m one of those ‘tip by default’ guys, for reasons that are beyond me. And the bearded one actually seemed to be working pretty hard. But it’s less than 10%, which was my ‘revenge’ I guess.
January 31st, 4:20pm.
Leah comes home. We immediately notice tha several boxes are sodden. Not just wet, but sodden through. Many of our clothes, that we carefully washed in our ensuite laundry before moving, because we no longer have ensuite laundry, now smell somwhat like dirty water and will have to be washed. My computer is damp, and could have been much worse had I not had the foresite to put my terrycloth bathrobe at the bottom of the box. The bathrobe itself is pretty gross.
Boxes of books are wet, clothes are wet, my stereo is wet. And not wet like it got a little rained on, but sodden through at the bottom, as if they’d been standing in pooled water for a while. Who knows what sort of damage we’ll discover as we unpack. We start to really look around the place, and notice that it’s pretty gross. The previous tenants didn’t clean at all, apparently. We don’t unpack, as we’ll need to clean everything before use.
We are quite pleased to see hardwood floors, as we both remember there being carpet before.
January 31st, 8:00pm.
I collapse into bed, aching everywhere. Leah is hopping mad about the move and intends to call and complain the next day.
February 1st, 6:!5 am
Our alarm goes off. I move to roll over and hit it off, and start to wake Leah up, but cannot – my back has apparently seized over night, and I groan in agony. Slowly, I am able to move again.
February 1st, 6:30 am.
Leah can’t weat what she had intended to, because it is soggy. In addition, a red-colored t-shirt has run, ruining several other white t-shirts. Fortunately, these are ones that are not often worn. When taking a show, neither of us want to touch the tub or the walls. They’re icky.

As a note, I don’t recommend Jesse’s Movers to anyone.