Tuesday, January 27, 2009

And so it begins

Ok, so it's not technically "beginning"...this thing has been in the works for the better part of nine months or so, but when a small army of men show up at your home to do things like crate your TV, pack everything you own into 140-some-odd containers, and drive away with your car tacked onto a flatbed truck, all within the space of about six hours, you really feel like events have been set into motion. I'm exhausted, even though my physical labor for the day was pretty minimal compared to the feats displayed by these magical men known as "movers." To get things off to a rousing start, I got up at 5:45 this morning!! Please see past post relating to my deep love of sleep and general disdain for AM hours to know how this pains me.

A few observations on the corporate move that I'll manage to piece together before giving in to sleep:

Something I did not know/truly understand until today - men will come to your home and build a custom-sized crate to hold highly breakable objects. If you pay them enough, that is. And I don't even know how much that set P-dub back, but my LCD TV is definitely riding in style to D.C. I wish I had thought to snap some pictures of
this process. When they said "crate my TV"....that's exactly what it meant. I don't know what I thought it meant, but it's pretty straightforward. CAVEAT: if TV shows up with a large crack gracing its screen, I will forever be a disbeliever in the power of crates.

I often feel that I should do things myself....no help needed, I've got it under control, thanks for checking but I'm fine...you know, those kinds of thoughts. This happens to apply to things like packing stemware - it's mine, let me do it, if I control what happens to it then it definitely won't break. I let go of my anal tendencies today and, fascinated and slightly in awe, witnessed the magic of three packing/loading men with a combined fifty years of experience (yes, we got to know each other a little bit today). They have boxes for everything. Different kinds of boxes for everything. Like...lamps. And mattresses. My massive pillow-top mattress is in a ginormous box with protective plastic snugly holding everything together. Paper wrapped everything remotely breakable...and everything already in a smaller box...and pretty much everything not even remotely breakable...and lined the top and bottom of every box. I think I single-handedly decimated a small forest today (sorry, environment - good thing I got those reusable grocery bags!). My kitchen guy was just as conscientious as I would have been - and about eight times faster. It can be great to just let people do things for you sometimes! CAVEAT: if everything shows up shattered, the above paragraph is retracted in its entirety. I'm a bit of a pessimist.

It takes a village to raise a child? No, no....it takes a village with citizens who specialize in precisely one area to coordinate a corporate move. Seriously. I have (1) relocation coordinator at PwC, (2) expense specialist at third-party reimbursement company + (3) her assistant + (4) additional specialist when above specialist is out of office, (5) HR contact at PwC D.C., (6) move coordinator with van line, (7) separate company contact for shipping car + (8) actual human who came to get the car, (9) pet carrier contact, through yet another company, + (10) person who physically deals with pet in Dallas + (11) person who physically deals with pet in D.C., (12) pre-move survey guy who determines poundage of my stuff, (13) contact for yet ANOTHER separate company that crates the TV + (14) & (15) two actual humans who crate TV, (16) driver of stuff across the country (who also happens to be a packer/loader - now HE has skill sets!), (17) magical packer/loader #2, and last in this list but certainly not least, (18) magical packer/loader #3. Please bear in mind that moving also entails interaction with apartment people on both ends. And plenty of others. Oh, and two of the above numbered people both happen to be named Lisa and have quite similar phone voices.

Never underestimate the power of lists and excessive organization. I have an inventory sheet that lists every single box (with a general description of contents), padded item, crated item, and speck of Dallas dirt (ok, stretching on that last one) that went onto that truck. Every box is numbered. Everything remotely cardboard has my last name prominently scribbled on it in fat permanent marker, along with the room it belongs in and at least an inkling of what's inside. CAVEAT (last one, I promise): if anything that went out the Dallas door doesn't come in the D.C. door, I might have to seriously reconsider my life views on the virtues of being organized.

I forgot how an empty apartment echoes.


Sarah said...

Wow - I can't believe it's all done and you're almost on your way!!! Can't wait to come visit!!!

Carrie said...

Erin in D.C.! Yay!! Let us know when you're good and settled and we'll coordinate a you to us or us to you or all of us to third location meet-up!

Anonymous said...

I wish you good luck and blessings! Plus, I've always wondered how a moving company was. Now I know!