Thursday, April 5, 2012
Middle Chapter-Mover From Hell
We always dreamed of a cooler climate. The heat and humidity was wearing us out and summers were lasting 8 months of the year with little respite from the unpleasant weather. The state had no more charm in its drought and heat patterns of the last decade and an half. We found a 100+ years old house in Maine. From Deep south Texas to Maine was 2330 miles, a long trip in itself but longer with pets since few places allow animals for travelers. Where and how are people suppose to move, to stay the night and no become the sub-humans that abandon animals when they move? So the trip would be longer since caging them for 12 hours a day was not easy and loading and unloading was hard when we were exhausted by the drive in unfamiliar territory. We knew we would drive less to save our strength so did the moving company and we were told not to worry, it was the slow season and they knew we would need 6 full days. It was deep into spring in Texas when we left. The days had already gotten hot and humid. The mover came a week early from our load date and began harassing us to move faster. It was not the packing but the preparation for the trip that was needed, banking, cutting off home services. We had put the down payment on the move and we were pressured to leave 5 days early. That was their first salvo at us and the stress began we need to get 22 cats ready for the trip in less time. We got a late start and arrived in Texarkana Arkansas, late around 9 p.m.. After our goods were loaded we were then told that final payment would have to be cash or cashiers check, not having the final weight total we did not know how much the final bill would be. Of course the load was weighed an hour after loading and the final cost was know to the company and the company knew we only had that Monday afternoon to secure funds for the total. However they chose not to cal us and let us know so we would be prepared. What the manager did do was call Tuesday( the day we left in our convoy) to leave a message on the home phone of where we just moved out of and would be disconnected at 5 p.m.. He did have our cell phone numbers but was not bothered enough call on of those numbers...knowing full well that was an empty house! It was not until Wednesday afternoon that the driver called and said he would deliver us on Friday morning! A few days early from the Monday date. He continued to harass us by phone. We both were panicking not wanting our belongings to be dumped in a ravine” then finding out the cost would be thousands of dollars more! It was hard enough with elder cats and cats that really did not want to be caged in a car and pickup truck then to be pressed to drive beyond our strength every day as well as find motels that would let our animals in for the night, and be suitable rooms for stowing them, they needed food and water, potty box; we need rest to drive again. It took 3 hours every morning and evening to load and unload then every day. The manager was completely callous to our situation. He told me the driver could drive 500 miles a day by law blah blah….but there were 2 drivers and they could do 1000 a day! The pressure mounted and the hard tone and words of the company manager were oppressive and felt like verbal water boarding. We drove under duress, panic, and fear. Our anxiety was caught by the cats, we could not sleep well and it took all our strength to drive safely. We had to beg for an extension and felt so humiliated to beg for a day before we had scheduled our unloading, We were able to drive in the driveway at 4:40 p.m. Sunday. Then the movers were not prepared for the area with flashing lights and told us we would have to use our car with flashes on behind the truck since there was a hill! They had no proper safety equipment! We were finally unladed at 9 p.m. Dark, cold, cats out in the car in 38 degree temperatures. Crushed boxes, but no real damage. The dresser mirror was not put on and they did not leave the staves to put it on. All the boxes are jumbled in huge piles like they had no sense on how to stack a box. After they left I wanted to cry. But another hours in the cold dark we unladed 22 cats who had been locked since 6 a.m. Many things added to our April Fools and that will be the next chapter.