Thursday, September 29, 2011

Don't Jet With Jet!

Who I Should've Used
I was about to open with a nice, grandiose comment about how I've been gone so long but, thank goodness I'm back, blah, blah, blah. However, it seems that nearly everyone has been so busy lately, I don't seem to have, um, been missed too terribly. But I'm not worried. My cats, my girlfriend and my mom still love me. Dammit.

I was trying to figure out what to write about. I'm still kinda fried from moving so some of the deep stuff I've been knocking around my noggin is gonna have to wait until my brain isn't so batter-dipped. But—speaking of moving...

I'm finally in the Seattle area. Yippity-doo-dah! A few years ago, I moved from one state to another and hired a mover to do all the heavy lifting. That move went off without a hitch: the guys that packed me up and loaded me onto a very big truck were punctual, polite, professional and honest. My stuff arrived in a few days and all was right with my world. This move, however, was the exact opposite. Herewith, my warning: Don't use a moving company ya ain't heard of.

And before any of you start rolling your eyes and saying "Well, duh!" out loud to yourselves as you read this, I need you to know that I swear I did my due diligence. I visited their website to check em out, and they looked pretty legit. (Being a graphic designer, one of my first superficial opinions of a company is based on how well-designed their website is.) Then I went to the BBB website and looked them up. Not only did they have an A- rating, they were even members of the BBB while many companies are not. (You don't have to join the BBB to be rated by them.) Then I looked up their rating on half a dozen movers association websites. Everything...checked...out. Why, I even called a former customer of theirs and chatted with him about his experience. Two thumbs up from Mr. Former Customer.

So I went for it. And about 6 weeks later came to wholly regret it. Holy crap. They showed up the day of the move and the foreman took a cursory glance at my apartment and proceeded to jack the price up to nearly double the estimate I'd lived with for weeks. He did me the "favor" of bumping it back down a little and, in the same breath, demanded a $150 cash, off-the-books tip for "his guys and supplies" before they even began the job. (He subsequently hammered Christy for the tip every time I left the room.) A very long story short, they made a mess of my apartment and the surrounding area, tried to steal some of my tools, ransacked my refrigerator and took 12 1/2 hours to pack a 1-bed-den apartment. I didn't give him the $150 tip.

Three and a half weeks later, my stuff finally arrived at my new home. The good news: the crew that unloaded my stuff was headed up by a guy who knew his sh*t. The bad news: he still showed up a day later than he said, so I spent an entire day sitting in an empty apartment. Waiting. (That's a bit of artistic hyperbole. I only waited four hours, but it felt like all day.)

Without getting into all of the nuances of how Middle Easterners do business ("No, no, no – I do you favor, my friend! I give you good deal, my friend.") or how annoying the guy who moved me was ("You have enough glasses for ten people, my friend!" "You have too much stuff, my friend!"), I'll say this: DO NOT USE JET VAN LINES, INC. Yes, that's a direct dig at the actual company that mangled my move (and my mood) for the better part of a month.

I'm now in the process of filing a claim with a third-party company that facilitates this sort of thing. I'm keeping fingers crossed that they'll elect to imprison the staff and demolish their headquarters. But I'm not holding my breath.

On the plus side, I couldn't be happier that I'm finally up here! I'm in the same state and time zone as my two favorite women, the weather's beautiful, the scenery is even more beautifuller, and my new digs rock.

But did I mention that the move sucked?