Friday, July 14, 2006

HALLELUJAH!!!!! (Angel wings flapping in the background...)

Our stuff is here and a large part of it is unpacked - thank you to everyone who commented and e-mailed giving "chin-up, girl!" words of wisdom! I wouldn't even wish this heinous move on my ex-boyfriend (who was awful and who I dated for three years b/c I obviously didn't get it the first two...) - well, maybe I would.

So, we've had two glorious nights of sleep (and one afternoon nap) on our great bed, we made chicken korma last night (no more burgers and fries at Chez Medieval Woman for at least a fortnight!) and cut the pieces of onion etc. with our own knives and ate on real plates. And then I watched "Restaurant Renovation" while sitting on my nice comfy, totally long-in-the-tooth and schlumpy chair and ottoman. Heaven!

I feel I should apologize for what has to be the longest run of posts on "furniture: who has it, who doesn't?" But, it's amazing how much like a hostage you are when your furniture hasn't shown up. We had to hang around the area in case they called. We ran out of shopping and bureaucratic stuff to do on day six. The moving company was offering to put us up in a hotel and I was like, "if you're willing to throw money at us for a hotel, why not just take the money and pay Joe Truckdriver a wage to go get our stuff!"...

So, here's the story (in a hazelnut shell - just like Julian of Norwich): we were without our furniture for 15 days total - and it's a 9 hour drive (when you stop for potty breaks, to get an Arby's, etc.). But it's not the transit that was the problem. Our stuff sat in a warehouse in SLAC town for 14 days! No one would go pick it up - either the trucks were too full (have to wait for the next one) or...whatever. The big problem was that no one would ever give us any information. We were passed around to 3 different people at our local movers plus countless people at United Vanlines - we finally ended up not leaving messages or waiting for them to call us back (which they rarely did) and started calling dispatchers, etc. ourselves. We got more information quicker than our so-called "contact" at the moving company ever did.

Enter "Ray": He works for the university and signs the checks, basically. On day 13 of "Stuff-watch", when I heard (this time from SLAC town warehouse) that they still hadn't come by to get our goods and that it might take another week, I broke down into a sobbing mess. The Dutchman gave me a Coke Zero and a twinkie to calm my nerves and then called Ray to inform him of the situation. He was a very nice guy and said simply: "this is unacceptable - it'll be resolved immediately". And - poof! - within one hour we got a call from the moving company begging for our forgiveness (although it was hard to understand him with all that crow he was eating!) and telling us that a truck had been diverted from our new country and sent down to SLAC town solely to get our things. They were full of remorse, they were desolate about the situation...

Apparently, (at least this is what we think) Ray told them that if it wasn't taken care of within a day and a half MAX that the university would drop their contract (they are the movers the univ uses for all of their faculty moves - and it's a big honkin' school!) So, the Dutchman and I go from being "those nutjobs who call all the time" to being "king and queen of the universe whose asses we must smooch". But they're not really kissing our tushes - they're kissing Ray's ass by proxy. And that's completely fine with me.

Epilogue: The Windfall - So, for "pain and mental anguish" for our ordeal, we got a call from the moving company right after our furniture was delivered telling us that they were giving us $900! They told us that it can't make up for the trauma, but we can "get something nice for our new home". Now, this is hush money - and a very tidy sum at that. This is actually just the kind of soothing balm that the Dutchman and I need right now. So, we're taking the moola, not telling the IRS (and don't you tell them either!), and we're paying off our IKEA bill. We are letting bygones be bygones.

But, all of this now has me thinking about clout: who has it and who doesn't? We obviously don't, but Ray does. Because he holds the purse-strings (and I'm sure he's a handsome, articulate, morally unimpeachable human being - he's my hero!). I shudder to think of what our situation would be if we were on our own in this. But I take consolation in the knowledge that we might be small fry, but we carry a big stick named Ray!!

And I promise that I will now go back to being "Medieval Woman" and not "Suburban Drama Woman" - I have my books now! I have ideas! I have conferences to attend! I have articles to write!

But first, another couple of days to unpack...


At 5:59 PM, Blogger KLee said...

Yay! Glad to hear that "Ray" was the savior of the day! We like Ray.

Also, congrats on the hush money. I love it when the offending party not only has to humble themselves before you, but also when they have to pay YOU because they screwed up! Good deal! (And we won't tell, either! Sssh!)

At 6:08 PM, Blogger Flavia said...

Congratulations! I've been wondering about your furniture, believe it or not, and I'm glad to hear that it finally arrived. (I'm also excited, vicariously, for your moolah. Guys like Ray rock the house.)


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