Moving Day

Moving Day – A Quick and Dirty Review of Movers and all the Elements

Moving Van
Moving Day – A Review of Movers and all the Elements
Nuppi Express
Brooklyn, NY
1 star
0 star
U-Haul Moving & Storage of Woodside
2645 Brooklyn Queens Expy W
Woodside, NY
5 stars
Yajai Sumran Thai Restaurant
33-16 30th Avenue
Astoria, Queens
5 stars
I’ve moved quite a few times over my life. Once, from New York to San Francisco and back. Unlike the horror stories I heard, I NEVER had a problem. I NEVER was ripped off. So, I didn’t expect what I encountered. First off, I didn’t listen to my gut and used a U-Haul affiliated partner, to retain a mover. Three years ago, I ‘temporarily’ moved out of New York City. My boyfriend at the time and I took out all the stuff I believed I needed and drove it up to my house in a truck. The rest of the stuff that I didn’t need was placed in storage out in Woodside, Queens by professional movers because I broke up with the boyfriend; he accidentally set my house on fire after he moved the contents in. Over the course of three years, I plundered the storage bin so that half the original contents were now gone.
The U-Haul storage facility in Woodside, Queens is immaculate and known for its terrific security system with alarms going off each time someone forgets to check in and unlocks their unit. That happens almost every time. The people working there are long-term employees with minimal turnover. That says a lot about the company. I really like them; they’re kind, fun and good people and they know their stuff. That’s a hands-down 5-star endorsement.
After three years, I realized my imminent return to New York City was nil to negligible and decided to move the remainder out of storage. That entailed intense logistics for not only do I live over 100 miles away from Woodside, I’d be doing this move alone. I couldn’t wrap my head around how to get there and then drive a truck back filled with my stuff. As it turns out, luck in the form of my friend happened. Jane who lives a mere 20 miles away got a new client in New York City. Her first run was scheduled for Monday, September 17. I’d drive shotgun with her, she’d drop off her products and then we’d swing to Woodside where I rented a 14’ truck.
My plans included renting two guys to move my stuff out of storage into the truck and upon my return home, I’d have a few local guys help me unload which Jane helped to arrange and coordinate. She’d leave me at U-Haul and I’d drive back upstate where I had guys waiting for me to unload at my house.
Sounds easy like pie, right? HA!
When I made the truck reservation through U-Haul the week before the move, I was directed to to get movers. They gave me a competitive bid of $94 for a minimum two hours (which secretly increased to over $106 according to the online receipt that was just issued) with a new mover, Nuppi Express.
“I don’t need two hours,” I stated to “It usually takes 40 minutes.” As a connoisseur of moving, I knew precisely how long it took the other movers. Taking into account I removed half the contents over three years, I gave that 40 minute estimate a wide berth of time. “Besides, it’s just taking stuff out of the storage unit and placing it on the truck right outside. Less than 20 feet with dollies.”
“That’s their guideline. You can speak to them about that.”
The following day, Alex, owner of Nuppi Express phoned me. He sounded very nice and eager to help out. “I don’t need two hours,” I stated to Alex. “What’re we gonna do with the remaining hour and twenty minutes, play canasta?”
He laughed. “It’s a two hour minimum. And I thank you for retaining our services because we’re a brand new outfit.”
I figured I’d attack him with this at another time. Instead, I said, “Oh, you do a good job and I’ll tweet you, Yelp you and blog you.”
“Why, thank you!” he said. “I need as much business as I can, being a new company.”
“Please be aware, Alex, that the Woodside U-Haul location is very difficult to find,” I stressed. “You have to get directions. The first time took me over an hour to find.”
“Oh, my guys’ll find it. They’re professionals. It’ll only take them minutes to drive over. By the way, do you have a driver for that truck?”
“I’m doing all the driving myself,” I informed him. “It’s a first for me as I never drove a truck before.” I failed to mention it was also the first time I left my home in two months. I’m a total recluse due to a neurological deafness where all sound’s my enemy. It’s a rare condition called hyperacusis.
“We can drive it for you with one of the guys following in his car.”
I laughed. “No can do, Alex. I’m on a shoestring budget here.” I didn’t want to admit that as a novelist, I’m barely surviving and every penny counts. “I have local movers up here who’ll unload it when I drive up.”
A few days later, I firmed up the time with him. “How about noonish?” I suggested after consulting with Jane and plotting her time frame, giving us at least a two-hour leeway. “Is that a bad time?”
“No, we’ve enough movers on staff so you’re taken care of.”
“Do they know where that Woodside U-Haul is? It’s very hard to find.”
“Yes. These are professionals. They live nearby and will drive there. Don’t worry. My policy is that my guys’ll be there before you so you don’t have to wait for them.”
Alex phoned me again Sunday. “Is it still on?”
“Yes, would one be okay?” I reconsidered the driving and the fact that Jane and I were venturing into the Village where we both had track records of getting lost.
“Not a problem. As a matter of fact, I’ve two new guys I want to test out and I’ll be there as well to supervise them.”
“Excellent, Alex. Do they know where the Woodside U-Haul is? It’s quite difficult to find.”
“These are professionals, Maura. They have cars and will drive there. It should only take them a few minutes.”
Monday morning, I called up Alex while we were on the highway. “Alex, would two be too late? I don’t want the guys to wait around while I’m setting up the truck.”
“No, that’s okay. I got two new guys who will drive right on over. My policy is that I want them to wait for you and not for you to wait for them.”
As predicted, Jane and I got lost in the Village. We kept overshooting the streets. Finally, we found the restaurant where she delivered her goods. It was noon. We crossed from the West Village into the East Village and drove up Third Avenue to 59th Street where we crossed the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge.
“Let’s get a bite to eat in Astoria,” I suggested. “We’ve got a little time.” Since we were both up at dawn, the merciless traffic and driving made us quite tired and hungry by then. Luckily, I stayed in the car the entire time with the windows rolled up. A perfect cocoon. We stopped off at a Thai restaurant, Yajai on 30th Avenue and had a wonderful meal. The food was impeccably fresh, tasty and the right amount. That warrants a 5-star rating. By the time we finished and in the car, 1pm where we made our way to the Woodside U-Haul, a mere 15 minutes away.
I ran inside and waited on a line until it was my turn. “Hello, Maura,” the women greeted me behind the counter.
“It’s a sad day, ladies, for I’m moving out.”
We chatted while they finished the paperwork for my 14’ U-Haul truck. By then, it was around 1:45pm and Alex phoned.
“Is it okay if my guys are a few minutes late?”
“Not at all, Alex. I’m getting the truck right now. How many minutes will it take?”
“Fifteen. I wanted them to be there before you, but they’ll be right on over.”
Armed with paperwork, I left the building and met with a U-Haul truck guy. “Could you do me a favor and back it up in the spot in front of the building?”
Meanwhile, Jane parked. “The movers will be here in 15 minutes,” I informed her. She came inside with me and we unlocked my storage bin. I pulled out some crap I wanted her to have. I’m a nice friend. By the puzzled look on her face, I guess she really didn’t want the deer hooves. At that moment, an alarm went off inside the U-Haul facility. Someone didn’t properly check-in before they opened their unit.
The sound felled me. I doubled over in pain. Did I happen to mention that I’m a total recluse due to the fact that all sound’s my enemy? I can barely deal with the conversations I had on the iphone and with everyone else. I knew this roadtrip was pushing the envelope, but what choice did I have? After wiping the tears from my eyes, I said, “Jane, please don’t stay. I don’t want you to get stuck in traffic.”
At this time it was 2:30. The guys were already half an hour late.
“No, I don’t want to leave you alone,” she insisted. “What if they don’t show up? You’ll be stuck here!”
Another alarm went off. At this point, I fell to my knees because the sound went through my body. I groaned. “Let me phone Alex.”
“Alex, where are the guys?”
“They’re not there yet? Let me call them up and I’ll get right back to you.”
Jane said, “I’ll wait till three and then I’ll leave.” She looked at me, “Are you sure you can do this?”
Another alarm went off. At this point, I felt as if a hot poker went through my brain.
Alex phoned, “They took the wrong train,” he informed me.
“Train?” I shrieked. “What about the cars? You said they’ll be driving here!” Then I realized something. “There’re no trains going here!”
He said, “They should be there in five minutes.”
Another alarm went off. Right then, I had the worst pain as if I had two ear infections. Dubious, Jane said, “Let me stick around.”
While she put my gifts in her car, I went up to the U-Haul ladies. “Where’re your movers?” they inquired.
“They’re taking a train.”
“WTF? Where did you get them?”
Both ladies doubled in laughter. “You went through them????”
“They’re an affiliated partner of U-Haul,” I said. The two women shook their heads and rolled their eyes. Now, that was endorsement for a service!
At three, I practically shoved Jane into her car. “I don’t want to waste your day. Besides, I don’t want you to hit traffic.” Traffic’s a major big deal. When you have a two-hour car ride in front of you, the extra hour or more really wears you down. I felt guilty about her wasting her time on account of me.
“Are you sure they’re coming?” she asked, concerned.
“They’re coming,” I declared. “Could you please call off the movers? I doubt that I’ll get there in time with sufficient sunlight to unload the truck.”
Inside, I phoned Alex. “Where the hell are they?” At this point, I lost all fa├žade of appearing nice.
He phoned me back. “They took the wrong stop on the bus.”
“BUS?” I shrieked. “Where the hell are they coming from?”
He said, “They should be there in a minute.”
At 3:10pm, after seven more alarms that totally decimated me, I phoned him. “Where are they again? I need to get outta here.” At this point, I looked as frantic as I felt. My ears were screaming in agony. Not only that, I figured, by the time they arrived, I’d have to drive a 14’ truck, something I never did, in the midst of rush-hour traffic. My two-hour drive would end up a six-hour one. And I didn’t even want to think of how to get the damn thing unloaded.
I walked back to the ladies at their counters. “Have you ever heard of this?”
They said, “Nope. Never. No mover keeps their customers waiting an hour.”
“An hour and ten minutes,” I clarified.
At 3:30pm, I was sick as a dog. The pain now had me nauseous and I worried about fainting while driving the truck. I phoned Alex, “Well?”
“They’re there!” he informed me.
“They are NOT here. I’ve been keeping sentry at the main doors for twenty minutes. No one’s here.”
“They’re there. One’s a dark guy with a blue shirt and the other’s a stocky guy wearing a hat.”
All of a sudden, I saw a dark guy with a blue shirt walk up to the U-Haul main doors and called over, “Are you a mover?”
The dark guy in the blue shirt screamed at me, “What’re you, a racist?”
“No, they’re not here,” I informed Alex.
He hung up on me. In a minute, he phoned back. “Where are you again?”
“I’m in front of the U-Haul place.”
Within a few minutes, two guys sauntered up the street. One dark guy wearing a white shirt and a muscular guy wearing a red shirt. No cap. Apt description Alex gave. I’m glad he vetted them out.
The dark guy handed me his iphone. Alex was on the line. “Don’t worry. I won’t charge you for the hour and a half. The clock starts ticking now.”
Disgusted at this wondrous favor, I hung up on him. The two guys entered the building with me and followed me to the storage bin. I pointed out the stuff. “Most of this is fragile.” All my kitchen stuff and curios items were stored along with a sofa, a breakfront, lamps and a few tables.
They stared at me. “Todas las cosas serrano fragile,” I stated in my fractured Spanish. When my neurological deafness took place, the first thing that went was my ability to speak, let alone comprehend other languages in conversation. Something which chafed since I was a polyglot which considerably helped me in my former profession in international banking.
I have to admit the movers were good. They took their sweet time and carefully moved everything from the storage bin to the truck. A record hour and a half for a forty minute job, no, let me amend that, half hour job for two strong men. I was livid, in agony each time the sirens went off. I also realized I didn’t eat or drink a thing for hours. They closed the truck door and sauntered off.
I returned to the U-Haul ladies and closed down my storage unit account. They laughed. “That mover should’ve given you a discount. NO MOVER MAKES THEIR CLIENT WAIT AN HOUR AND A HALF! This is a first for us.”
I entered the truck at precisely 5pm. And then joined the traffic for a three-hour, not a two-hour journey home. The only reason why it didn’t take longer is that a swaying and swerving 14’ U-Haul truck tends to be a weapon and most cars will do anything to let me change lanes and pass them. At least Alex’s phone calls every five minutes the duration of the ride kept me awake during the journey. It also triggered my pain to the point where I wanted to drive off the Tappan Zee Bridge to end it once and for all. I refused to answer the phone.
When I got home at 8pm, it was pitch dark outside. I staggered inside and ate something. Then I called
“They made me wait an hour and a half!” I shrieked. “I had movers at the other end, but they can’t work in the dark. Now, I’ve nobody to unload the truck!”
“Did Nuppi do the job?” asked the snot-nosed bitch.
“Then they’re entitled to the two-hours.”
I phoned three times back because I felt entitled to some compensation. Now I was stuck with a 14’ truck filled with my shit and no one to unload it!
Alex phoned again. “Give me the code so I can get paid.”
I said, “I believe I’m in store for some compensation. You made me wait an hour and a half and now no one can unload the truck for me.”
“Let me splain something to you,” he sneered, “I gotta pay my guys.” I knew there and then those guys only got $40 tops for the deal, if that much. I figured around $20. I wanted them to get paid, but not Alex. “And they were new,” he reminded me. “They got lost. The place was hard to find.”
I’m so grateful that I gave Alex a week to find out where the place was and my constant reminders. “And didn’t speak English.”
“One did.”
“No he didn’t. So, tell me, what ever happened to the ones who had a car?”
“Oh, they had real jobs to do.”
“Listen, Alex, all I’m asking is – “
He cut me off. “Let me ‘splain something to you.”
“No, let me ‘splain something to you. I got a truck filled with stuff that I’ve to return in a day. I got nobody here to unload it now.”
“You shoulda hired me to come up with you.”
I screamed, “I’m going to give you a bad review on this.”
He laughed. “I get TONS of bad reviews. And business keeps coming in! I’m booming! So, go ahead, no one will read what you have to write. You’re a nobody and no one cares what you have to say!”
BTW – he texted me the following to drive the point home: “I can expect that type of attitude from a author that’s unknown. Thanks for doing business.”
Recap for the 1 Stars:
Nuppi Express in Brooklyn NY
1 star
Only good if you’ve got time to waste. I’ve no idea the state of my stuff because it’s still in the truck parked outside that I’m paying an additional $100 a day while I find movers in a torrential rainstorm. Should you be stupid enough to hire Nuppi, you better pay through the nose for all their services otherwise Alex’ll make sure to fuck you up good. He still gets paid no matter what.
0 star
RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! Do NOT trust this outfit. They, also, get paid no matter what.

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This blog and all its posts are a work of fiction. Names, character, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


Anonymous said...

This is really a huge post has been written here but the events are described dramatically. liked the way they have write this post

Anonymous said...

Next time you need to move, please don't forget to give me a call. I won't help but it'd be nice to hear from you. :D

Anonymous said...

Rags Daniels 0 star RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! Do NOT trust this outfit. They, also, get paid no matter what. BRILLIANT!