Monday, September 22, 2008

Operation Eagle Eye AAR, Part 1

Day 1
Three male operators are sitting in the front seat of a panel van in front of Camp Toenges upon my arrival from picking up bagels and coffee for breakfast.

XXX Moving Company
Moving is our middle name

With a big eager smile across my face, I step up to the van to greet the operators who appear to be dosing off. Intel from the previous day indicated these operators were coming from 160 miles away. I'll cut them some slack.

A loud and cheery "Good morning!" seems to stir them from their slumber and they exit the van. I extend my hand, introduce myself, and welcome them to my home (I want them to make sure that they know they are stepping into my HOME). After a quick tour, indicating what stays and what goes, I take them into the kitchen and show off the coffee, bagels, cream cheese, sodas, and water, letting them know that they can help themselves to anything. This seems to put them in a good frame of mind to start working. And they promptly get to work.

The senior operator is a very large man who has been working for XXX Moving Company for 44 years. While not the fastest of the workers, he appears to be diligent, thoughtful, and creative in his packing endeavor.

The other two operators have less experience, but who wouldn't. They have been working for this same company for 12 and 15 years each. I guess I should be able to trust them to pack my precious fiestaware and crystal.

I wish I could say I was completely relaxed about the whole experience, but having heard and read days worth of agony over the these moves, I was a tad wound up. But I didn't want that to show too much. And I didn't want them to know that this was my first move, lest someone tries to pull a fast one on me.

So I hover. At first. But I am (1) worried about my stuff and (2) interested in the actual techniques they will use to pack the crystal stemware and my precious plates (heaven forbid I learn something). The night before I took the time to inventory every single piece of fiesta: 40 dinner plates, 16 cake plates, 26 demitasse cups (AD cups for those in the know), 12 platters, 24 serving bowls, 6 pie plates, 4 vases, 2 teapots, a coffeepot, 4 pitchers, candlesticks. I have things that the manufacturer would deny the existence of, like a Juniper ring-handled AD cup and Juniper Harlequin plates. I have an entire collection of the modern colors of the stick-handled AD cups, that's all 16 colors that they were made in. (Is this a tad much for a household of two humans who never have people over for dinner?)

So, yeah, I hover over the poor guy. But once I see how much paper he is using, I begin to relax. I only ask him to keep the items from one set in the same box. That will make my life easier on the other end.

After an hour of watching the operator wrap the glassware I am not particularly concerned about, I point-blank ask him how he is going to wrap the stemware. I couldn't wait any longer to find out. "Two together. That way they support each other." A-ha! That makes sense to me. I sure hope the Tiffany & Co. and the Waterford pieces agree with this packing philosophy. (Yeah, we don't have the original boxes any more, just in case you were wondering.)

Once all the fiesta and crystal are packed, I find I am exhausted. They started about 2 hours earlier but this supervising thing is hard work. There were two other items in the house I was concerned about being packed: an antique chest and my 42" Sony TV. I ask the guy in charge about packing those. "The TV will be packed by the movers tomorrow. I'll wrap the chest and create a box for it." Unfortunately, I don't watch him wrap the chest, but I take his word on how it is done. I will have to wait until tomorrow to worry about the TV. Or more accurately, I get to worry even longer about the TV. "If it's not a plasma, we don't crate it." It is an LCD.

They break mid-morning for a snack and then hop right back to work. These operators are hard working folks and do not appear to be careless in any way with our stuff. At one point I step into the bedroom where I had placed a laundry basket of clothes I brought back from C-ville. Once he realized that there were ladies' undergarments in there, he just dumped the whole basket into a box. (Heh! Personally, I don't care about that kind of thing. I figure he has probably come across much worse than my underwear.)

After Pizza Hut and Cokes for lunch, they box up the mattresses. Yes, box up mattresses. Didn't know they made boxes for mattresses, but now I do. They even get the queen-size mattress and split box springs down the narrow and steps stairs and box them as well.

I watch the man in charge place blue stickers on all the boxes and write down the contents. Clothe's, dish's, book's, video's, glass's, printer's, decoration's. Yes, I am going to have a sale on apostrope's when I get done with this move.

By 3 PM they are all done. Which is good, because someone wants to come see the house tonight and I need to do some cleaning since the house hasn't been cleaned in two months. (Think toilet bowls that haven't been cleaned in two months. Yeah, not a pretty sight.)

Over all, a pretty good first day of Operation Eagle Eye. But like LAW said, I won't really know the results until I unpack.

More later.