Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Move Continued

We hadn't slept well the night before and it wasn't because we were camping on the floor of our new flat. In fact, the first few nights, sleeping in our bags on the floor, in our new place provided a peaceful sleep. Instead, it was the anticipation of the arrival of our stuff. We weren't really anxious about getting our belongings, but we were  worried about the dramas that the day would hold. After our experiences in Adelaide, we couldn't envision the unloading of 99 boxes from a container up to the 23rd floor of a high-rise in the center of the business district as a smooth move.  However, we had been offered a glimmer of hope when the previous afternoon one of the elevators had been outfitted for a move-in--the walls and mirrors draped with thick curtains. Unfortunately, we still had some doubts about how everything would unfold.
To our relief the movers arrived right on time and they didn't seem too daunted by the task before them. Mark headed down with them to the Building Management Office to pick up a key that would give the movers solo access to one of the lifts for the day. I stayed upstairs and from high above and I watched three of the workers open the van doors and begin to unload boxes into the street. It wasn't long before Mark and the team leader appeared and the 5 men formed a huddle. I didn't need to hear the conversation to know that something was amiss. I was able to deduce a problem from the body language--flaying arms and use of cell phones. Within moments our belongings were being reloaded into the van, and Mark--with his mountain bike in tow--headed back into the building.
I was soon informed that not only had the company not applied for a parking permit but they also had failed to notify the building of the delivery. Had they done this, they would have been informed that all boxes must be brought through the garage. A garage that was too small to accommodate the size of moving van that was currently parked in front of our high-rise. Thus a ute was needed to transfer our belongings from the truck to the garage, and one would not be available until that afternoon.  So, they guys headed off to another job and we were left waiting.
A second crew arrived at 3:30 that afternoon, just 30 minutes later than our scheduled time.  With rush hour just around the corner the movers had exactly 30 minutes to unload the van before the lane they were parked in turned into a clear away zone. I could only shake my head in disbelief as I watched from my bird's eye perch boxes thrown from the truck and stacked on the crowded sidewalk. It seemed doubtful that our belongings would arrive intact. Unfortunately, with the masses of people, cars and boxes there was nothing that could be done. Mark, who was ringside, finally rolled up his shirtsleeves and joined the chaos. I was just glad I didn't have to hear the curses of those passing by.
Two young Maoris from New Zealand had been put in charge of the elevator and of delivering our belongings high into the sky. As each item passed through the door a number was called out and I checked it off the inventory list. Of course, it didn't take too long for us to have a duplicate number. When I looked up from the list I saw that the label had a different last name. Fortunately, there was a second label on the box with our name on it. Apparently our boxes were reused and no one had bothered to take off the first label. I could only wonder how many wrong numbers had been miscalled to this point.
To my surprise for the next hour things went relatively smoothly. Of course there were a few minor issues like when I went down to pick up my cherished Alice Brumby artwork and personally deliver it to the apartment; as I stepped off the elevator I found the workers surfing the moving carts down the hallway. I also suffered a bit of trauma  when I heard a loud screech as a box was drug across the floor leaving a meter long scratch on the brand new bamboo floors. But the biggest issue was the stuck elevator. At least no one was trapped inside since it is not air-conditioned and the temperatures were climbing into the upper 90's. However, it did delay the arrival of the last load of our belongings to the apartment.
By 7:00 not only had 99 items been moved from a moving truck, to a ute, to an elevator, up 23 floors and into our apartment; most the boxes were unpacked and our beds were put together. As I perused the inventory list most things that remained unchecked could be accounted for-like the parts of the beds (after all they were assembled). There was just one box called laundry that had a blank after it. It isn't like we had a whole lot in the laundry room and I could pretty much account for everything, so I put a check next to the box. I then proceeded to give each of the hot, tired and thirsty workmen a six pack of beer and sent them home. I can't express the relief I felt that it was all over.
Of course it wasn't until a few days later that we came to realize our iron was missing--wouldn't you know it, the missing laundry box. To our amazement it only took a couple of phone calls and our iron and some laundry detergent were delivered to our door--just 6 hours later than the scheduled time!

1 comment:

  1. Ah, the joys of moving. Can't imagine what it's like to have your stuff moved to the 23rd floor! In fact, cant' imagine living on the 23rd floor. Second floor is about as much as I can take. But they do say they our pre-historic ancestors slept in trees for protection and that humans actually do well sleeping in high altitudes.