Sunday, July 10, 2005


Yesterday was a banner day. Yes, sir. I spent the first half of my day getting drilled by my dentist. No major issues except that I was kept waiting with a dental dam jammed into my mouth for an hour before any work was done. Also, the dentist accidentally numbed up the wrong side of my mouth. That's fine. I'm over it.

Afterwards, I went to U-Haul to get boxes, Styrofoam peanuts and the like for the move. Fancypants University is paying for all of this, so I figured I'd splurge. I even bought two wardrobe boxes. You know somebody's paying for all of this if I actually purchased wardrobe boxes. Honestly, are wardrobe boxes really necessary? Usually I'd prowl around the back rooms of grocery stores to get moving boxes. Incidentally, why are the back rooms of grocery stores so spooky?

I digress. While at the U-Haul center, I saw humanity at its worst. People were cutting in front of one another in line, yelling at the lazy store clerks, yelling at each other, honking their horns at one other in the parking lot. I thought to myself, "What the hell is wrong with these people?" Since when did U-Haul become such a hostile place?

As I looked down at my "Moving: To Do" manifesto, I went to the section entitled "boxes." I looked at the amount of crap we'll have to pack up. Then I realized that, yes, T minus 3 weeks until we're out of here. The panic began to set in. "Move fast, Vavoom... Oh, Lord, there's so much to do, we've got to get out of here." My heart started racing, having realized all the work that's going to go into this move.

I started collecting all the accoutrement needed for this move. Yes, I was hustling. Suddenly, a customer began banging a tape gun on the counter, "I have been fucking waiting for you people to do your job for 1 hour!" I took a deep breath, looked around me and realized -- This center is the hell all of us are condemned to until our move is over. Everyone here is acting like a crazy nut simply because they're moving. It's stressful. There's lots to do.

I got in line and hell suddenly got worse. That crazy old man outside, the one that's been honking his horn every five minutes? Apparently he was doing that to remind his wife that he's waiting for her. Lucky me. She was in front of me in line. Every time he honked, she turned and screamed at the top of her lungs, "I'm coming God-damn you!" I kid you not, the line was 15 people long and took well over an hour.

One U-Hell employee walked into the store, joking around with a couple of guys, opened his register and helped his buddies, bypassing the rest of us. "This is gonna be trouble," I kept thinking. Some guy yelled out, "Hey, asshole, the rest of us have been waiting in line!" "Yeah, and you'll keep waiting," the U-Hell guy snapped back. They went back and forth for a good 10 minutes. Suddenly a cell phone rang to the beat of Kool and the Gang's "Jungle Boogie." The woman in front of me decided now would be a good time to have a twenty minute conversation. Normally, this is no problem. Except she was at a register.
The transaction went something like this:

"Yeah, yeah, I hear you. She's pregnant, what can she do? I know, I know. He doesn't even have a job... yeah and they're blaming me for that?"

"Maam, maam, would you like a Super Mover Truck or smaller?"

"Yeah, I feel you. I feel you, I'd have done the same thing. She doesn't even know he's got another girl..." HONK HONK "I said I'm coming God-dammit!"

I looked down at my watch. It was 7:00. Closing time. I was the last in line. By the time they rung me up, it was 7:30. "Sir, could you come back tomorrow to pick up your boxes?" "No," I responded, "I don't want to ever come back here." "Well, I'm off work so you'll have to gather some 50 different sized boxes from our stock yourself if you want them now." "If you help me, we'll both be out of here quicker, " I reasoned. "I'm sorry sir, I'm off work." I gathered the boxes by myself. She simply refused to lift a finger. So much for customer service.

Are you a glutton for punishment? If so, let me know, I left two rolls of tape back at the U-Hell center. I'll send you over to pick them up.


Blogger Moose said...

I don't remember Dante mentioning that ring, but it ceratinly sounds like it belongs. There has to be a more accommodating packing center in town. Good luck Vavoom. Are you driving it over, or are you having everything hauled?

3:07 PM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

The university has paid for everything, including movers to haul our stuff over. They've also picked up the cost for our flight to Boston. We thought about driving, but we have a cat and didn't think he'd be able to handle it.

5:00 PM  
Blogger An80sNut said...

Yup, some places really don't care about customer service anymore. It shows all over. I think I'd be more pissed at the woman in front of you. Sure, I sometimes take a call at inappropriate times but when you've got so much pressure to get out of there... no wonder he honks. He's afraid that she forgot what she went in to do. For some reason it sounds like you were at the DMV instead of a major company.

5:50 PM  
Blogger thc said...

As you're quickly finding out, moving across the country is stressful and all of the folks at U-Haul are experiencing the same kind of stress that you are.

The employees at U-Haul, who probably weren't hired for their cheerful nature in the first place, get to put up with it all day every day.

Take a deep breath and try to relax. It will be OK.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

thc: You're right. I think it was the combination of the customers and the workers at U-Hell that got to me.

Relax? What's that? ;)

7:25 PM  
Blogger Lily said...

I'm stressed just reading about your experience there. I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like there when the college students come and go.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

Is this the same dentist that has a thing for your wife?

10:21 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

LOL about the grocery stores - I worked in one for many years in high school; things got decidedly darker behind those swinging doors.

You're going to love Boston. There's so much to do there and it's a quick drive to lots of great places.

Make sure you test your next dentist: "Which is your right hand? Which is your left hand?"

10:26 PM  
Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

I love the U-Haul story. It must be corporate policy, because the centers in Miami suck just as bad.

As for your cat, I used to work at Miami International Airport as a federal screener (TSA).

SEDATE THAT CAT!!!! Get some kitty happy pills from the vet, and zonk kitty out. You will have to remove the cat from the carrier and walk with the cat through the metal detector. The carrier will pass through the x-ray machine.

And do NOT beep the machine. Remove any and all metal objects. If they suggest you remove your shoes - do it.

DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT check your cat as baggage. Spend the money on the airline approved animal carry on bag. Charge it to fancy pants U. I have worked on the ramp at the airport and have seen horrible things happen to bags.

Your cat deserves better. Carry kitty on with you. DO NOT CHECK KITTY!

10:56 PM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

That's almost as bad as my adventures at the DMV and jury duty..
Gosh, the Hell's angels and hags come out in droves to those places.
You have my deepest sympathy for your U-Hell experience.

1:18 AM  
Blogger RT said...

I'm surprized! I've used U-Haul many times and I've never had a problem with them. But then, I know the alternative all too well. Uh huh.

It's too bad that you've decided to fly, I would have offered you and Mrs Vavoom (and kitty, of course) a place to stay on your way...

10:44 AM  
Blogger Rattie said...

Ahhhh, yes been there, done that. Thus decided on shipping my crap via Greyhound.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

Teri: Yes. There's a good reason why I'm still with him, though. He started something extensive and I need him to finish it.

Iguana: We've already got the tranquilizers and we're buying the carrier tomorrow. Don't worry. He's going in the cabin with us. We love him too much to do anything to endanger him.

3:43 PM  

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