As it seems like the company has managed to quell my reviews on yelp and google, it’s time to light some matches, get some gasoline, and discuss the MisAdventures of the Blain Household, the moving edition!
Allow me to set the scene.
My husband opted to handle the movers this go around. Okay. Fine. That’s cool. He wanted to do it, I didn’t want to do it, so he did it. On the surface, the company looked great. Until I did some digging later (after the fact) and discovered these little gems:
This rude response from the owner is only the beginning. In this review, the owner is at least somewhat polite. It’s probably because the review writer is white and male. You’ll see how this is relevant in this next review, where he is aware that the reviewer is male but not white.
No, it is NEVER appropriate to call someone (especially of Indian descent) a guru-guru bubble head. Sometime after I cool off, I will discuss with my husband about how we do not hire racist bumfucks from racistville to handle tasks.
I’m 99% sure the reason our move was so shitty was because he was paying his staff the lowest he possible could, targeting immigrants who direly needed the work.
We’re white. I absolutely do not blame the movers for our whiteness or their actions, probably spawned because their boss seems to have a fairly severe problem with racism and professionalism in his responses to reviews that don’t have the reviewer getting on their knees and doing things not appropriate for young audiences.
Let’s just say the movers were immigrants, barely spoke any English, and yes… we tipped them a bit over a hundred dollars a piece for the day’s work.
We doubt their boss was taking good care of them. (And no, we are not seeking a refund from the company for the work or the tip. We may seek damages for things like the mirror they broke during the move, and I compiled a list of things that were broken to see how they respond when my husband contacts them.)
But beyond that, why put the bridge under the water, when it’s obvious from checking the reviews that the company’s owner is not particularly a good fellow? We do not have high hopes he would do the right thing. That he had my reviews quelled on yelp *and* google says a lot about his general integrity.
All that said, I’m going to be having a chit-chat with the husband about how to check reviews in the future. I think he spent all of his time in the 5* section, which all read like he paid somebody to write them in exchange for a discount on their services.
So. The company is Southwest Movers, based out of San Jose, California, and this is the story of my nightmare move.
It begins several weeks prior to our move date. We have signed our new lease, we are happy people. Excited people! My husband starts searching for movers, and he finds Southwest Movers. He likes the reviews. (He is not aware of how to look at bought/incentivized reviews, apparently. That’ll be lovingly corrected.) I told him to pick the movers he wanted while I started on the other stuff to prep. (I handled the lease, I handled the rest of the details… he handled the movers and some other stuff. Pretty fair exchange of work.)
They have a Friday move date available on fairly short notice. This should have been a warning sign for me, but I’m exhausted from being sick from the paint fumes all of the time, and I’m scraping together every last bit of energy I have to keep from drowning in work. I’m somewhat succeeding.
My husband is quite clear in his instructions; we have a tiny apartment we moved into from a large house, and we have too much stuff. We need the place fully packed. The lady he spoke to even confirmed this back to them.
I’m guessing, likely due to the general language barriers with the employees, that the movers who showed up didn’t know they were packing our place. Or how to pack, even. For all I know, they could have been Home Depot temps out for a buck and the owner overbooked his business but had a truck available. (Home depot temps are a mix of people who look for work in the home depot parking lot OR the seasonal workers who don’t have enough hours, and they’re commonly acquired from, you guessed it, around the local Home depot. They may or may not be home depot employees, but the seasonal guys tend to be snapped up on temp jobs when available.)
Or, you know, they were temps with an agency.
Spoiler alert: they had no idea how to pack anything to save their damned lives. This is just one example of the fuckery they left behind. Rather than individually wrapping dishes, they often stacked them together and wrapped a token piece of paper around them in an effort to contain the soon-to-be broken fragments.
Spoiler alert: putting heavy antique bookends on top of fine china results in the china being broken.
You know, like these broken fragments.
Or these broken fragments.
This may or may not be an accurate depiction of my mood upon the discovery of the broken druzy agate unicorn.
I later found these two preciouses in the old apartment, buried under junk. By some miracle I absolutely refuse to question, they survived. The lapis lazuli mare and foal are retired museum pieces my mother acquired for me. The lapis is exceptional, with uniform speckling and only a small calcification on the foals knee. The carve work is also spectacular and well detailed. The carver is likely from China, but it’s currently unknown where the lapis was sourced from.
But let’s just say it’s sourced from one of two or three places, since getting a piece of lapis of that quality is not a simple matter. It’s a stunning piece.
It was left on the floor in a bed of junk and harsh chemicals.
These chemicals, to be specific. The yicky plate had started on the other side of the room near the kitchen. The blue bowl had been occupied with a very sad succulent. (It needed to be let go. The movers helped let it go by dumping it all over the floor. That is the dark colored crap all over the carpet above the big white patch.
Let’s talk about the big white patch. Such a lovely color! So pristine… so white!
… I’m severely allergic to it, it’s a fairly harsh cleaner, and it was acquired to get set blood stains out of fabric and carpeting. This stuff triggers IMMEDIATE asthma attacks requiring my rescue inhaler.
I’m wheezing just looking at this fucking picture.
So, at this point, I’m legit trying not to fucking cry because the head to my Dyson Animal V8 is missing, as is the charge cord. I’ve since found the head (buried in a pile of abandoned laundry in my bedroom, but it was intact, or so we think. And hope. The vacuum did still work, for the few minutes of life it offered us during the cleanup phase.)
Enter the Dyson Ball Multifloor whatever-the-fuck-model I got off Amazon that was next day delivery for a ridiculous amount of money.
This was one pass, y’all. One. Pass. I pushed the vac forward, dragged it back, and that was the after image. It was just beautiful. I squealed from delight. My husband regrets my precious fuchsia Dyson ball right now. This thing is amazing, and I stroke it and pet it and love it most lovingly. It saved my sanity.
So, this part isn’t the mover’s fault, but the leasing rules at the old apartment basically said no wet vaccing for you! You must hire us to do it, and we will charge you $x amount. I’m like nah, you can keep your dirty ass carpets then, because I’m not paying you rent and then paying you to come in and wet vac the carpets you’re banning us from wet vaccing.
As such, high traffic areas were not pretty.
With that set aside, here is the vacuum working at yet another mess. This one was miracle grow for my tomatoes. Such a glorious shade of pink.
Ewwwww. Yeah. Just ew. I like the little foot print / shoe marks in the miracle grow. It is not from us. We avoided the piles of chemicals, etc, until they could be cleaned.
It was bad, y’all.
Fun fact: the white chemical had actually been stored across the room near the hallway, and should not have been spilled in that location in the first place.
This vacuum is just everything a moving-disaster-burdened woman could want.
Look!! No pink!
Yes, I’m very excited over my new vacuum. I mean, it even worked somewhat on the high traffic spots that were… bad. Some of the spots were made worse by the movers, but I totally own that this is part on me.
I mean, except them literally dumping everything onto the floor rather than packaging them carefully and appropriately. That’s totally on them.
So, to continue the moving day drama.
The husband is at the old apartment while I’m at the new apartment trying not to have an anxiety-fueled meltdown with the very upset cats.
I had picked this cozy corner for my waiting-for-movers nest. The felines joined me, often cramming behind me to make sure they were defended from the completely empty apartment.
I am glad we took them to the new place, because the old place would have been so bad for them while the movers were there, especially with the chemicals they willy-nilly spilled, their tendency to just dump desks, bookcases, and whatever else out on the floor so they could put them in the truck without properly packing things first, and so on.
We took to gingerly cutting boxes open from the side, as photographed below:
Yes, that is a caulking gun, yes, it had been in that box, and yes, it had attacked me when I cut open the side of the box to get a better view of the horrorws waiting within.
I found a mare and foal figurines at the very bottom of this box, and I’m impressed they survived. I’m actually not sure how they survived. Their metal tray, fortunately, wasn’t damaged much. (The little bending can be repaired with some heavy weights in the right places.) Because of course they couldn’t just put the tray FULLY on the bottom lying perfectly flat… under a bazillion pounds of random stuff they took from the kitchen, the living area, AND our bedroom.
I literally do not understand how this box happened, because it got something for every sector of the apartment except for the bathroom! How did this happen?
(Insert deep breathing here.)
Please enjoy this picture of Zazzle exploring one of the bath tubs. Isn’t she adorable? Yeesss. Very adorbs. I love her.
After a very long day of movers terrifying them, the cats have realized the bed is back. Princess is making sure I am, in actuality, a human. She opted to do this by getting right in my face. I had to take a picture, albeit a blurry one.
The entire bed got dusted with things I’m allergic to, so this week will involve washing a lot of bedding and the topper cover. Hooray. So excited. More laundry.
These were the bookends that were placed over the fine china, by the way. I love them very much.
In good news, the keys are turned in. The nightmare is mostly over. We’ll have to pay for the damages the movers did to the apartment, including the complete replacement of the carpet due to the chemicals they spilled.
I did the right thing and notified the complex about the chemical spills, because no matter how bad our experience was at the complex, the maintenance people deserved a warning about the carpet, so they know to just tear it up and replace it.
Unfortunately, at my dime.
I did ask if she could directly bill the movers for the damages, but we’ll see. The company is supposedly bonded and insured, so… we’ll see.
In other news, I made a chicken, and it turned out beautifully.
Like… so beautifully.
Here is the recipe, shamelessly yanked off my personal facebook profile:
Soooo much tragedy, y’all. I’m being forced to roast an entire chicken because someone needs broth and soup, or things he can swallow without chewing.
Soooooooo much tragedy.
1 fresh chicken bird!
Some sage. I’m using Dalmatian sage, rubbed to a fine delicious powder. because fancy.
Butter. Use extra butter to go with your butter.
Avocado oil spray for the pan and on the bird initially.
More butter, you didn’t use enough.
1 clementine orange, quartered and squeezed inside the birdie.
rosemary, sprinkled here, there and everywhere
peppercorn from the pepper mill.
Light olive oil
coarse sea salt
In the lower pan:
pink oyster mushrooms, potato, onion, carrots, celery
Heat oven to 350.Using a non-stick baking pan, preferably with wire rack (as pictured below), prepare your creation!
Plunk dem veggies into the pan. Spray them down with avocado oil. Add in some olive oil because you should do things out of spite. Like double oiling your veggies so they are less likely to burn in the 2 hours they’re hiding beneath this chicken.
Slap on dat rack. Spank your chicken bird, tell it you love it, place it on the center of that rack. Works best if you inform it ‘Your day has come, bitch!’ to put it in its place.
Work hand between skin and meat of bird. Shove some butter in there.
Spank some butter onto the top of the bird.
Slap on dem spices.
You didn’t use enough butter. Slap on an extra slice o butter just to be sure.
Add a little more salt, you very probably didn’t add enough.
Blow kisses at your beautiful creation.
(Just wash your hands before touching your mouth. You have gross hands right now!)
Once oven has confirmed 350 degrees has been reached, plunk that bird into the oven!
Now, you must adult responsibly. I recommend using a timer. Wait an hour.
Once an hour has run away from you, turn your oven light on (or use a flashlight if you’re a heathen who hasn’t fixed your out oven light) to check on the skin. If it’s not golden brown, set a timer for 15 minutes and walk away. If it is, slice some cold as fuck butter and carefully put it on top of the bird. If you’re extra concerned, dribble on some olive oil. But the cold as fuck butter in the spots that look sad (and on the crest of the breast) will do what you need.
Come back every 15 minutes until the chicken has cooked for 2 hours.
Insert a meat thermometer to confirm the bird is done. If not done, put it back in the oven in 15 minute intervals, making sure to add cold butter to your skin every time until the meat thermometer proclaims you have a done bird.
Let it rest for a while. It’s tired. It’s hard work being baked. (Seriously, don’t you fucking TOUCH that bird for at least 15 minutes. You touch that bird, and you will have DRY CARDBOARD. You lose the juice if you touch the bird too quickly.)
Give it 15 minutes. Seriously.
Unless you have a hungry horde who won’t let the bird survive through 15 minutes, in which case I don’t care what you do, have fun and enjoy your dinner.
(but seriously, if you’re planning on leftovers, do NOT touch that fucking bird for 15 minutes after it comes out of the oven. It is TIRED and it needs to rest.)
And that’s the story of how I make chicken in the oven.
Pictures of the chicken at various stages of cooking. Note: I used 20 minute intervals because I was feeling bold and brave! (I usually do 15 minutes.)
This is the one hour mark with the first buttering of the bird.
I made an olive oil spice rub to put onto the bird for the hour and twenty minute mark. I used the oil rub (and juices from the bird cavity) on all checks at the hour and twenty minute mark onward.
Let’s just say it turned out really, really juicy. And yes, I absolutely did lick every drop off that plate.
Life is good at our new home… especially now that the old apartment is in the rear-view mirror.
I do not subscribe to many newsletters anymore, but I LOVE YOUR newsletters! I adore the humour and snark. And of course the kitties. Not to mention your books. Your books are my favourite books. I am sorry you had such trouble with your move. I admire your restraint! Just keep in mind, it can always get worse. Such as… getting bedbugs from the moving van! [And yes, not actually happened to me]. Enjoy your new place take a deep breath. It is going to be so much better from now on.
Too bad you can’t publish the entire blog onto Google or their Yelp page. At least people would know, and then get your delicious recipe for roast chicken as a consolation prize!
I am sorry, I should not of mentioned the B word… I did not mean to add to your anxiety. My two cats alerted me to the problem pretty soon, your cats will also detect the intruders. You have used up your quota for bad news, so this does not apply to you! My bad for mentioning this. I loved the picture of the meal you cooked. Unfortunately, I do not cook myself so I can only go and use my app to order…
You could have a small army of bad reviewers or Tweeters or FB’ers – YOU HAVE FANS! Use us, we can blast these d-canoes! <3
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
I’d rather not. I play fair, and I don’t agree with the mob mentality. It’s not fair play or right. Since they silenced my reviews on google/yelp, I took it to my blog… now, if you wanted to share this post to let others know about the company… I’m a-okay with that!
So sorry you had to go through that. Your chicken sounds delicious and I will try it.
I’m so sorry you had such a bad moving experience. But it reminds me why I hate moving so much. Yeah I’ve lived in my current apartment for twenty years this May. And eleven years years in the apartment before this one. I REALLY hate moving! I actually looked at a very nice apartment in a just opened new apartment building a week ago and was actually considering it. Now I think maybe another ten or twenty years here might not be so bad.
The BBB isn’t enough for this asshat – add in the municipal and state agencies responsible for labour and/or for business conduct, any local business organizations, and then get really nasty by setting your insurance company after that jerk (I have other descriptions for him but they aren’t fit for polite company). 😠
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
My insurance company doesn’t cover damages from moves. Already checked.
But seriously, this ain’t worth putting my bridge under the water.
What an absolute nightmare for you all. Am so glad your lapis horse was fine. They used to have amazing Lapis in Afghanistan. Some of the markets had carvings that left me in awe… so beautiful. When the Taliban took over a lot of it got buried and is only now being dug up and worked on. It’s also a better quality than Chinese 😉
Last time I moved I spent 4wks packing up my place. After reading your disaster I’m glad I did it myself 🙂
The Sneaky Kitty Critic
The appraiser thinks it is Afghani lapis, but it’s almost impossible to prove. The carver is probably Chinese, but the Chinese have a lot of master-level carvers; Chinese carving is NOT a bad thing in terms of value of carvings.
Wishing you joy and health in your new home now that the old apartment is behind you.
Thanks for the name of the moving company. When I move, I’ll make sure I read all reviews and be my usual suspicious self of too glowing a review. As far as the carpet, good thing you are already thinking you’re going to have to pay. If the company is bonded and insured (big if) they will try to weasel out of paying for the damages. Your broken items break my heart.
“You didn’t use enough butter” “Your day has come, bitch” I have never laughed out loud at a recipe before!!! And now I need to make this bird.
Your kitties are brave, when we moved (we did it ourselves- and now I’m really happy about that) my kitty spent the first THREE days under the covers at the foot of the bed. He was not happy about the move. AT ALL.
I laughed, I cried, I want to MURDER the movers for you. That birdie looks YUMMY!!! Happy memories will hopefully be made in your new home and kitties will hopefully not plat you and hubs demise..lol Warm thoughts and hugs sent to you all.
Maureen M McCarthy
Lmao. We could become such good friends. My movers used wardrobe boxes filled to one third with pillows…then after taking half our stuff tried to up the cost $7000 saying they charge by the space. It took them 3 days to pack. I t was supposed to take one day.. Only one English speaking. They were all Russian. Lucky for us my mother was a Russian linguist. SURPRISE! Lol. Changed some attitudes. I can’t tell you how much stuff was broken. My great grandmothers China was down from a set of 12 to 6 after the move. And all of our collectibles….I can’t even tell you. And my vacuum which had been wonderful disappeared along with quite a few other items before landing. Sigh….I am glad you and your family survived the move. Hey! What about a book on Evil movers? Our heroine beats the crap out of them all! Revenge of the Pen!!
Love ya loads!
Maureen “Mo” in MD. ;o)