Saturday, August 11, 2007

Us + Stuff: ReUnited at Last

Apparently, when you move long distances, the folks who move your stuff all work for different local companies that are associated with a big international company. In New York, I contacted Liberty, which is an agent for United Van Lines. But the guy who actually moved our stuff--all the way from Brooklyn to Strathcona--was Chess, who works for Howard's Van and Storage in Brandon, Manitoba. On each end of the move, he was helped by swampers from the local affiliate.

This is our stuff in the back of the truck. You gotta love a guy who picks up your steamer trunk and carries it up two flights of stairs.

Here's Chess hamming it up for the camera. These guys were cheerful all the way through the move. That includes through 37 boxes of books. Out of 67 boxes in total. We have our priorities.

Locally, Chess was assisted by two apple-cheeked Irish lads--and when I say lads, that is not a manner of speaking.

I don't normally feel much loyalty to the companies I do business with--I mean, I'm paying for it, they're not doing me a favour--but I was amazed at how great every single transaction has been with these movers. New Yorkers: allow me to recommend Liberty. They kept me apprised of every aspect of the move, answered many questions, advised me on labeling and documentation for crossing the border, and changed the pick-up date to give us a few more days to finish packing. On the day of the move, they arrived on time, were pleasant to work with, and got us out and into the van in just over an hour. Also important was the Vancouver end: because the company is bonded, Chess could drive the stuff into the city to pass through customs here, and we didn't have to shlep out to the border. And finally, I could hardly believe it when they called to tell me our load was lighter than expected and the move would be $600 below estimate. It's not like I would've known the difference if they'd kept the 600 bucks.

In Manitoba, call Howard's; in Vancouver, look here for a local United affiliate.

6 comments:

the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

swampers?

FJ said...

I was scared this was going to be another cross-border vocabulary issue. But it's in the American Heritage Dictionary, so I'm in the clear. A swamper is the person on the truck who is not the driver but who does loading and lifting.

the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

A good word to know. Sort of like savoyarde?

FJ said...

Uh, say what good buddy?

Butchery on Bond Street said...

Thank you Chocolate Lady, toyzend mol, for inducing me to open the dictionary and find out the definition of a word that I have assumed for many decades meant some sort of Italian militia member. Silly me ! Savoyard in my American College Dictionary is said to be a devotee of G+S, whose productions were put on for so many years at the Savoy Theatre in London. Who knew???

ES said...

To begin with, I believe I must say that this blog is the first (very first) blog I have ever "entered" (Is that the tem, "entered?" Perhaps, it's "visited. "Visited is more friendly, as in "I stopped by to visit you." One wouldn't, for instance, say, "I stopped by to enter you." I could spend a lot of time with this and never get to my point which may be a function of blogs -- forgetting about the point. Alternatively, pointless postings may be cursed by bloggers. Clearly, I am in a new country with the first order trying to understand the natives. Interestingly, I do not assume this is an unrestricted country (bow to JN) Continuing: this posting marks the first time I have left a comment on a blog.

To wit: I know the word swamper but have never used it in relation to movers. For many years now, I have used the word "huskies." Husky means many things including "rugged, strong: burly. Huskies is the plural. If you say, "He's a husky guy." that's, largely, considered a compliment. If you say, "She's a husky gal." that's, largely, considered an insult. As many know, there is a well known Siberian dog, which we Canadians have made our own, called the Husky (also the Siberian Husky). A very strong, tough dog who can be counted on to get the job done. I have a notion that Husky dog sled teams are thought to be best led by a female of the breed.

Though I have nothing to compare it to, I can truly say, I really like your blog. I want a blog.

Now I have to sign off. I can use a HTML tag or I can choose an identity. It doesn't say anything that suggests I will get into trouble if I just sign my name. Let's see what happens ...

Esther

Suddenly, we are into the command and control environment. Now, there are two required fields that "must not be blank." (DId you know that the single word "field" has 15 definitions? ) I now have to sign up for a google account. Wonder what that's like. Let's see what happens ...

Frightening!! They ask you: Are you sure you want to navigate away from the site. In other words, you're going overboard ... It's deep in the dark of night, the fog streams in, the wind rises to gale force, the waves huge, the ocean pitiless, the deck slick and empty, ... BUT WAIT!!!!! how's about I cut and paste a little life jacket here ...

I'm back ... my message is pasted. I have yet another password. I bid you adieu.