(Part 1 here.)
(Part 2 here.)
(Part 3 here.)
(Part 4 here.)
(Part 5 here.)
Yeah, you knew it was coming. Sorry it's been so long, for those of you still hanging on that cliff.
Anyway, the movers showed up just a few minutes earlier than they said they would, which was great. They looked like regular movers, like you might see in a movie. They were men, roughly between the ages of 25 and 45, who seemed entirely capable of lifting heavy things, which they did. Neither of them were visibly pregnant, either, even though we know that pregnant does not necessarily mean incapable of lifting things.
They were friendly and helpful and fast — sometimes too fast for me to be entirely sure where things should go, but they were patient about it, too. At some point, my mother showed up to help me out, which was fantastic.
And then, as they were unloading my desk from the truck — my desk, which, you may recall, was one of the main reasons I paid someone to move me at all — one of my movers said, "[The Guy] told you about the desk, right?" And my mother and I looked at each other, frozen for what could have been anywhere from a split second to half an hour, before saying in chorus, "No."
The movers brought in my beautiful desk with the front left foot smashed off. And a pile of what might generously be described as "kindling," but would more accurately described as, "large splinters." And while I fought tears, my mother assured me it would be all right. And then (some of you know my mother, but if you don't, just know that I am on my way to growing up to be just like her, but she is soooo much better at this than I am, and you will have some idea of the perfection with which this was executed), my mother said to one of the movers, "Hm. Well, I think we won't pay for this until that's taken care of. Don't you think?" And the mover said, "That's what I'd do." And I smiled a lot and gave them a huge tip for their awesomeness.
Then, several things happened, in roughly this order:
I discovered all kinds of things about this moving company. Apparently The Guy and His Business Partner had had a falling out, and she'd left the company, and she was really the glue holding the enterprise together. Apparently, there had been one little issue, years before, when he'd moved an antique dining room table for my family and promised to fix it before storing it for us, but now that we thought about it, no one had seen that table. Apparently, he'd been increasingly losing his temper and periodically acting irrationally. We managed to put this together through a combination of family and community gossip.
I had a series of conversations with The Guy about my desk and his payment. To recount them all would be very long, so I have consolidated them into this one, which covers several of the highlights:
The Guy: So, I'll come pick up your desk and find someone to work on it.
bzzzzgrrrl: No, thanks. Find someone to work on it, and then you can come get my desk and bring it directly to that person.
TG: But I don't know who it will be yet.
bg: Right. Let me know, and then come get my desk. I'm sure you understand, under the circumstances, why I might not want to have you loading and unloading this particular piece of furniture a lot of times.
bg: You broke it.
TG: We didn't break it loading and unloading, we broke it on the steps outside your apartment.
bg: In Virginia?!?! And you didn't tell me?
TG: We didn't want to worry you. We'd tell you about it when we got it up North.
bg: But then you didn't.
TG: Obviously you were going to see that the whole front foot of your desk was broken. Now, pay us and we'll get it fixed.
bg: Um, no.
TG: Insurance will pay for your desk, but I need my money.
bg: I'll give you half when you get the desk to be repaired, half when I have it back.
[Repeat, often, with variations in angriness and ease of getting in touch, mostly with more talk about money and some shock at my lack of trust.]
My mother had a series of conversations with The Guy (who started calling her), and his lawyer (who immediately sided with my mother when he heard our side of the story), and Preggo (who was still answering phones).
The Guy lied to us about one million times about having found someone to repair the desk, and then actually did find someone, and then actually did pick up the desk.
Two months later, the desk was ready. There were more glitches and weirdnesses, of course: I took time off from work to wait for the movers; The Guy had the wrong time; The Guy showed up (late) by himself because his movers were lost because he'd given them the wrong address; we sat around chatting awkwardly for a while; the movers showed up; The Guy made me write him a check to himself personally and not to the moving company; my desk was finally moved back into the house in gorgeous condition.
I think I said there'd be seven parts to this story. Really, the story's over here, finally, already. Part seven is more of an astonishing epilogue. Stay tuned. Any questions before we get there, that I can answer either in the epilogue or in the comments?