It doesn't take a brain surgeon to tell you that when you've done one very stressful thing, you might want to wait until you do another very stressful thing. Good advice. Good, useless advice. Because even before I found a place to live (stress one), I was packing up the apartment (stress two). Handing over so much money to the realtor for 40 minutes of work was stress one point one because it was part of finding the apartment. Moving itself is stress number four - that doesn't take place until the 29th. For the past couple of days, I have been dealing with stress three.
Stress three is finding movers. Moving is a real buyer beware type of deal. There are a lot of scams out there. Movers who don't show up. Movers who show up five hours late. Movers who put your stuff in storage and wait a couple of weeks before delivering it (that's with long distance moves). Movers who move very slowly when you are paying by the hour. The worst thing is when some jerk, who has broken all your stuff, won't even relinquish the stuff until you pay him twice as much as he said it was going to cost. It's best to go on someone's recommendation, though it shocks me how some of these gonifs can stay in business. Anyway, I belong to a Yahoo Group called Some of the Girls. It's basically a bulletin board for women who post information about upcoming events, people they recommend, people they don't recommend, reporters looking for subjects, etc. I haven't belonged to it for very long and originally just joined so I could see if anyone needed a roommate. Nonetheless, I have found it interesting. Someone had asked exactly what I wanted to know (who do you recommend) and then compiled the results in a posting. Very useful. The second thing I was advised to do was to get a binding estimate. It is generally a bit more than a general estimate, but they can't change it on you no matter how long it takes to load, get your possessions to where you are going, and unload.
I investigated three of them and went with Available Movers. I spoke with the owner and the owner's brother came to do the estimate and was supposed to come back today to drop off some boxes. They were the least expensive, and the guy sounded like he knew what he was doing. Also, they've been in business for awhile (he told me how long, but I now forget).
What I was most impressed with, though, was what he said when I asked him about another moving company. He said he didn't like them because they only did high-end moves. I asked what he meant. He said, "Look, we do low-end, medium-end, and high-end moves. We move people on public assistance and these movers won't because they know they won't get as much money from them." Now this is from a guy who is Israeli. He grew up on a kibbutz and claims not to be religious at all. He claims to be a bad Jew. He claims these things, but it sounds like social action to me. It sounds Jewish to me - the good Jew kind of Jewish. Although I will say this. I asked if there was any discount available and he asked me if I was Jewish. I can't tell if he was saying that they would give me a deal because I was Jewish (a fact you can't miss upon entering my apartment - I kind of live in a Jewniverse) or he was implying that I was asking because all Jews are inherently cheap.
Anyway, hopefully I made the right decision. Anyway, it's back home for me and more packing. Blech.