Yep. Murphy of Murphy’s Law deserves a punch in the face.
The move from hell
In early March, I was told our shipment would take 3-5 weeks to arrive at our house in Mexico. Due to that time frame, it seemed like the movers should come at the end of March. However, that presumption was a mistake.
“No, it actually takes between 10-18 days. We tell people 3-5 weeks because 5 weeks is the longest and it’s really, really rare,” I’m told by our relocation guy in the US. “We will talk at the beginning of April and schedule it for around mid-month.”
I contact him at the end of March. I want to get the show on the road.
“When does your husband go to the Mexican Consulate? We can’t schedule the movers until we know when that appointment will be,” he tells me.
That is the first time I am told this information. Okay, no problem. I was told this information late in the week. My husband contacts the department that applies for the work visas on the following Monday.
“You are going on assignment to Mexico?” They say to him, with surprise. “We were not aware. Visas take 45 days.”
“I am supposed to start in 27 days,” he replies.
“Good luck with that.” Okay, I’m completely imagining the conversation. I’m positive they said they would do their best to rush the visa.
They really do rush the visa process
One week before the start date and 6 days before we leave the country, we are able to get the work visa. The movers are scheduled to come the next two days to pack our stuff.
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are they coming?
It is Wednesday morning. The guy comes to refinish our 2nd shower. He apologizes for being a little late, as he had trouble finding our house. He was within the timeframe I was told for arrival, so I wasn’t worried.
I expected the movers in the morning. But I’d also received an email from our relocation guy and he had questions. Would this affect the packing date? And then time are they coming? I call him and leave a message.
“Are the movers still coming? What time will they arrive?” I ask in my surprisingly non-awkward voicemail. There is no response. I had emailed the day before and we had discussed rescheduling. We weren’t sure we were ready. Ultimately, we decided we would make ourselves ready and kept the dates.
All of shipment for Mexico is piled into our front room, as I was told to do.
WHAT WE ARE tOLD ABOUT THE MOVERS VERSUS WHAT THE MOVERS ARE TOLD
Here is the breakdown of how we were told the shipments work:
Day 1: the movers come in the morning and pack all of the items going abroad. They weigh it and once we hit our weight limit, they take it away and send it. It is best to have things organized into “musts” and “wants,” so things can be removed easily if we go over our weight limit.
Day 2: the movers return and pack up everything that’s left and take it to storage.
The movers arrive close to noon. They came from 2 hours away. I still haven’t heard from my relocation guy.
The movers bring a half semi truck and an extra van. They have been scheduled for one day for our move. There is no way one day, one small truck, and one van is big enough for our stuff. They agree. They also have no scale because they were not informed that we have a weight limit for Mexico. However, they cannot commit to coming a second day, unless they receive authorization from our relocation company, even with no way possible to take care of all of our items.
We cannot get ahold of our relocation guy. We do talk to someone else at his office. My husband took care of this part. I have no idea what was happening.
MUrPHY’s LAW takes a (short) break
Once the movers start packing, I am not needed. I hop around nervously for awhile, however we are organized enough that there are no questions for me.
I am grateful that I don’t have to pack the massive mess of stuff we have. Organizing my stuff is not my strong suit. If I could pack a little at a time, it wouldn’t have been so bad. But that isn’t how it goes when you have movers.
Our relocation guy finally returns our calls at 7 pm. This makes me believe he has too much work on his plate This is also not my problem! I have plenty going on and I don’t need to worry about something else.
The movers get authorization to come back a second day and this time, they bring two half semi trucks. They pack the rest up take it to storage.
in the meantime
During the last two weeks in the USA, I have a repair or remodel item scheduled daily. Or multiple things daily. I am chained to the house.
I finally ask people for help. My kids are going nuts and having visitors (friends who are there to help entertain the kids) is THE MOST HELPFUL THING I DIDN’T REALIZE I NEEDED. If I hadn’t asked and my friends hadn’t come through, I would still be in the USA and under monumental, unending stress. I couldn’t have done with without the help of Marybeth, Simone (who has written here), Nikki, and Stacey. Thank you with my whole heart.
but wait, there’s more
Two days before our scheduled departure, my family comes over for a goodbye picnic. It’s a fantastic time and my kids really needed some fun playtime with their cousins.
Towards the early evening, I notice that the downstairs bathroom smells bad. No big deal, until I notice the smell got stronger about half an hour later and it was actually throughout the house. What is the source of the smell?
The septic system is spewing water into our already cleaned basement. It is, of course, after hours on a Friday. We pay top dollar for someone to come out and fix it. The good news is that he arrived within 20 minutes. More good news, the septic system had been cleaned within the past two weeks and only water had entered the basement. The cause was probably a toy or too much toilet paper, given all the people at our house that day.
Because of course our septic backs up two days before we leave the country.
And it could’ve been much, much worse. At least it didn’t happen AFTER we left the country and listed our house.
the other stuff
There were so many problems with this move, from the way it was handled by the relocation company, to struggling to find people to take our money in exchange for providing a service. There were additional issues due to incompetent people who were sent over by the relocation company for hoop-jumping we had to do. And some of our problems were caused by ourselves.
Yes, I know some of our challenges were definitely caused by us. This a rare case where I won’t take full responsibility. Too much was thrown at us last minute, too many details were omitted until it was almost too late, and some of our plans fell through, hence why we had so many people in our house all at once.
And I got a cold a week before moving.
So that’s why I want to punch Murphy in the face.
No, our shipment hasn’t arrived yet (10-18 days my ass!) We do have internet finally and I live in Mexico, so things are pretty good. Maybe I won’t punch Murphy.