The Move from Hell

At the beginning of October, Alyssa and I moved from our old apartment, to a new one. There were a lot of reasons why we decided to do so. Main among them was the continuing declining quality of the building we lived in. When we first moved is, the building was well maintained. There was a tenant run library where many neighbours would congregate. We knew our neighbours, something I had never had happen in an apartment building.

Over the years however, the frequently changing property managers and rental agents, some of who were not well disposed to running a building of that size, led to things being dropped. The tenant library was closed, first we were told it was temporary, but finally it was revealed that it would in fact be permanent.

We ended up with a mold problem in our unit, and rather than dealing with it, the managers tried to blame us. During this time, I learned that the whole building was experiencing problems with black coloured mold spots in their units. Despite this, we were still blamed for its presence in our apartment. We finally had to hire a professional who was able to identify that the problem was systemic and not a result of anything we had done.

While the professionals were there, they measured the air quality levels. Their machine detects dust, mold, and pollen particles in the air. A level of between 200 and 600 thousand was ok. The level in our building was seven million. While living in that building, I dealt with increasingly worse allergies, and now I knew why.

When we finally moved out and I came back a week later to clean, I had my first asthma episode since I was 12. I’m on puffers again, after having previously outgrown asthma.

We were really excited for our move. Because the location was further from downtown, we were able to scrimp up for a 2 bedroom apartment. Finally I could set up an office and maybe use that fact to help motivate me to focus better. Our new community also offers some great amenities, including more accessible recycling, community gardens, and so forth.

Thanks to the generosity of friends, as well as a credit card, we were able to hire movers. Something we were excited for, since my disability makes it difficult, even dangerous for me to lift heavy items. Alyssa also has been dealing with enough, that the prospect of heavy lifting was extremely daunting. The movers would help make the whole situation less stressful. Little did we know, our choice of moving company would turn this whole experience into the move from hell.

To start with, the whole move took over 16 hours, spread over two days, and wasn’t even done at the end. I still don’t understand how they managed to drag it out that long. After almost 8 hours of moving out the apartment, the truck was half empty, and yet we were being told that they would have to charge us a second truck fee. Why? Because they had packed the pantry first, putting bags of food at the bottom back of the truck. They couldn’t put anything on top of it or it would be destroyed.

When they finally arrived the next day to continue the move, it turned out our lift-top table, the one piece of furniture I splurged on when I finally received disability, had been stolen. Along with everything that had been stored inside it. That wasn’t the only thing we lost. In the end we were missing my office chair, as well as Alyssa’s jewelry box, as well as some miscellaneous items.

They made Alyssa carry items, so that we could “save money”. That first day, she didn’t sit once for over 8 hours. The move took so long, that we missed both breakfast and lunch, having expected to go to Tim Hortons on the drive between apartments. I too ended up having to move more than I should have health wise.

During the second day of the move, they refused to start until I paid for the day before. Clever, since I had no intention of paying that much for what was clearly an incompetent move. Still, I needed to get my move finished. After some negotiation, we agreed that I would pay for 9 hours, total.

What followed the transaction going through was a completely expected, but still exasperating, flaking out on work. One of the movers was apparently so sick, that he had to stop working. I took him at face value. Since they were saying he needed to go to the hospital, I offered to drive so they wouldn’t have to take the truck. Imagine my surprise when they insisted that it was ok, they would finish unpacking the truck with what they had packed first. They left with a half empty truck, leaving behind several items in the public hallways as well as all over the floor.

By the time it was all done, Alyssa and I were so exhausted we could barely function. I spent most of October with severe spinal pain. I could barely walk all month. The stress made my Crohn’s flare.

We’re still not completely unpacked, though we are getting a bit more done every day. I can’t wait till we are finally settled and things can get back to normal. Needless to say, neither of us have any interest in moving for a very, very long time.

 

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