Friday, July 9, 2010

Is this a hard job? Is D.C. a political town?

Occasionally, when I find it difficult to dive into the 100+ e-mails for the day, I like to procrastinate by reading traffic sources to my website. (What--like you don't do the same thing...) Oddly enough, the vast majority of MTB's traffic is from people typing the URL directly into the browser and hitting "enter." Still, though, I get the occasional "organic" source.

I've gotten some good ones. Among them: somebody once type into Google "Yes, this is my truck. No I won't help you move." (Got a huge number of people to MTB with that one.) I've also had not a few links from porn sites (at least they looked like porn sites -- I didn't check. If they weren't, then some people made some horrible website naming choices...) I always wonder about those -- what, people surf for some naughty pics and then line up a mover? I guess -- if there's anything I've learned doing this, it's that human beings are...odd. Odd and screwed up, very often. I won't divulge any details, but I have seriously -- seriously -- considered adding counseling services to our resume. At the very least I should be referring people to some good counselors.

At any rate, I got another funny search link to my site today. It was "Is being a mover a hard job?" I lol'd at that and sent it to my crew leaders. No matter how you look at it, yes, this is a hard job. Definitely the hardest I've ever done, not even including all the administrative nonsense. A typical day might involve moving a glass-heavy china hutch up a three-floor walk-up in the middle of a July heat wave. Or, sometimes we have to take a mattress out of a basement apartment, the customer forgot to get a mattress bag, and the entrance to her place is covered in black moss and/or mold. It's kind of like playing "Operation," only instead of setting off a buzzer, we would have to buy a new mattress. (This has never happened, fortunately).

On the managerial/admin side, let's just take the last two days, for example. I realized fairly early on that I was likely to be short-handed for six jobs this Saturday. I began the usual regimen of calling all Truck Buddies, only to realize that about half the work force would be gone. For the first time in two years, I was looking at the very real possibility of having to cancel at least one job -- a total rookie, half-ass maneuver. In the meantime, I have literally 21 voice messages and dozens upon dozens of e-mails coming in, some requesting work, some having to reschedule jobs at the last second (unfortunately, no reschedules for Saturday), or panicky messages about parking issues. I handled most of that and got to bed before midnight for a change, but my first thought this morning was -- after ensuring our infant son was still alive and breathing, a practice I got into with our first son and have never stopped doing -- "I wonder what this morning's crisis is going to be..."

One of my crew leaders, Jimmy, called to tell me about half an hour later: someone had crossed a couple of lanes of traffic, nearly cut him off, and hit our truck's rear bumper while he was on the way to a job.

My reaction: "Oh, that's today's first crisis. Next!" (Everyone was okay, btw, and our truck is fine.)

So, yeah, being a mover is hard work. If the guy who Googled that phrase decides to apply for a job, I might have to direct him to something a little more his speed. I hear the florist down the street is looking for a daisy tender...


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