• Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Rough Treatment

Rough-looking Kyle & Brandon arrived from the local moving service at my house at 8:13 AM, smelling strongly of cigarette smoke. I met them as they were backing into my driveway and asked the driver to park on one side of my driveway instead of in the middle so that there would be plenty room to carry the larger things to the curb. The mover in charge told him not to do as I asked, and they both got out of the truck while I was still trying to convince them to park on one side of my driveway. I then asked them to move the truck off of the public sidewalk, which was completely and illegally blocked, by backing their truck up fourteen feet closer to my garage. They flat out refused and both of them started speaking roughly to me, "Ma'am, we need to see what the job is before we move the truck." "Yeah, we'll move it later." They did not bother to hide their annoyance with me. They did not introduce themselves. They just moved toward the front door to be let in. Within the first two minutes of their arrival at my home, these two movers had refused the first two instructions that I gave them. How could I let these two strangers into my home when they treated me roughly and refused my reasonable requests? With disappointment that my moving would be delayed I told them, "This job is cancelled, you won't do as I ask so I cannot let you in my home." I was more scared and upset than angry. My things to be moved from the basement were already sorted and in plastic bags, the larger things I had dragged over next to the stairs, all were ready to be moved up the stairs and outside to the curb. I had worked all weekend to get ready for these movers. The angry movers immediately hopped back into their truck. They did not apologize to me or try to reassure me. As they sped off one of them tossed litter on my driveway. When I was working I never would have left an easy, good-paying job in a snit, but they did not look like the sort who would work well anyway, and I did not feel safe with them. I could not let them in my home.

I immediately called the moving company to explain what had happened, and to insure that I was not billed for canceling the work. The office manager initially said, "I'm sorry that happened, maybe we can find someone to take their place today." Then she made every possible excuse for the movers' bad behavior. It was hard for them to park the medium-sized truck in my driveway. No, it is not, my eighty-year old girlfriend backs in and out of it in her SUV without problem. Parking on the sidewalk is okay if only temporary. No, it is illegal and it is not okay on my property if I say it is not okay. She said that the mover in charge, a Hispanic so I should have known that complaining about him in these times of "protected status" would be futile, just as the chance of his being respectful toward me an old white woman was unlikely, had been with the company for fifteen years and she trusted him. This implied that she was putting his interests before mine, the customer. She would not acknowledge that the movers should have parked where I asked them to park on my property. When I added that I had used their moving service several times in the past years at both my parents' residence and my own and I had been satisfied so I wanted to try again with them, she changed tack meanly and suggested, "Since you are in a hurry, maybe you would be better off going to a different moving company." I had not said that I was in a hurry, it just pleased her to throw me off. Apparently she did not value the money this job would have earned the company any more than the movers did. The office manager said that the co-owner would call me.

Later in the day the office manager called me back and pleasantly offered to send three men to replace the two who had left, for the same price. I agreed with relief. Those three young men were healthy, happy, and completed the work without incident in half an hour.

Caption: My Home At 1313 Towanda Avenue

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2015

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