6.24.2009

The Credit Card Melted Just In Time

It's that time of year again folks. When the Perlman's spend a fortune stocking up on every conceivable consumable that we think we may need for the next year. This summer was no exception. After last year's shipment, I thankfully had a much better idea of what we needed, and how long the items would last in our pantry (due to consumption or expiration).

The moving company came today, though not without incident. Shocker, eh? See, the State Department uses a 3rd party carrier who contracts out and organizes the shipments via local moving companies. Unfortunately, with too many cooks in the kitchen, there was a complete lack of communication that led to a handful of issues. While I detailed all my needs with the contracting company, the moving company had their own agenda... that CLEARLY did not gel with mine. Not a great idea to mess with a post partum woman who has little patience for incompetence to begin with...

Not only did the moving company NOT call me yesterday to let me know what time they were going to arrive (I finally called them at 3pm), I was only then told that my request for a morning move would not be honored, and that they'd be there between 12 - 2 pm... which was a problem because I had to pick up the girls from camp). They called me at 10:45 am today and said they were on time and they'd be there around noon .... though they really didn't make it there until 2:55 pm!! The dispatcher didn't call 1/2 hour prior to arrival (or any time for that matter) to let me know the crew were on their way. When they DID arrive the crew told me that they didn't have my phone number to let me know they were running late. AND they forgot the most important item for the pack-out... the scale.

Our weight limits are a little different this year than last year. With our newborn munchkin, we are allotted 250 pounds to send via UAB (air shipment), and approximately 1800 pounds to send via sea freight (though we don't want to use it all up because we'll need the remaining weight for next summer's shipment). Obviously a scale is rather important with our air shipment because if we go over the 250 pounds, it costs us $4.72 PER additional pound. So, I spent a lot of time guesstimating how much everything weighed. I sorted out the air shipment into piles of "needs to get there immediately" vs. "would be nice to be sent via air shipment rather than schlepping on the airplane". But all the planning and organizing went out the window when I was told they couldn't weigh my stuff right there. Ummm... I lost it.

Without boring you with the details of my stern, yet calm phone call to the contracting company and then the moving company, let's just say that any additional air shipment weight will be paid for by the moving company. End of story.

The pack-out took just under two hours today, with three guys there to wrap up all the stuff. When they started working they were really quite efficient. In all, I shipped 16 boxes via air and 30 boxes of consumables.

Tomorrow I'll find out the weight of everything we shipped, and if you're interested in knowing what we shipped this year compared to last year, let me know and I'll do another list.

Here's a photo from today. Here's the link to see the photo from last year...





Left: Consumables, toiletries, paper products. Right: Baby stuff for the layette shipment



Ahhhh... the good stuff!



Left: The Air shipment. Right: The Consumables Shipment

17 comments:

Tanya said...

Oh my goodness what a lot of effort but from the perspective of an expat who doesnt get a yearly shipment of any kind (or indeed enough allowance to cover that amount of stuff on an initial move)- absolute luxury!

Mom24 said...

You are my hero...again. I can't believe you got the moving company to pay for the excess weight. Good job for holding them accountable for their screw up. I hate when companies just don't care about doing a good job--nor how their incompetence affects their customers.

I hope all of your stuff arrives in good shape and in good time.

Shannon said...

Whoa.

I've moved a lot... but only 4 times as an adult (meaning I was in charge of packing /moving, not my parents)... but I can't imagine having to do all that!

Michelle said...

Surely you have more important things to do than list what you packed, but I would be interested to see how you organized the layette. I can remember running to the store almost daily (even after 3 kids) because I ran out of something or forgot something. No way would I be able to plan for the next year with a new baby! Kudos to you!

Heidi said...

hahha. I love the "good stuff" mmmmmm... Looks like so much fun. (I know in reality going through all that isn't fun, but it just looks like you bought a store.) yippie for wine!

3 Peas in a Pod said...

Wow Jill! You really have a lot to worry about regarding this shipment. Good thing you don't have anything else to worry about, right? LOL

The toiletries and paper products don't look like they last very long. I think about what we go through in a week and boy, that's a lot of stuff to shop and ship.

You are my idol Jill!! I think I'm organized but compared to you, I look like a slacker!!! Good for you getting any weight over the limit paid by the moving company. That was a major screw up.

Wishing you lots of patience, strength and hugs to get you through all of this with a newborn and 2 little girlies...by yourself!!

Much love from NJ,
Sue
xoxo

Naomi said...

I'm telling you ... in your spare time, you should write a handbook for each and every woman who has to go through the horror (I mean, absolute joy) of packing for an overseas transition.

You seem to have it well under control and I'm impressed that your phone call was stern, yet calm. Mine would have been flying obscenities and manic-ness.

It really would help pay for daycamp and "the good stuff"

Keep on keepin' on!!

Jen said...

I think that there is more stuff this year. ;)

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

I think I would have pulled out a bottle of wine and started chugging right there on the spot.

I'm glad at least you don't have to pay for their mistake. Geez, moving internationally is so much fun isn't it? ;)

Blogging Mama Andrea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kat said...

See...these are the posts that absolutely fascinate me. Mostly because I cannot imagine being that organized. And you just HAVE to be. I would love to see the list. And know what you knew you wouldn't need as much of this year...or what you knew you needed a lot more of...

Kat said...

Oh...and good for you for calling out the moving company. Stuff like that would make me nuts. I would have pitched a fit!

Kelly said...

I am amazed at your organization!!! I know you really have no choice or you'd be SOL, but it's still impressive. I would love to see you in action...telling that moving company how it was going to go!!!

Kelly said...

I am amazed at your organization!!! I know you really have no choice or you'd be SOL, but it's still impressive. I would love to see you in action...telling that moving company how it was going to go!!!

Shannon said...

I am interested in seeing the list of this year so I can compare it to last year. Every post my husband is considering bidding on is a consumables post, so this will be me next summer. Eeeek!

julicle said...

I can't get my head around how you plan all of this every year. I couldn't even tell you how long a roll of toilet paper lasts in our house. And the fact that you're having to deal with the movers, two girls, and a newborn baby WITHOUT any spousal assistance... that's beyond impressive. I hope you set aside at least one of those bottles of wine. It's worth the pump-and-dump! xoxo

Crystal said...

O.K., again I am in awe : ) I cannot wait to pick your brain. You ROCK, JILL!! You are truly an organization Guru : ) I am overwhelmed and frustrated as we have been trying to get our new son Timmy all squared away for our assignment as well. You inspire me~

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