Sunday, 10 June 2018

The Outcome of our Latest Move

After weeks and months of searching, we managed to find an apartment that sort of meets our needs. It's not exactly what we need, but I guess that happens when one is working towards starting a centre with the beginnings happening from home. And so, move number 43 for me has happened. It's become another one on a very special list. With so many of my moves, I end up saying, this was the worst move! I have a list that I hope does not grow, of all those "this is the worst move".

It's hard enough to have to move. It's harder still that our previous landlord was bullying us dreadfully. He wanted to pressurize us into staying, but his behaviour had the opposite effect. The more he tried to prevent us from being able to make this move, the more I just wanted to get away from him. Who wants a landlord who is a bully? I don't think anyone in their right mind would consciously want to be treated the way many of these landlords treat their tenants. I wonder if there is any way to inspire landlords to increase their Derech Eretz and honesty in business?

There were so many details that made this move hard. Factors that were totally out of our control. One fact I thought would ease everything was the mover. We had met him, received a quote, were promised that he had insurance in case of breakage, had positive references. We even had promises that he was different. I made the mistake of believing him. The promises turned out to be empty ones. There were a few warning signs along the way, but things really came to a head when it came time for payment. We wanted to pay with a check, giving us proof of payment. We learned from one of our first moves that paying with a check that is made out to the mover only is — imperative! However, he did not want a check and certainly not one made out to his moving company. He wanted cash and cash only. Who has thousands of shekels lying around at home, especially on moving day? Besides, we have a right to want to have proof of payment! The moment we began unpacking we realised just how important having paid my check will become. Incredibly, the mover adamantly refused. He wasted about half an hour of our time trying all kinds of ways to force us to pay in cash or with an open check.

The hour that this was taking place did not matter to him. The fact that Shabbat would soon be approaching and we had no idea where any item necessary for Shabbat was, made even less of a difference. All he cared about was trying to force us into paying in cash.

Open checks in Israel are a big No-No. They really are a bad idea. It's impossible to know when your check will be cashed or how many hands it will pass through before finally getting to be banked. We have been down that road, got the T-shirt and enough experience to know not to fall for that again. It totally messes up one's budgeting and can cause some serious problems. So, no, we were not about to pay with an open check.

With this move, it's not as though the price was cheap. It's not as though we expected a free service either. We were paying a considerable amount of money, at least in our opinion. Well over 5000 is not small money. I would think treating a client who is paying so much with respect would be important. But somehow customer service in Israel is one of those details that needs some work and improvement.

Thinking back on the move, there are so many hard memories. Like the time I noticed a box about to be thrown out. I opened the box to discover it contained our "Blessing for the Home" that was given to us as a gift. The box was not as light as an empty box, anyone picking it up could tell there was something inside. But it seems our framed picture with the blessing for our home was not important to the mover.

Then there were two pictures of mine that I had to beg to be wrapped and put onto the truck. When I say, paintings of mine, I do not mean that they were given to me as a gift and therefore belonged to me. Neither do I mean that I purchased them. I mean that I had painted the pictures myself.

Most of my paintings I wrapped myself, but with all the bullying from our landlord, we simply ran out of time. We paid the movers for the assistance with the last items to be packed. Our intention was that they help us to move everything, not that they select what they wanted to discard of.

Another box they wanted to throw out contained my husband's hat. While a book, left face down on the floor was none other than the Hebrew version of "Tuvia FindsHis Freedom" a book written by ourselves. I really hope our writing and books are not just garbage. We put time, thought and effort into every book and product we produce. It was hard to see it discarded face down in a pile of dirt.

Though there was quite a lot more damage, we will leave our list and turn to another issue that was distressing, which was their attitude to our food and fruit juice. None of the workers brought their own food. No, providing refreshments was not stipulated in the quote or mentioned when we met. Virtually every place of work I have been to I have taken my own food. I think the only times I was given food at work was when waitressing, the restaurant gave us a meal in our break and when I was au-pairing. Since the Au-Pairing job came with board and lodging, I would expect that food was included. But for all other jobs, I have always taken my own, even for small jobs like baby-sitting, house cleaning and the like.

These movers just helped themselves to whatever they wanted. Fruit juice, biscuits, even items from the fridge they took. I might not have minded if they asked, but they just presumed that all our food and drinks were available for them to help themselves.

As time progressed we began to realise breakage was happening, items were disappearing and the move was turning into one of those traumatic experiences of our bad moves. I was quite flabbergasted towards the end of leaving the old apartment to find a waste paper basket dismantled and collapsed on the tiny balcony. You can find out about this waste paper basket in my YouTube video about OT and Art. 

Well, once upon a time, the item had meaning for me and served a purpose in my home. Today, the base was forcefully removed for no reason, the bin was collapsed for no reason and later discarded. I no longer have this item. For about 25 years, it did well in my treatment room. It has been moved at least about 10 times if not more and it has moved well. Until now, when a mover had other ideas for an item that was not his.

Another item to upset me was the journey of our toolbox. I noticed it in the corner of a room and wondered why it had not been wrapped in the Keter cupboard as promised. I was told it was their box and not mine. Somehow I had a feeling it was mine. I should have opened it up and taken a look, but I stupidly trusted when they said it was theirs. Later I saw it on the back of the truck and mentioned it was mine. Again I was told it was theirs. Well, as we progressed in our packing, we could not find out toolbox. We called the mover to ask if he had seen it. He tried to pretend he did not know what we were talking about until I said it looked exactly like theirs. A few hours later, mysteriously our tool box was found. A day or so later it was returned to us, broken and bashed around. When my husband opened the toolbox, the once full box that was hard to close now was almost empty.

Some people tell us well it's just things and things can be replaced. Here is an example of the ripple effect of those missing tools. In one compartment were the screws, nuts and pieces to put my computer table together. They were very specific, certain sizes and types of these screws, nuts and bolts. Some shaped so that the screw is sunken when the computer table to assembled. Of course the Allen Keys that were needed for some screws is nowhere to be found either. I do have the wood of my computer table, but without the pieces to put it together, the parts are pretty useless. Yes, one can hire a carpenter to put the computer table together, but the cost will not be worth it. So not only did we lose tools but the use of furniture we had and needed to use too.

The move has been traumatic and painful. Some details have been quite laughable, like the way they decided to repair a cupboard that could not stand properly due to breakage. Instead of repairing the broken side, they found a pair of cork innersoles and used that as a prop. Of course, they did not ask permission to use an item they noticed in our home. The image below shows what became of a new pair of inserts meant for shoes not for cupboards. 

The only good I can say about the move is that the experience has triggered the creation of a few services and some more printable documents. My aim is to use these difficulties to help others to have a better moving experience than we have had. Stay tuned for the list of new services. They will be added to our websites in between our working to straighten out our apartment.

Do visit our online store where you will find our printable documents to assist you with various aspects of your daily life, including helping you to have a stress-free move.  

This post is prepared for you by
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer, author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story" and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom".

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