Monday, April 28, 2008

Another Reason I Hate Dallas

So there I was Saturday; re-paying some karma by helping out a friend. BTW, that's how you define a friend: someone who trades her convertible to her husband for his pickup for the day so she can come and help you move.

The moving had gone at an acceptable pace. She had already sent the movers off with one U-Haul load to the Storage facility. When I showed up, the men she had hired were filling the truck with furniture destined for her new digs. She and I filled boxes and as soon as one was filled, off it was carried to the truck. Once all the furniture, and she had some HUGE pieces, were in the U-Haul; and the rest of the space was filled with boxes and plants...she sent the three man crew off to her new digs with her key.

The plan was for us to load up my truck and her SUV and meet them at the new place. They'd still be unloading the U-Haul by the time we got there. Good plan, no?
Then her phone rang. It was the head of the crew, I'll call him Matteo. He is the maintenance man for the property she manages. The U-Haul has broken down on Central Expressway. So my friend gets the perticulars as to the problem and location, assures Matteo she'll summon help and to hang on.

She calls U-Haul, explains the situation, and is told they will send a mechanic to check things out. But it's going to take about an hour for him to get to Matteo and the crew. She calls Matteo and gives him the news. She decides, since the truck was rented in her name, she better be there when the mechanic shows up.

I tell her I'll stay at the house and keep packing up boxes. And that's what I do. She takes her SUV to the new place, unloads it, and then goes to meet the mechanic at the breakdown site. Imagine her surprise when she arrives at a loft as empty as she had left it the day before! The truck had broken down on the way TO the loft, not coming back from it. Just another stressor on an already stress filled day.

When she joins the crew on Central, she finds them in the LEFT breakdown lane because they had been driving in the left lane when the truck died. The mechanic arrives and determines he cannot fix it right then and there. He says he'll arrange for a tow truck. The tow truck will haul the U-Haul to its original destination and then to the repair shop. BUT, the problem is , it's gonna take about 2 hours for the tow truck to get there.

My friend calls again [she's been callin' throughout this ordeal, and I've been checkin' about what to pack and what to leave for him] to tell me all this and that she's on her way back to the house. She offers to stop and get me a Sonic drink, so I give her my order. A fresh, un-sweetened, blackberry iced tea is gonna taste pretty darn good right about now.

By the time she's back I've cleared the living room, dining room, and kitchen of all the stuff I KNOW she wants to take and have piles of stuff for her to go through b/c I'm not sure whether they are take or leave behind stuff. I've got a pocket bulging with change I've found on flat surfaces underneath stuff. I've already filled the bed and cab of the truck with boxes of stuff, so all we have to do is fill her SUV again and be on our way, I think.

So she's goin' on and makin' me uncomfortable with all her thanks and praise for my work on her behalf. And that's when she gets another phone call. This one is a doozy, too.

Seems a Dallas P.D. Occifer, let's call him Occifer Smith, has arrived on the scene of the breakdown and is having the U-haul towed away. My friend gets Occifer Smith on the phone and tries to explain that U-haul is sending a tow truck. Occifer Smith says, “NO, can't do it, has to be towed right now.” He then tells her she can get the truck out of impound for $350.

Needless to say, this is VERY upsetting to my friend. If the truck had been empty, if would merely have been an expensive hassle. But the truck was FULL of most of the stuff she needed for her new place! Plus, the U-haul tow truck was NOWHERE to be seen, so how would she get the U-haul and its contents to her new loft?

As she was talking with Occifer Smith she asked for his full name and badge number. He began to get rather snippy with her. But her did give her his last name, badge number and the incident report number. However, he also asked for her name a second time. And the spelling of her last name.

Then he asked the questions that set off the alarm bells for me. “Are you Hispanic, too?” [Matteo had hired two relatives to help him with the move.] “What's your DOB?” “What's your address?” Oh, those questions and his parting shot of, “Well, because you asked so many questions, I'm going to change this from an Incident report to a CASE report!” So, all you LEO-types...time to file a complaint?

My friend asked Matteo what wrecker service was towing the U-Haul. Turns out it was the same service she uses when she has to have a car towed for parking illegally on the property she manages in Dallas. She called, talked to the dispatcher/owner, paid the $350 impound fee by phone with a credit card and arranged to have the service tow it to her new place of abode. YEAH! We're back on our original plan! About 5 hours late, but back to the plan.

When she and I got down there, the wrecker driver explained why he didn't try to get the truck any closer than he did. Angles and downslopes and loads shifting were all I heard. I also heard him say something about a Jerk, middle-aged Cop and a younger, nice enough cop that wasn't allowed to talk much. BUt, then everbody got to work, everything got unloaded and we all went home, well except for my friend, she WAS home, her NEW home.

What's important is that she's all moved into her NEW place. A home of her OWN; a place to start over. I hope this move being so awful is analogous to a bad dress rehearsal insuring a long and successful run of a show. I want her this new phase of her life to be filled with happiness, success, love and laughter.


g bro said...

Ladies, I am SOOO sorry for all your trouble. It makes my complaining about our recent (temporary) move seem childish and trivial.

Here's to things looking better from here!

phlegmfatale said...

Thank you for being the kindest and best of women, Hols. Love you.

phlegmfatale said...

g bro - and the severity of someone else's situation doesn't negate the trials of your own. :)

J.R.Shirley said...

Will U-Haul reimburse the price of the tow?

Also, will there be a follow-up re Officer Asshole?

Christina LMT said...

Holly, you ARE a true and excellent friend. Holly's Friend, I'm so sorry the move was so stressful and exasperating, and I want to add that Officer Smith doesn't know what (or WHO) is about to hit him...

CBL said...

You really are the best, Holly. Tell your friend I send good wishes and hope she gets her money back from u-haul. A bad start actually is the test of life's endurance. She sounds like a strong woman and she'll be just fine.

Lin said...

Holly, you are a rare gem. I wouldn't have survived our move without friends like you either so I know!

HollyB said...

Well, y'all can stop pattin' me on the back. I was just passin on some good karma that had been given to me years and years ago.

My Friend was the one going through a truly terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
I was just lending moral(e) support

And yes, John, as soon as I hear what she hears from the Dallas PO-leece about Officer NOT Friendly; I'll pass it along.