Sunday, September 21, 2014

Extracted from FedEx

Stupd FedEx.

I stayed in my little square all day on Wednesday. We didn’t leave until finally, at 8, I decided I was starving, so we took a walk to find some food, and a bit of booze.

As I walked out I found a note on the door that FedEx had come and gone, taking my bed with it. This pissed me off to no end since I was in the apartment all day. After getting some food, and drink, I called them back.

They promised, super fingers crossed and everything that they would totally call me the next day when they came to my apartment. I stayed in my apartment all day Thursday waiting for them, only to have a repeat of the previous day. I was extra pissed.

So I called them the next morning.

“Hi, I would like to know when my package is going to be delivered.”

“Sometime between 8am and 8pm.”

“That is not going to work for me. I want to know exactly when it is getting here, because I just moved in and I need to do other things that sit here all day.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t know where your package is. You’re just going to have to wait.”

“No, see, that is not going to work. I want you to call and find out where my package is.”

“I can’t call. It’s out for delivery so there is no way to know.”

“I call bullshit.”

“Excuse me?” The FedEx operator was very unhappy with me at this point.

“You have computers, you have a full network, and I actually know how this works. All your trucks have trackers so you can call it up in your computer and find out where it is.”

“I can’t do that.”

“You are going to do that. Because you can do that. You can find out where the carrier is, what truck it is scheduled into and you are going to find that out, call them, and make sure they call me.”

“I can’t do that.”

“Yes, you can, because I am not going to spend a third day being held hostage by FedEx.”

“But I can’t.”


And interestingly enough, she put me on hold.

And she tried.

About five minutes of hold later she came back on.

“Okay, I found the truck and the carrier, he hasn’t left the facility and won’t until at least three. And I gave him your phone number and made sure he knows that he need to call you when he gets there.”

“What is his number?”

“That I did not get, but I promise they will call.”

And, sure enough, they did, and fortunately I was able to ge the things I needed. On Friday I also had all the Ikea stuff show up, so between yelling at FedEx (always my favorite) and that I had a lot to do on Friday.

Roughly 18 hours later I had an apartment full of furniture, several dozen bruises, a bed, pillows, a dog, a wardrobe, and a phone. A few days later I would also managed to get internet, and finally be about as moved in as I could possibly get. Which worked. Work was starting, and all of the rest of my nerves were coming back.

As moves go, though, this was perhaps both the most and least eventful.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Down the Rabbit Hole

For my first few days in New York I was locked in my apartment by FedEx. They took me hostage and would not allow me to go anywhere.

I wish I was making this up, but the reality is that it was true. I arrived in New York flying first class, because the cost of an upgrade to first class was much, much lower than shipping things. Having moved across the ocean in suitcases more times than I cared to think about, I knew that I would need the suitcase room. But unlike with flying overseas, the US has rather draconian limits on what you can fly with.

Unless you fly first class. Then you can get three bags that weigh 70lbs each. That was all I needed to make it to NYC, that and a small dog who was very happy to fly first class with me and seemed to do pretty well with the rather short flight to NYC. The flight was pleasant. New York, when I landed was warm and breezy, rather unlike Chicago.

Tino and I headed down to our hotel in Manhattan, because I knew that there would be not furniture and nothing in my apartment until the next day. The hotel, sadly, was not dog friendly. Tino, fortunately, fits completely in my backpack and was happy to hang out and not move about until I was checked in and got him into a room. While he was being very good, it did put me in the position of not being able to openly walk him about, and his protest was to lay in bed for the next 17 hours until we finally left and he was able to get a proper walk.

Renting in New York had been a minor hassle but one I managed to come out on top with. Aside from the fact that most people wanted salary confirmation, paychecks, and old tax returns, they also wanted to be able to talk to previous landlords. This, needless to say, made me worried about renting but I finally found a very nice young realtor that was very interested in renting to me, and willing to work with me and wave most of the bullshit. Of course, the challenge then was wondering if this wasn’t actually too good to be true. I’ve read enough to know there are actually rental scams in New York (and in fact managed to avoid one of them in my rental hunt) but this particularly nice relator did seem to be legit.

Of course, the proof would bear out when I showed up at the building I was theoretically living in to move in.

We got there early, since the monkey could not be walked around the hotel. Me with my three suitcases, one carryon, backpack, and the dog. We were on the street, outside a nice building that I had no keys to get in. I messaged a realtor who was unresponsive. I walked the dog, but not far out of sight of my bags, and kept looking around, texting my realtor and waiting. Finally I sent a quick email to my landlord and hoped for the best.

Then I saw a gent walking not one, not two, but 6 pitbulls down the street. The dogs spotted Tino. Tino spotted the dogs. His interest was friendly. Theirs was lunch. As a note, I like pitbulls, but I prefer that they not eat my dog. So, without thinking I started ringing buzzers til someone answered.


“Hi, I’m supposed to move in today, but I’m having a little trouble getting hold of the realtor and I don’t have a key.”

“Yeah, okay.”

Sort of surprised that worked, I moved the dog, all my bags, and stuff insde and hit the elevator to get up to my new place. True to form, the relator had left the door open and we were able to get into the apartment. I was rather pleased to find that the place was exactly as pictured. A gigantic square studio (500+ square feet) with windows designed for crossflow, new appliances, a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, shiny bathtub and not much else.

Tino ran about and we both agreed this was pretty much exactly what we wanted.

Despite all the randomness, we had moved to New York. And now I had an empty apartment and a wait for FedEx.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

And then life happened...


My life changes fast, with the sort of rapidity that even I couldn't figure out, In the end, I moved to New York.

And so, now, here I am in New York.

That is the thing. A few weeks ago I was going on a pie-in-the-sky, shot-in-the-dark interview that might well have not panned out. It was interesting, the job, and I had to admit that after the interview I wanted it, but the thought of actually getting it seemed elusive at best.

In Guatemala I got the call.

Within a few days I was literally looking to rent in New York and move.

A few days from that, I had moved. So here we are.

The job is good. Travel is good.

Life is…interesting as always.

There are so many things in my head I’m not sure what exactly I want to write about or to say yet. It’s all been so fast. I miss Chicago, I love Chicago, but I needed to not be in Chicago.

A friend of mine, who has met a lot of Chicagoians elsewhere once said “The thing about people from Chicago is that they are always so loyal to Chicago, they love it like nowhere else, and they will always talk about how it is where they are from. But they seem to love it best when they are not there.”

I don’t think I can argue too much with that.

Here it is, New York.

A thing that is old, and now new again. A good thing. A fast thing, a strange thing.

Settling has been unsettling, but gods, I must say, I feel more myself than I have in a year. Not just the job, which I love to the end of the earth, but everything.