moving etiquette

The time has come for Ashley and I to end our time at the University Village. We have found a place in Culver City that we are totally crazy about, and we hope we get it. I think we are finalists with another couple.

We are definitely excited to be moving into a 1st floor house (ish), with a private patio and cute garden. We'll have to box up our modest belongings and hope to be prepared for the movers. And by movers, I mean... friends and well wishers from church.

The very topic of "church move" sends cringes up a lot of people's spines. Many of you know horror stories about people expecting too much, not being ready... etc.

When it comes to asking for help in moving, I think there are three rules you must abide by:

1. There will be food. If it is an afternoon/evening move - you provide pizza. If it is a morning move, you provide donuts. These are non negotiable.

2. There will be boxes already boxed up. If you don't have your crap together, then I think the hired help have every right to turn around and leave you in your disorganized squalor.

3. There will be sweat. You will be working as hard, or harder than everyone else. If you, as the movee, aren't sweating and lifting your share of heavy stuff, then you are a loafer and a free-rider. I also ascribe to the believe that it does NOT suffice to appoint yourself onto the "I'll just make everything fit into the truck" committee. That is for people who are injured, have seasonal allergies, or are otherwise hampered by some physical/mental malady.

Rest assured - when we move there will be pizza. I'll give you more details as the date approaches. What are your rules for moving? Any horror stories you'd like to share?


companies that deserve your patronage

Back when I was in the business of selling shoes, I was told that an unhappy customer tells ten friends, but a happy customer only tells two friends. Classic scare tactic right? What's the message to a young, impressionable salesman like myself? Don't screw this up or an angry customer is going to take your promising career for an uncharted cruise to hell!

I've heard iterations of that statement expressed elsewhere so at this point I'm pretty much calling it a fact of human nature, much like "the person who cares the least, controls the most" in relationships, "can't teach an old dog new tricks," and my favorite, "men are from mars, women are from venus."

But seriously - what does it say about us - if we only regurgitate negativity and never spread the good word, especially about companies? Maybe that's why companies with wretched customer service stick around, and the good
guys get dumped on. Boy, isn't that a life lesson, nice guys
getting crapped on.

So in an effort to buck the trend, I wanted to do a quick PSA for a couple of companies that I've had outstanding service from. They deserve your patronage because they stick by their products, are attentive, and courteous.

And just to prove that I'm not all sunshine and rainbows I'll throw a few negative ones in there to show you how much fun smear campaigns can be.

Cat Eye
These guys make some of the best lights & accessories for bicycles. They are innovative in design and function. A while back I wrote to Cat Eye, telling them about some of my good experiences with their product. I also told them that I was having issues with a fastening device with one of the four lights I own, made by them. The man who responded was very nice, and asked for my address. He shipped me a replacement part, for free. What great service. The light was only 20 bucks - but still. They won my lifetime patronage right there.

RE Load Messenger Bags
One of the best makers of messenger bags around. Sturdy, custom made bags that can seriously fit anything your little heart desires in it. A while back, my comfy shoulder strap started fraying. I took a picture of it, and emailed the folks at RE Load. I told them of my problem, and asked what could be done. Without a second thought, they sent me a replacement strap at no charge. I had owned the bag for 4-5 months and had put it to good use. I was so pleased with their service, I swore myself to a tribute later on down the road. Definitely buy products from people who back their stuff up. It's good business, and good investing.

Contour Design
These guys make protective accessories for portable electronics. I bought a shield for my iPhone. After purchasing it, I found out that the slot to manuever the silence button was not wide enough. I emailed the company and informed them of this design malady. They told me they were fixing it, and would send me a new one when the redesign was out. They kept their word. Not only did they send me a new one, they overnight fed-exed it. For a $25 dollar item. Pretty sweet.

Bike Trailer Shop
This is an online mercantile that sells bicycle trailers and accessories. A little while ago I ordered a liner for my trailer, and a cargo net. I got a bungee cord, but no cargo net. When I called, instead of playing semantics (like I thought they might), they apologized for the oversight and sent me my cargo net the very next day. Thank you very much!

Companies that are in our dog house:

Ashley bought me a pair of their underwear - for athletic endeavors. The only problem is, they were made for women, clearly. Not anatomically smart at all. I wrote them a very thoughtful letter about how they could improve their garment, and If they needed some help I'd be glad to show them how men's supportive undergarments should fit. Ok, I didn't say that last part but I did give them valuable feedback. I never even recieved a peep from them. Thanks for nothing, literally.

Online flower merchant. Ashley used them to get flowers to her mother for Mother's day. They did not get to her on Mother's day. She paid for a service she did not get. When Ashley confronted them about it... all they offered was a stingy 20% discount. Lame.


Yes - We have bad luck with flowers ok? Don't rub it in. I ordered flowers for Ashley and they didn't include the thoughtful note I penned. Now the note is floating around in cyberspace - sentiments never delivered. How tragic.