It happens every year, thousands of military families around the world allow total strangers into their homes and trust that they will pack and move their belongings to their next home. This year, we happened to be at a small installation that sees huge yearly turn-overs. It was quite a sight to see the trucks all lined up outside our apartment building!
One neighbor had cases of water and a cooler of ice ready for her packers. She also had bread, cheese and cold cuts on hand for lunch. Another neighbor had plenty of burgers and brats from a local butcher, so he fired up his grill several times a day to feed not just his family, but his neighbors, his packers and any other packers and movers he could flag down. Thanks to him, we had lunch one day and dinner another!
We ALWAYS have water available. Sometimes, if we’re really organized, we’ll have sports drinks and/or sodas, too. We ALWAYS offer to provide lunch for our crew. There are at least three reasons for this:
- These people are handling our belongs and we’d like everything to get to the end in one piece.
- Karma, the golden rule, whatever you want to call it: treat others the way you want to be treated (see the above reason).
- If we go and get them lunch, we control how much time is taken for lunch. If they go off-site, there’s no telling when they’ll come back (it could be half an hour or it could be 3 hours!)
This might seem like common sense to most folks out there. But clearly, it needs to be said: Be nice to your movers! Why does it need to be said? Just this past week, I heard of a family that was moving out and they threw the golden rule out with the trash. Their crew showed up ready to work and were treated abysmally. They never offered the movers any food (if it was a budgetary issue, they could have offered peanut butter sandwiches) and told them to drink out of the hose in the yard if they got thirsty.
Please refer back to my bullet points above. I’m not sure I’d be too surprised if their belongings didn’t arrive in complete disarray or broken at the other end, or simply spread across some random interstate (not that any reputable company would ever do this – this is just what I would be tempted with had I been a member of this crew). Interestingly enough, the same crew showed up at my neighbor’s after finishing this first family. Despite the way they’d been treated for the past two days, they dived in to help her original crew finish packing her that day. She offered them bottles of water, at the very least.
Moving is a stressful time. We’ve all heard horror stories about moving. Let’s not BE one of them. Our packers and movers have a job to do that is often hot, sweaty (since we usually move in the middle of summer) and just plain hard work. Let’s not make it a totally thankless job, too. Saying thank you (and meaning it) costs nothing. Treating someone the way you expect to be treated is just common courtesy.
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