By half past eight, Christophe, the movers’ team leader, had returned with the mobile lift. While his colleague set it up under the balcony of my new first floor apartment, he started shoving my living room furniture through the front window. Outside it was collected by the two other men who carried it 50 metres up the road, where they deposited it on the loading platform of the lift. At the top of the lift, the forth man hauled all the stuff inside the new apartment by the large sliding glass doors.
In the meantime, I was running around, packing – what I thought being - the last cases. I was so busy that I hardly heard or saw my friend come in. It had taken him 90 minutes to cover a distance of less than 40 km, because of the road accident that had caused a gigantic traffic jam. I felt happy and relieved to see him and immediately put him to work removing the lighting fixtures in the kitchen and the living room.
Shortly before ten o’clock I walked over to the new apartment to see whether the guy who was unloading my stuff needed any instructions about where to put everything. I was followed by the two ‘exterior’ men who were carrying my mattress, which had been rolled up and firmly taped in the shape of a gigantic white sausage. They put it on the loading platform. While I was walking up the stairs, the lift slowly moved my mattress to a level about 4 metres above the ground. By the time I reached the first floor, the mattress was still sitting there, precariously balancing on the platform, for all to see.
My mattress, laundry basket, bookcase and other stuff on display for all to see.
I'm surprised nobody stopped thinking that it was a garage sale!
The mover who was supposed to unload it was nowhere to be seen. I decided to wait for him and ask him whether he needed any help. I waited, and waited, and waited … 15 minutes later I decided to return to the old apartment to find out what was keeping him. I found all four of the men once again snugly drinking coffee and eating sandwiches in the cabin of their truck. They were on their morning coffee break, which lasted … half an hour. All the time my mattress was wobbling 4 metres over the main road for all passers-by to see.
I tried to remain calm and returned to packing some more cases. It was well over half past ten when I decided it was time to move on. So I casually stepped outside, hands in pockets, and kindly asked: “Do you think the job will be finished by noon?” The four men looked at me, eyes wide open, until one of them beamingly smiled: “Of course, little lady. Don’t worry. Every thing will be fine.” Although I had the feeling that my question had annoyed them, it also had the positive effect of setting them back to work.
Half an hour later, Christophe came to find me in my former bathroom, where I was still … packing more cases. “Could you come over to the other side and please tell us where put your furniture. From that point on, everything went surprisingly fast. I stood in the middle of the living room giving instructions. It doesn’t happen very often that I have four (five, my friend included) men at my beg and call!
At half past eleven Christophe handed me the work order, stating that the work was finished. I signed it and 15 minutes later, the lift, the truck, the ‘no parking signs’ and the four men were gone … off to their next assignment.
More to come …