Tomorrow Is Delivery Day. Hoo Ray! Hoo Ray!

So I thought I’d let you know what’s happened.

Got an email from M* this morning:

Richard:
I just spoke to (Driver No. 2) and begged him to let it go through with the check you have for him. Due to circumstances, that we were unaware of, that (Driver No. 2) had recently with another man of God (we are not able to discuss it with you, but you could ask (Driver No. 2) yourself) (Driver No. 2) is leery of everyone.  This in no way is a reflection on you, but he wants a certified check.  
Thank you, and remember, this will be over with shortly.

M*

So, ’bout half an hour later, I responded with:

M* –
I have a bank draft ready for him in the amount that (Driver No. 1) gave me (which, having pulled the draft from the safe and checked it) is exactly the amount that (Driver No. 2) gave me on yesterday. The bank draft has been ready since Friday, August 11th, because (Driver No. 1) had told me everything would arrive in 14 days – or I would be contacted about the problem. It is in bank draft form, rather than certified cheque, because when I asked (Driver No. 1) if a certified cheque would be acceptable, he told me that a bank draft would be better. So I got a bank draft.

I am prepared to hand the draft over to (Driver No. 2) when my shipment is delivered. I am not prepared to hand it to him while my shipment remains in his truck, because what you and I contracted for – delivery – is not yet completed.
Heavens above – I’m ready to hand the draft to him when *half* the load is transferred, as a sign of good faith on my part.
I need some sign of good faith from you guys. (Driver No. 2) may be leery of everybody right now – but, right now, I have every right to be leery, as well. I’ve paid a depost, I’ve got the draft ready, I’ve waited well over the “14 to 20 days”, my shipment sat in a shipyard when it could have been moving, I’ve been given a different “probable” date of delivery every time I talk with (Driver No. 2)… and now I’m expected to hand over another $7800 while my load is locked up in the back of a truck?
I  recognize that there have been problems that have slowed (Driver No. 2) down. Until yesterday, I was prepared to accept those problems as the simple reality of moving across a country – except for (Driver No. 1)’s decision to leave the load sit for two weeks, rather than let somebody know so it could get moving. That changed when I found out that I was expected to pay the full amount *before* the job was done. At that point, I lost any remaining patience I had with (Driver No. 2), you, A**C***M***, or A****.
Like I said, I need some sign of good faith from you guys.
",1] ); //-->

Richard

After I sent the email, I continued to think about the situation. I wish there were some kind of acceptable escrow agent that we could use tomorrow, but I can't think of any that would be acceptable to both of us.

So... I'll sit and chat with (Driver No. 2). I'll empathize with his leeryness. I'll try to get him to understand mine. But, if, in the end, the only way that I can get our furniture in the house is to pay him, I'll probably have to do that.

So, I've got a receipt for him to sign - adding his name and contact information::

Prior to moving Richard Bott's household shipment from my transport into the residence located at 12101 Dunbar Street, Maple Ridge, BC, as agent of A**C**M**, I received from the Rev. Dr. Bott a bank draft in the amount of:

$7781.20 (seven thousand, seven hundred eighty-one dollars and twenty cents)

drawn on The Royal Bank of Canada (Maple Ridge, BC), made out to “A**C**M**”.

At my demand, the Rev. Dr. Bott gave over the draft before ascertaining the security of, completeness of, or any damage to, his shipment.

We'll see what happens.

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Things *may* be looking up.

So – the moving saga continues.

From M*, in response to my last missive:

Richard,
To reply to your email dated August 21, 2006, I do agree that some sort of compensation should be made to you for the delay in delivering your household times, by (Driver No. 1), the mover.  However, (Driver No. 1) has been our mover for years as well as (Driver No. 2) and this sort of thing has never happened prior to this incident.  There were delays in breakdowns and inclimate weather, but why they did not tell me, is beyond me. I will keep in touch in order to get you satisfied with the delivery of your household goods.  Again, I apologize for this convenience.

M*
A**** Moving Company
My next email:

 

 

M*,
Thank you for your e-mail.
Sadly, there was no satisfaction in reading it.
I have repeatedly asked for an explanation of what happened to my household belongings between July 31st and August 14th, and am still waiting for a detailed explanation. “Delays in breakdowns and inclimate weather” does not tell me where and when and – if the shipment made it partially across the country, why it was in a shipyard in Toronto when Mike called me on August 14th to let me know that he was taking over the delivery. I want to know under what conditions the shipment was left, where and when, and what security precautions were taken to maintain its integrity. I also find it surprising that you are naming “delays in breakdowns and inclimate weather” when (Driver No. 2) spoke with me on August 14th, he clearly told me that (Driver No. 1) had had “insurance issues”.
As I said in my last email, “I continue to be concerned about the status of our shipment between July 31st and August 14th. With no way of knowing where our belongings were and who had access to them, and with no manifest, we will need to make sure that everything that left St. Marys arrives in our new home in Maple Ridge. Have you been able to find out anything about our shipment during that time, and are you prepared to make assurances about its safety and completeness?”
I am still waiting for your response.
I have repeatedly asked for a firm delivery date – again with no response. When (Driver No. 2) talked with me on August 14th we were looking “around a week”. That puts it “around” today. Around, from my perspective, means yesterday, today, or tomorrow. When I talked with (Drive No. 2) last night he said, “probably Friday”. “Around” and “probably” are not firm dates. (Driver No. 2) tells me that he is having problems making a delivery. Great. While he’s having problems, he’s more than welcome to make the trip to Maple Ridge. I can assure him that he won’t have any problem making my delivery. As long as I have a few hours notice, I can be at the house at any time.
For the moment, I am holding the idea of compensation and/or penalty as a continuing possibility, depending on: a) how quickly and completely you respond to my concerns; and, b) on how quickly and completely my shipment gets from wherever it is right now into our home in Maple Ridge.
I am sorry that your drivers have put you in this bind; but, by accepting my deposit, it was A**** that took responsibility for getting my shipment here. It is your responsibility to get this situation cleared up.
Apologies are nice… but what needs to happen at this time is right action.
I look forward to hearing your response, by e-mail.
Richard

I then had to prompt M* with a couple of “I haven’t heard from you yet” emails.

Last night, I called (Driver No. 2), wanting an update on his arrival. Had to leave a message on his answering maching. No response.

This morning, I called A*****. Chatted with S*, the receptionist, who put me in contact with M*, who was doing everything he could to get in contact with (Driver No. 2), so that said driver would be in contact with me, to let me know his arrival time.

After a couple of check-ins with M*, I finally find out that (Driver No. 2) will be arriving Friday or Saturday. When (Driver No. 2) finally calls me back, I find out that he’s “aiming for Saturday morning”. After a great deal of pressing from me, he agrees that the delivery will be made no later than Saturday. Woo-freakin’-hoo. *sigh*

So, I’ve got a firm date.

(Driver No. 2) wants to make sure that I’ve got his pay all ready, so he quotes me the amount that the draft needs to be made out for. The draft, which I got on the basis of (Driver No. 1)’s information, is locked in a safe in Maple Ridge, so I have no idea what the amount is. I assure (Driver No. 2) that I will have a completed draft in the correct amount, all ready to give him once the shipment is in my house.

“No, sir. The doors stay locked until the money order is handed over,” says (Driver No. 2).

My response? A frustrated (or maybe even a downright angry) – “My shipment has sat somewhere for two weeks, been moved from one truck to another, been delayed and delayed and delayed… and I’m supposed to hand over $7800 sight unseen? You’ll get paid when I receive my shipment.”

“The truck doesn’t get opened until I receive the money order.”

“Fine. Whatever. We’ll deal with it on Saturday morning.

And I hung up.

And I promptly called M*, to rip a strip of hide off of him.’

M* wants my assurance that (Driver No. 2) will be paid. “(Driver No. 2) will be paid when I receive my shipment. I have no intention of keeping his pay from him. If there is damage, or something missing, he will have to sign for it, and I will fill out a claim form… but he will get paid. However, with everything that has happened, I’m not prepared to hand over another $7800 while your company is holding my furniture and household.”

M* apologized, said he would be in contact with (Driver No. 2), told me that I could pay (Driver No. 2) after the load had been put into the house, and agreed to send all of this to me in a confirming e-mail.

Haven’t seen the e-mail.

Haven’t heard from anybody.

But, man-oh-man… our stuff had better be here on Saturday.

  

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General Council

has met this past week.

And all I’ve been doing on my blog is complainig about my move.

I am impressed with much of what happened at GC39 – at least, what I could tell from the reports at www.united-church.ca

A moment of wonder and joy… the minister who is currently at my home charge – one of the two people I consider to be the ministry personnel ‘mentors’ who helped me discern my call to ordered ministry – was chosen by the court as Moderator of The United Church of Canada. The Right Rev. David Giuliano.

I am glad. He is truly the right person for this ministry right now.

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The Moving Saga. Yet Another Part

Didn’t hear back from M* on Friday.

Tried to call the driver tonight – the toll free number he gave me doesn’t work in this area code.

Called the office number for the moving company – 8:30pm PST. M* had forwarded calls to his home… so I woke up him and his wife at 11:30pm EST. I am apologetic. All I wanted to do was to leave a message asking for a working contact number for the driver.

Talked with the driver.

Wrote the following email to M* after talking to the driver. And after walking around the empty manse doing everthing I could to “bless my ‘enemies’, rather than curse them”.

Its getting harder to do. Rowan isn’t sleeping well. Shannon isn’t sleeping well. Jan isn’t sleeping well. And, suffice it to say, I’m not sleeping well, either.

Next time a big company – like Allied – is going to get my business. And I’m going to write a firm delivery date into the contract. Never again will I let this happen to my family.

And, yeah, I am angry with myself for having screwed this one up. *sigh*

M*–

Please apologize to your wife on my behalf. I called A****office number believing that I would get an answering machine. I think I was as surprised as she was to hear a real voice at what was 11:30pm your time.

Thank you for (Driver No. 2)’s number. I was able to be in contact with him this evening. Sadly, his response to my question about his date of delivery was far from my expectations. He told me that it would “probably be Friday”. He was having difficulties delivering a shipment, and had two others to pick up.

I dislike being blunt, but M*, Friday is completely unacceptable. Anything later than Wednesday is unacceptable. I recognize that both you and your driver need to make a living. Having said that, my family needs to be able to move into our house. We will be unable to do that until (Driver No. 2) arrives with our belongings. Waiting will necessitate a continuing financial and familial burden, something that is getting more difficult with each passing day.

What can we – you and me and (Driver No. 2) – do to move our delivery date forward? Will it be necessary for me to threaten some kind of penalty for each day we are waiting after today, Sunday, August 20th, 2006 (the 20th day following pickup and “the longest amount of time” I would be waiting for delivery, according to your first driver) – or is there some other way that you can suggest to move everything faster?

In my last email I wrote, “I would suggest to you that, because of the error of a driver chosen by A*****– even more, by his not letting you or to me know that there was a problem, even though I talked with him by cell phone three times between August 1st and August 14th (the last time on Friday, August 11th) – that my shipment now needs to be A*****Moving Company’s priority delivery.” My family should not be penalized because of your driver’s mistakes. If he had been in contact with one of us when the problem arose, we could have dealt with it then – and I could have been out of your hair by this time, my belongings happily sitting in my home and your company paid for its work.

I continue to be concerned about the status of our shipment between July 31st and August 14th. With no way of knowing where our belongings were and who had access to them, and with no manifest, we will need to make sure that everything that left St. Marys arrives in our new home in Maple Ridge. Have you been able to find out anything about our shipment during that time, and are you prepared to make assurances about its safety and completeness?

While you are welcome to contact me on my cell phone (604.***.****) to discuss this, I would ask for your response by e-mail, as well.

Richard

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Worserer And Worserer said Alice

Well… actually, I said it. Sorry, Alice.

The moving saga continues.

I talked with the moving company on Tuesday. The owner said that he had just heard about the problem and had left a message for the driver – as soon as he heard back, he’d call.

Yesterday I called back, wondering what was happening.

Today I called back, chatted with the receptionist, asking her to talk with M* and get him to e-mail me with the info.

Without any names being mentioned, here are the emails. Read ’em and weep.

Richard:

Just spoke to (Driver No.2). He has just left Toronto and is heading towards you. Sorry for the delay.

M*

My response:

Hello, M*…

By “just left Toronto”, do you mean (Driver No. 2) just left today (Thursday, August 17)?

When I talked with him on Monday – August 14 – he told me that he was going to be loading up and leaving on Tuesday. After that conversation with him, I was led to believe that I could expect my furniture to be delivered on August 22nd – which is already three days past the “longest amount of time you will be waiting for delivery” estimate that your first driver gave me. It is also at least 10 days past the “if delivery is going to be longer than 14 days, you will be contacted” statement that he made.

I am still expecting that my furniture will be delivered on August 22nd.

At this point, I need to have a firm delivery date from A**** Moving.

I would appreciate your response, by email, prior to the end of this business day.

Richard

His response – a few hours later:

Richard,

Apparently (Driver No. 2) is further than we thought and is up around in northern Ontario heading west. He has dropoffs in Alberta and will then be to your house. Again, we apologize for this delay. It is unfortunate for what has happened and this is not our typical service. Please contact (Driver No. 2) early next week for his update if you do not hear from us.

M*

My response – ’bout an hour later:

M* –

I recognize that you are sorry that this has happened, and that it is not A*** regular service. I’m glad that this doesn’t happen very often. Unfortunately, it has happened to me and my family.

While I don’t usually find getting angry particularly helpful, I’m beginning to hit that point. In my last email, I asked for specific information, but was given no answer.

Northern Ontario is a big place. I know. I grew up there. If (Driver No. 2) has reached Marathon, Ontario, then, following the speed limits and Transport Canada’s Commercial driving rules, he won’t make Calgary (a distance of 2,318km) for 2.5 to 3 days. That’s Sunday, Aug. 20th. When we were arranging pickup of our household, you let me know that the loading couldn’t happen on Sunday, so I’m assuming that deliveries probably can’t happen on Sunday, either. Let me know if that assumption is incorrect.

Assuming that he can’t make deliveries on Sunday, I must then assume all of them will be completed on Monday, Aug. 21st. Let me know if this assumption is incorrect.

Calgary to Maple Ridge is a distance of 937km. Following the speed limits and Transport Canada’s Commercial driving rules, he should be able to make it to Maple Ridge in one day – late on Tuesday, Aug. 22nd. Let me know if this assumption is incorrect.

Based on these assumptions, unloading will happen during the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 22nd, or during the morning of Wed. Aug. 23rd. Let me know if this EXPECTATION is incorrect.

I accept your apologies, and I thank you for them. But, at this point, I need more than apologies. I need to hear from A*** Moving:

a) a firm delivery date; and,

b) information about what happened to my shipment between July 31st and August 14th.

I would suggest to you that, because of the error of a driver chosen by A**** – even more, by his not letting you or to me know that there was a problem, even though I talked with him by cell phone three times between August 1st and August 14th (the last time on Friday, August 11th) – that my shipment now needs to be your company’s priority delivery.

Again, I would like your response, by e-mail, prior to the end of this business day.

Richard

Haven’t heard back… and its 6:50pm in Ontario. *sigh*

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More Update

So. I left you hanging on Day 5.

Let’s see – it was so long ago… but I seem to remember staying in Calgary that night. The next morning, to stretch our legs, we went to the Calgary (’88) Olympic Park. It was a great walk… right up beside the bloomin’ bobsled run! Then we stood at the top of the ski jump – wow!

Then it was a drive to – ok – I forgot where we stayed… but, basically, it was somewhere in the mountains.

Finally, we drove on to Maple Ridge, dropped off some stuff at the manse, and then headed in to Vancouver to see Shannon, Rowan and Jan.

Gwen – that wonderful co-pilot of mine – stayed with us for a day, visited with some friends, and then flew back to London. I hope she’s doing well. (If she’s reading this, she’s more than welcome to email me and LET ME KNOW!)

The first week at St. Andrew’s has included some finishing work at the manse. The congregation did a great job of getting most of the big painting jobs done. Shannon and Jan painted the primary bedroom and the trim, and I painted the floor in the family room. We’ve done lots of cleaning and window washing… and are now waiting for the furniture to arrive.

Yeah.

Waiting.

There’s a story.

So… today is the two week mark (fourteen days) from when the furniture left St. Marys. I was told by the driver that it would take 14 days to get from point A – St. Marys – to point B – Maple Ridge… and that if it would be longer or shorter, I would be contacted.

This morning, being the 14 day mark – oh, did I already mention that? – I called the shipper. The shipper called the driver. The driver called another driver and asked him  if he would deliver the load because of some problems with his truck. The new driver contacted me to let me know that he would be driving the load, which was currently in his shipyard.
“Great,” says I, “Where’s your yard – Calgary? Vancouver?”

“Toronto.”

Our household has been sitting in a yard in Toronto for the past two weeks, and no one called to let me know there was a problem.

So – how long, dear reader, will it take for our household belongings to arrive? “Oh, at the very least another week”, says New Driver.

My response – “Ah…. ooookay… look I’d like an update when you hit Calgary, ok? And maybe a couple between T.O. and Calgary would be nice.” I got to thinking… maybe I should have asked him to check in with every United Church along his route, so I could get an update from my colleagues.

Don’t get me wrong – I like staying with Jan. She’s wonderful!

But until we move into our home, I’m not going to be in the least grounded.

Things aren’t going to feel real.

I’m just going to feel like I’m “filling in”.

The congregation has been great. I’ll write about yesterday’s worship in a while.

Right now, I need to go and fume. (No, there’s no accent on that word. The only smoking that’ll be going on is from the heat under my collar.)

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Travelling Update

Its been a long – but relatively productive few days on the road.

Quick background – Shannon and Rowan are at camp this week, while I drive our car to our new home in Maple Ridge, BC.

One of our closest friends, Gwen, who really wanted to see Canada, offered to be co-pilot of the Honda Civic, so we’ve slowly been making our way across the country. Sadly, until last night, I couldn’t find an open wifi spot – so I’m updating today.

Day 1 – in St. Marys, Ontario

The day starts early, with Richard doing last minute packing of the household before the movers arrive. They are supposed to be here at 8am.

At 8am, Richard calls Honda, because the car he was supposed to be driving (which had a pile of work done to it by the dealership last week) is no longer working. Honda sends a truck. It seems that one of the angle shafts (which they installed last week) has popped. A new one will be needed. Because its their mistake, they’ve made the Civic a priority.

At 10am the movers roll in. (Misread the distance between T.O. and St. Marys, I guess. They then spend until 6pm packing. O.k. – look – we really don’t have that much stuff… and I had been told four hours, max. Fortunately, the car isn’t ready, so I can’t get on the road for our planned start of 1pm.

At 6pm, I drop the cable modem and box off to Rodgers – one minute before they stop accepting such things for the day.

At 7pm, I show up at Gwen’s, in London… and we start driving.

We pass Kitchener. Guelph. Toronto. Barrie… and stop in Perry Sound.

Day 2 – Perry Sound, Ontario

On the road for a beautiful day through mid and northern Ontario, Gwen and I stop for a bit in Sault Ste. Marie, to pick up my father’s day book from my uncle. After a quick stop for supper in Wawa (with requisite pictures of the goose), we travel the last few hours and arrive in Marathon at 10:30pm.

My Rodgers cell phone has stopped being able to access service. It won’t roam onto another network. I’m getting bloomin’ frustrated.

Day 3 – Marathon, Ontario

We stayed at Mom & Dad’s for the night, up and on the road around 9am. (With a quick break at Pebble Beach.) Normally, the drive to Thunder Bay takes four hours. Construction means that it takes 5 1/2. We stop around Dorion for a walkabout (and so Gwen can pick up a beautiful piece of Amethyst) and make our way to Thunder Bay.

Desperately needing a good stretch, we spend an hour and a half walking Old Fort William… have a grand supper… and drive three more hours to Dryden.

Day Four – Dryden, ON

It is a beautiful day – much cooler than we’ve been having in St. Marys. This is a full day of driving, but we’ve also needed to get out of the car. Arriving in Winnipeg, MB around noon, we drive down to the forks of the river. There we wander the market, walk down the forks, see the “Golden Boy” (on the top of the Legislature buildings), and have lunch. At 3pm we hit the road again, and drive into the sunset (well, actually, into the wildest storm I’ve ever seen!) as we head into Regina, SK. We arrived there at 8:30pm (local time)… so we decide to get supper and see “Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest”, rather than sit in our respective second story motel rooms with the wind and hail slamming down on us.

It is now the morning of Day 5.

Shannon and Rowan arrive in Abbotsford on Saturday afternoon. There is no way that I’m going to be there in time to meet them. Thank goodness that Jan is able to go and get them.

Think about us. We’ve only got most of Saskatchewan, all of Alberta, and the mountains of British Columbia left to drive.

Beautiful, but long.

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