Curbed Horror Stories are firsthand reader reports about terrible NYC experiences past and present. Today, for our Rookie Roosts 2012 Moving Power Hour, we're featuring a moving horror story shared with us by a reader.
"My roommate and I were moving from Bed-Stuy Brooklyn to Lenox Hill in Manhattan on short notice. We'd hired a semi-official moving company that advertised on Craigslist and received fairly positive reviews on Yelp that I later came to believe were just planted there by the movers themselves to generate credibility. I was up all night packing, so thought I was just being cranky at the movers' high-energy enthusiasm when they arrived at 6am to get started.
"Are you guys pumped to get moving!? We are going to have a great move today!"
Ok, I guess enthusiasm beats indolence when you're paying a crew of four guys by the hour to move all of your stuff across the city. Still, it was 6am and we had movers shouting their enthusiasm, which I doubt my neighbors in the brownstone walkup I was leaving appreciated. They were not early morning-type neighbors; just the opposite to be exact, which is why we were leaving. If alienating my neighbors inside the building wasn't enough, the movers began to communicate to each other by shouting out through an opened apartment window down to the guy waiting by the truck below. This would have been bad if it had been all talk about how many boxes were coming down, but one of the guys felt it necessary to include color commentary like,
"You guys are moving to Manhattan?! That's awesome! I bet you can't wait to get out of this sh7*%#le neighborhood!"
For the record, I loved living in Bed-Stuy, but I was getting anxious to leave in a hurry before a mob gathered on my block and gave me the bum's rush out of Brooklyn.
By the time I met up with our movers in Manhattan (I'd ridden my bike over to save space in the truck), their enthusiasm had morphed into a quiet furtiveness that displayed itself by them halting whatever work they were doing when I got within two stair landings of them on the way up and down to our 4th floor walk-up. Via some small talk back in Brooklyn, I had learned that a few of the guys were film students.
It began to dawn on me in Manhattan, however, that they'd brought along a bunch of their equipment and were shooting scenes for a film during our move. And instead of just admitting the entirely obvious, they would attempt to lamely hide cameras, mics, and lights every time I ran into them coming in and out of the building and pretend like nothing unusual—other than moving all my belongings—was happening. They were better filmmakers than actors, I hope.
This explained why we were making such slow progress moving stuff from the truck into our new place—so slow that I had started carrying stuff upstairs myself in order to cut down on what it was going to cost us (we were paying them by the hour, remember). Eventually I had to go to work though, and I was too tired to argue with them. Plus, like arguing with a waiter who handles your food, I don't think it's a good idea to argue with the guys who are carrying your valuables and/or breakables.
In the course of unpacking over the next week, I realized that a few large items had not made it from Brooklyn to Manhattan. I don't know if they were stolen off the back off an unattended truck while our movers were playing L'il Orson Welles or they just failed to unload them when it became clear that they weren't going to receive any sort of tip for being terrible at their jobs. Either way, it may be the rare time when a filmmaker manqué is best advised to 'Quit your day job, because you suck at it.'"