Because life is a series of edits

Mover for Hire (Minus the "Hire" Part)

In Thought on June 1, 2006 at 9:08 am

‘Tis the season for people moving – in and out. Learner and I just returned from helping yet another family move into their student apartment here on campus (after helping three different apartment neighbors move out last week). Fortunately, things ran smoothly and the whole process of unloading only took an hour and involved no stairs (always a good thing).

Learner remarked to me while we were “schlepping” (his word for “suffering while carrying something large”) a couch how interesting the whole moving phenomenon is. Referencing his own move-in last summer, Learner said that if he somehow had power over society to exercise some kind of worldwide cultural change, he would make it so that if/when people move, they leave all their basic stuff (big furniture, etc.) and just make do with the stuff left by someone else where they are moving to.

This, Learner said, would solve a lot of moving hassles (not to mention put the moving industry – rental trucks, storage units, etc., which Learner thinks is nothing but a price-gouge and should be criminally prosecuted – out of business). Of course, there would be other complications that would arise from this new model of migration, as people moving would not just be looking for a particular house or apartment, but also considering what is left in it. I laughed at him and his thinking, but in a way he makes sense (granted, perhaps in a parallel universe, which is where he usually is most of the time anyway).

Other observations Learner made this morning: people are insecure about having other people view and handle their things, especially if they have just met those helping them move; people moving always think (and say repeatedly) that they have way too much stuff, but no one has any real plans to do anything about it after it’s stuffed into their new living space; the five or six seminary students who show up with a smile on their faces are really not THAT excited to spend an hour or three schlepping boxes (these looks are the same ones reserved for when they meet with a professor for their end-of-semester oral exam); jokes and other attempts at humor during the moving process tend to be barely a step above your average 10-year-old’s and should be left to the professionals (i.e. late-night comedians and politicians).

Learner’s top ten rules for helping seminary students move are:

1) Always let the husband handle the boxes marked “fragile”.

2) Never comment on how you think the move is going, particularly in relation to a previous moving experience (the people who are moving will feel insecure if they feel they’re being compared to another move).

3) Don’t shy away from the big stuff – somebody’s got to get it and it might as well be you.

4) Don’t shy away from the little stuff – same reason.

5) Do your best to honor whatever markings are on the boxes as to where they go (just throwing stuff in the first room you come to eventually blocks the path and doesn’t serve the new residents well when they go to unload).

6) Let the seminary student who is moving in believe he really has an outrageous number of books (even though he doesn’t).

7) Drink plenty of fluids.

8) Don’t get bent out of shape that you have to spend time doing this (ask yourself HWJM?: “How Would Jesus Move?”).

9) While the principle is right, disregard the rationale behind #8 – it’s stupid.

10) Never forget that, at least at seminary, you once had to move in and you will have to one day move out – be the kind of mover you want to help you when the time comes: quick, quiet, and quip-resistant.

More moves to come this summer. As always, I’ll keep you posted.

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