Having spent more than 30 years of my life in the household goods moving industry, I have a lifetime of experiences. Recently, one of my kids asked me: what was the funniest thing that ever happened to me during my years as a mover? Well, I did not even have to think about it . . . I remember it like it was yesterday.
Interesting things can happen to movers and they can meet some “special” people along their journey. Once, while I was at a storage facility in Los Angeles, California, I sat down beside the owner of the company to take a little break. This particular storage facility looked run down and in very poor shape. It was in a bad part of town and basically looked like it needed to be torn down. There was a reason it had this appearance.
From the outside, one would think that it was a meaningless, worthless building . . . but this storage company actually held the belongings of the rich and famous. Celebrities stored their items at this business because of the way it appeared. It was an ingenious concept by the owner of the company. While we sat together chatting, his warehouse guys were “digging” out a very nice automobile for its owner who was on her way down to pick it up. If my memory serves me correctly, it was a black Porsche. Shortly, a young lady came in and walked up to the owner and me. She politely looked at me and said, “hello,” and began visiting with the owner. Later, she hopped in the Porsche and drove away. Looking at the owner, I made the comment that she looked very familiar, but I couldn’t place her. He just laughed and said, “That was Christina Applegate!” Now, how cool is that? Little did I know that three years later I would be back at this same storage building and it would be the site for the funniest thing that ever happened to me as a mover.
Sometime around 1992-1993 I was given a “special” move from the North East to Los Angeles. My dispatcher told me that all the belongings would be going to a storage facility, but the building had no signs, letters, logo or anything on the building. Well, I knew precisely where this storage place was, and knew that the customer had to be someone “special.” When I arrived at the house, I was met by the lady I would be moving and she was so sweet and kind . . . a really nice person. She turned out to be a cousin of the Gabor sisters: Zsa Zsa and Eva. She had a ton of stuff including dozens of statues made out of granite and marble. It was a rough two days loading everything, but I finally got it done. The entire move took ten days to complete, and once again I found myself back at the L.A. storage facility. Everything came off great, no damages . . . a perfect move.
After everything was completed, I walked up to the lady and said my usual, “Well, I enjoyed moving you and good luck at your new home.” With that famous Hungarian accent she replied, “Oh dawling, you did such a fantastic job . . . wait just a minute . . . I want to give you something.” Now in all my years as a mover, I honestly never really cared about receiving a tip from my customers. It really did not matter to me. But, this time I thought, “Wow, Zsa Zsa Gabor’s cousin! This is going to be a great tip!” She walked out to her car and a few minutes later returned. Again she said, “It was a wonderful move, dawling and you are such a sweet man. You look so tired . . . I think you may be low on potassium.”
Then, without skipping a beat, she extended her arm and in her hand was my tip . . . a banana. Yes, that’s right . . . a banana. Caught in a moment of utter confusion, I was still able to reply with a soft spoken, “Thank you,” and with that . . . she was gone. I turned to the owner of the company as if to cry out for help and he did the only thing he could do . . . he just bursted out laughing!
I said my goodbyes and walked out to my Freightliner and made my way back onto Route 110, then Highway 101 to Interstate 210, and finally Interstate 15. As I settled in for my journey out of California toward my next pick up, I just could not stop laughing.
I reached over for my cooler and pulled out a nice, cold soda. I had to admit that I was feeling very tired and a little hungry. I glanced over to the passenger seat and saw my “tip” staring back at me . . . a bright, yellow banana.
About the Author:
Aubrey “Allen” Smith is the author of the first and original Truth About Trucking and How to Guarantee a “Perfect” Move.
© 2008, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.