30 May 2009

Packing! Barfing (not me)! Leaving in a week?!

I thought I'd have all manner of things to post what with the move and all, but the thing is that I pack, I see friends, I pack, I pack, I organize stuff, I pack, I try to look for housing and childcare from afar, I pack, it's really very tedious and boring.

Plus Maddie has been sick. Today is the first day since Wednesday that she hasn't been vomiting. Poor baby. She has also had troubles out the other end, leading to the most charming (if that adjective can even be applied to such matter) description of diarrhea I've ever heard. "Mama!" she exclaimed, peering into the toilet after her first round. "I made poop soup!" Poop soup indeed.

Oh, yeah, and I also managed to totally lose my cell phone, but CV had an old one (we have the same service) to pass on to me and then it turned out that I was eligible for a free upgrade, so there you go. All of my contacts are gone, though. Hmmm . . . moving in a week, all cell contacts gone . . . is that some kind of irony, or something? Poetic justice? I'm not sure, but there's some connection there.

Maddie and Riley leave on Wednesday with my mom and dad. We're having a little going-away shindig for them at daycare on Tuesday. Then I leave on Sunday, just one week from tomorrow. The POD will be delivered on Thursday, the movers will come to load it on Friday, and it will be taken away on Saturday. Jeepers cripes.

I've been meaning to download photos off my camera for, oh, five months now. I was really, truly going to do it tonight, but the kids ended up going to bed late and I just can't deal. I must read People magazine and go to bed early. My guilty pleasures revealed.

My question for the day: does one tip movers? If so, how much? I'm paying the guys who are loading my POD a not insignificant sum of money for their services, but having never used movers before, I'm just not sure what the etiquette is. I don't want to be a stingy bitch, but I don't want to be a sucker either. Tipping is so tricky.

49 comments:

JudithNYC said...

Let me reinstate how happy I am for you and your children.

As for tipping the movers, I always do: I move every couple of years (NYC renter) and don't have much to move. Always hire mom and pop types. I tip anything from $50 to double the rate once when they moved me during a blizzard. I did it because they never complained, just kept on trucking, literally.

Mom22 said...

I am so happy for you and the twins. I feel a sense of relief for you that you are moving back home near your family. I am sure it will be bittersweet. I hope things continue to fall into place for you. I just wish that darn condo would sell!! Good luck to you all!

Anonymous said...

We've moved many times as a family and we would buy pizza and soft drinks for lunch or doughnuts and coffee if it was the morning. The best was the six pack after all the moving was done and the guys were heading home. It is not a money tip but it does show appreciate for what they are doing. This only applies if they don't make a mess and don't complain. Just use your judgement. Lela ( a 14 time mover)

Rhonda said...

I did a quick internet search and this is one of the better resources I found for tipping etiquette.
http://www.itipping.com/tip-moving-company.htm
Best of luck with your move!!

deb said...

I have always tipped movers. 10% of the cost plus or minus depending on the experience.

Sandy said...

Wow, I did not tip my movers. It didn't even cross my mind. But they seemed really grateful when I turned on the radio. Maybe you should ask if they want music/radio.

Julia said...

I have family members in the moving business and it is customary to tip movers/packers - if the experiences is good. There's a lead guy, we give a little more to him, but 20-30 pp with a little extra for the guy in charge. Or we've given all the money to the top guy and let him pass it out. Good luck!

heather said...

It never occurred to me to tip movers either... probably because the whole money thing was out of sight/out of mind since the job relocation took care of all the $ details.
We did provide them pizza, a cooler full of water and beverages, donuts, cookies, etc, whatever was applicable. It was very appreciated!

Abby said...

On tipping, I've always rounded up, but my main thing is always to get them food. Doughnuts for breakfast and then I order in burgers etc. for lunch. It's more of a goodwill thing.

Rev Dr Mom said...

When I moved here the movers let me know that they expected a (fairly large) tip (which I hadn't planned for.) I don't know how common that is, but I would guess it's common.

Julia said...

So happy for you! Wish you all the best of luck!

I would tip some, but it is hard to tell you ho much as I am in another country!

Anonymous said...

You could always have cold water bottles or cans of soda ready for them, or even offer to buy a pizza to eat after they were all done loading up!

Betty M said...

We tipped ours a crate of beer once they had unpacked the boxes into our new house (we moved within the same city). We are in the UK though and don't tip like you guys do.

mlg said...

one week. wow. it will be over before you know it. both good and bad news I guess. I don't envy you this week but will start as soon as you are settled near your folks in your dream job.

Jennifer S. said...

TIP THE MOVERS 20 bucks each, and order them pizza (or run out and get them burgers or whatever) and keep them in drink. I am a military spouse and after umpteen moves, this was the best advice ever given to me!!!

beyond said...

poop soup, oh my. glad she's feeling better. will you be staying with your parents until you find a place?
re tipping: I think you should tip the movers $20 or $25 in addition to snacks/ drinks. dollars are always appreciated, that's just how the world works.

carosgram said...

I have moved a lot and I always tip the movers - usually $50/ person. Good luck with the move. Hope your house sells soon.

Single Parent Dad said...

Good luck with the move. Don't know if one should be tipping movers, I have only every relied on the good will of family and friends.

Anonymous said...

Definitely have donuts for the movers when they arrive (could make the difference between broken glasses and in-tact ones!), get them pizza and soda for lunch and if they deserve it, give a tip at the end.

Your movers will probably have a foreman - give him 10% cash or more if it's raining or broiling hot.

Julia said...

A week? Damn...

I am no help on the movers-- we have never used a service before. But we also never moved cross country before.

Green said...

Yes, tip. They're just loading the POD but not packing for you, right? Offer them drinks (water or soda or whatever), and at the end tip them $30 to $40 each. If you give all the money to one guy, make sure you do it in front of both guys so one guy can't screw over the other guy. And don't tip them until after the entire POD is packed, they're about to get in their truck and leave, etc.

Green said...

P.S. I don't give food because I am always paying movers by the hour and don't want them stopping loading the truck to stand around and eat, plus I don't want them getting pizza grease on any of my furniture or making crumbs that I'll have to clean up after all my cleaning supplies are packed.

I will absolutely NOT give them beer - they are DRIVING. Even if my home is their last job of the day they still have to DRIVE away from it. Cash is king. Give cash.

Lil Sis said...

Poop soup, i'm feeling ya on that one, hope she's on the mend soon, so excited for you all on the move!

On tipping, I always have, we've given it to the head guy, generally 20pp, and I provide drinks for them during the move, if it's a day long affair, which typically for us it is, I buy lunch for their lunch break. I don't do beer as one mover specifically asked us not to, since then I just do drinks lunch tip.

Becky said...

Wow, I can't believe you are moving so fast! For the cell phone contacts, my provider (Verizon) offers a free online backup system. It's great! It stores all your contacts online, and then it can reload them into any new phone you get, or you can look them up online if you lose your phone. I don't know anyone's number.

Anonymous said...

We had four movers and I ran out and got a $25 gift card from the local grocer for each of them. That way, if they chose to buy beer, they could. There are some folks that don't consume it, and they end up not getting tipped in the deal if you go the beer route.
Instead they can use their gift card for something to put on the grill when they get home off work.:)

We also did the doughnuts/coffee and pizza/soda. Keep it simple. Make it easy on you and them.

Clover said...

Snick, I'm just catching up on all your news. This sounds like such a wonderful opportunity for you and the kids- and how wonderful to be physically close to your parents again. Good luck with the move!

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the move, so exciting!

I bet you'll find the phone in some random box when you unpack in Oregon!

Jen said...

dude.. i'm sad..

:(

ok.. got that out of my system. we "can't wait" for the kids' party at daycare tomorrow.. we'll be there with bells on.

i had movers when i came up to Boston and was, coincidentally, dating someone who had a brother for a mover.. so I got the inside scoop. for larger moves (a full house).. 10% total (split among the movers) is thought to be respectable.. or something like $50/per mover for smaller moves. I had two guys who packed me up in CT and then unpacked the next day in Boston and i tipped them $100 each.. i would have gone lower if they hadn't also packed and unpacked (i.e. just moving furniture/boxes). At the time.. I was single, no kid, and well.. i had a lot of guitar stuff, but nothing else.. :)

ixtapa sometime before sunday?

Jamie said...

I think it may be a regional thing. Movers based in NY made it very clear that they expected a tip and were obviously miffed when it was small. (They did a lousy job and attempted to defraud us. And I'm supposed to tip?) Movers based in Chicago did a great job and seemed surprised when I tipped them. "Are you sure?" they asked me.

Anonymous said...

I don't recall what I tipped the movers last time I moved, but a money tip was clearly expected, and i assume a significant part of the compensation for the guys who do the heavy lifting.

I do recall when I moved the time before that that the moving company told me that the usual tip was $5 per man per hour. I remember this because I handed the guy in charge the tip, and he looked at it, and asked for more, telling me that the usual tip was the aforementioned, and acted like I was some kind of stingy bitch. I pointed out to him that the tip I had handed him had actually worked out to slightly MORE than that formula. He didn't miss a beat in finding a way to ask for more, arguing that it would be hard to divide the amount I'd given evenly among the guys who had moved me. I admired his chutzpah.

This was in NYC, at a time when you were lucky for the movers to actually deliver your stuff without holding you up for large sums of money. Not kidding, this happened to TWO friends. Movers refused to unload trucks without big additional cash. It was the middle of the in an interstate move for one friend, and she had no place to sleep unless they unloaded her bed, so she paid it. Other friend literally had no money, so they drove his stuff to a warehouse in Brooklyn, and cops would not get involved. So he wrote them a rubber check, and put a stop payment on it the next day. Luckily, the attorney general has cracked down on movers in NYC, and it is much more civilized now.

So take my advice with a grain of salt.

Jeannie

OTRgirl said...

I'm feeling very guilty on the tipping thing! Oops. $20pp sounds about right plus food. I'll keep that in mind for the future.

The cell phone thing seems like such a purge! In a good way. The numbers that matter will now be the people you want to remain in contact with anyway. Good system. ;-)

Anonymous said...

My husband was in the military and we were always told that tipping was not necessary but it would be nice if we provided food and drinks for the movers. Usually pizza.

Meika said...

Never tipped movers, never heard of tipping movers. Who knows, maybe it would prevent some breakage, but enough with the tipping already - isn't it the employer's job to pay their employees??

Anonymous said...

We always have tipped movers - amount depends on the service, etc. The last move we tipped $100 per guy (3 of them) and fed them lunch and dinner. They had happily worked without complaining and treated our home and belongings with respect.

Emilyinpdx said...

My husband and I dont have much stuff. Last time we moved we tipped the movers (two guys) 30 dollars to split. If we had a lot more stuff I might have doubled that.

Anonymous said...

We've tipped 10% of the total move - but that was them packing/loading/unloading.

If it is unloading a POD I'd say 30-50 bucks per guy and offer of water/lunch/etc.

Anonymous said...

I just moved a studios worth of furniture in NYC. I had three movers work from 9:00 - 12:30 and I tipped them each $40 and bought them waters.

I asked around and was disappointed by how many people said oh, just tip them $10-$15 each. Really? This coming from people who haven't worked a minimum wage hard labor job in their life.

Don't skip on the tip. These are people who depend on tips to make their living.

susan said...

I didn't tip our movers, but am now feeling badly about that. Will do next time!

Watercolor said...

$50 each plus food and water. And even better, at the beginning of the day, gather them together, ask if this is the whole crew (they should say yes, so you know if others show up, they are unexpected....), and give it to them then and explain that you wanted to give them a thank you now because you know it will get crazy later and you don't want to miss anyone. They'll take GREAT care of your stuff.

buddha_girl said...

I tipped the guys who moved my crap when Husband Guy and I bought our house. I was so relieved to go to work in the morning (from our apartment) and come home in the afternoon (to my HOUSE) with my stuff moved. I would have given them my left kidney if that was socially acceptable.

Take all of this wonderous advice (Yeah, right!) with a salt lick or 10 because it's coming from a woman who loathes physical labor. I call my own husband The Pack Mule.

Glad Maddie's on the mend.
Glad your friend had an extra cell and that you could upgrade.
Cannot believe that you lost your contacts. That's some bizarro karma going on, sister!

Sparky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I think $50 each is pretty steep, and I say this as both an overtipper in general and the sister of a former professional mover. Certainly if they go above and beyond and are just generally fantastic, that is a really good tip they'd be delighted to receive - but I wouldn't default to it. I think $30-40pp is closer to where you want to be, again, given your satisfaction with their speed, handling of your things, etc.

Snick this is my first-ever comment and I just wanted to wish you the VERY BEST on your move to Oregon. I have enjoyed reading you religiously, and will continue to do so once you're 'cross the country.

Mel from SA said...

Poop soup, gotta love them!
Good luck with the move, hope you VERY proud of yourself.

MichelleRenee said...

Hope the move is going well. SO happy for you. I'd tip them, but not sure of proper etiquette.
Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Ok, so I know you're probably insanely busy, but I've been thinking about you and how the move went. Hopefully all went well.

Katherine said...

I miss knowing what's going on and hope you have time to blog soon. Hope the move went well and that you are insanely happy as well as insanely busy.

Anonymous said...

I feel bad. It never occurred to me to tip the movers when I moved last year! Yikes...

Anyway, good luck with your move!

Donn24g said...

Hope the move went well, i am SO excited to hear an update on how you are enjoying your life on the other side of the country. Cant wait for your next blog:)

Anonymous said...

Hope your move went well!!