October 24, 2006

mover quote

"They could train baboons to do this job."

Actually, I first heard this quote while working in a large distribution center, loading trailers. One of the guys that worked there used to say that at least once a day. His name was Dave Barney. He usually said it in a way that let you know he was mocking the whole lot of us, but there was always a hint of anger around the edges, just to make sure that you knew that he meant it.

A few years later I hear this same quote again at a moving company. One of the drivers that I used to work with sporadically would say this every once in awhile. (He had several other statements that would flow out of his mouth, but I won't get into that right now.) The quote would normally show itself shortly after a discussion on the right way to pick up a sleeper-sofa. If you didn't pick it up right away, sure enough you would hear it. Even though he wanted you to know that his years of experience had taught him the right way to move things, he also wanted to let you know that it wasn't rocket science.

Movers are for the most part a proud group. They are proud of what they do and they feel that you could probably learn a trick or two from them. Whenever I work with a mover, I will always probe their mind for ideas when I am trying to move something into a place that seems formidable. Most of the time I will pick up a new trick.

The new ideas that I have learned are usually followed by this thought, "...Baboons probably could have figured that out. I mean really, roosters can learn to press buttons, and Pavlov's dog will salivate with the ringing of a bell. Surely even a baboon could have figured this out given enough time and bananas." When I venture to speak my feelings on the baboon's abilities as a mover, it is usually greeted with a hearty round of agreement from all of the other movers present.

Every once in awhile I get a little bit of a reminder as to how true this really is. Here is a little example that I thought all of my readers might enjoy.

This box was packed in Kentucky, by a Kentuckian. (For a moment I thought it was French...)