I am officially back, which means I will resume regularly posting here as well as getting back to updating Watch Now! Wrestling once again.
I would like to take a second to address some of the chaos of the past month real quick, partly due to the need to vent one last time of what happened during the time span and partly for anyone wondering why I have been largely MIA here.
A reminder, but my family travels around the country regularly for work reasons. The assignments tend to last anywhere from 3 months up and we just finished up one in New Jersey. I loved our time there and we had a lot of great memories.
It ended on a bad note, though.
The company responsible for booking our housing during our stay screwed up big. We were supposed to leave on Monday, the 28th of December but at ~6 am on the 26th we received a message from the landlord "reminding" us that checkout was at 11...that day! A few things were wrong with that. First, we had had very limited interaction with the man, seeing as the company literally, was supposed to, handle everything. The few interactions we did have included a message from him two months prior confirming our move out date which my wife had replied to and a message from me a week prior telling him that the bed frame had broken randomly.
We had also confirmed with the company about 10 days prior that the date was to be the 28th.
Anyway, when I got the message I called immediately, confused. Note that none of our stuff was even packed yet, because the day before was Christmas and I wanted to kids to have a great day. I was going to be spending all of Saturday and Sunday packing our stuff. Also, note that my wife was working a night shift and wasn't even due back until almost noon. She also had one last shift at the hospital booked for that night.
So, I politely told the landlord that it was impossible because:
a) I wasn't going to be able to pack up everything in a few hours
b) Even if I did, I wouldn't have our van to load the stuff into until 12-ish
It was an impossible task. Keep in mind I also was needing to feed and watch my kiddos during that time.
His response was that he had new tenants coming in that day and had no other vacancies. Note that the place we were staying at was basically an apartment building set on top of commercial businesses. I again politely, desperately, explained it was sincerely impossible to be out in the time he wanted. I called my wife, who had to leave early and also ended up missing her last shift due to all of this. When she got back, she was exhausted because she had just worked a long shift and, seeing as the day before was Christmas, she had pushed herself on the 25th with little sleep.
When she got back, I had about an hour left in the deadline set by the landlord.
Anyway, I called the local police to cover my bases and asked what would happen when we weren't out in time. The officer backed us up and even told me that even if he supported the landlord, that the cops couldn't do shit until Monday when the courts opened back up.
So, I worked my ass off all day packing and loading the van. I didn't have the two days I expected to have, so I didn't have time to go through everything like I wanted and sort/organize. Most of our stuff was thrown into boxes randomly. I also love to Tetris the van just right for long trips with all of us and our belongings, but didn't have that curtesy.
During the day, we were harassed multiple times. By the building manager a few times and by the landlord a few times, all slowing things down. We had a hard time contacting the agency that fucked up due to it being the weekend but even after the dude admitted he had fucked up, he tried to support the landlord and the deadline.
The new tenants ended up staying at a hotel that night.
I sincerely feel bad for them, but it is what it is. One solution that was given to us was that they'd open up a room two doors down that had been vacant that had no furniture and let my wife sleep there while I watch the kids and also pack. He said she could sleep on the dusty floor. No I am not kidding and yes I know that the suggestion is rude and makes little sense.
Without the ability to Tetris, I ended up deciding I'd rent a Uhaul trailer for my van. We also realized that during the assignment we had picked up enough new things that it would have been very hard to make it all fit anyway, especially since we had a lot of gifts with us that we planned to mail out on Monday.
When I went that night to Uhaul, with all parties eventually agreeing for us to be out Sunday morning, more drama happened. There was no one inside, but I saw a sign with a number for the manager that said "Call for Help". No answer. After waiting for five minutes, a young lady came out. I told her I had made a reservation over the phone, but she refused to serve me. A coworker came out and was very nice, but he said he couldn't help because while she wasn't the store manager she was his superior.
I left without a trailer. I ended up hiring a moving truck, the only one open in the area that weekend apparently. They came the next day after noon, which meant we had to sit in the van outside with our stuff boxed on the curb waiting.
Note that this all has been shortened down and there was loads more drama attached, but you likely get the idea of how shitty all of this was.
A week later, when the last paycheck for that assignment came, it was missing a large chunk. The agency said they weren't paying for the last shift (they said they would) and they charged over $400 for damages. The didn't tell us in advance, letting us find out when the check came. Since then, they've refused to respond to our requests for more info, specifically why the day wasn't paid for and for a itemized receipt of damages.
On top of that, note that I am not in the best shape physically due to a bad car accident I had a few years ago so this entire thing fucked me up bad and then I had to spend a few days driving across the country with little rest to our next destination.
The last big bit of drama came from HP. My wife had bought me a new laptop on Black Friday. It kept being delayed during the shipping process and they finally tried to deliver it...on the 28th. We left on the 27th. I had tried contacting both HP and FedEx a few times prior to this to change the address, but apparently it didn't stick. I then spent nearly 20 hours over the next few weeks trying to call the two to fix the issue. Literally not kidding about the amount of time spend calling them, as both kept pointing fingers at each other.
FedEx insisted that there was restrictions on the package while HP kept insisting they were calling FedEx to take care of the issue. I was passed around a lot and kept being told it was handled just to get notices the next day that they were trying to deliver again.
I'd point out that the new tenants must not have ended up staying after all because if they had, they would have signed for it. I have an image from a few days in showing a sticker on our old door in Jersey even saying they attempted to deliver. They tried delivering every day for about two weeks.
Anyway, eventually I found out it was HP that had fucked up. Every time they said they were taking care of it, they didn't even try it turns out. A high ranked dude at HP dug around our file and said he saw a book's worth of notes but no one had actually called FedEx. FedEx ended up sending that laptop back to the sender, but HP said they were making it up to me and sending out an even better one. I'll believe it when it is in my hands, but lets hope it works out.
UPDATE: I noticed no update from HP despite them saying I should expect one this past Monday or so. I called them up and dealt with the very long holds and terrible music to be told that the laptop they were sending ran out of stock. She tried to talk me into a refund, which would suck because of the price I was paying was a decent price. She tried talking me into taking a worst computer. She tried suggesting waiting for a manager with a projected wait time of 2 hours. Not kidding. She also suggested waiting until something I wanted was an option on their site, calling in and trying to get it approved at the price but said it was unlikely they'd do it later. HP is a train wreck in regards to customer service! As of now, I have no laptop on the way and am actually still on hold. This call is already over an hour in. Pray for me, folks.
UPDATE x2: After an extra two hours of hold music and chatting with folks, I got in touch with another supervisor that claims she will call me back tomorrow and is sending an even better laptop than the originally replaced approval. I likely won't update again here. Maybe on Twitter. Just know HP is a headache.
Since then, we went to Texas and quarantined for a while. We then got tested for COVID before heading over to stay with family for about two weeks. That part was fun, though I didn't have easy access to my laptop and I hate writing long stories and blog posts on my phone. I appreciate them for having us over, listening to our vents, and just being great people. We even managed to play some Among Us, DnD, and even a game of Middle Earth SBG.
While the chaos that took place over the past month was pretty nerve wracking, I am still thankful. I am thankful that despite how shitty 2020 was, the worst thing that happened to us was basically what I just rambled about above. I am thankful because it could have been much worse and I know that so many indeed had it so much worse. I appreciate everyone that came here to read old content, all of those that will read new content, and everyone that checked in on me during that time, too.
Lets move forward!