Thursday, 5 November 2009

Moving - from London to Australia

For the third time in my life, I am leaving London and going to live in Australia. The first time I was unwilling. The second time, I was pretty keen. This time, I can hardly wait.
Why I keep coming back is a subject too big to tackle in the 10 minutes before Spooks begins, but today the first part of the move home was accomplished - the packers finished taking away our things.
And when they did, they presented me with various forms to fill in, including one which asked me the question: 'Were your team of packers groomed and professionally dressed?' I looked at the five very nice men who had spent the past three days wrapping our furniture in cardboard and bubble wrap and wondered if any of them had ever used moisturiser or had a pedicure. What happened to 'clean and tidy'? Presumably in some committee room somewhere someone decided that asking if employees looked clean might carry an offensive implication. 'Groomed' was chosen as a more sensitive word. Didn't anyone realise it was also a silly word when used in any context but the Pony Club?
Obviously not - and why am I surprised, given the succession of emails I've had from the removals company, each one of which has included at least once and often several times the phrase 'please be assured'? Sadly not one of the emails has contained any useful information. For instance today, I had one saying, 'Please be assured, your belongings are now ready for shipping. Please be assured they will be with you within 9-12 weeks and certainly before February.' I wrote back asking whether 9-12 weeks wasn't a very pessimistic prediction, as I'd earlier been told 6-8 weeks was the norm for such shipments. The reply came back as follows: 'Please be assured your goods will reach you within 12 weeks.'
Grrr.

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