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Three Meter Zone | JD's Bunker | Poetry | Chapel | American Journal

Thoughts While Running Staring At My Decapitated Grandfather Clock

J. D. Pendry

Hell hath no fury like a woman looking at a pile of kindling wood that used to be her grandfather clock. I felt a momentary twinge of sorrow for the movers as she fired lighting bolts at them, but I got over it. This grand old, solid oak clock traveled from Germany, to El Paso, to Virginia, to Germany, to Virginia and never got so much as a scratch. Now it travels from Virginia to West Virginia and is decapitated - yep, head removed from the base slick as if done by a guillotine. The guy told me it'll look just like new after he's fixed it - nothing is ever just like new. Anyway, now that Su is calmed down a bit and focused on selecting hardware for her new kitchen cabinets, let me tell you about my transportation experiences with that last move.

The rule is that your first move when you retire is a freebie then you have a year to make your final move. This year can be extended for several more if you keep asking. Here's what I found out. If you're in the situation I was in - not yet closed on your new house - you may have to select non-temporary storage for your move. You may want to double-check this one and it's probably a good question to raise at the retirement briefing. I was told that non-temporary storage was the first move. Bringing my household goods from storage to my house is my second and final move - the end. So much for that neat benefit. That's reason number one to work a door-to-door for your first retirement move. I have some more good reasons too.

If all else fails and you end up with non-temp as I did here's some things to know. The company that packs and stores your household goods is not necessarily the same company that will deliver them to your house. Here's why that matters: When your things are prepared for storage, they are packed very much as they would be for an overseas movement. They are even crated. When packing, make sure the packers place the inventory stickers on the actual pieces of furniture and not on the wrapping material. Why you ask? When your stuff is delivered, chances are it will be uncrated, unwrapped, and repacked into a moving van before being delivered to you, and probably by a different company altogether. The deliverer, of course, will blame all damages (including broken grandfather clocks) on the packers. If your inventory stickers were placed on the wrapping material, as mine were, it's now impossible to inventory the load as it's coming off the truck. That's good reason number two to work hard for a door-to-door.

This next bit of information may just be peculiar to the Fort Belvoir Joint Personal Property Shipping Office (JPPSO), however, something I thought I'd tell you about. Maybe you can get it fixed before you retire. In all the moves I made over my time in the Army, it only took a phone call to the transportation office to arrange delivery of my household goods. When I contacted the JPPSO at Belvoir I was told I had to send them a signed letter before they could get my things released for delivery. The reason for this I was told was that I could be anyone on the phone pretending to be CSM Pendry, however, if I had access to a fax machine I could fax the letter to them. I guess you can't pretend over the fax like you can over the phone. This was just a dumb rule that's an inconvenience. If a person is retiring out in the middle of Montana (or WBGV) and doesn't have a fax machine handy the delay in getting a letter to the JPPSO could mean a couple more weeks without household goods. That's the last reason I have for you to work hard for that door-to-door. Well, let's go unpack some more boxes.

©J. D. Pendry