This was our 13th move (necessitated by the Witness Protection Program). But Covid made it a nightmare. Before leaving, we sold most of our furniture. We signed up for all the utilities at our new home in advance. And we ordered appliances that did not come with the house we bought. And every one of these categories proved to be a horror show far beyond my wildest imagine. I will share just one small example.

Knowing everything, not just toilet paper was in short supply, we ordered a washer and dryer back at the beginning of August for delivery in September. I found just one national chain that had the brand/model in stock. Being a brilliant tactician, I called the local store in Greenville directly, gave them my new address, and paid with a credit card when they confirmed the delivery date of September 2.

En route to moving in, we slept at three different locations, living out of carry-on suitcases for a week. So, on 9/2, before the arrival of the moving van, we were desperate for a change of underwear. And no, wearing them a second day, inside out doesn’t work.

That morning we got an email confirming the arrival between 9 and 1. At 1:30 I got a phone call, “Yo, sir. I’m at your house and nobody is home.”

“I’m looking out my front door and there’s no truck here. What address are you at?”

“6940 Lennox Place.”

“Oh, shit! How could you possibly be in University Park, Florida when I ordered the appliances at a store in Greenville, South Carolina?”

“I don’t know from nothing, man. I drove down from Orlando. This is the address on the ticket.”

Hanging up on the driver, I called the store in Greenville, and was transferred to customer service. The mechanical voice told me that because of the unusual volume of calls, my wait time would be approximately 61 minutes.

The on-hold music was the Bangladesh National Anthem which repeated non-stop for the 69 minutes it took for the non-English speaking rep to pick up the call. In the meantime, I put the phone on speaker and prepared my lunch. I found myself marching up and down the kitchen, saluting Sara every time she walked by.

Finally, “Herro, Mr. Sistrey, how can I hep you?

Her accent was so bad, I could barely understand her. And the commotion in the background didn’t help. I explained the address mix up and demanded the appliances be delivered to the correct address immediately, as we were in dire need of clean clothes. Waiting for her to confirm the new date, the background commotion got so loud, it sounded like a flock of parakeets fighting over the last cracker. And then the line went dead.

That evening, I got an email confirming that the appliances would be delivered in two days, But, as it turned out, they were delivered to University Park. Again.