vendredi, mars 19, 2004

A Life in Two Boxes

I've tried to be a big girl about this whole Paris thing falling apart so spectacularly, so in an effort to face things head on, I sent a quote to the Insulation HR people for how much it would cost to send my things back from the Paris warehouse to an Atlanta one. Since the beginning, I have been puzzled at their hastiness to spend the money to send my things all the way to Atlanta if they think there is a chance in the next months of my coming over, in which case they would have to pay to ship it all the way back to Paris again. This taking 7 weeks, mind you, each voyage. I shudder to think of my paintings and vintage coats spending that much time in a container on a vessel, but I won't dwell on it, poor things. I suspect their haste to rid themselves of my stuff is more a symbolic hand-washing that a real altruistic desire to restore my CD collection to me.

So I dutifully sent in the quote, provided by the helpful but slightly bewildered moving company salesman, amounting to around $4000. I thought for once I would try to be French and subtle (implicit culture) rather than blunt and American (explicit culture), so I snuck in the amount they would have to pay per month to keep my things in the warehouse where they currently are hanging out in comfort and style, to the tune of a mere $110/ month. I would prefer the things just stay there, they've made it that far, give them a break. Plus, I find it ridiculous to spend money on sending things back and forth unnecessarily. They could keep my stuff in the warehouse in Paris for 72 months for the same amount of money it would cost them to ship it to Atlanta and back to Paris again.

So yesterday, I received a gut splittingly funny reply from poor prematurely-balding Jérôme, who was aghast at the amount it cost, considering what he thought it cost to send my things to Paris in the first place: a mere $425 for two boxes weighing 200 lbs each. "I must admit" he wrote, "I am a bit surprised that it is so much more expensive to send things to the US. The inital quote was for $425, could there really be that much of a difference in the other direction?"

See, back in the day when I thought I would be moving to Paris in January, back when we all thought my visa request would just sail through, back when I thought my things would arrive on a boat waaaay after I did, I asked dear departed Fabienne if Insulation would be willing to pay for me to ship myself some essential items such as pots and pans, dishes, sheets, towels, and kitty litter, timed to arrive the same day as Max and me, to make the unfurnished apartment liveable until my things arrived from the States. So I had given her a quote of sending two boxes at 200 lbs each for a total of $425. So this is what Jérôme was going on. Because of course he has no idea where the invoice is from the actual move that took place. Because of course it hasn't been paid. Because of course Fabienne used it for discarding her gum instead of giving it to Accounting?

People, I ask you, even if you had no idea what kind of unit of measurement a pound was, don't you think maybe LOGICALLY you could figure out that $425 is a little on the CHEAP side for shipping the ENTIRE CONTENTS OF ONE'S APARTMENT ACROSS THE FUCKING ATLANTIC?!? Do you think you could fit the contents of YOUR life in two boxes?!? Fer Chrissake, people, USE YOUR PREMATURELY BALDING HEAD!!! So no freakin' WONDER they were so anxious to offload my stuff - $425! Pas mal!

Jesus I hope those people have to move overseas someday, just so they have to deal with all the details, just so they KNOW.

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