Professional Movers Reveal The Weirdest Things They've Seen On The Job
Being a mover has got to be one of the most physically demanding and strenuous jobs around. You have all that lifting, transporting and sometimes packing. However, one of the things most of us never think about is the possible danger issues. You're dealing with human beings on the daily. Some people are bound to be certifiable. And what sort of treasures does a certifiable person pack? And what sort of life situation are you walking in on?
BE CAREFUL OF THE ROCKS!
I did this for a summer a number of years ago, and there was house one in particular that will always stand out.Family of four. Normal looking people. 2 story single family home, no basement. Thought to myself "thank God, an easy gig today." Oh no. No no, I was very wrong. We walk in and lots of stuff is already in boxes (thanks!) and were told to head to the kids rooms first.
12 year old kid who likes rocks. REALLY likes rocks. Like, is obsessed with rocks. There are rocks EVERYWHERE in his room. Big ones, small ones, gravel, sandstone, bits of clay, sea shells, bits of concrete, asphalt, and a pile of what looked like bone fragments. _"He's a rock collector" _Mom says.
No kidding, there were so many rocks in the room that the you couldn't only see narrow paths between the door, the bed, and the closet (which, indeed, was full of rocks).His sisters room was fine and mostly packed besides the furniture and the boxes full of belongings. The parents room was similar, everything normal and somewhat neatly packed.
We shoveled the rocks into wagons to clear the room. Dad was upset that the shovels were going to "stretch the carpet." Ok dude. We loaded several hundred pounds of rocks into our truck that day.Business as usual after that, felt odd that the family didn't seem to be bothered by it. They gave us each an extra hundred in cash for our troubles.
ARE YOU CERTAIN YOU'RE NOT THE A&E SHOW?
Not really weird but....
I moved a hoarder family once. They had a 2 story house that had a 1ft deep layer of crusty clothes and garbage through all 2 floors and the basement. We brought snow shovels and shoveled it all into wardrobe boxes. The two teenage boys were there smoking pot and being generally in the way the whole 2 days of took us to shovel their stuff into boxes. I found their bong collection and put it in a box labeled Christmas decorations.
GOTTA LOVE FAMILY SECRETS...
When my mom died i went through her things. her and my sisters weren't on speaking terms but i found photos of them and their children taken by private investigators in the different states they lived as well as info the investigators dug up like where they lived, where they worked who they associated with. i was just shocked at the steps she took to know about their lives cuz she had that _"they're dead to me" _attitude. i was also really said that all of them let things get to that point.
THE "HAZARDOUS" THINGS WE KEEP...
I wasn't a mover but doing demo work in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. It was in the old French quarter, not the touristy French quarter, and it was an old home that had been abandoned and then squatted in. The place was beyond a wreck, is was more likely a biological hazard zone. Not just from the storm, but it's inhabitants. The neighbors said they were there for at least six months. Inside there was mainly three things: a lot of women's clothing, creepy dolls made from said clothing.
HOW HARD CAN IT BE TO SCRUB WITH SOPAS ONCE AND A BLUE MOON?
I worked as a mover for a few summers in college, and the worst one was this family of 4 that was moving from one unit in a complex to another unit in the same complex. My boss told me it should be a relatively easy move because the stuff wasn't going far and no stairs.
We show up and walk into the apartment and it was a complete mess. The carpet was stained dark brown, the paint was peeling off the walls, there's crayon drawings all over the walls, and it smelt like absolute crap. It looked like no one had cleaned in years. We had to take constant breaks cause the air was just heavy with a stench. We finally get everything out, when the dad tells us there's one more room we need move, and need to be extra careful. He walks us to a door that had pad locks on it, and he opens it up. Inside are giant, intricately designed doll houses. These things were about 6' x 3' x 4' and had every tiny detail perfect. It was also the only room in the apartment that had clean carpet and didn't smell like hell.
RACHEL! RACHEL! RACHEL!!!
I work in mortgages and see lots of appraisals. I once saw a bedroom which was a shrine to Jennifer Aniston. There was a wall of framed photos of her in various poses. Candles (like yankee candles not religious ones) and a kneeler like a Catholic Church. So weird.
WHERE'S THE VALUE OF THE DOLLAR?
I spent one of my high school summers working for a guy who bought up a bunch of foreclosed McMansions in my area after the 2008 recession. Dude paid me great money under the table to clear them out.
It was clear in most of them that the families literally up-and-left (plates on the kitchen table, closets torn through while frantically packing. One got me particularly hard -- it had a fully-furnished basement playroom that was the stuff of dreams for a 6-12 year old kid. Huge TV, a bunch of gaming systems, a nerf gun arsenal, super intricate hotwheels tracks, etc.
All of the toy cabinets had been dumped out and torn through and there were a couple of bags of packed-up toys left behind.
I know a lot of these people made fast money through ethically-questionable means, and spent it even faster -- but the thought of an 8 year old kid, no matter how privileged, having to pick the toys he could carry out of the insane dream playroom he will never see again kinda pissed me off.
PAGING JERRY SPRINGER!
I once found intimate pictures of a couple when I was helping a friend move out. I show the pics to my friend and she proceeds to freaks out and yells at me to give them to her. I do and she just stares at them and says "that's my mom and uncle." So she cheated on your dad with her sister's husband, it's bad but not unheard of.
BLESS IT ALL! JUST IN CASE.
One lady had the word Jesus written on everything with what looked like permanent marker. I mean everything. The walls, the furniture, all the decor had the word Jesus on it. Couldn't get out of that house fast enough.
DOES BIG BIRD LIVE HERE?
Moved a couple in their 60's who had 3 cats and 2 large African Grey parrots. All of these animals roamed freely in the house, and every surface in the house was coated in a thick layer of dust, bird poop and cat hair. I would estimate that the house hadn't been cleaned at all in about 5 years or more. The bedposts were caked in about a half inch of bird poop which ran from top to bottom, I assume the birds perched on top of the bedposts at night and poop all down along them. The smell was atrocious and the air felt thick and heavy inside the house.
While packing up the master bedroom, I found thousands of Xanax pills. Like WAY more than a person would ever be prescribed by a doctor. The house also stank of weed, like they had been smoking indoors for years and never cracked a window. The husband was disabled and wore an adult diaper, and there was a very strong smell of It coming from him as he showed us around the house.
Overall, a f--ing bizarre and disgusting situation.
THERE IS NOT ENOUGH MONEY IN THE WORLD!!
Late to the party so this might get buried. Last year I worked for a moving company (pretty big name) in LA county. Needless to say we saw the best of the best and the worst of the worst. Helped Bob Harper move, one of the trainers on The Biggest Loser. He helped us pack and move almost everything and tipped each of us 200 at the end of the day, there were 5 people. Great guy. Anyway, arriving at a job and the notes say,_"may have difficulty moving through apartment," _which typically meant furniture and things are messy simply because they are moving. No big deal not our first rodeo. We show up and we're greeted with this horrendous smell, the only thing I could equate it to is that fresh skunk spray smell. We start walking through the house and realize we can't see the floor, I mean we are at least a foot from the ground stepping on miscellaneous crap. Hoarders. With our company we had the leisure of being able to call in and say the apartment isn't up to working conditions. Hoarders fall under the category but if we saw spiders, rodents, we could call it in and leave the site without repercussions. It had been a really slow month for our branch and after calling our supervisor and arguing for 20 minutes they advised we needed to, _"tough this one out," _for the sake of our jobs. The 3 of us calmly took some deep breaths, and got to work. About 30 minutes in I can hardly stand the smell anymore, I'm gagging just being in the house. We go to move an old night stand and a rat the size of a 3 month old cat scurried away. We dropped the nightstand, told our other coworker and we walked out. The customers were furious because we were being babies and couldn't handle a little mess to clean up. Our supervisor called within minutes of us driving off and said if we don't go back we are fired. We all decided to pull over, turn the truck off, lock the keys in the car, and get Uber's home. We figured since we were being treated so bad we'd do the same, hopefully leading to them having to the job. It was 8 pm at this point, we clock in at 6 A.M. so everyone's gone except the supervisors waiting for us to get back. We got word the next day from coworkers that the supervisors didn't do the job because the house was too messed, never got an offer or an apology for our job back either.
I'M NOT MOVING AN ARK.
Moved this family out of their house. The entire house had been pissed on everywhere by cats and dogs. The daughter had a room that had rats, hamsters, mice, who knows what else roaming free destroying her room... she didn't care. She had a couch in there they named "the rat couch."
VHS? DO THEY EVEN WORK ANYMORE?
Once helped a hoarder move who had 117 DVD players, 86 VHS players, and 18 of the exact same Audiovox portable VHS players (I counted).
BLANCHE DEVEREAUX? IS THAT YOU?
I found an old lady's (past 80 she was in a nursing home) adult toys and diary of her conquests from the 50s. The diary had details of all her hookups from the 50s I think. It was kind of sad, she was never married and didn't seem very happy in the text.
I also felt bad about reading it, but I worked for the guy that found it and he read it aloud to the group during lunch.
I also found a bunch of money that her dad hid in the basement. Coins from the 30s and 40s.
This was a construction job in college, I used to to a lot of work remodeling old mansions in Shaker Heights OH. It was always fun to find old bottles and cans of beer in some weird crawl space I was moving through. I wasn't legal to drink at the time and I knew that teenagers 30 years ago tossed them in there after a party because I used to do the same thing at my parent's house
THAT'S NOT YOURS IT'S MINE!!
I once helped a neighbor I barely knew move, who was separating from her husband.
They were both present and they hadn't really worked out who was getting what in the split. He was staying in the house and she was leaving. Worst moving experience of my life. It's bad enough that they weren't packed, and we had to put things into boxes as we went, but she would tell us to put something in a box and then he would come and grab it from us and tell us it was his. So awkward!
HOW BREAKING BAD.
Managed a moving company and occasionally worked on the truck.
Moved this home that was actually pretty sad, this is all in Arizona where there's a big meth problem. Before I walked in I could smell they must've been cooking there. Guy, girl and a baby probably a year or two old. This place was filthy top to bottom and smelled the awful stench of meth and body odor. I was close to walking off the job it was so bad. We moved them to much nicer neighborhood and their credit card processed, which I didn't think it would, so convinced myself that they were trying to get out of a bad situation and be better parents
I did an estimate and this average looking male in his 50s had his toe nails painted a sky blue. Cool guy but only had a son and no grandkids, so I was real curious.
Moved a high end home and found a safe with about 20 pounds of weed. Guy was part owner of a dealership, at the end he tipped me double, $200, he knew I saw and I didn't say anything so maybe that's why the heavy tip?
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS : THE REALITY SHOW.
I spent 5 summers working for a moving company between high school and college. I have seen a plethora of weird things in people's homes. I've found numerous forms of paraphernalia: bongs, bubblers, pipes and you name it in various shapes, sizes and colors.
Whips, chains, whistles, yo-yos. They were embarrassed when we charged into the bedroom to pack up their stuff. I once found an entire case of 7.62mm FMJ ammo.
One gentleman insisted that he show us his homemade adult video tape collection. It was hidden in the back of his closet behind a panel. It was him and various women doing the deed. Think of that scene in American Psycho with the two hookers. It was just like that but extra creepy because I was 16 & the dude was a total creep.
The strangest thing was a guy who insisted we stay out of one room in his basement. He had a padlock on it. We were packing his things and he had to run out to "take care of something at the realtor's office." We were almost done and doing our final walkthrough to make sure we didn't miss anything. The padlock was open on the door so one of the girls I was working with went inside. She came running out screaming _"Let's go, let's go. We gotta get outta here." _The rest of us poked our head inside to see what can only be described as a serial killer's torture dungeon. Knives on one wall man-sized butcher's block in the middle of the room plastic everywhere and an oddly stained bathtub on one wall, no toilet, mind you, just a tub.
THANK THE LORD FOR XANAX AND THERAPISTS.
I worked as a mover with friends for a summer job while in college and there is definitely a horror story which sticks out in my mind. I show up as relief help to a crew which had already been at a house for 7 hours and as I arrived I was greeted with wide stares of the _"You aren't going to believe this" _variety from . The boys tell me to check out the basement. I got about 4 steps down the stairs before I was punched by the most pungent sour smell that I couldn't quite put my finger on. I buried my face in my shirt and took another couple unsure steps down the stairs to where I see a chest high shelf which runs around the whole room. The shelf is covered with bottles containing varying amounts of liquid. what was in the bottles? Pee. so many bottles of pee. There was an old beat up chair and a tv with an xbox surrounded by more bottles of piss. So much piss. I immediately left the job site but that visual and smell is seared into my memory forever. So much pee. They also found a dead cat behind a couch later. So I guess I didn't have it too bad.