A Customer’s Chaotic Storage Bins

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These are pictures of a customer’s storage bins. The customer will remain nameless, but I can say they are a major medical practice! They directed our Moving Company to simply deposit these boxes and miscellaneous equipment in their bins. Some questions come to mind:

1) Are these boxes full of archived records that might need to be located at some time?
2) How do they expect to find anything?
3) Might there be a better way to organize these Storage Bins?

About Tipping Moving Workers

Tipping moving workers is not mandatory like tipping restaurant workers. Restaurants workers make a special minimum wage close to $2 per hour, and the bulk of their income is from tips. Moving workers makes several times that, but still not that much. Tips are a very significant part of their income.

Most professional people have experience tipping wait staff, hairstylists, and bellhops, and beyond that their experience may be limited. Customers with a good amount of experience using professional movers—usually tip, but many customers are using professional movers for the first or second time and have not had to address this topic before.

The Cultural Norm in Atlanta in 2009 is that experienced customers will usually tip if they are pleased with the move. You don’t use percentages like with restaurants, but think in term of dollar amounts per member of the moving crew. For a several-hour or all-day move, $20 to $40 per man is a good tip. Not infrequently the tip is above that, but then that is a GREAT TIP! If it is only a half-day move, you would adjust the tip proportionately.

When I as the owner am a member of the moving crew, I don’t expect to get a tip, but when the Driver/Crew Chief is not the owner—don’t forget him! Customers will sometimes think the Driver/Crew Chief is not working, because he is not carrying in the heaviest furniture. He is on the truck, wrapping and putting items into tiers, and unloading items. He also drives the truck and supervises the whole operation, so if anything he should get a larger tip, but an equal tip is fine too (and the Driver/Crew Chief does not make that much more per hour than the workers)

Residential Moving is a personal service. The workers may not be bringing your food to the table or cutting your hair, but they are handling your personal household goods, which includes your furniture, boxes, and all other household items being moved. During an office move there is not that the same “personal feel”—a file cabinet is not as “personal” as say a vanity table. Accordingly, office moving workers get tipped much less frequently.

The reality is that moving workers try to “size up” a customer in the beginning of the move to determine whether or not they will tip and how well. Guess what? The workers work harder when they predict they will get a good tip.

Please give me your comments on what you think about this. There are definitely no “hard and fast rules”

The “Hard” and “Soft Factors” of a Move

After I survey your client’s home, or office to be moved, I Design a Move for them based on what I call the “Hard Factors” and the “Soft Factors.” Hard Factors are quantitative and involve the inanimate realities such as the furniture, boxes, crates and access issues at the origin and destination.

From these raw variables I determine the number of total man-hours required, and what will be the best mix of trucks and Moving Equipment. The “Soft Factors” are human factors: I have general questions such as: What is the customer like? Emotional Type “A” or Type“B”? How did they find out about us? What is their experience with Movers? What are their expectations from the Movers? And then more specifically: Is the scheduled move contingent on a Closing or Closings? Are they more worried about their money, their furniture, their time, having to do tedious physical work themselves, or something else?

Based on the hard and soft factors for your client’s specific case, I design the most efficient and ultimately satisfying move for them.

Office Copiers

Normally, Office Copiers–the kind that have their own base with wheels on the floor–can be moved by regular movers. If there are no stairs involved, and the copiers are in the 200 to 400 lb range, they can either be pushed on their own wheels out of the office, or into the elevator, or they can be put on a 4-wheel dolly.

If there are stairs, it is a little trickier, but not that difficult. In that 200 to 400 lb range, they can be taken down stairs on an appliance-handtruck with a built-in cinching strap. There should be about 3 or 4 men to handle it.

If the copier’s collater or “finisher” is the kind that rolls away, then it should be detached, rolled away and taken down by itself. If the collater or “finisher” hangs off the copier, then the handtruck should be attached to the other side. The toner should also be removed if possible.

We took down two of these types of copiers down a steep staircase yesterday, and it wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t that much of problem. And the copiers came through fine.