Saturday, May 15, 2010


We made it!

The move is over.

The phones work. The computer network works. The internet connection works. Hurray!


Packing Day (Thursday):
25 employees, 2 professional packers, 400 rented plastic bins, 800 zip ties, 600 room I.D. stickers.
Done in 8 hours. Not bad!
I even had time to go to the locksmith and to get keys cut for all the employees before dinner. 25 keys x 1 minute per key = a helluva long time to stand around listening to the irritating whine of the key grinder. I should have brought earplugs.

Moving Day (Friday):
2 employees supervising the old location, 2 at the new location, and me bopping back and forth with my cell phone ringing every 2 minutes.
One 30-foot straight truck, 2 cube vans, 12 movers.
Done in 14 hours.

Although it was a long day, it was actually pretty great. Mostly I was ecstatic simply because things were going well. Every time I picked up the phone it was news of another success.
"Your phone lines have been cut over to the new location."
"Your internet connection is now active."
"We've finished re-assembling the server rack, and everything is working fine."
Yahoo! Yipee! Sweeeeeet!

Also, it was a beautiful day for an adventure. I bummed a ride in the straight truck on the first trip over. I love sitting up in that high cab that you have to climb a ladder to get into. Of course I had to squeeze into the middle, and scootch my feet way over, because the giant stick-shift took up the entire floor space at the centre of the truck. I didn't care.

Then I got to work the lift gate on the truck while we were unloading. I'm sure that was against every health and safety regulation in the book, but whatever. I gets to operate heavy machinery! Good times!

After the first truckload was dropped off, I jumped back in the cab and we headed back. 2 blocks later, the truck cacked out. The engine was running, but the gas pedal stopped working. (Better than the brakes!) The driver put the pedal right to the floor, but the engine wouldn't rev. We crawled along at walking speed, four-way flashers on, in the left-turn lane. What now?

The driver shut the truck off. We all crossed our fingers. He turned the key. The engine caught. Gas pedal down: VRRROOOM! The truck was alive! It must have had a Windows-based engine. Just needed a reboot and it was good to go.

Unpacking Day (today, Saturday):
10 of the most loyal, committed, employees, who showed up on short notice when I and the other manager realized that Monday (our official Settle-In day) would not be enough time to get ready for Opening Day on Tuesday.
Lunch provided at the expense of the business owners, to thank us for sacrificing our Saturdays.
400 bins. 800 zip ties to cut off.
Lots of trying to figure out how to re-jig things in the new space.
Furniture Tetris.

On Unpacking Day the imperfections of the process, minor though they were, became evident. At least two of my LCD monitors have movers' fingerprints permanently embedded in the screens. I haven't tested them all yet.

Our new furniture, gorgeous though it is, presents some challenges with the locations of the electrical, voice, and data cable outlets. Either the outlets are right at the desk, but completely hidden behind a built-in cabinet or modesty panel, or they are so far away that I have to go out and buy a bunch of extra-long cables and extension cords to run around three sides of the room. :-pppppp

In the final analysis, I'm totally thrilled with how well things went. When I think of all the nightmarish worst-case scenarios that were totally possible... Well, I don't have to think about those anymore. We're in. Everyone loves the new place. It's beautiful. It's bright and spacious.

And tomorrow I'm going to take a day off and forget about it completely, with any luck.


DarcsFalcon said...

AWESOMENESS!! Woo! Great job! Success! How excited and happy you must be that it's all done and over, and now you can begin the process of settling in and getting used to the new space.

And the phone lines work! Did you go with a new company or did the old one manage to come up to scratch?

Glad things went so well. :)

Kate said...

You did it! All of this would have made me cry. You are awesome.

Jameil said...

Woo hoo!!!! Now go do something fun!

darcknyt said...

That is six different shades of WIN right there. Nicely done! BRAVO!

This calls for a stiff drink and a day of gloating. You did it. *Ovation*

G said...

Congratulations on a job well done!

I have a basic idea on what you went through since I went through something similar at one of my agencies some 8 years ago, so it's fantastic that everything went off like well oiled machinery.

I like that "funiture tetris" idea: video game for adults.

Sparkling Red said...

DarcsFalcon: After all that drama about the phone lines, 48 hours after the initial Bad News phone call, All*stream called me back to say "Surprise! We found phone lines for you after all! We had them all along. We were just toying with your emotions because we're a bunch of sadists. Mwahahah!" At which point I laughed, cried, and raged simultaneously, and had a brief nervous breakdown. I purchased those phone lines at the price of my sanity.

Kate: Oh, I cried, trust me. Mostly I saved it up for home, although there were moments when I had to lock my office door and put my head down for a few minutes. It was all just too much to bear at times.

Jameil: First: much sleep. Then perhaps I'll have enough energy for fun.

darcknyt: Thank you! *bows deeply* I will take that drink now.

G: Before the move we were so overcrowded in our old space that everything felt like Tetris. File storage Tetris, staff seating Tetris, etc. It's been one of my primary mental images for a while.

Ily said...

I don't think I've ever operated heavy machinery...which is probably a good thing, but it sounds like you did great and I'm glad the move went well!

LL Cool Joe said...

Great news!! And I'm sure the move was as successful as it was because of your organisational skills!

Enjoy your day off, it sounds like you deserve it!

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Awesome!! Are you still going to be able to walk to work at the new site?? Have fun at the new place!

Karen said...

So glad it is behind you. Amen! You deserve a vacation.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

Super exciting. A smooth transition has lots to do with ample planning. Kudos to you for doing as much as you could ahead of time to ensure a smooth ride!

Sparkling Red said...

Ily: Considering that I don't even operate the standard heavy machinery (a car), it was pretty way out there to be handling any part of a big truck!

LL Cool Joe: Thanks! I'm am pretty proud of my planning skills. Our phone install guy said that my installation spreadsheet was more clear and complete than those produced by his colleagues who work in the phone industry. I win!

Ron: It would be physically possible for me to walk to work, but it would probably take around 90 minutes each way. Not so bad on the bus, which only adds around 15-20 minutes to my commute at each end.

Karen: I want a vacation so bad I can almost taste it.

Nilsa: Thanks! The planning was very involved. In some ways moving day felt like my wedding day: such a big project finally playing out in reality. At that point you figure if you didn't think of everything, too bad, you'll just have to roll with it!

San said...

WOW. You did all this and lived to tell the story. And the key grinder didn't deafen you. Way to go!