Ask a Mover: Interviewed at 4 pm on 17 February 2016
Good after noon, Paul – what are you doing on this fine snowy and cold day?
I’m ordering new uniforms for my guys. I’m thinking that we’ll go with black this time. We went with grey last time but they get dirty fast and really show up the sweat when you are moving. The worst colour t-shirts or jerseys for movers would be white. If your movers come to you with white t-shirts, send them home <he laughs>. White shirts are for desk jobs. Movers and lumberjacks – real men – wear red or black <laughs again – then stops as he sees I am staring pointedly at his white button-down shirt. He gestures at the computer and at the papers around him>. I am working from the office today. My guys are working in the warehouse. Got a few deliveries going as well.
What is the worst thing about moving on a day like today?
The snow is difficult. It is difficult to move in and out of a home without tracking in snow and slush. On days like today we make sure we bring along extra floor runners. You always have to be sensitive to the things like snow and weather that you cannot control on a move.
What is the best thing about moving on day like today?
It’s a sunny day and it is good working weather, temperature-wise. You don’t feel cold – once your body gets warmed up you even take your jacket off. It’s less stress on the body moving during the colder seasons or moderate weather, really.
So, you are a veteran mover. With 25 years on the job, what do you think that experience brings?
Experience brings understanding of the hardship of the work. I can pace my guys and I know how many people to send on a move. I can also really judge how much time a move is going to take, even when customers think they don’t have much stuff. I know that preparation for a move takes time. That includes the disassembly and wrapping up of furniture. Removing doors is also sometimes necessary to ensure you get things through safely – safely for the “things” and also safely for the walls. I also know when and how to hoist furniture. We once had to hoist a sofa eight floors up one time. That was one to remember!
Not only knowing how many men to send to the move, but also knowing the correct size of truck to send is important. And the right equipment. I have several trucks and you have to know which truck to book up for which move so that you can plan your day, weeks, and months properly. Keep the trucks and the guys busy. Logistics is the most interesting and challenging thing I do at my desk, but I also love to get out and direct the guys on the job.
What are the most interesting things you’ve moved?
A $10,000 board room table. It was interesting because it was marble, big and awkward. It had to be lifted correctly as it would have snapped if it was picked up incorrectly. It was difficult maneuvering around corners. Took a lot of experience and good sense to move it safely and without damage – any damage would absolutely ruin it.
We moved a gigantic fish tank the other day. It had to be taken down from the pedestal it was on, about five or six feet up. That was challenging – getting it off the pedestal safely.
<Paul raises an eyebrow and says quietly> We once moved all kinds of torture and bondage equipment from an apartment downtown. They were things you tie people down on – wooden structures with belts and restraining things. We had to walk these things down the stairs as they wouldn’t fit on the elevators. Got odd looks from the other tenants!
What are you most proud of?
We moved a women’s shelter, including pro-bono work for them. I am proud of that and the lady called me today too – she has more work for us. We’ve also been a mover of choice with the LGBTQ community – I love that diverse communities CHOOSE US!
What are your plans for Innercity as a company?
I’m planning to modernize our fleet of trucks – newer, more fuel-efficient trucks. I am planning to delve more into the commercial market. And I’m looking forward to continuing to work with the great people of Toronto. So many of my moves are repeat clients and referrals. I love that. It is so interesting when you get a call from a person you moved five years ago – they’ll say “Remember me? I always kept your number because you did such great work for us!” Gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling <he smiles>
So, if you have stuff to haul – just call Paul. He’s an all-around nice guy and experienced mover.
416 656-8924| firstname.lastname@example.org