22 December 2009

Foiled again!

Gah. Well, the good news is that 1) we have a house, 2) we have a cable/internet install date and 3) I was uber-smart and packed a bunch of necessary items for indoor camping. We also have a ship date for our household goods... only it isn't until the New Year. The 4th to be precise... just shy of a week after our move-in date. Boo!

No, it isn't the end of the world, but I just find it amazing that of all the things we as MilSpouses rally against, we seem to find this bogus week-or-more-without-our-stuff thing to be not only normal, but acceptable? Really? Maybe this is the reason people do DITY moves (aside from the extra money)? Maybe this isn't an issue when you choose to live off post? I don't know. But it does seem ridiculous to me that if you are moving into on-post housing, you shouldn't have to wait a week to get your stuff. Like really, what if we had kids? What if we had special needs or something? How is this acceptable and how has no one bitched about this already? (Okay, I assume folks have bitched about this before, but why hasn't someone tried to make a change here that would actually benefit families?)

So, tell me your PCS stories! How long have you had to wait to get your household goods? How easy was the process? How have you coped with being in housing without your stuff (with or sans kidlets)? And what would you do to make this process easier? What are your solutions to make PCS-ing easier on families?

I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this!


Hilary Jacobs said...

i know opsec doesn't allow but any chance you are going to benning we will be there too. we can commiserate together, though we are hopefully doing off post and will have a house quickly. prayer circle commence! hilary jacobs on facebook.

kimba said...

I'm not sure waiting for a household goods shipment is a PCS-specific issue. The movers have to fill the trucks, which often means putting a couple of families' belongings on the same truck, which may have to be packed and loaded on different days, in different locations. If there's a weekend involved, too, and then a couple of days on the road? 7 days seems normal to me.

For example, my brothers and I just shipped my dad's stuff from CA to my brother's home in VA - completely civilian move, no PCS involved- and it took 10 days.

Having said all of that, the military f's this up sometimes. Our move from VA to CA five years ago was a nightmare. The packers were awful, the movers were unprofessional buffoons, the truck was a week late, as I recall, our stuff was destroyed and the nay vee was of no help in the least. We waited almost a month for our belongings. Since then, though, we've had great experiences. It always involves a period of time without your household goods, though. If the wait is excessive, like the move to Germany from San Diego we just did, you're generally offered a delivery of loaner furniture; we got a bed, an armchair, a couch, lamps, a coffee table, a dining table and chairs, dressers and nightstands, plus a full complement of kitchen stuff. Plus, for long moves, there's an available express shipment, which is delivered within a couple of days of your arrival. Maybe these things are available for shorter moves, too - we've never needed them before.

PCSing is a pain in the ass, I'm with you. But I really think the timing of your household goods shipment is a moving company issue more than a military issue. Totally just my opinion :)

kimba said...

Oh, and sorry my comment is such a whopper!

Tucker said...

Kimba- I totally understand where you are coming from... and I would agree to an extent if our household goods were on a truck making their way down there. However, my issue arises because our goods have been in storage down there for 3 months already. They arrived in October, so there aren't any travel/moving companies in play... hence my frustration with the Army and its policies.

I certainly realize that some of these PCS situation are in fact, unavoidable, but I also think there has to be a better way to do this! We've had cross country family moves that have taken less than 3 days, so I know it can be better than this!

Slightly Salty said...

You are right about the fact that we milspouses learn to accept things that aren't really normal or convenient as exactly that. Our PCS from San Diego to Virginia 5 yrs ago hit a serious snafu ... the fine housing dept didn't see fit to notify us that our HHG would be arriving weeks later than expected. Our moving truck actually broke down on the street right after it left the house, and right after we left the house. So, we trotted along across the country in our car with Yellow Dog in the backseat, got to Virginia and patiently waited for our stuff to arrive on moving day. We had the benefit of staying with friends upon first getting to VA and then got the house ready that we were renting, cleaned it up and all that hoo ha. So there we sat like puppies in the window waiting for the movers to arrive, only they never came. Several calls to the housing office and then the moving company revealed that the truck was stuck back in CA for a week, had to wait to get some major vital part to the engine and then repair it. Only the fun didn't stop there. After it finally got back on the road, another breakdown occurred in transit a few mere states away and another delay happened. All told, we were "camping" out in our rented house for a full 4 weeks before our stuff arrived. We complained good and long and got some travel reimbursement from the trucking company or carrier or something for the expenses we had to lay out like buying an air mattress, towels, sheets, a few pots and pans and other essentials. It was a royal pain, and we had only packed casual summer clothes b/c it was early September and fairly warm but by the time our stuff arrived in early October, we were going to have buy even more clothes to get by.

My only advice is for any PCS moves, regardless of whether you move into base housing or civilian, get phone numbers of everyone connected with your move and call them to check on status of things. You would think that instead of waiting weeks for a part to show up and then repair, that perhaps the trucking company could have swapped out cabs and reattached a different one to the trailer with our belongs and other peoples' stuff. But no, that didn't occur to anyone. Srsly, stupid!

Sorry for the long rant. :)