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Neighbors: Moving 'Pigpen'

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A few years ago a friend of mine "Pigpen" bought a house. She has amazing luck and a tendency to rely heavily on the goodwill of others. (Often acting like it's her due and only giving perfunctory thank yous.) So in her typical, 'friends are there to do things for you' manner we were asked to help her move and prepare her house for being moved. This meant long hours painting, running to the paint store, cleaning, refurbishing, etc. My boyfriend and I did the lion share of this work, with her and other friends of MINE joining in every so often.

Now Pigpen is a big girl and not known for being overly clean or active. Or, as she would put it, her physical inability to be active. She "couldn't" lift boxes, or stand for long, or walk for long or anything. (Amazing how quickly she can lift when it's free though). So when we agreed to move her we knew that we would be doing all the lifting and carrying. All I asked was that she was packed and that she clean up after her animals. (She lets them do their business in her house.) LC: Ew.

Since she was trying to save money (we were all pretty poor, but getting by) she didn't rent a truck. But she was only moving a short distance so we all brought trucks, cars, station wagons and figured we would hop it over.

The day of the move we arrive with empty cars and ready to go. We enter the old house and find it FILTHY. Nothing was packed, there didn't seem to even be any boxes, the kitchen was covered in dirty dishes and worst of she hadn't even cleaned up the animals. LC: I honestly would have left at that point, and told Pigpen to call me when she was all packed and cleaned like she said she would be. Feces were everywhere, the place smelled of urine, when you touched something like the couch it was warm and didn't spring back immediately. I even found some used feminine products while packing! Gross!! LC: EWWWWW!!!!!!!!!  :-X  I take back my previous statement; I would have left and never gone back!

Friends I had pressured to come help the day go faster were horrified, as was I! Thinking quickly I told the others to back the cars into easy loading position and I dove in. LC: Brave gal! I pulled outside anything that didn't need to be packed or came essentially pre-packed. Chest of drawers just had their drawers removed with stuff in it and were put in the car, coffee tables, couches, whatever. Since furniture is big I was able to fill up the vehicles without needing to really pack anything - or have anyone else enter. I sent them to the clean house to unpack and took advantage of that time to gear of for wave two.

I spent that afternoon loading the dishwasher while putting stuff outside for the movers. Mind you she didn't get any boxes, so I used what I found lying around and then got creative. Since she wasn't packed we moved everything we could "as is". For instance we unhooked all the VCRs etc, but moved the entertainment unit with them still in it! I was careful to make sure everything survived the move, but since it was in a cushy car for a few miles and then in it's new home, we didn't really unpack/repack much.

Since we had already been at her new place painting and all we had a decent idea where we wanted things and the movers put the furniture into their new places. Boxes we unpacked so we could reuse them. While I'm sure everything wasn't in the perfect place the lion share was in place or close proximity.

Still she was appalled that we hadn't cleared the whole weekend. She thought she didn't need many boxes since we were going to move a room at a time fully setting it up (including hanging pictures) before we moved the next one - no matter how long it took! She knew were we were leaving town the next day!!! I told her we were leaving and we had one day to help. Whatever we didn't do that day she did on her own. Grudgingly she "allowed" us to move everything, but felt "betrayed" by this.  LC: Ungrateful bacon-fed knave!

In about 4-5 moves everything clears out. The movers (who only entered for the couch, the desk, and the bed; later I was told they were very grateful that I queued everything outside) were amazed at my transformation. In an effort to not have the landlord utterly sue her (a lost cause considering how trashed this place was) I cleaned and vacuumed, it was all packed and the last of the dishes were cleaned and being placed in a reused box yet again. While I was doing all this what was Pigpen doing? Reading!! Every now and then she packed a box but she spent almost the whole day reading. LC: I would have been hard-pressed not to whap her over the head with the book and make her get some actual work done.

When she went over to her new, almost entirely unpacked house she was unhappy since the last load wasn't unpacked, pictures weren't hung, and everything wasn't just so. She cried wondering how she could be expected to do all this work alone! LC: Poor little puddin'head!

It was late though, and we were exhausted and gross. And grossed out! LC: I bet they were never offered food or beverages, either.

To top the cake, the next day however I took my car to jiffy lube before we hit the road. It was taking longer than they said it would and I had to run into work before leaving. I asked Pigpen if I could borrow her car since mine was still in the shop and I just needed to go to work and right back (a few miles). I had driven her car before.

After using my car and all my friends cars back and forth THE DAY BEFORE and despite that I entirely spearheaded moving her and cleaning her old place while she read she said to me, and I quote: "I guess that's okay but I'm going to have to charge you gas money."  LC: "Pigpen, I think the fact that I saved you hundreds of dollars yesterday by moving your entire house for you is payment enough, don't you?"

I borrowed someone else's car. To this day she wonders why our friendship is strained. LC: I wonder why there is still a friendship at all! I know she was short on money, but next time she'll be more broke when she's forced to hire movers to pack and move her.

But with her luck she'll have a new batch of friends to do it, or her daddy will hire them. Apparently she never was sued by the landlord even though the entire house really was ruined.




The only reason I can think of for why the LW went through with the moving was that she gave her word and isn't one to back out on it.  Don't get me wrong, that's a very good quality to have, but ... wow.  As soon as I saw all the feces, I'd have hightailed it fast.

Exactly what kind of gun was Pigpen holding to the OP's head to get her to do all this?  I'm sorry, but that went way beyond the call of duty.  And, the OP should have not done any of it.

Being assertive and standing up for yourself is not rude.  The OP should have done it.

Even if she gave her word to do this, she should have never gone through with it. How could she have possibly worked with such a health hazard?

Also, why didn't she read the riot act to Pigpen? Even if I wasn't working in a feces-and-urine-covered environment, I'd be pretty ticked if the mover didn't even help me help them. "Pigpen, we're helping you move out of this place. You should be able to pitch in and help us get you out of here." And if that didn't work, "Pigpen, you didn't hire me, I volunteered to help you. These are your belongings, and out of our kindness, we're trying to relocate it to your new place, but we need your help. Either you help us move YOUR stuff out, or you can move it all yourself."

But, you'd never see me in that environment. Yikes.

The moment Pigpen breached the agreement, the LW should've backed out.  Seriously, there's no way I'd have done all that, even for a friend.  "Friend" for a given value of friendship, of course--it sounds one-sided as EHell.  I helped my best friend move.  She was extremely appreciative of all my help and bought pizza for all the helpers.  Also, she was organized and clean.  And had rented a truck.  That's what a friend does when asking for a big favor.

The LW needed to stand up and get the word "Welcome!" off her front.

Drunken Housewife:
The LW should have left.  Pigpen is not going to learn if people are doormats for her.

In my younger days, I had friends help me move, and I helped people move, and you always have everything boxed already, don't expect them to clean, and you get pizza/beer/sodas or other food for them to thank them (pizza seems to be the traditional thank you food).  You thank them effusively, and you also don't complain if they break something (which happened when friends move me... some things got broken, but when someone is doing free manual labor for you, you can't complain). 


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