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Move this "400 lb" safe
  #1  
Old 02-02-2020, 05:29 AM
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evilhomer evilhomer is offline
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Default Move this "400 lb" safe

My client is a very nice lady. Always smiling, always cheerful, and genuine, not one of those ones smiling at you while typing a scathing email to the boss. So I like her, I have nothing bad to say about her personality. Her ability to do her job however..... Over the course of dozens of jobs, I have literally never had one that matches the scope of work that was arranged and quoted.

On this day we focus of safes. Whenever I hear "safes" I am always a little leery; I have seen safes be anything from multi thousand pound iron units that most people think of when they hear safe, to standard filing cabinets with additional locks, to locking screw down briefcase style that you can carry in one hand. This client is no different. We have moved safes from X-thousand pounds, down to 50 lb filing cabinet "safes". Due to the nature of her company, they have a number of safes that wind up being moved to different divisions. So when my workorder said it was a 400 lb safe, okay, not fun, but certainly doable.

This is the part where Mickey Mouse Moving MiM should have stepped in. As I said, this isn't the first "safe" that we have moved for her. This isn't the first time we've had a problem moving a safe because the weight was underestimated. So what do you do when you have a client that consistently gives incorrect information, thereby having you dispatch a unprepared crew. Do you
a) do some due diligence to verify the information and know that you are sending a prepared crew
or
b) decide that by the law of averages, she's going to be right one of these times, and this one feels like that one

Naturally it's option b

The reason why this is important is because for heavy safes, we rent safe jacks. I don't know why they don't just send safe jacks the moment they hear "safes", particularly with this client, but I suppose the reason for that is the same reason why they don't verify things in the first place.

As an added bonus, as soon as we get to site, on top of the add ons for the other work we are doing for her, she's added another safe to our list. We handle the first end of things, which of course included multiple add ons, then it's on to the safes. I see the first one and it's 2 foot wide and five feet tall; I give it a nudge to confirm that it is the real thing and it's clearly in the thousand(s) pound range. I let her know that there is not a chance in hell of this one getting done. She is clearly disappointed and asks if I'm sure. Did I stutter you friggin moron? Look at this f'n thing. I show her that I literally cannot even budge it, it absolutely needs safe jacks, period, end of story, no further questions. She reluctantly accepts reality but says that the other safe must be moved, they need it today. I'm still in "keep the customer satisfied" mode and I've still got it in my head that the other one only weighs 400 lbs. I'm confident with that weight because I regularly handle fireproof cabinet "safes" which are listed at 500+ lbs, and they never give me a problem. So I tell her that we can handle that one, just need to get the other dolly. (MMM sends us out with a fridge dolly which, while being the wrong equipment, is sufficient for "lighter" safes).

We strap it into the fridge dolly and all we have to do now it tilt it back. But that is not happening, this thing won't budge. I'm thinking it's just a leverage issue, so we push, drag, pray and do what we can to get it into a more open area. But even that is a no go, we cannot get this thing to tilt up. I'm pondering a couple of tricks but then something occurs to me. It's a rectangular shape, and we've got it on the wide end; even if we are able to tilt it up, we won't be able to get it through any doorways, we would have to tilt it on it's narrow end. At this point I call it. Simple physics means that this is roughly doubling the weight that we are trying to tilt, and it would be dangerously unstable on this wrong piece of equipment.

I call the client back to give her the news. Once again she is disappointed. She sees that we had managed to move it a little and wants us to drag it out the garage door then lift it on my truck's tailgate. This idiot with no apparent ability to count or otherwise ability to have a proper plan is, apparently, a move expert who knows exactly how everything should be done. You see, this is why this idiot asked for a truck with a tailgate so that we could do this because it was too far to walk it to the dock.

Okay, so for starters, by my judgement, this safe is above the weight limit for my tailgate. Even if I were to risk that, we could not safely transfer it off the tailgate into the truck. And even then, we would have to drag it over 1,000 yards across painted and tiled floors at the receiving end. She focuses on me saying that it's above the weight limit for my tailgate

SC: What's the weight limit for your tailgate?
Me: Honestly I don't know, but my judgement is that this unit is above that limit
SC: Well it's only 400 lbs.
Me: Where are you getting this number from?
SC: That's just the rough weight of a safe this size.
Me: Okay, well I regularly move cabinets listed on waybills at over 500 lbs and they don't give me this kind of trouble, I'm going to say that your 400 lb estimate is on the low side.

So basically, she just pulled this number out of her ass. I don't know, I didn't get this thing on a scale, for all I know it was accurate. But based on what I have done before and the numbers I have seen that go with it, I can't believe it was an accurate number. But really all she had to do was look at this thing and see that it's pretty heavy, better send safe jacks, just to be on the cautious side. But of course, that would mean actually knowing how to do her job, so that can't happen.

So we part ways to get the job done on another day. But before going, I make a request:

Me: So we'll get the safe jacks, we'll get this handled, but please, can you get these doors closed so that they can be safely moved without damaging them, I don't want a repeat of what we went through last year at Main Street
SC: No we can't do that, this is how safes are supposed to be moved
Me: (oh FFS!!! this again?!?) Okay, I think it's safer for them to be moved with the doors fully closed, I'll discuss the matter with my office

That was the end of this day, but it did bring back the memory of a war story of that safe I did last year for her, I'll share that story too.
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  #2  
Old 02-02-2020, 05:32 AM
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evilhomer evilhomer is offline
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This one was a monster safe, 4' x 3' x 4' . I can't even guess the weight but 2,000 lbs would be a conservative estimate. This was attempt 2 to move this sucker because following her pattern of being an oblivious moron, attempt 1 was done by guys with standard equipment. This time around, we do have the safe jacks, so it's a doable situation, but of course there's a problem. They have left the door open with the latch pins out, I don't have a flush surface to insert the equipment. I ask the client to get the door closed. Apparently, she is an expert on safe moving because she tells me that, no, you are supposed to move a safe with the door open. I do not even try to to diminish my "are you an F'n moron" expression while I ask her where she got this load of BS from. Oh, this was something that the guy who opened the safe for them told her. Okay, I am not an "expert" here but of the dozen or so safes that I have previously moved, none of them have ever had an open door, and with good reason, as you can see, you cannot get the equipment in the correct location. Okay, that's all well and fine, just go ahead and move it anyways. What part of "can't be F'n done" are you failing to understand dumbass? So now she is trying to figure out the combination and how to dial it in but even though we are following the instructions that her "expert" gave her, it's not working. Okay, well too bad dumbass, get your shit together and maybe 3rd time will be the charm. Oh no, we can't have that, they need to have that safe there today, they have stuff to lock up. Okay moron, you just demonstrated that you DO NOT have the ability to close this safe, how exactly are you planning on locking items in there? Oh right, you don't plan.

So we give it another shot. We put the jacks on the wide side and manage to get them inserted. But now we have to run the strap around to keep everything connected. I advise her of this requirement and she says that's fine. Okay, are you sure, this is a ratchet strap that is going to apply hundreds of pounds of presssure on those latch pins, I am not a safe expert but I can tell you that if those pins are deformed even slightly, they will no longer work. She wants my opinion on the possibility of that. I have no F'n idea, I've never moved a safe with the doors open. It's 1 inch round stock steel, so it shouldn't get bent, but I have no way of knowing. She gives me the okay but I want to confirm, okay, if this thing is ruined, we will not be responsible for that in any way. Oh, since I put it that way, we better find a solution. The only thing I can think of is jamming something into the door frame. From here, she dials up her stupid meter to 12; not only does she bring me possibly the dumbest thing possible for this purpose - a piece of styrofoam, she is absolutely insistent that it will work. In fact, she is so insistent, that I can only shut her up my amusing her. Naturally, the styrofoam snaps like a .... like a piece of styrofoam. I find a 2x4 that does the trick and while I'm not crazy about the set up, it does work.

We get the safe moved but not without one final parting shot. It's not exactly where she wanted it positioned. Well tough shit lady. We couldn't position the jacks where we needed to and because of that, this is how far off the wall it has to sit, deal with it.
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  #3  
Old 02-06-2020, 04:58 PM
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Dragon_Dreamer Dragon_Dreamer is offline
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I hope she paid extra for the re-visit!
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  #4  
Old 02-07-2020, 04:05 AM
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evilhomer evilhomer is offline
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Quote:
Quoth Dragon_Dreamer View Post
I hope she paid extra for the re-visit!
Don't know, don't care. According to my MiM, depending on the day of the week and their mood at the time, no, anytime we have to go back, it has to be done as a freebee. (and then other times when they are feeling like being honest, they admit that it gets re-quoted). But whatever the case may be, the problem would not exist if they properly planned things out.
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  #5  
Old 02-07-2020, 09:24 AM
Buzzard Buzzard is offline
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If everyone properly planned things out, there wouldn't be enough work for Homer and his mangy band of misfits to keep busy. Even just having Rickey Rodent Relocation's MiM's on the ball would cut so much off the workload that... Homer wouldn't have to whip the minions hardly at all, so of course that's just right out.
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  #6  
Old 02-07-2020, 10:39 PM
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Kristev Kristev is offline
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That was dreadful. And Styrofoam?
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  #7  
Old 02-08-2020, 08:30 AM
Buzzard Buzzard is offline
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Some people have no idea what mass and physics are all about. If you never apply any real stress to something, you never get the chance to realize that things... break.

Of course, this lady is why work sites have nice WELL MARKED barricades around big work sites. Real world physics tends to hurt. Sometimes, really briefly.
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  #8  
Old 02-28-2020, 08:18 PM
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Dave1982 Dave1982 is offline
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Reminds me of what I believe was a Daffy Duck cartoon, in which he was hired by some shady characters to do some stage stunts. Being at least somewhat genre savvy, he recognized that they were setting him up to have a safe dropped on his head.

He flat out demanded to know if they were about to drop a 16-ton safe on his head, and they assured him they weren't.

Cue a very large safe falling on him.

"You said no 16-ton safes!!"

"It's not!!!! It's a *27* ton safe!!!"
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