The nightmare began before I even got to Melbourne.
First it was the movers who let me know the day after they picked up the furniture that they had underquoted me and it was my responsibility to pay the difference. They would hold the furniture until I paid their new invoice. Or, “If you want to see your furniture again, you better pay our demands.” We had originally paid them $600 to move the furniture, in accordance with their quote – but after they had our furniture they wanted $1600 more.
After quite a terse phone call to them that was essentially ‘WHAT THE HELL!’, it was clear this was their usual style of business and they weren’t interested in deviating from their position. I had no choice if I wanted to see my furniture alive again.
The drive to Melbourne was uneventful, although it rained all the way down. A constant downpour that began when I left Canberra, went with me on the 8 hour drive to Melbourne, and didn’t stop until the day after I arrived in Melbourne. An omen of things to come?
Upon arriving at the new house (an apartment, actually) the first thing I noticed was that it was somewhat different to what I had applied for.
Our new home was not the home I expected it to be.
I’d been in a rush, looking at a lot of places in one day in a short amount of time. This apartment had maybe 20-25 people walking through it. It was crowded. I had difficulty seeing all of it, so I spoke to the property manager. “Does this have ducted heading and cooling?” She said yes. “And two bathrooms?” Yes. “And a laundry?” Yes. What I managed to see of the property was great. I was happy with it. I left, heading off to the next place. When applying for it, I reviewed the details and photos. I was reminded of what I’d seen, and was happy with the application.
But now, upon having a good look around, it was obvious the property manager had been confused, probably stressed from having to deal with so many questions.
There was only one bathroom and one separate toilet – not two bathrooms. There was no ducted heating or cooling throughout the apartment as I thought, there was only one reverse-cycle airconditioner at the front end of the apartment. And the laundry? A fucking cupboard in the hallway.
My heart sank. This was not the home I thought it was.
And then I went to turn on the light switch in the bathroom. It didn’t work. More light switches, and I discovered that there was no power. The property manager hadn’t done what I had asked them to do – make sure the main power switch was turned off – so the power company was unable to connect the power for my new account with them because the power switch was still on, which meant it couldn’t be reset and reconnected. The property manager apologised, and said they would review their procedures. That wouldn’t help me though.
Lucky for me I had a friend I could stay with overnight. The power company said I needed to be at the property from 7:30am until 5pm so that an electrician could come out and make sure the power could be connected. And no, they don’t do phone calls. If I wasn’t there, they said, then it was likely the power wouldn’t be connected.
So I went back to the property at 7am the next morning, and waited. And waited. There was no power, so I sat here and twiddled my thumbs, intermittently using my phone as a hotspot for my laptop.
By 4pm I called for an update. They said the electrician was probably busy and I’d have to wait until 9pm. WHAT?! “If you’re not there when he arrives, it won’t be connected.” And what if he doesn’t show up, I asked? “Oh, he will. But if he doesn’t, then you’ll have to come back tomorrow and wait again.” So I waited until 9pm.
He didn’t show up.
Fourteen hours I sat in this apartment with no power.
I went back to my friend’s place for another emergency overnight stay. Thankfully he and his wife were very understanding and supportive.
I went back again the next morning – yesterday morning – prepared for another long stay in a house with no power. I got there at 7am and the power was on.
The. Power. Was. On.
And it was turned on without me needing to be here, and between 9pm and 7am.
This kind of shit just makes me want to fucking yell at people.
But anyway, with the power now on I was able to connect the modem to the phone line so that I could use the internet that I had been assured was connected two days prior.
Except it wasn’t connected. No dial tone, no ADSL signal for the internet.
I called the telephone / internet provider (Telstra), who proceeded to assure me that it was working fine as far as they were concerned, their diagnostic tests confirmed it, and the connection had been completed.
“And yet here I am with no internet and no dial tone for the phone. So I’d say you’re wrong,” I said to them.
They’re looking into it. They’ll get back to me soon, hopefully early next week. A specialist is investigating.
I went out to dinner tonight with Fanfan. We got back home, and the swipe card didn’t work to get into the apartment. It was the only way to get into the apartment. There’s no key for the door, so there’s no spare key we can leave lying around. And the card wasn’t working.
At this point I looked at Fanfan and I said, very quietly, “I’m really, really angry. Everything about this move to Melbourne has been fucked. Nothing has gone smoothly or to plan. Everything has just been fucked. I’ve NEVER encountered anything like this in my life EVER.” And I’ve moved around to a lot of different places, cities and even countries in my life. This has been the worst experience of them all.
And then the swipe card worked and the door opened. We went inside and had a cup of tea. And now I’m writing this to you.
It’s got to get better, right?
Journeys can be so frustrating at times.
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