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Movin' On Up

I haven’t had much time to write these past few weeks due in large part to the fact the firm has moved. We are now located in Tempe, much closer to Phoenix and most of the courts where we usually practice.

The move actually happened on the 1st of January, more or less, but the transition was still happening until this week. For all I know, it may well continue happening for weeks to come. I say that because it turns out Brown & Little, P.L.C., is the first business in the history of the world to move offices. I know it seems implausible, but I am certain you’d agree if you got to see how more or less every vendor involved dealt with the logistics of the move.

The moving company didn’t realize that transferring everything belonging to three law firms would take a serious amount of manpower. On a rare, rainy week during the closest thing Phoenix has to winter, the difference between an enclosed moving truck and an open trailer didn’t seem too important to them either. When they didn’t understand why a bunch of lawyers wouldn’t be too happy signing a contract absolving them of all liability for any damage caused to anything by anyone in any way, we hired a different moving company. Strangely, it must have also been their first move ever; the new company didn’t think it was important to tell us they don’t move art. You wouldn’t believe how many picture frames and little glass vases filled with sand you can fit in an M3.

No phone company has ever ported a fax or phone number, and no one really even knows how many different companies you have to pay to fully equip a suite of offices with phone, fax, and internet. Some companies do switches and firewalls, some do black boxes, some run lines to offices, some run lines to places I had no idea needed lines, and no one has any clue when things are going to get done and in which order people need to come. It must be the first time anyone has ever set up e-fax too. Otherwise, they probably would’ve known to explain that e-fax is incoming only. Nothing says consummate professional like trying to get a copier worth more than a small car to fax something, only to end up taking a walk of shame over to the receptionist to use her all-in-one printer because e-fax means no outgoing fax line. They weren’t even finished there; when we told them to put in an actual fax line and to use any free numbers in the block of 100 DIDs we have, they used a DID going to an office that was being used. Lucky callers got screechy faxes noises until we noticed the problem.

Oddly, even the post office has never dealt with a business change-of-address. It’s hard to believe, I know, but our superintendent sent us to the post office because they’re responsible for re-keying our mailboxes. I waited on hold forever to be told I don’t have to bring anything, only to wait in line forever to be told I must bring a copy of my lease to get a new key. After ensuring I definitely didn’t need a notarized lease, I waited in line forever yet again to be told I needed an executed, notarized lease. Returning with the executed, notarized lease and waiting forever in a lobby that felt like a home away from home at that point, the lady behind the counter didn’t even look at the lease I brought before issuing me everything I needed for the new key. She didn’t even request ID.

The end result of this, the first-ever move completed by any business in the history of the world, is that we have beautiful new offices in a much more convenient location. In fact, we actually have three free offices if any of you lawyers out there are looking for space. If you take us up on the offer, or even if you just have to move your business in general at some point, I hope that our trailblazing work in moving a business, something that had clearly never been done before, will make your move smooth sailing.

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3 Responses to "Movin' On Up"

  1. shg says:

    There’s an amazing phenomenon, where people who hold themselves out as capable of performing a function, and taking good money to do so, prove singularly incapable of actually doing so. They provide great excuses, myriad explanations, but somehow simply cannot accomplish a task.

    When you find the rare business that actually performs the task for which they’ve been paid, you are so thrilled with them that you praise them as if they are miraculously wonderful, when the truth is they merely did what they were supposed to do. Things are so awful that a business that actually accomplishes a task, without problems, excuses, delays, mistakes, confusion, damage, disruption, asumes almost god-like status. We love them, merely because they actually did what they were paid to do.

  2. Matt Brown says:

    Even if we knew before that we could hire consultants, which we didn’t, we probably just wouldn’t have believed how irritating it was going to be. Oh well. Next time, consultants for sure. Hopefully *fingers-crossed* we will never be moving again…

    Good luck with COMCAST! If they’re anything like Cox or Qwest, the major providers here, I imagine you’re in for a treat spending the next three weeks of your life figuring out how they’re supposed to do their jobs.

  3. Mark Draughn says:

    Heh. Great post. My wife and I are discovering that we are the first COMCAST customers ever to want to upgrade from cable service to cable/internet/phone service. If we weren’t already a customer, they could tell us exactly how much it would cost, but because we already have their cable service, they haven’t got a clue what will need to be done or how much it will cost.

    Actually, there are Relocation Management consultants. They meet with you to find out your timetable and how much work disruption you can handle, and they coordinate with all the vendors–movers, construction contractors, painters, phone techs, computer guys, facilities manager at both ends. If you let them, they can even arrange to move all your signs and reprint all your business cards and stationary. They do this a lot and they’re good at spotting issues. I’m sure they charge a lot too.

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