You hauled it here, U-can-Haul it right back out

One thing you might not know about me is that, although I prefer to be nice, I can be a big ol’ bitch when I have to be. This weekend, for example, I nearly assaulted the manager of a U-Haul office in Chelsea.

Let me explain. My Dad and my pal Isaac had graciously agreed to drive my remaining stuff from Boston to my new apartment in New York. Miraculously, we even got a parking space right outside my building. My sister had come down on the train. For about twenty minutes, my Dad, my sister and I pretended to help while Isaac ran enormous loads of boxes and 400-pound shelving units up the stairs on his back. (This is the sort of gesture that you really can’t repay, by the way. And I tried. I’m pretty much going to have to agree to be a surrogate Mom for his and his wife’s child, should they decide that they don’t want the bother of pregnancy.)

“It’s OK!” He said. “Last week, I was mixing cement! This is nothing!” OK, buddy, if you say so. Take my advice, friends: Get yourselves a pal in construction.

After we unloaded the stuff, we decided that Isaac and I would take the truck back, while my Dad and Mrs. Piddlington played a game of three-dimensional Tetris with my boxes and furniture in my tiny new apartment.

I was all prepared. I had my little NFT book of maps, I had funny stories to entertain Isaac on the way over, should traffic make him nervous. I even had some water. What I did not have was any more patience to spare, when we arrived at the storage place, only to be told that we couldn’t leave the truck there.

“You can’t leave that here! We’re full!” The woman said. She was standing in the driveway, next to the truck, hands on hips, shaking her head as if to shake our protests out of her ears like water.

“But I have a contract right here…” I said.

“I don’t care about that. That’s not my problem. You have to call the 800 number.”

And she went inside.

We called the number. No one picked up. I looked at Isaac. Isaac looked at me.

“Are you ready to drop the keys and run?” He said.

“I would be, but this is on my Dad’s credit card.”

He nodded and got out of the truck. We made our way inside to the office, where the manager was still shaking her head like a labrador retriever and saying, “No! No! You can’t leave that here! You have to go! Go somewhere else!”

“Look, I sympathize with your position. But the office isn’t picking up. Can’t you just call on your end and see what you can do?”

“No! It’s not our problem. You have to leave. I’ll call the cops.”

“Jesus. Call the cops. Call the cops and tell them that I’m abusing you by holding you to the terms of the contract your company signed with me. See? It says right here: I have to pick up the truck at any location you say, but I get to leave it where you tell me. Also, it’s 8:00. U-Haul closes at 9. I am not bringing this truck back down to the Lower East Side and leaving it on the street. It’ll have been turned into a nightclub by the morning.”

“I don’t care. You can’t leave it here. You have to get out.”

“OK, is there any reason why you’re being such a pain in the ass about this? I’m trying to work with you. Your problem is with your management, not me.”

“Don’t you call me a pain in the ass, you bitch!”

“Don’t you call me a bitch, bitch!”

“I’m not a bitch, but you’re a big bitch!”

I leaned over the counter and looked her in the eye. “I am not a big bitch. I am actually a rather small bitch. But you’re a big … fat … bitch … and you’re also ugly.”

She started shaking her head again. “How dare you. How dare you. You’re an ugly person. How can you look in the mirror.”

“I love looking in the mirror! I do it all the time. ALL DAY LONG. But I bet you don’t like it, you big fat ugly bitch.”

And so on. Eventually, Isaac figured out that we could get all the trucks in if we moved them around, and used his skills to charm the manager lady, who had stormed off to sharpen her knives. He reported back to me what she’d said:

“I’ll do it for you, cuz you’re a nice person! I don’t like your wife, though. She’s a bitch.”

“She’s not my wife, actually, she’s just a friend. I’m just helping her move. I would not have handled it that way, and I sincerely apologize on her behalf.”

Eventually, she let us leave the truck there and closed out the account. See what I mean about how I’m going to have to have Isaac and Cathy’s baby?

When we were leaving, Isaac calmed my nerves and told me that it was all pretty funny, in a humiliating sort of way, and not to worry, that it was over, etc. I was shaking pretty bad, the way I do after I’ve let my temper get the better of me. I hate getting mad worse than anything.

“The funny thing is that Cathy would have done the same thing,” he said.

Published by Jen Hubley Luckwaldt

I'm a freelance writer and editor.

10 thoughts on “You hauled it here, U-can-Haul it right back out

  1. Every U-Haul in the world is serviced by a bunch of assholes. Oh there are nice people working there, but I never deal with them. I only get the assholes.

  2. Fantastic! Don’t you wish those folks at U-Haul would read this and realize that when they screw their employees they inturn screw their customers. Her adamance and refusal to help is infuriating. I sincerely hope those were direct quotes. I don’t think you’re ugly or a bitch. If I were you I would look in the mirror all day long as well and maybe… well… I won’t go further than as this is a family blog.

    David in CA

  3. BTW – U-Haul Folks, due to the circumstances my friend went through I’ll no longer require your services. I will be finding friends with pick-ups to help me move and, maybe just to show you how I feel, I’ll move tomorrow and grant my hard-earned dollars to Budget or Ryder and even give them an extra $20.

    David in CA

  4. Here’s something to think about, should you ever move again: You can actually buy a utility trailer for less than or the same amount you would use renting a U-Haul. When you get there, sell it and get your $ back. I’m moving across the country in the fall, and I stumbled upon an old 12ft RV for about $300. If anything goes wrong, I can even sleep in it! A self-contained I-Haul… Whee!

    On a side note, I recently learned that moving expenses can be written off on your taxes, as long you’re moving closer to your new job than you lived to your old one. Whee, again!

  5. And here I thought that driving a U-Haul truck that had enough slack in the strearing to look like a five year old playing a video game was bad. You, you have the best about moving and the ill effects of the service industry in the US that I’ve ever read.

    To date.

  6. Oh




    I have the most amazing mental picture in my head of this scene of you being a “rather small bitch” with you hair in a fabulous glowing red halo all around your head…as one small bitch to another – – – good for you! If I had been there, oy – death would have ensued….And thanks to Isaac for preventing bloodshed…yet again!

    your pal MJC

  7. Oh




    I have the most amazing mental picture in my head of this scene of you being a “rather small bitch” with you hair in a fabulous glowing red halo all around your head…as one small bitch to another – – – good for you! If I had been there, oy – death would have ensued….And thanks to Isaac for preventing bloodshed…yet again!

    your pal MJC

  8. Sorry to hear about your incident. You’re lucky though. At least U-Haul had your truck when you picked up in Chelsea.

    I was told a truck was going to be in Somerville the last time I moved, and I received no phone call telling me otherwise. So, I show up and there’s no truck, and no one who knew anything had any idea what had happened. Finally, I walked out after expressing my displeasure at the circumstances in rough but rather cordial terms while I had 5 people waiting to help me move. When I got outside I lost it and screamed “F**ing bastards!” at the top of my lungs to no one in particular before the door had closed completely.

    So, I get back to my place and call the friendly 800 number to find out what happened to the truck, and the lady proceeds to try to lecture me about swearing at her employees which had me about ready to bust a blood vessel. Then, she says, “I’m going to cancel your reservation, sir!” as if that was going to punish me for being rightfully pissed off. To which I replied, “You go right ahead and do that.”

    The moral of the story, U-Haul is worthless and doesn’t deserve anyone’s business regardless of how expensive anyone else is.

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