Hello everyone! I’m very excited today to bring you this new series: Know Your Movers! I have had so much fun interviewing some fantastic people that I know and appreciate greatly, and I couldn’t be more pleased to introduce you to some of my amazing coworkers.
Today we’ll be profiling one of the most infamous guys on our team. I remember when I first started working here and didn’t know much, I found a single note explaining that a building was having a pest problem, just to let us know. On these notes, there are often solutions to things like difficult parking or narrow stairs. The solution on this note? “Bring cats.” I can’t remember if I was more amused than I was confused, but I was definitely both those things. I asked a coworker about the note and the only thing she had to say was: “Beckwith.”
And so, I’d like to introduce you today (with help from Founder Matt and Admin Mary) to Aaron Beckwith–our operations, moving, and bookstore triple threat.
Erica: What is the most difficult item you’ve ever moved?
Aaron: Oooh, hmm. That’s tough… Apparently I’ve blocked a lot out, ‘cause I’m not coming up with a lot off the top of my head. That gun safe recently was pretty bad. The client said 600 pounds but I don’t think anyone really knows the different between 400 and 600 pounds… or at least I don’t. I just know when i shouldn’t be trying something. Hardest stuff for me has always been situations where we have to deal with the elements like extreme heat, iced over fire escapes, monsoon conditions.
Mary (a horrified coworker): Do you really move on icy fire escapes?
Aaron: Was a long time ago… before or as one of the blizzards was hitting us. 2011 or something.
(Please note that Bookstore Movers does not move on fire escapes or over ice, so hopefully Aaron has learned better since then.)
Matt: I’ve done a lot more hard moves than Aaron –Aaron really is a child of our “easy living era”
Aaron: Matt did have way more crazy moves than me. Most of my moving came after we decided to use these crazy things called ‘Handtrucks’ and ‘Dollies.’
Erica: Back in Matt’s day, they moved with their bare hands in the snow uphill both ways?
Aaron: They totally did.
Matt: Oh great–Aaron concedes to me but while doing so throws an underhanded insult. It was not that long a time that I went without handtrucks! But yes, it was far longer than it should have been. I never said I was a “work smart, not hard” kind of guy–in fact I am exactly the opposite. But all of that said, Aaron did in fact help on a some of the really really early, really really crazy moves–like doing a 4 bedroom house with a 16′ truck and 2 guys.
(Please note: Matt really is a work smart guy. He’s just also often ridiculous.)
Erica: What is your absolute favorite book? No cop-outs! One title!
Aaron: I’m a total cop-out for favorite book. I will try and get a non cop-out-ey answer though… which Matt will surely scoff at.
Erica: We can come back to the hard ones. But what is your favorite piece of furniture you own?
Aaron: Oh, the couch in my apartment is definitely #1. But I love the Poang chair too.
Matt: Yup, Aaron the Great has a great old couch.
Erica: Couch confirmed.
Aaron: I feel like Matt is setting me up for something here.
Erica: Or maybe you have a nice couch? Regardless, Jackie has some great questions for you Aaron; what’s your favorite way to rejuvenate after a long day?
Aaron: Nap and TMZ
Matt: Aaron and his darn TMZ. I can confirm that is true.
Mary: What is your dream vacation, Aaron?
Aaron: Dream vacation is tough, but right now El Yunque sounds pretty great. Drinking coffee, reading, listening to frogs, speaking terrible spanish.
[Several minutes of me excitedly talking about Puerto Rico, where my parents are from, omitted for length and also so I don’t look like even more of a nerd.]
Mary: Can you remember your first day at Bookstore Movers?
Aaron: Hmm, first day. I can’t remember my first move with Matt in the early days, but maybe Matt knows more about that.
Matt: Oh god–I could write a 30-page essay about it. So so so long ago, before we had any trucks even. Just a labor and wits company.
Aaron: First real day when I was full-time was just Matt and me in mid July. We had a client with lots and lots of heavy book boxes in an outdoor walk-up, and I very nearly died on several occasions. I was sore for several days afterward. It may have been over 100 degrees, but I could be exaggerating.
Matt: You always gave all, old man.
Erica: What’s the best thing to eat for lunch a) during a move day, b) during an ops day, and c) doing a bookstore day?
Aaron: Food during Moving Day–taquitos of course. Bookstore Day–Sushi and Sapporo from Sizzling Express. Ops Day–Spice 6 almost every time for me. Salad bowl (rice or naan will wreck you) with all of the veggies and tofu and spicy spices and sauces that are possible.
It’s a Chipotle-like Indian place not too far from us.
Erica: What is the #1 tip for people about to move?
Aaron: I feel like I have 1000 answers for that. Vacuuming can be fun. All the worst moves involve less than optimal cleanliness. #1 regret? Books are already packed so I can’t judge them.
Erica: And finally, your favorite book?
Aaron: Errrrrrghum… I guess I’ll go with Foam of the Daze by Boris Vian.
So there you have it! Definitely check if your local bookstore carries Foam of the Daze–and if that local store is Capitol Hill Bookstore, you may run into a familiar face or two. Since Aaron declined to write a haiku (after much unexplained and sudden badgering about haiku writing while he was working) one has been assigned for him:
Books, boxes, and phones–
he’s mastered them all by now,
a Jack of all trades.
Until next time!