Thanksgiving has rolled around again, and as always we were hard at work both delivering and eating turkey! This year we were happy to help give out turkeys again–it’s important for us to get moving before the holiday, when we’ll be crashed on the couch digesting. Last year we talked a little bit about what we’re thankful for, so I polled my coworkers to see a little more about what’s on their list this year. –Erika G. is thankful to have her sweet dog, Gus. Trust me when I say that ‘dog’ topped quite a few admin lists. The cat lovers did not come out to represent their faction. –Kristen is thankful for New Kids on the Block and Ninja Turtles. Oddly enough, this didn’t top many lists. Have we taken NKOTB and Teenage Mutants for granted? Be sure to thank your favorite boy bands this year, including sewer-dwelling crime fighters. –Laura is thankful for a plethora of things that she found it difficult to narrow down. However, she did list food more than once, so we definitely know who the true hero of her Thanksgiving is. Meanwhile, we’re thankful that Laura was able to return to our Admin team this year. –Mary is thankful for having her family close by–especially since her brother makes great mashed potatoes. –Matt is thankful for his son, and birds of prey. The second is just to spite me, though I have to admit his son is pretty alright. –Aspa, looking back, was unable to tell us what she was thankful for because she was too busy being scandalized by the fact we all enjoy stuffing so much. I know she’s thankful for many things, but stuffing* is not one of them. –Mike is thankful to have a partner in raising his daughters that he trusts so completely that he hadn’t even thought about it till I asked him, which means his wife probably deserves extra food this year. And presents. –Jimmy is thankful for getting to go on an amazing vacation this year, traveling to Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand. You better believe we made him do a slideshow of photos–gorgeous! We’re thankful (and jealous) too! –Jackie, my beloved work-soulmate, is thankful that she “carved out a life filled with love and special people, Hank is the Scooby to [her] Shaggy, and [she is] filled with more gratitude and less Jersey attitude”, which made me laugh so hard I had to include the full statement. –Aaron is thankful for new sauces, which makes me feel bad for all the old sauces he’s pushed aside. Et tu, Brute? –VJ and Jason, I believe, did answer this question, but were so overshadowed by the ongoing chaos of stuffing vs not-stuffing I literally cannot find their answers. I can only assume they both said they were thankful for stuffing. As always, we have so much to be thankful for at this time of the year. All year I am thankful for friends and family, and for coworkers who work hard, laugh loads, and warn me just how sappy a ‘thankful’ post can get. I’m thankful for this company, and for the clients that make it possible. I’m thankful for the organizations we work with who do their best to make the world a better place. I’m thankful that even in times of disaster or tragedy when the world seems so overwhelming, you can always find a shining light or two to remind you to keep fighting for what is right. For Thanksgiving? Oh, I’m definitely thankful for stuffing. I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving, fought through Black Friday, celebrated Small Business Saturday (thank you!), treated yo’ self for Cyber Monday, and are currently enjoying giving back for Giving Tuesday. I hope you all have something to be thankful for all year round, because once again, we’re thankful for you. *Please note that Aspa insists that stuffing is called dressing, which is wrong. And even if it isn’t wrong, this is my article. Them’s the breaks, kid!
It’s the perfect time of year to be thankful. Now, we here at Bookstore Movers do advocate being thankful year round, but we can’t help but get all wrapped up in the holiday season–ha. Wrap. I, for one, am a huge holiday fanatic. I’d like to present, unabashedly, an incomplete list of what we are thankful for: -Coffee: We wouldn’t be here in the morning without it. Quick estimate in the morning? Thanks coffee. -Delicious meals: Just in time for Turkey Day! Whether you have traditional stuffing (yum) or mofongo (yuuuum), delicious meals are a huge perk of the season -That there’s not Christmas music playing in the office: Apparently some people just aren’t ready. -That I’m not at the office and can play Christmas music: They can fight me. -Holidays: I’m a sucker for them. Fall and winter are rife with holidays! Halloween? Done. Thanksgiving? On that. Christmas? Of course! Hannukah? For sure! New Years? The best! Tres Reyes? You better believe it! You just watch my holiday flow. -Friends and Family: This answer is on every thankful list because it’s always true, and we have so many friends and family to be thankful for here. Some of us are lucky enough to be working with their family through BSM. Others are even luckier that they aren’t working with their family. In either case, we are always working with our friends, and I can’t tell you how thankful I am for that. -Our clients: You make this all possible. This is not an exaggeration. Our clients, especially our repeat clients, not only give us work for one day, they spread the word through reviews and referrals that allow us to gain more work. Not only do they trust us with their moves, they then trust us with their friends and family by suggesting us to others, and we couldn’t be more grateful. You give us the opportunity to deliver turkeys and Christmas trees to families, to help schools move books, and to get out in the community in general and do some good. We appreciate everything you do. You allow this local company to exist and flourish. So, thank you. Yes, you, with the bright eyes and perfect hair or lack thereof! We’re thankful for you this year, and we hope you’re surrounded by good food and great friends, with a grateful heart and a full stomach. You deserve it.
Two Saturdays ago I stopped by Capitol Hill Books for a beer tasting and general camaraderie with the Bookstore Movers staff and the public. It’s often good for a man of my, well, “headiness”, to get out of the house every once in a while, and there’s only so much writing and music-making a man can do before he slips into the abyss of his soul. A little company, a little literature, and most importantly, a little libation can do the writer’s soul well. So, I decided to join the literati of the city at the premier beer-tasting event of that particular Saturday. While I was there, sipping on a deliciously potent brew – an eerie chocolaty and hoppy concoction – and perusing the local book selection, I overheard a few different conversations about the same thing: bookstores. Most people were talking about how unique Capitol Hill was. Referencing its selection, the sort of no-nonsense but extremely playful attitude of the staff, the seemingly endless supply of books on the second floor, and the laid-back atmosphere of the store itself. All of these things were said with a smile, and by regulars who threw around the names of people I have yet to meet. These conversations were airy and light, but they always led to a particular point; the difference between independent bookstores and big chain ones. Most of the time it starts when they see the bottle of tequila in an unused sink in the poetry room. “You won’t see that at a Barnes and Nobles!” someone will say with mock seriousness, then immediately laugh afterwards, thanking the gods of writing that places like Capitol Hill still exist. But, what they often don’t say is that one won’t find many Barnes and Nobles anymore. Indeed, one will mostly find giant empty warehouses with large B&N logos on the windows in lieu of customers, books, and culture. The bookstore culture is dying, has been dying, and will continue to die if the trends don’t change. Most people do not lament the loss of giant corporate bookstores, but in a way, they should – especially if they are the same people who continually buy books off Amazon and merely window shop at their local stores while saying how cute it is. It certainly takes a bit of convincing to get people to pay eight dollars for a book when they can get it for ninety-nine cents on Amazon – but in lieu of a long tirade for the literacy of America, I would like to put forward a couple of quiet arguments Remember, when we buy books, we pay for the ideas of other human beings. Even a horrible, dramatic, ridiculous novel that has laughable writing still took a person years or months of labor – charging five bucks for a year’s worth of labor is not a far-fetched idea when you think about it – no matter how cheesy the dialogue may be. We pay for the ability to discuss books with other book lovers, face to face, and the “extra” money you are spending is going to keep a roof over our heads while we do so. Supporting a local bookstore instead of Amazon and spending the extra little cash goes to keep establishments around, and establishments are far more than stores – they are part of our neighborhoods, part of our lives, and give us places to be ourselves around other like-minded people. We are also paying for the ideals of bookstores as well. We are paying to value literature, to value reading and individual thought, personal relationships and the ability to be honest. We do not just support businesses by purchasing books from establishments rather than places. We support the arts, and in a way, our souls, by surrounding ourselves with the culture of the good and the noble. We help bolster our communities and thus, ourselves. So, next time, when you’re wavering on buying a novel from a tiny little bookstore because it’s three dollars cheaper on Amazon – think of where your money is going, who it’s going to, and what it will create. Something tells me you’ll be willing to spend a little extra.
As most of you may have noticed, I am incredibly new to the Bookstore Movers universe. As far as I know, most of my co-workers are collections of ideas and atoms that exist in some sort of state far away from my tiny little home office. I hope to change that soon, and the company itself has been nothing short of accommodating, open, and just all around friendly to a new, nerdy writer like me. So, even without faces to the names, or deeds to the ideals, I still feel quite comfortable around the movers, the administration, and the people with whom I work. And I realized after going on Yelp after I was hired that I wasn’t alone. I would like to invite those of you who have the chance to read the blog to also read the first page on Yelp about us. A quick glance will tell you that Bookstore Movers has an impeccable record, and an overwhelming amount of positive reviews. Sure, this sounds like bragging, or the world’s least subtle advertisement, but I wanted to bring it up because I think there’s an incredibly important detail in the majority of the reviews; the fact that the reviewer mentioned the names of the movers. There is something incredibly intimate about knowing the names of those who are working for you – it strips away the barrier of worker/master mentality and creates a space that, when done honestly, allows both parties to function as one harmonious and symbiotic unit. This was largely evident in the reviews I came across, as each one contained a “Chris”, “Pete”, “Craig”, “Benny” or “Rashim” – filled to the brim with proper nouns! What an incredibly interesting feat – even for a local company, and rarer for a company where most encounters are only for a short time and one-time. I didn’t write this post to brag about the company or to pull a certain sense of empathy and understanding from my readers – rather, I wrote it to show that there really is heart in what Bookstore Movers does. Whether it’s volunteering, throwing social events, or most importantly, moving someone, Bookstore Movers has an incredible sense of duty and pride. I say this as a relatively new employee, and more importantly, as someone who has yet to belong to the BSM family. In a way, I suppose this little blurb ceases to be about Bookstore Movers’ ratings, or even moving – it’s about the value of working hard and letting your work define you. No matter what the service is; from moving, to serving you coffee or food, to creating murals or constructing buildings – the true value is not in the speed, the price, or the method. The true value is how seriously those who work take their work, how much pride they have in it, and how much they truly love their work. If they take their work seriously, they take themselves seriously, and their work will reflect that. The artistry, mastery, and efficiency that makes one perform excellently will come naturally. So, when you are looking for a craftsman, a service, or a company, find out how many people remember the names, the faces, and the attitudes that accompanied the work – if they do so in a positive light – then you have found those who wear their heart on their sleeve; and it’s these types of people that we should be happy to support.
You’ve definitely seen them: the high-rise buildings, towering over every other concrete structure in the vicinity. They are dozens of stories, with pools on the roofs and entire walls made of glass. The buildings themselves look like the love-child of a quirky Project Runway designer and the cold, calculating hands of a Swedish architect. Dozens of apartments are packed into each floor and in spite of the number, there’s inexplicably one, maybe two elevators. And, without any surprise, there’s only one service elevator that somehow, in spite of the definitive modernity of the building, looks like it was stolen from a Saw movie set. Well, I may be projecting a bit of my own apartment experience for the last part, but you get the point. Yes, nothing is more annoying to a group of movers and the residents moving in than a slow, singular and small cargo elevator – conveniently located approximately ten miles (or seems to be while carrying a bed, cabinet, stereo system, other heavy things) from your apartment on the floor. It lends itself to cramp corridors, tight fits and most of all, tons of sweaty dudes in an elevator at one point. But, alas, what can be done? I mean, it’s not like we have giant robots that can pick up the heaviest of furniture and gently place it down through your open window or balcony. We do not have jetpacks that allow our movers to leap up boundless stories to safely deliver your pets, utensils, glassware, or whatever other valuables you hold dear directly to your doorstep. We don’t even have a really sweet truck that can attach the side of the building and then take our mov— Oh, what’s that? People do have that? Oh, that’s pretty sweet. Well, I sit corrected. Some places do have some pretty amazing technology to bypass the horrid inconveniences of small elevators and long hauls (and halls) and there’s a whole lot else out there that is exciting for movers and those moving to see, but until we get our own sweet elevator truck we’ll have to stick to our normal trucks, stairs, elevators, and hallways. Plus, it’s not like our movers don’t enjoy the exercise, and in spite of how cool an elevator on a truck is….it’s still not a giant robot or a jetpack.