#059 In which our hero has a perfectly nice lunch spoiled.
Okay, here it is.
I'm fairly exhausted from all the crap that's happened in the past two weeks, and the prospect of even writing it down makes me tired, but I'm going to anyway, because I love you all that much.
We're all moved in. That is to say, all of our crap is in the house, sitting in poorly-labeled boxes waiting to be unpacked. However, for a bit, it didn't seem likely that it would happen.
First, you need to know that we closed on the house on Dec. 17, a Friday. We also took possession of the house on the same day. Now, we wanted to close earlier in the week, but the sellers agent, who it will be made perfectly clear, sucks, told us that the relocation company we were dealing with (the pervious owners were relocating, not us) didn't allow anyone but the buyers to live in the house after closing. Now, in our old house, we closed, then still lived in the house for several weeks. This was all stipulated in the contract, and it was fine. It was kinda strange though, living in the same house that we have lived in for years, but knowing that it was no longer our house, not really. But, the sellers agent (who, you will remember, sucks) told us this wasn't allowed - we must close and take possession on the same day. Now, this isn't a big deal, unless something goes wrong. Are you jumping ahead of the narrative and guessing something went wrong? Sure you are.
So we actually signed the papers on Thursday night and handed over a big whopping check for the down payment of our new house (for three days we had a gigantic and very comforting amount in our checking account - but no longer). So far so good.
Here's what's supposed to happen: the money and paperwork go to the mortgage company, which forwards it to the title company, which transfers the title from the old owners to us, then we own a new house. But, since we were dealing with a relocation company, there was another intermediary step in which the paperwork had to be faxed to them as well for their rubber stamp.
After Thursday night, we were feeling pretty good. A lot is going to happen in the next few days, and we've carefully planned it out. The sequence of events should go thusly:
- Friday morning
- All the needed paperwork is faxed and digital money is shifted around, resulting in the title being transferred to our name.
- Friday afternoon
- I go to my company's holiday lunch, then come home early.
- Friday evening (early)
- Our Realtor drops off the keys to the new house.
- Friday evening (later)
- I drive The Scientist and the little girl to the airport so they can fly out to California.
- Friday evening (later yet)
- I complete the packing of the old house and start to move some stuff over to the new house.
- Saturday morning (really early)
- I pick up the moving truck that I reserved a week ago.
- Saturday morning (early)
- The friends I've suckered into helping me move arrive.
- Saturday day
- We move all our junk, including the crap in the storage area
- Saturday night
- My friends (if they are still my friends after realizing the sheer amount of stuff we own) and I sit around, drink beer, eat pizza and play board games (my friends, much like I, are geeks).
- I start unpacking.
- I go back to work, while unpacking in the evening.
- Monday evening
- I take the dog to the kennel in preparation for Tuesday, below.
- Tuesday evening
- I drive myself to the airport, fly out to California to join my wife, child and in-laws for Christmas
Friday morning, as I'm pretending to do a little work before the party, our Realtor calls. He tells me that the title agent is still waiting for some information from the mortgage company, and without this information he can't process the title. So I call the mortgage company to have them tell me that they had some computer problems, but everything is resolved now and the title company has all the info they need. Fine, good.
Later in the morning, our Realtor calls again, this time to tell me that the title agent is telling him that our money is held up at the Federal Reserve, and there's the possibility that the title may not transfer today. And if the title doesn't transfer, the sellers agent (who still sucks) will not release the keys to our new house. Which, needless to say, serious screws up every other step in the plan.
Also, the excuse that the money is held up is total bullshit. We handed over a bank check, which is iron-clad, it's as good as cash. They have our money and it's guaranteed. I call the title agent and he gives me some excuses, but it' still early in the day and I'm reasonably calm. I stress to him the importance of the title transferring today.
The morning passes and I'm starting to become a little more stressed. One way or the other I have to leave for the airport around 5:30, and I'd really like to have keys in hand before I do so.
Our Realtor calls again, and now he is being told that the relocation company is the cause of the hold-up. They have to process their paperwork and the title can't be transferred until they do. And, of course, they are some giant faceless company in another state.
I'm updating The Scientist on the course of events, and as the day draws on, she gets involved. Or, I should say, she Gets Involved. Here's the thing: my wife isn't a ball-buster by nature, but when she needs to get something done and there's some stupid bureaucracy in the way, she will move heaven and earth to achieve her goal and God help you if you're in the way. So when she says to me, "All right, I'm on the case. Don't worry." I knew some people where about to become very unhappy.
By this time I'm at our holiday lunch. And, I'm becoming increasingly pissed-off, because now the title agent won't return my calls. The Scientist also is having trouble reaching this guy, so she asks to speak to the president of the company. This has the intended effect of having everyone at the title company shit their pants, and the receptionist assures her that someone will call her back within ten minutes.
Exactly seven minutes later, the title agent calls. He absolves himself of all responsibility, claiming that the paperwork is over at the relocation company and he can do nothing at this point but wait.
Now, The Scientist is updating me on her progress every so often via my cell phone. This means while the president of my agency is thanking us for working so hard this year, and he's looking forward to a better 2005, blah, blah, blah, I'm over in the corner shouting into my phone "Fuck that! Those fucking jerkoffs had our paperwork since last night! You're telling me that stupid asshat at the title company can't make some phone calls and get this thing done?" Except I didn't say "asshat" (which I think is hilarious) because I'm never very clever when I'm pissed off.
About this time the title agent returns my call from this morning (preferring to speak to me, having been thoroughly scared by my wife, I'm sure). I give him some business and ask who I can talk to at the relocation service to expedient things. He assures me that there is no one, which, I tell him, is bullshit. There's always some human touching paperwork like this, and if there is a human, than there's someone that can talk on the phone. I tell him to call me instantly when he has more information.
Incidentally, I was working under the assumption that this deal had to be done by the end of business day, i.e., 5 o'clock. During this call I learn that the last filing time with the state is 3:30pm; if it's not done by then, it won't happen until Monday.
Then The Scientist calls me to say that she's just talked to someone at the relocation company (even though dickless told me there was no-one to talk to). They tell her that they most likely won't even process the paperwork until TUESDAY. When The Scientist tells her that we were told that we must close and take possession on the same day, she is told that that isn't true.
Often, when I'm faced with a situation that pisses me off, I look for someone to blame. There isn't always a single person to point a finger to, but in this case, it is clear as day: the sellers agent.
By forcing us to close on Friday instead of days ahead like we wanted, she has fucked us, and put into action the current chain of events that have stressed out me, my wife, our Realtor and every other poor SOB that got in my wife's way. Now that The Scientist and I both have a name to blame, we are on fire. My wife tells me, "I will get our house keys today, I don't care how it has to happen," and I know it to be true.
I know I've built up to a pretty dramatic finale, but to be honest, the situation resolved fairly anti-climatically. While The Scientist was considering driving over to the sellers agent's office (who now doesn't just suck, she fucking sucks) the title agent calls me to say that he's just received email confirmation from the relocation company for the transfer. His associate is in line right now at city hall to file the appropriate paperwork. He would call as soon as it was official.
I called The Scientist and this elicited a "What the fuck?" moment for both of us, since she was told that the paperwork wouldn't be processed for days yet. Anyway, the weasely title agent called me a short time later (right at the 3:30 deadline) to say that the title had been transferred, it was official, and the house was ours.
But now, as a final kick to the balls, no-one can seem to find the (sucking so bad) sellers agent to get the damn keys to our now-officially-owned house. After some terse back-and-forth, she is located (apparently she was out of town and had turned her cell phone off, the pryke) and the keys are delivered.
I drive The (much-relieved) Scientist and our daughter to the airport, wish them well, and load them into a plane for California.
Next: the move from hell.