Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Regarding Joe Durrett (driver), and Coco, Nacho and Marlon (crew)...
Dear Mr. Dunkerson (Chairman and CEO, Atlas Van Lines):
I would like to take this opportunity to share with you a story regarding our move experience last week from Texas to Illinois. It is a bit detailed, but through the details I hope you will find how important it was to have such an understanding, supportive and positive "move crew" by our sides.
The original plan was to have [Alexander's/Atlas} / Joe Durrett's crew pack and load our Texas home Monday through Wednesday of this past week. The Texas house was scheduled to close with the new owners on Friday. We were driving back to Illinois as of Thursday and supposed to close on the home we were purchasing in Illinois on Monday. On Thursday, we were supposed to board a plane and move our family to [a city in] China until mid-April for my husband's work. Upon completion of that assignment, we were set to physically move into the Illinois home. Monday and Tuesday went smoothly with Joe and his crew. We were all packed ourselves for our assignment in China.
Wednesday was the last day of packing and loading. Joe and crew had 95% of the house packed and about 80% loaded into the moving truck. At 8 am that morning, we received a call that the buyers for our Texas home had terminated the contract -- one day before closing. We were in utter shock. We had to make a decision in an instant on whether to proceed with the move or unload the truck and our things back into the Texas house.
Joe and his team were so patient with us as we went through a roller coaster of emotions and "what to do" questions. Joe repeatedly let us know that he was there to help us and do what we needed at that time. What a comfort it was to know that no matter what our decision, we were not going to have a moving crew upset if we had to unload everything. We decided to go ahead with the rest of the packing and loading ... [and] re-list the house, now vacant. By afternoon we were over our disappointment and were looking forward to proceeding with the rest of our great advanture. Joe and his crew helped to lighten our moods ...
Shortly after, my husband received a phone call and was told that he was going to be part of the next round of layoffs at his company. For the second time that day our lives were thrown into disarray. Once again, we had to decide whether to unpack a fully loaded moving truck. In a matter of minutes we needed to make decisions that were life-changing ...
Once more, Joe reassured us that if we wanted to unload everything and move it back into the house, he and his crew were there to do that for us -- no problem, no complaints. They witnessed our little family go through two upheavals that day, certainly many tears and two parents trying to figure out what to do.
Nevertheless, we stepped up to the plate and decided to proceed with the move to Illinois. We would no longer be able to purchase the house we were supposed to close on Monday in Illinois... However, we were heading back to a state where both of our families live, we would have places to stay while we regrouped, and set a direction for a new course. Joe time after time told us that he was there for us. If we wanted to change our minds, he would still be in the area until Saturday. We could take the next few days to think it over. (It had only been six hours for all of this to happen.) How nice it felt to be told by someone that we could take a few breaths before finalizing our decisions!
The next morning began early... By 9:30 am we began our drive back home to Illinois. What should have been an exciting drive beginning our new adventures in China and Illinois instead turned into a long 12 hours... By 10 pm we arrived and settled in for some much-needed sleep. On Friday, we spent time relaxing with family, finishing a last few calls... We also spoke with Joe who was going to pull some much-needed items for us when he unloaded the truck into storage on Monday. I thought that was the end of our troubles...
...unfortunately Sunday morning I received a call letting me know that my aunt passed away unexpectedly that morning. It was such a shock. As sad as we were for my cousins, it helped to shine a light on how thankful we are to have our health, to have our families and each other.
So that is our story. It had been an unbelievable 72 hours, but the stress quickly dissipated. No China and no new house for the time being, but on the other hand, we now have the holidays to spend with our families. Joe and Coco delivered our winter clothes on Monday. They took an extra step, however, which brings a tear to my eye on how thoughtful they were. I had explained to Joe that there was a little elf for my son in one of the boxes for Christmas. I did not expect that he would be able to find it, but asked if he saw it, could he pull it. It was the first thing that Joe took off the truck that day and ceremoniously handed to me. We were so grateful for that act of kindness. Coco, too, pulled our wrapping paper for us, which we had not even thought of, but he said it was the holidays and we would need it. So true! What a thoughtful gentlemen!
We thanked them profusely, but know of no better way than contact you, Mr. Dunkerson, to let you know what a great team you have in Joe Durrett, Coco, Nacho and Marlon.