Friday, December 07, 2007


You get all excited about moving to a new house and while you are in the throes of that excitement, you tell all your colleagues about the move. And then what happens? You begin to receive moving boxes from everybody and their uncle. Everyone's like, hey, Amazon sent me these books, they came in this box, should I throw this box in a dumpster, nah it's too cold outside, oh I know what I'll do, I'll just give it to that Indian guy who's moving, that will probably make him so happy he'll need another box just to hold his tears of gratitude. Here, I have a box for that too.

It doesn't seem to matter that sometimes, the box they are giving you is so small that the only thing it could be used for is the transportation of your toothbrush, and that too, only after stripping it of its gum-massaging bristles.

But still, people continue to visit you in your cubicle day in and day out and when they leave, there is an additional box in your cubicle. Or two. This ritual begins from the time you tell them about your impending move and continues right upto the time of the actual move, a period that could be as long as a couple of months. In the meantime, your cubicle turns into an office supply warehouse and you have to look for bigger boxes to help you move these boxes to your home.

Now there is the possibility that it is just goodness of nature that makes people bestow upon each other a plethora of unsolicited moving boxes. Because, obviously, cardboard boxes are not something you can find in just any moving supplies store that sells cardboard boxes. But to my jaded and cynical mind, when a person gives me a box, I feel like he is telling me, dear gawker, the box that I am giving you at this moment, a moment so far removed from the actual moment of your move, does not merely represent my benevolence towards you, but also the fact that when you will be lifting it up, I won't be around to give you the box then or assist you in the lifting of the same.

Nah, I guess I'm just being a prick. It's probably just goodness of heart. Thank you for all the boxes. Really.


Anonymous said...

Boxes are expensive. And you end up needing a lot while moving. Come actual moving time you will be happy to have all 134 of them. Trust me, you should be nice to your colleagues.

ggop said...

Meh - if they aren't standard size moving boxes and are really tiny amazon boxes they are useless. :-)

Anurag said...

If you are not moving immediately, and if you move around the time when I am in US next (which will probably be sometime next year), I could help. I am very good at breaking things to fit perfectly into small boxes. All this for a large pizza (peppers, aubergine, onions, maybe some pineapple but I'll decide then), four pints of Full Sail LTD (or an equivalent good tasting beer) and some gratitude.

Think about it. If I can fly 52800 yards for you, I am entitled to a pizza and some liquid happiness.

gawker said...

anjali : So I guess what you are saying is that my second theory, namely that I am being a prick holds more water? By the way, my method of moving does not need a lot of boxes. What I do is scoop up handfuls of my possessions and stuff them in my car.

ggop : although they could be used for transferring hamsters if you have any.

anurag : If you help me move, not only will you get pizza and liquid happiness, I will also clean up the four pints of puke that is sure to be generated thereafter.

RobRoy said...

You may, indeed, be a prick. The jury is still out. However, I agree with the premise that folk handing you boxes will not, in fact, be helping you to move. Friends, relatives, blood-brothers, will all disappear like water on a hot skillet come moving day.

What's nice about boxes though, is that you generally unpack them through a hierarchy of need. Those that don't get opened after a year, you should just throw out, thus decreasing your own waste, and doing your bit to fill up those landfills.

Munmun said...

find your posts quite hilarious! good job!
to add to the box story, one of my friends who moved to NY from AZ still had some books left in AZ. so he requested me if he can order some boxes at my apartment. i said okay fine. his intention was that he could get his books to my home, pack with those boxes and then call the USPS guy to pick them up from my home only. but when the boxes came, i was dumbfounded! they were the huge sized boxes and that too 35 in number! and i had to walk up to the management office to pick those up! and believe me, what a bad time i had in moving a huge box of 35 boxes to my apartment!
when the friend came, he did pack his books up and the rest of the story was same as planned. but what shocked me was that the reason he ordered those boxes was that he was getting them for dirt cheap: 35 boxes for $35!!

Anurag said...

Well, there are many ways of how I could help you move.

1. You move next September, when a conference which I plan to attend takes place somewhere on the East coast. Then you come and praise the paper which I plan to publish. If I don't publish a paper, you praise the interest that I have in publishing papers.

2. You start a company of your own and lure a project in front of my company, when I come and visit your company. We could put the moving assistance in the contract.

3. Buy lots of beer.

Your best chance, as of now, is 3.

Anonymous said...

It's likely. :)

As for having only a handful of possessions, all I can say is that it's going to change. Very soon you will be buying stuff (that you didn't know you needed) to fill up all the empty space in your house. So maybe it's a good idea to keep these boxes for your next move.

gawker said...

robroy : I never throw anything out and the simple reason is that whenever I have tried to throw anything out from a box or a bag, I find orphan dollar bills in that box or bag. Currently I live my life secure in the knowledge that my useless boxes and bags contain millions and when I am about to retire, all I have to do before I book my trip to the Caribbean is to open up one of those boxes or bags.

munmun : Thanks. As a rule of thumb, always be wary of people who are moving and their requests. At least that is the thumb whose rule all my friends follow with respect to me.

anurag : I could follow way 1 and move next september, but then I would have to live the life of a squatter for a year which would be okay if it weren't for the fact that way 2 involves opening a company which is difficult to do because people tend to not offer credit to a squatter. I guess way 3 is fine mainly because it doesn't involve doing anything which I am not doing right now anyways.

anjali : Yes. I have seen that in people with houses. When we were looking at houses, we were amazed at how much crap people tend to pile up in their garages and attics.