Story of the FBI Sting

Tappin' n' hackin'Here at CMM, we move a lot. We move couches and chairs and desks, but we also move novelty Aquaman aquariums. We move marble statues of John Lennon. We move mobile saunas and automated salsa manufacturing machines.

There isn’t a lot, in fact, that we don’t move. That being said, tell your movers in advance what they’ll be moving! It’ll make the whole experience much smoother.

Anyway, when you move a lot, you end up with stories. Some interesting, some just plain weird. Some are bone-chilling. We thought it might be nice for those of you facing moves to get a little taste of some of the things we’ve dealt with in the past. All the names and any pertinent personal details have been changed. This is the story of the FBI Sting.

It was late spring when the customers scheduled the move, misty and gray and threatening rain. A good time to move, as far as weather in the Twin Cities goes. The movers arrived at the origin location promptly at 8am, and gave the customers a call.

The customers told them to go right inside, that they weren’t home, but everything needed to be packed up and moved. A bit unusual, perhaps, but not the end of the world. The only issue was that the movers needed a signature before they could get started. The customer insisted that they really couldn’t make it back home, but they gave full permission to move everything, and besides, all of their credit card information was on file. Surely that was enough?

That’s when things started to really get weird. The movers went outside to retrieve some packing supplies (stretch wrap, blankets, etc), and noticed a man in a suit step out of an unmarked black car and approach them. He asked if they could give him a moment of their time, then flashed a badge at them. An FBI badge.

It turned out that the customers were wanted felons, and he asked if they were currently inside the house. When the movers explained the situation, he asked if the movers could get the customers to come back home to sign the paperwork. The customers were planning on fleeing the Twin Cities, and possibly the country.

Paperwork needs to be signed before a move anyway, and an FBI badge is remarkably persuasive, so the movers called the customer back and explained that they were needed to sign the paperwork before they drove the full truck away, but that they’d get started.

The FBI agent suggested that the movers go back inside, but not actually take anything out to the truck. They shuffled some things around and waited for the customers to arrive. When the customers did arrive, they didn’t even get a chance to go inside and sign the paperwork. Instead they were promptly greeted by several men in dark suits, and that was how the movers aided in the apprehension of criminals. On the plus side, their move was completed in record speed.

So remember: if you are a wanted felon, consider letting us know before the move begins. Surprises while moving aren’t always pleasant, especially when they involve being taken away to prison.

Electronics Galore

When people think of moving, they think of some big burly guys manhandling couches and dressers, hauling a bunch of big furniture from point A to point B. And that’s not far off the mark. There’s a lot of heavy stuff that gets moved, and a lot of accompanying huffing and puffing. However, it’s 2015. There are a lot of other things that need to get moved. Computers, monitors, televisions, speaker systems— electronics. Electronics vary drastically in size, but they get used a lot, and they’re relatively delicate when compared to a lot of other items. You don’t want missing pixels in your TV, or missing files on your computer. What’s the best way to keep everything safe?

Files

Before you start packing everything up, you’ll want to make sure your files are backed up. Thankfully, along with the glut of hardware, 2015 brings accompanying software to the table. Even if you don’t have an external hard drive to use, you can use Google Drive or another form of cloud storage to back up your valuable data. Backing up your data before you unplug and pack up your computer is always a good decision— for most people, the main value of a computer is the information you put into it.

 

Imagine boxing this baby.

Tower

This is the big, computery part of the computer. The tall plastic case that holds all the important working bits, from the RAM to the power supply. Most of the components within are quite fragile, and you’ll want to be very careful when moving the tower. Ideally, you still have the box it came in. Most people don’t, though, so here’s what you’ll need.
Use a box that’s a bit larger than your computer tower, whether it’s a plastic tote-bin or cardboard. Then you’ll want to pack it in that box using some sort of padding. Bubble wrap, peanuts, old clothes— the most important thing is that you want everything to be snug. You don’t want your computer to be subjected to the evil powers of inertia and get plunked around in transit.

 

The Monitor (or TV)

Monitors and televisions are very similar, and you can pack the two identically. Again, ideally, you have the box that your screen came in, along with the formed styrofoam. If so, pack it back the way it was when you first got it, and breathe easy.

If not, don’t worry. The easiest option is to wrap your monitor or TV in a smooth blanket. Be careful of quilts or blankets with buttons or zippers— you don’t want to scratch anything. After you’ve wrapped it all up, you can consider some extra protection: extra blankets, or bubble wrap, if you have it.

 

Most of all, be careful with where it ends up while it’s in transit. You want to make sure nothing can fall on your fragile electronics, or jab them with anything pointy. Even if you’ve hired a moving company, you might prefer to move your fragile electronics yourself. Not that they won’t be safe, but sometimes it’s more efficient and less stressful to pack your valuable electronics yourself.

 

Zooming In On CMM: Bryan Cooper

Here at College Muscle Movers, we strive to provide the best possible service. We want to make sure the people moving your possessions are strong, smart, and dedicated. That’s why we employ college athletes and recent graduates— they know the value of hard work, and they have the skills to work efficiently.

We figured a quick interview session with some of them might help you get to know us a little better, so we’ll be running a series of these interviews. For this one, we tracked down Bryan Cooper.

cooper-1024x987

Let’s start with the basics: where are you from originally, Bryan?

I’m from Winona, although I was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The desert! How long were you there for?

I only lived there for a couple years. Obviously I don’t remember a lot from that time, although I’ve had the opportunity to revisit. The buildings in the city are very old and very beautiful, but I think it’s the smells that have stuck with me the most: roasting chile and burning Piñon wood.

Winona, Santa Fe— how did you end up in the Twin Cities?

I came here for school.

Where did you study?

After 4 years of school, I graduated from the University of Minnesota, where I studied chemistry and Spanish.

Finally, how did you end up at College Muscle Movers?

Simple enough— a friend of mine worked at CMM, and I started picking up hours as a side job. As I continued working, the company kept growing, and new roles and positions became available. My skills ended up fitting in well with the company.

The rest, I suppose is history. What’s your job here, exactly?

I’m the Director of Sales, which is what you might expect. We’re not a huge company, so my responsibilities tend to vary, depending on what’s needed at any given time.

And you’ve been here awhile, right?

Since September of 2012, yes.

What’s your favorite thing about working for CMM?

It’s a unique work environment. Every problem that faces the company is in the hands of the employees— that is, the company is growing, but it still doesn’t suffer from too much bureacracy. Working here offers responsibility and agency. I started out as a mover, and even though I’m no longer vigorously lifting furniture, I still have an integral position here and it’s still rewarding.

That’s important, especially over the long-term. What would you say is the toughest part of your job?

Hmmmm. Probably trying to piece together all of the vastly disparate pieces of information that go into a successful moving service, all while trying to maintain the best possible service, the most efficient use of available resources, and keeping customers and employees (both movers and the people in the office) happy.

Well said. Ok, last question: If you were trapped on a desert island and could only have one thing, what would you bring? Assume you already have access to a desalinator, a tarp, 1 million dehydrated meals, and a fishing rod.

Easy. A record player with Led Zeppelin IV

Right on. Well, thanks for the interview, Bryan!

 

Moving Through the Minnesota Winters

Here in Minnesota, we are well-known for the harshness of our winters. We get snow and ice and rain and loads of traffic. Even in a relatively demure winter (we’re looking at you, 2015) the weather still brings obstacles to the table, and beyond forcing you to shovel the sidewalk or delaying your work commute, it can slow down moving. Moving in the winter can already be a trying experience and adding in wind and snow can brew an even bigger headache. But don’t worry— at College Muscle Movers, we’ve got the experience to get the job done, regardless of the temperature.

Below are some steps that will help anyone get through a move in the heart of a Minnesota winter.

Snow

Shovel, Shovel, Shovel

No one enjoys shoveling. At least, no one who hasn’t lost their sanity to the long nights of December and January. Unfortunately, the shoveling has got to get done. If you’re moving into a new home, it’s very likely that it won’t have been shoveled. It’s a rare breed, the type of person who takes on extra shoveling.

Like it or not, you’ll have to set aside a bit of time to visit your new digs and clear out the sidewalk, as well as any walkways you want to use to access the house and bring all your furniture and boxes inside where it’s warm. Once you’ve cleared away the snow, lay down some salt! You don’t want to slip and drop the old family grandfather clock, right? Keeping the walkways dry and clear is the best way to make sure all of your stuff stays safe in transit from your old home to your new one.

For the same reason, you’ll want to make sure that there is a clear walkway from your house to wherever the moving truck is parked.

 

Heat On/Heat Off

In a Minnesota winter, heat is a must. Like bread and butter. Or popcorn and butter. Or lobster and butter. You get the idea. Heat goes well with everything when it gets cold outside. When your movers arrive, it’s likely that they’ll have to keep the doors open for a little while in order to bring your larger furniture items outside (couches, chairs, tables, desks, etc.) Some people opt to just bite the bullet on this one and keep the heat up, while others turn off their heat for the duration of the move, then turn it back on after all the proverbial dust has settled.

On the subject of heat, you’ll want to make sure you have all your utilities set up when you move into a new home, whether it’s a house or an apartment. You definitely don’t want to spend a night without heat or water in the dead of winter!


Beyond these tips, you’ll want to remain flexible. Sometimes, Minnesotans are just at the mercy of the weather. Here at College Muscle Movers, we can help you get through anything that comes up, but on occasion, delays are inevitable. Rest assured, though, we’ll get you safely moved, even in the foulest weather.