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The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: PCS Moves

I have learned that in the end, how a PCS turns out really depends on your perspective and attitude above all else. Sometimes taking the good with the bad is really all you can do and just move forward. Usually with every PCS, there’s something really cool (or quirky) that I encounter or something downright hilarious or just plain silly.

What about you, what are some of the stories you’ll never forget from a particular PCS? Or maybe you can relate to these experiences of myself and a few other milistary spouses ...

Hilly-Billy: I noticed that major intersections (even in the downtown area), didn’t have any street (name) signs posted. And, the GPS didn’t work in this “striving and rapidly developing town in 2013”. Only a handful of businesses were searchable online and none had websites. Some didn’t even have hours and days of operation posted in the window, and others only opened three days a week (and not on weekends).

Santa-Claus came early: At a local health conference, my husband and I meet a nice couple and we began talking. After overhearing me say to my soldier that I’d love a food dehydrator, they bought us a $600 model. We only found out after they left and the clerk handed it to us.

Can I just watch TV?: The cable technician didn’t know how to work the remote; neither did his senior supervisor or customer service. They never got back to me, so I had to figure it out myself. Then, they got my address incorrect. When I notified them, they charged a fee for making a change, a late payment fee, and bill me a month in advance for the next cycle. Then, the service broke down several weeks in a row. After three months of calling them weekly to repair problems, they said service in my area was weak and there was nothing they could do; they still expected us to pay the full monthly amount. We switched to DirecTV.

Downright neighborly: We lived off-post and paid cash for yard services, and even when we weren’t at home the lawn-care guys still cut our grass. At times when we couldn’t pay, they told us to “pay when you can.”

Post office from hell: The landlord didn’t give us the post-box key—we had to pay the post office a fee to get one. Further, for three months, we keep notifying the post office about getting other people’s mail (it didn’t even have our address on it). When I confronted the post lady she said, “Oh, you moved into this house? When did you move?” She’d being putting our mail in the box for four months. Later, we received 7 past-due notices (never did get the bill in the mail) and ended up paying several late fees.

Like family: Our plumber, electrician, dentist and auto-repair guy were all veterans and ex-military, and they treated us like family. They still had the discipline and mindset of service members. It was great.

“Island” time: The phone, cable, and house security companies all setup appointment and each didn’t show up. When we called the security company they said they were “just about to call us.” Each company setup new dates but all showed up more than three hours outside the “appointment window”; at least this time they did show up.

Home sweet home: We lived off-base but still every other house on our block belonged to a veteran, retiree or active-duty soldier and their family. There was never a problem with loud music or noise, and we all looked out for each other. It was truly home. I still miss that duty station.

My house, my sidewalk, right?: We lived off-base, and the next-door neighbor permanently designated the front of our house as his parking spot, even though he has a covered garage and long driveway. When his friends visited, they parked in front of our house too. Apparently, it was “norm” around town.

Closer than ever: Our neighbor (four houses down) was actually a close friend from my husband’s old unit. They had lost contact years ago. They grew even closer while we were stationed here. He was our little brother who just happened to live on the same street.

The bug man: When I asked the home pest-control consultant the name, origin and species of the pesky insect (that kept on showing up in every room) and how to stop it, he said nonchalantly, “It’s a bug and it came from outside; they’ll just continue to come.”

Welcome wagon: The welcoming committee in our new neighborhood showed up with goodies and a food basket just as we ran out of food. We’d just begun searching online for the nearest grocery store. It was awesome. Even though we moved, I’m still friends with many of them.

Can you hear me now?: The phone signal was so weak we kept missing or dropping calls. After 3 months of fighting with the provider, they finally admitted the problem (but only after 30 more calls came in during the same week). The tower update didn’t work, either. They had to downgrade our iPhones but didn’t cover the difference in the cost from the 64GB to the 16GB phone. The phones never did work right.

Military-ready: Almost every utility company and business we encountered, offered us a military discount when we first arrived. It helped that we didn’t have to pay implementation fees or transfer fees like some other places. It was great the way this small town rallied around our troops. I’ll never forget that.

Have a funny -- or maybe only funny in retrospect -- or touching PCS experience? Share your story in the comment section!

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