We Carry Your Life in Our Hands

My life and times as a New York City mover

Andy Haynes
Human Parts


Credit: Rawpixel/Getty Images

II have been a mover for 10 years, give or take. When I arrived in New York in July 2008, I watched the Euro Cup finals with my father and girlfriend at a bistro in Carroll Gardens. At six a.m. the next morning, I wandered through Williamsburg looking for a lot identified only by the street number spray-painted on a corrugated metal gate. It was filled with industrial refuse and unknown chemicals in 50-gallon barrels. It seemed like the type of place where one develops mesothelioma or is murdered for a gambling debt. My friend worked for the company and because I had driven a Sprinter van that my father had converted into a camper, I was qualified.

That day, at that moment, I became a New York City mover. It was my first day in New York. I’ve never lived in this city and not been a mover in some capacity.

Moving is a weird profession. Everyone knows what a mover is, but when you tell people you are one, it’s confusing. They don’t really understand what you’re saying. It’s almost like you said, “I’m a toaster.” You don’t know how to explain it.

The more money you have, the more things you pay not to do. The more faces you probably don’t remember.