From FedEx To FedUp

, , , , | Right | January 29, 2020

(My workplace is one of those businesses that allows Canadians to order stuff, have it shipped to us, and then come pick it up. We deal with a lot of packages every day, but this Black Friday/Cyber Monday broke our systems; the office is a sea of packages and everyone is working nonstop to handle the load. A man comes in to pick up, so I put my other tasks on hold to wait on him. I look in his file and see that he has fifteen packages currently processed and stored. Normally, we’d ask our customers — especially anyone expecting a lot of things — to notify us when they’re coming so we can be ready, but okay: all stations are behind, so maybe he did notify and we just couldn’t get to his stuff in time. I slog through the piles of boxes to find his items, some of which are tiny and hard to find, but I manage. When I count his items out to him, he tells me he’s expecting one more thing.)

Me: “Was it something coming in today? Because, for the rest of the season, we won’t be able to do same-day pickups; if it comes in today, you’ll have to come back tomorrow.”

Customer: “No, no, it was from last week.”

(His records show fifteen, and he has fifteen parcels on the counter.)

Me: “Do you have a tracking number?”

(We sort all parcels by the name of the addressee, but since shippers sometimes botch the task of writing someone’s name, we sometimes have to look up the tracking number and follow the paper trail.)

Customer: “No, no tracking number! Just go find it!”

Me: “Sir, if it had your name on it, it would be in this stack–” *waves files* “–and if it was in this stack, it would be in this pile.” *points at packages on counter* “If it does not have your name on it, then the only way I can find it is with the tracking number!”

Customer: “No tracking number! Just go find it!”

Me: *considers the giant sea of packages behind me for precisely 0.5 seconds* “I can’t.”

Customer: “No? Should I call [Boss]?”

Me: “If you think she can help you better than I can, then sure. But I can’t do anything without a tracking number.”

Customer: “Fine! Also, one more package; today’s FedEx.”

(FedEx only dropped off their load a few minutes ago. Under normal circumstances, we would need about an hour or so to make sure everything was counted and entered into the system, but today: no. It isn’t going to happen, and there is nothing I can do to make it happen, and I explain as much. He finally leaves, and I spend the rest of the day thinking that if he were any more of a butt, he could crap through both ears. But then later, he comes back, and lo, the crap: the records note that he shipped something out through us. I mentioned this offhand while sorting through his list of items to be picked up. Now:)

Customer: “I want my outgoing!”

Me: “Pardon?”

Customer: “My outgoing! I will take it to UPS!”

(I figured he was being petty because of the earlier snafu, but whatever. He keeps money on account with us, meaning he had technically already paid his shipping costs, so my boss would have to go in and adjust his balance after this. In the meantime, I went to where our outgoing packages were stored and was confronted with another massive stack of boxes in various shapes and sizes. My work was falling further and further behind with every moment spent sifting through them, but sift I did, and consoled myself by taking this opportunity to at least sort the out-bound FedEx onto a cart for that night’s pickup. Finally, a coworker came up and asked what I was doing, so I explained and showed him the invoice. When I did, it came up that the date on the invoice was from a few days ago, meaning that the package was already long gone. I explained this to the customer, who finally left. But at least that fellow can hold his head high, knowing that he personally disproves every last stereotype about Canadians. “Always polite,” my foot!)

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