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The Difference Is Deafening

, , , , , | Right | December 3, 2021

I used to work at a place that received packages for non-US residents. Each package generated an individual invoice with its tracking number, date of arrival, etc., and we required each page to be signed by the recipient. Get ten packages, sign ten pages. This way, we knew what had already been handed out and to whom, and it was easier to account for missing items.

Of course, as long-time NAR readers are probably aware, any attempts at explaining this stuff to customers were rendered in their minds as some kind of barnyard noise. There were countless instances of someone only signing the top page and walking away, or worse: trying to leave with the papers. And of course, don’t even get me started on the numerous “regulars” who didn’t want to show ID to prove it was indeed their mail.

One day, we had a customer come in who was completely deaf. I don’t know much ASL, so I just made a rectangle with my fingers. He gave me his ID. Since he was new, I gave him the newcomer’s form and dragged a finger down the lines. He filled it out, no fuss. When I came back with his packages and papers, I pointed to every page. He then signed them all.

To this day, I can’t get over how a deaf man was the best listener out of all those customers!

Very Big Delivery Stupidity

, , , , , | Working | November 9, 2021

I ordered some items from [Very Big Online Store]. Delivery day came and went, but no items were received. The [Very Big Online Store] web page stated the items were “handed to a resident”.

Since I was home for the entire day and nobody handed me anything, I checked with my neighbors to see if they received my items. They did not, so I called [Very Big Online Store] to complain. The customer service representative believed my complaint and reordered all the missing items, to be delivered in a few days.

Delivery day arrived, and I watched the delivery vehicle via the [Very Big Online Store]’s GPS page. I saw that it was on my street, so I watched out the window… as it drove past my house, without stopping.

I checked [Very Big Online Store]’s site and the items were supposedly “left on front porch”. I again called them and worked up a couple of levels of representatives. The last one tracked the delivery via their GPS system and saw that the delivery was made to a location several miles from my house. The representative confirmed that the directions to my house were accurate and again reordered the items.

The third time was the charm: the items were delivered correctly and on time.

Months later, my doorbell rang. It was a couple of workers who were employed at the location several miles away. They found some boxes that were pretty badly weather-damaged but had my address still visible. They gave me the damaged boxes.

Guess what? The boxes were those from both missing shipments! They were left near a telephone pole, by an empty lot, where access was only by a dirt road.

I never found out if the two “bad” deliveries were made by the same driver or what happened to that driver, but all subsequent deliveries from [Very Big Online Store] have been on time and complete.

It Starts With Hurricanes And Then It Gets Worse, Part 3

, , , , , , | Right | October 27, 2021

This is a follow-up to this story. Hurricane Irma tore our store’s roof off. The business owners and I are now inside the store, trying to salvage what we can.

We’ve got two trailers outside in front of the entrance. We positioned them so you can’t get to the entrance without stepping over the hitch. We’ve taped off the area with yellow caution tape.

The power is off. It’s about ninety-five degrees F inside. A good two inches of water is standing stagnant on the floor. Ceiling tiles and insulation are hanging and periodically falling to the floor. 

Everything smells like wet death.

I look up from what used to be my desk to see a woman, standing in the middle of what used to be our lobby, holding a box.

Customer: “Can I get this shipped out?”

Not completely convinced I’m not seeing things, I slowly shake my head no. She turns around and walks out. The owner sees her climbing over the trailer hitch to get out with her box. 

Store Owner: “You have got to be s***ting me!”

This Story Starts With Hurricanes, And Then It Gets Worse, Part 2
This Story Starts With Hurricanes, And Then It Gets Worse

If You Want To Keep It Private Then Ship It Yourself

, , , , , | Right | August 31, 2021

I work at a print shop/office supply store that serves as a shipping and drop-off location. I’ve finished typing in the sender and receiver information and I’m moving onto the security features. Every shipping has this.

Me: “Would you mind giving a declared value of the contents? We need to know for insurance purposes.”

Customer: “Why do you need to know?”

Me: “For insurance purposes.”

Customer: *Hesitantly* “Let’s say… um… a thousand dollars.”

Me: “All right, and could I get a description of the contents? Just to make sure we aren’t shipping anything illegal or hazardous.”

Customer: “I kind of feel like this is an invasion of my privacy.”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry, but I can’t ship it unless I know what is inside. If it’s documents, you can just say documents; you don’t need to be specific.”

Customer: *Hesitantly again* “Let’s put down… computer.”

We couldn’t ship the computer anyway because of the lithium battery, but I want to ask the third security question.

Me: “Before we can ship this out and have you pay for this label, I’ll need to see a valid ID. We use this for legal purposes and making sure customers are liable for the contents of the package.”

Customer: “Oh, you know, I left my wallet in the car. Could you ship it without my ID?”

It’s suspicious to not bring money in for something he knew he was paying for.

Me: “Sir, we can’t ship this package out unless you pay for it and show me a valid ID.”

Customer: “You know what? This was a s***ty service today. I’ll just go somewhere else for this. I hate my privacy being under attack.”

Me: “Um… okay… You can leave, then.”

I kind of wonder why he was so hesitant to say both $1,000 and a computer. It didn’t even weigh that much, and the size of the package wouldn’t have had room for a desktop or laptop.

Putting The P In Packaging

, , , , | Right | May 24, 2021

A customer walks in and sets a wet box down on our front counter. He goes over to the retail wall, picks out a new box, and proceeds to repack what was in his wet box. He comes up to the register and sets both boxes on the counter in front of me.

Customer: “So, um, this box is from your wall there.”

Me: “Okay.”

Customer: “And this one… Can you throw this one away for me? I work at a vet’s office and someone peed on it.”

Me: “I… What?”

Customer: “Yeah. Someone peed. On the box. So, I can’t use it for shipping, soooo… Can you throw it out?”

I’m too thrown off to respond with the “absolutely not” that I should respond with.

Me: “Um, yeah. It’s $2.13 for the box from the wall.”

After he paid and left, I grabbed a pair of gloves and took the box to the dumpster out back, and then I sanitized the counters he was at.