Numbers Are Hard, But Not This Hard

, , , , , | Working | January 13, 2021

It’s the holidays, and I’ve boxed up some items to send to friends. I’m already regretting not just having them sent straight from the vendors but I’ve made my bed and now I have to lie in it.

I drop off some packages at the local [Package Service] store and get the boxes shipped out. One makes it to its destination fine, but the other says it was delivered even though my friend did not actually receive it. After checking with her neighbors and confirming the package is not there, I attempt to figure out the issue.

I’m thwarted at every turn by their online claims process. First, I have to log in, then I have to add a payment method even though I’m not paying for anything, and then I am told that the package has to be associated with my account without actually giving any hint on how to do so.

I give in and actually call the customer service line. I’m already annoyed, and having to take an educated guess at the correct route to take through the labyrinth of automated options to get to “Where the f*** is my package?” does not improve my mood at all. By the way, call centers have gotten wise to the “press zero” trick; the robot actually chastises me for trying to get directly to a person rather than choose an option.

Finally, I get to a person, who I address as calmly as possible since I know that this whole rigmarole is in no way her fault.

Rep: “Hello! Thank you for calling [Package Service]. How can I help you?”

Me: “My package is showing as delivered, but the recipient doesn’t have it. Can we find out what happened to it?”

The rep asks for the tracking number and I give it to her.

Rep: “Okay, it looks like that package was delivered to [Correct Street and Town but wildly incorrect house number].”

Me: “Wait. That’s not right. That’s not the right house number at all.”

Rep: “Uh… let me send you over to my supervisor.”

After a short hold:

Supervisor: “Hello! What can I help you with?”

Me: “I’ve determined that my package was delivered to the wrong house number. Can you help me with that at all?”

Supervisor: “Hmm… Well, it looks like you didn’t put a house number on the label, so they just delivered it to a house on that street!”

She says this like it makes perfect sense. Not only am I pretty d***ed sure that I put a house number on there, but I cannot fathom the logic behind just dropping a package at a random house and hoping for the best. Also worth noting is that this is a State Route address, so it’s likely MILES from the correct place.

Me: “I’m fairly sure I put a house number on the label. I double-checked it in the store.”

Supervisor: “Well, would you like us to try to collect the package and send it back to the UPS store it was sent from?”

Me: “Um… No? Not really?”

I admit to losing my cool here a bit, at least in tone.

Supervisor: “Well, I don’t have an option to send it to a new address, since it’s not like we made a mistake!”

Again, there’s stunned silence for a moment on my end. I count essentially throwing a dart on where my package was supposed to go a mistake, but I also left them my phone number when I dropped off the package. They had plenty of ways to rectify this, even assuming it was my mistake, which I’m still not convinced of, and they did not. Also, I’ve worked in customer service. Even when it IS the customer’s fault, you don’t just say that to them!

Me: “Are you serious?”

Supervisor: “Uh… Well… If you want, we can send a notice to the local store and have them try to collect it and then send it to the correct address.”

I’m thinking, “You mean that thing you just said you couldn’t do?”

Me: “Yes. Please. That will be perfect.”

The supervisor takes the correct house number for me.

Supervisor: “Okay, I have that sent off. It should be delivered either Monday or Tuesday. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

Me: “No. Thank you.”

Supervisor: “Thank you. Have a good day!”

Robot: “Please stay on the line for our short survey!”

Me: “You really do not want me to do that.”

Here’s hoping that my friend actually gets her package. But I’m going to place my bets on having to reorder it.

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Giving Them A 1-2-1 About 121, Part 2

, , , , , | Working | January 5, 2021

I’m the author of this story. It’s been about a year since I last got a delivery from the driver that kept on mixing up 121 (the main property) with 127 (the rental property), and since then, every delivery from that company has been delivered by my regular driver, who never makes the same mistake.

On this particular day, I’m expecting an important package from that delivery company. I’m eating lunch when I hear a vehicle pull into the driveway of 121. I gander out the window and, lo and behold, it’s the problem driver. I’m initially glad that he at least got the address correct this time, but that quickly fades when I see him walking over to my fence instead of to the back of his van. He then unzips his pants and begins to relieve himself on the hedges! I quickly confront him.

Me: “Hey! What are you doing?”

Problem Driver: “I really had to go. You don’t mind, do you?”

Me: “Yes, I do! You can’t just pee on my hedges without asking!”

Problem Driver: “Look. A guy’s gotta go, a guy’s gotta go. I couldn’t hold it no more. Now, you want your package or no?”

I don’t want to start any drama, so I nod. He opens the back of his van. My package, which is supposed to be fairly large, is nowhere in sight inside the vastly disorganized van.

Problem Driver: “It’s gotta be buried in here somewhere.”

Me: *Annoyed* “How far back do you think it is?”

Problem Driver: “Look, I don’t have time to check. I have other deliveries to make; can I please leave? I definitely have your package, and I’ll be back with it when I get some of these other deliveries out of the way.”

Not wanting to delay him any longer, I let him leave. I’m still fuming at the fact that he peed on my hedges without even so much as asking. Three hours later, my package finally did arrive… in my regular driver’s van. I was now even more livid, since the problem driver not only used my hedges as a makeshift urinal, but he outright lied to me that he had my package when he really did not.

I immediately filed a complaint with the company, detailing everything that happened. I was not expecting it to go very far, since the company essentially let him off the hook the last time I complained about him for mixing up my addresses. However, the next morning I got a call back from the company, and the representative on the other end profusely apologized for the incident and informed me that the problem driver had been dismissed from the company. From what she told me, it wasn’t that driver’s first complaint for lying to customers, nor was it his first complaint for relieving himself on customers’ property without permission. The driver’s van was parked in such a way that his dashcam was just barely able to catch him in the act of doing his “business” on my hedges, giving the company more than enough reason to fire him.

Giving Them A 1-2-1 About 121

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Return This Employee To Sender; Brain Not As Advertised

, , , , | Working | December 29, 2020

I’ve been living in my apartment for about seven months, and I still continue to get mail for the previous tenants. It’s gotten so bad that I actually got one of those “return to sender” stamps because I got sick of hand-writing it on each of the letters.

One day, a package from one of the “higher-end,” non-post-office delivery services is delivered to my door for the previous tenant. Annoyed that I can’t just toss it in the apartment’s outbound letterbox, I stamp it to try to save the workers a step and take the trip out to the closest store of the company that delivered it.

There are two employees working when I arrive: one helping another customer and another that seems to maybe be packing boxes or otherwise working. I step in line behind the first customer to wait.

[Employee #1], seeing me waiting, takes a box off the counter closest to her and half-gestures to it while addressing me.

Employee #1: “Put it on the scale.”

Me: “Oh, no, I’m not shipping this myself; it was delivered to me this afternoon, but the guy it’s addressed to doesn’t live at this address.”

[Employee #1] looks at the package and then looks at me with an annoyed expression.

Employee #1: “What do you want us to do about it?”

Me: *Incredulous* “Return it to the sender? Since it was your company that delivered it, and he does not live at my house?”

[Employee #1] turns to [Employee #2].

Employee #1: “Do we do ‘return to senders’?”

[Employee #2] walks over to inspect the package.

Employee #2: “Well, yeah, as long as it hasn’t been opened.”

They inspect it thoroughly for a moment, as if hunting for where I apparently MUST have opened someone else’s mail and now want to ship it back.

Me: “That’s… good, seeing as I haven’t opened it, because it was someone else’s mail. It was just delivered today.”

Employee #1: “I guess I’ll just let them know it’s to be returned to the sender.”

[Employee #1] makes a show of writing “RTS” on the package with a marker before looking back up at me.

Employee #1: “It’s fine; we’ll take it.”

Me: “Thank you very much! Have a great rest of your day!”

I tried to be chipper and nice in my farewell, hoping that perhaps she just wasn’t having a good day and didn’t do a good job at hiding it, but she didn’t even reply. Jeez, did she expect me to pay to have someone else’s mail returned to the sender? I wasn’t going to just throw it out; I know I would be upset if my package got delivered to the wrong location and the person stole it or just threw it away! I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but her general attitude was just appalling.

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She Should Direct The Blame Where She Directs Her Letters

, , , , | Right | November 25, 2020

A woman comes in with a letter. It has an address and a used, voided stamp on it.

Customer: “I brought this letter to you yesterday to send to [Company]! You said you could do that! Now this morning it was in my mailbox!”

I look at the letter and notice that it is addressed to a house just around the corner from the post office, as well as to a woman’s name instead of a company.

Me: “I’m sorry, but is this your address?”

Customer: “Yes, it is! Why?”

Me: “That explains why the letter came back to you. It is addressed to you, not to [Company].”

Customer: “So? I told you where it needed to go! You said you could do that!”

We are in a small town where customers often make small talk while posting their letters, so I didn’t pay much attention yesterday when she told me where she wanted the letter to go.

Me: “I’m sorry, but you still need to put the address on the letter yourself. It is not my job to do that. We can only accept the letter, sell you the stamp, and send it to the address that’s on it.”

Customer: “But I don’t know the address!”

Me: “Neither do I. I’m sorry, but I can’t help you here. You need to come back when you have found out the address, and then I can send the letter again for you.”

Customer: “So can I have a refund for the stamp?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry. We don’t give refunds for stamps, and besides, you have already used this one.”

Customer: “So I’ll have to buy another stamp when I come back?”

Me: “Yes, I’m afraid you will.”

Customer: “I want to speak to [My Manager]!”

As I said, it’s a small town; most customers know my manager by name, but I haven’t worked here for very long, so I’m still the “new girl.” But that doesn’t mean I have to put up with people trying to blame me for their mistakes.

Me: “Sorry, she’s not here today. But I assure you that she would tell you the same as I did.”

A line has formed behind the woman and I am getting impatient.

Customer: “This is unbelievable! Why didn’t you tell me yesterday? You saw the letter!”

Me: “Look, it is not my job to read every address of every letter that goes over this counter. Actually, it’s none of my business where you send your post, so I usually only look at the country, because that’s the only thing that changes anything about how much I need to charge.”

Customer: “So I’ll have to pay twice to send this one letter. Interesting. [My Manager] will hear of it!” *Storms off*

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Communication, People!

, , , , | Working | November 23, 2020

I have ordered a replica of a medieval eating knife and pricker, and because it’s a knife, it requires a signature with ID to receive it. When I get home from work, there is an attempted delivery slip in my mailbox. I grab it and head to the post office and wait my turn.

Employee #1: “Oh, this is from today. I don’t think he’s back yet. Let me check.” *Checks* “Yeah, he’s not back yet. He’ll try again tomorrow.”

Me: “Starting tomorrow, I’m working twelve-hour shifts, so I’ll miss both the delivery window and your lobby hours. Can you call the mail carrier and ask him to swing past my house again on his way back to the post office?”

Employee #1: “No, we can’t do that. Come back at like 5:30.”

Me: “Aren’t you closed then?”

Employee #1: “Yeah, but people will still be here. Just ring the buzzer.”

I go home and start fixing dinner. A little after five, I leave and go back to the post office. The lobby is closed, as expected, so I ring the buzzer. And wait. And ring the buzzer again. A different person comes to the door, and I present the missed delivery slip again.

Employee #2: “Oh, he’s not back yet. He probably won’t be back until, like… 7:30. Here, write your phone number down and we’ll call you when he gets back. And go ahead and show me your ID and sign this to save time.”

Me: “Can you call him and ask him if he can just try again at the end of his route?”

Employee #2: “No! No, we can’t have him deviate. Just write down your number and we’ll call.”

I’m mildly uncomfortable that he’s asking me to sign the slip and leave it with him without collecting the package.

Me: “Um. Okay.”

I head home and get on with my evening. An hour later, there’s a knock at the door. It’s my mail carrier, parcel in hand, waving my missed delivery slip!

Carrier: “Hey, next time just call the station and they can call me and let me know to stop by again.”

Me: “Huh, I asked them to do that… twice. And they said it wasn’t allowed.”

Carrier: “That’s… weird. Oh, and you can’t just sign the slip and leave it.”

Me: “The guy… The guy at the post office told me to?”

Carrier: “Ah. Yeah. He got hurt; that’s why he’s there.”

My mail carrier is awesome, and I got my sweet replica knife, but… yeesh.

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