Would’ve Been Quicker To Walk It There Yourself

, , , | Working | May 2, 2021

A few years ago, I sent a birthday present for my mother to her by using a private courier service instead of the regular German mail, because their packages were cheaper and insured. This delivery was time-sensitive, not only because of the birthday, but because my parents were going to leave for a vacation a few days after and the package also contained some things they would need for the trip.

Tuesday: I take the package to the shop, fill in the address sticker, and get the receipt, all normal.

Friday: My mother’s birthday. I call to congratulate her and the present hasn’t arrived yet. Okay, this takes longer than usual, but let’s give them a day more.

Sunday: Still no sign of the package. I call customer service, and they tell me that the address was incorrect and the package could not be delivered. I’m confused since I know my parents’ address by heart and am pretty sure that I did not mess it up, but I filled it out by hand and mistakes happen. Since the package is still in their depot, I’m able to tell the representative the correct address, and she assures me that it will be delivered right away. I’m keeping my fingers crossed as my parents are scheduled to leave early on Wednesday.

Monday: My father calls me. The delivery guy showed up with the package in hand, then glanced at his digital notepad, stated that he couldn’t give it to my father because it was scheduled for Tuesday, turned on his heel, and drove away. My father was so stunned by that behaviour that he wasn’t able to keep him from leaving. He is furious and so am I.

Tuesday: After a day of worrying and frantically rearranging delivery to a shop near them for the time they would be away, my parents finally receive the package late in the evening.

The kicker? The address was absolutely correct from the beginning. For some reason, the courier service changed the house number, couldn’t find the recipient — guess why? — decided to also change the name of the recipient by subtracting the first letter, and then concluded that they could not deliver the package. Who would have thought?

Guess which courier service I’ll never use ever again?

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Lack Of Computing Does Not Compute

, , , , | Right | May 1, 2021

Our store is moving. All our signage is down. There’s a note on the door explaining. The front room is completely empty, except for our front counter. It’s been taken apart and stacked in a corner. The door is unlocked because the owners are on their way back to pick up another load to take to storage. I’m in the back room, cleaning.

Woman: “Hello. Hello.”

I peek out the doorway to see an older woman standing in the empty front room, holding a box. She sees me step out in shorts and a tank top, covered in sweat and dust from the back room.

Woman: “Oh, hello. I’d like to ship this.”

Me: “Ma’am, we’re closed.”

Woman: “Oh, but your door was open.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, but there was a note on it. We’re moving the store to a new location.”

Woman: “Oh, okay.” *Long pause* “So, can you ship this for me?”

Me: “No, ma’am, all my computers are already packed away.”

Woman: “Do you need your computers to ship this?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Woman: “You know, in my day, we didn’t have any computers. We had to do all the calculations in our head.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Another long pause.

Woman: “So, when will you be able to ship this for me?”

Me: “If you go to our new location when it opens, we can ship it for you then.”

Woman: “But not today?”

Me: “No, ma’am.”

Woman: “Because your computers are down?”

There is another pause where I reject the idea of explaining again.

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Woman: “Do you know where I can ship it out today?”

Me: “If you take it down to the post office, they can probably get it out for you today.”

Woman: “Are their computers working?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I believe so.”

Woman: “You know, it would really be better if you learned how to do the calculations without a computer.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I’ll let the owners know. You have a great day.”

Woman: “You, too, dearest. I hope your computers come back up soon.”

She left. I glanced around the empty room, questioning what had just happened.

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

, , , , , , | Right | April 18, 2021

Hurricane Irma is making landfall in a few hours. The storm is record-breaking in size, so despite being mid-state we’re already getting high winds and heavy rain. Our store waits a bit late to close down, but we still close down mid-afternoon before our customers would normally expect the drivers to pick up. We’re busy inside tarping equipment.

Boards are all sold out, so we’re also putting tarps up in the front to try to keep water off the merchandise and equipment if the windows break.

From the other side of the tarp, I hear a frantic knocking.

I pull the tarp aside and a woman is standing there in a business suit, getting absolutely soaked, a piece of paper in a plastic sleeve pressed to the glass.

Customer: “I need to get this shipped out overnight!”

I provide a lengthy blank stare as I try to process the customer’s request. The store owner hollers from the back of the store.

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

Customer: “Please. I have to have it there tomorrow. Let me in!”

Me: “Ma’am, that’s not happening.”

Customer: “Why not?!”

Me: “We’re closed. All the drivers are off the road. No one is going to be taking your package anywhere until after the storm.”

Customer: “Can you just make a label for me and I’ll find a truck?”

Me: “No, ma’am. We’re closed. All our computers are disconnected and bagged up. There are no trucks for you to find. They’ve been off the road for hours now.”

Customer: “Why would they do that?”

Me: “Because they have other priorities right now.”

She smacks my window with frustration and taps away through standing water up over her high heels. She stares back at me for a good moment, mouth open with shock.

Store Owner: “F****** idiots.”

There’s another tap on the glass behind me. A man is standing there holding a box. 

Next Customer: “Can I just drop this off? I know it won’t go out today.”

Store Owner: *Rushing to the front* “Absolutely not!”

Next Customer: “I just wanna drop it off! It can go out after.”

We both watch as a large banner that used to be bolted in front of the neighboring gas station blows past him through the empty parking lot.

Store Owner: “There might not be a store left standing here after. Go home.”

Sure enough, the roof came off. Windows were about all that survived.

This Story Starts With Hurricanes, And Then It Gets Worse

This story is part of our Best Of April 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of April 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of April 2021 roundup!

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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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