Big Box of Crazy [Tall Drink of Nerd]

 In *Archives, Amy Robinson

One week ago I was blissfully unaware of how UPS was going to drive me completely insane. Picture a happy lady, skipping through a green meadow, a collection of wildflowers in one hand, wide brimmed hat bouncing to the beat of her joy. Hell, I could have been in a feminine hygiene commercial, that’s how blissful I was.

Then, on Wednesday afternoon, I received a postcard in the mail from UPS, with my correct name and address, stating that they couldn’t deliver a package because, and I quote “A correct receiver or company name was needed”. Cue puzzled look. If the name on the postcard was the same as the name on the package, wouldn’t that be the correct receiver?

I called the 800 number on the postcard.

“Yeah, my name is on the intercom out front, which is right next to the front door. I’m not sure why the driver said a correct receiver was needed, when the correct receiver is here and obvious.”

Operator at UPS – “Ok, they’ll redeliver tomorrow before 7:00 p.m.”

Thursday night, at 7:15 p.m., we decided that UPS either wasn’t coming or they could leave the package in our lobby, which they have done a million times before, without ever telling us a package was here. After leaving a post-it note on the front door explaining the driver should look to his right, dial the correct entry code and deliver the package, the husband and I decided to go out for a lovely dinner.

Thursday at 8:30 p.m. we returned from dinner to find, stuck next to my bright yellow post-it, one of those delightfully dingy brown and yellow post-it notes on the building’s front door with a hand-written scrawl “Buzzer not working”. Now, you should know that we’re modern folks, when you press our code on the intercom on the front of our apartment building, it rings through to my husband’s phone, with a caller ID that lets him know it’s the front of the building. He never received a call while we were out.

Brown and yellow post-it note in hand, I walked to our buzzer and dialed the code for “Robinson”. The intercom speaker began ringing; my husband’s phone began ringing. He picked up and his voice came through the speaker loud and clear. “Hellloooo” he said in an exaggerated, Queen of England type of voice.

So, the next morning, Friday morning, I wrote out yet another post-it note.

“UPS driver” I started, hoping this was clear enough. “Package for unit ### for “Robinson” – Please see the intercom and dial ### for “Robinson” The buzzer is working, we tested it last night and twice today. We are here.” (feeling a little bit like Whoville with that last sentence)  I resisted adding “Dipshit” to the end of the note, hoping for better delivery results without including an insult to the missive.

That afternoon UPS called from the intercom, a package of adorable t-shirts was delivered.

In what I thought was an entirely separate matter, I was expecting a delivery of a laptop so I could re-start my work-from-home temp assignment on the following Tuesday. The woman I would be working for at MAJOR CORPORATION said she’d have the computer delivered via FedEx by Friday. So when Friday Noon:30 rolled around, I sent her an email requesting the tracking number. Her response gave me pause and concern.

Around 3:00ish I received this reply: “Amy – You should have gotten it by now. The mailroom sent it next-day, air via UPS, on Tuesday. There are 2 boxes. Here are the tracking numbers.”

Crap. That was my first thought, my response to the lady at MAJOR CORPORATION was:

“Lady – We’ve had some problems with UPS. I’m calling to yell at them now.”

After plugging the tracking numbers she had supplied into the UPS brown and yellow website, the computer told me that UPS had put the packages on a truck on Wednesday, but the driver then noted he “needed a correct receiver/company” for delivery. Same driver as the other package. My left eye began to twitching as I kept scanning the page. The online tracking went on to detail how the package was rerouted to an address in Van Nuys, and that the recipient had moved. They were waiting for the sender to input correct address information.

My face began to heat up and smoke started pouring out of my ears. I gained complete understanding of the term “Getting steamed” at someone who is a complete idiot.

So I called the 800 # for United Pack of Stupids, trying to get my work computer so I could start my job the following work day, which is the Tuesday following Memorial Day.

My husband, (whispering in the background) – “Remember, that is a person on the other end of the phone. They didn’t do this, they are probably all the way on the other side of the country.”

UPS lady operator – “Thank you for calling UPS, how can I assist you today.”

Me – “I would like to start by apologizing for the tone I’m about to use, I know that you aren’t personally responsible, but I’m very frustrated, so I may use some words that might be offensive. With the tracking number I just gave you, I’ve looked at the information online and see they state they need a correct receiver. Our name is on the f***king buzzer located directly next to the front f***king door… I’m sorry about that. We’ve just had this issue with a different package. I’m having a very hard time understanding how they need a correct f***king receiver when my name is correct on the f***king package and my f***king name is on the front door!!… I’m very sorry, but I’m frustrated, because I need that package to start a job on Tuesday. I might be out income because of UPS.”

UPS lady operator – “I completely understand. I might use language like that too if this was my situation.” I proceeded to have a nice call with the operator. Why couldn’t she be our delivery guy?

UPS lady operator – “It looks like the local distribution center used the phone number listed for you that was on the package to look up an alternate address at ##### Blank Street in Van Nuys. Is that an alternate address for you?”

Me – “Wait, what? I lived there over 2 years ago. Why didn’t they just call the phone number on the package instead of using it to find an address I lived at 2 years ago? If they had used the number to call me, this could have been cleared up in 2 minutes.”

UPS lady operator – “Yeah, that doesn’t make sense.”

So after 10 minutes with the lovely UPS lady operator (located in Florida) and a fine conversation where we had each other giggling and discussing how UPS should send me some Scotch and Tequila to compensate for my absolute frustration and the welt on my forehead from pounding it against the desk, she had local customer service give me a call, set up a Saturday delivery, as it was 4:00 on the Friday before Memorial Day I couldn’t make it to their holding plant before they closed at 6:00 because it was 15 miles up the 405 freeway; on the Friday before Memorial Day. That traffic wasn’t moving. UPS was set to deliver the 2 boxes from my new workplace, to my correct (initial) address, before noon on Saturday.

Saturday morning finds your heroine sitting in a lawn chair, on the 4ft wide strip of grass, in front of her apartment building at 8:30 a.m. There is no way I’m missing this delivery. As a precaution, in case of bathroom breaks, I had placed another post-it with directions of how to use the intercom and that we were here.

A variety of people walk by, mostly going to the farmer’s market up the street, a few neighbors, who now think I’m the crazy lady who reads in front of the building instead of at the lovely park one block away.

9:15 FedEx shows up with a delivery. The crows scream at me and drop palm seeds on my head, a squirrel scurries towards me, stops with one paw raised, expectant for a peanut as I am the lady who sometimes tosses him a nut or two.

10:00 OnTime Delivery shows up with a package. The sun climbs, my shade disappears and I move through 100 pages of Freedom by Franzen.

11:54 the UPS truck pulls up in front of the building.

As the driver walks toward our building with a huge box, I say “Is that for Robinson?” He looks down, says “Yes!” Hallelujah! I will be able to work on Tuesday!

“Is there a second box? There are two boxes on this tracking number.”

Driver “Let me look…(30 seconds later after a brief trip inside the truck, which was a courtesy as we were probably his last stop) Nope.”

Me – “There are two boxes on this tracking number. There are two boxes on this tracking number. There are two boxes on this tracking number. I have to work on Tuesday.” (Kind of like when you see a car about to hit you and all you can say is ‘arragghhe’ I couldn’t really put together a cohesive thought at this point.)

Driver – “……….There’s only one box here.”

Me (urge to punch rising) “Ok, I’ll call the 800 number. Say, are you our regular delivery guy or just the Saturday guy?”

Driver – “Saturday guy.”

Me – not out loud, but very strongly in my head – “Ok then, I’ll let you live.”

After my husband carted the big box upstairs, and we discovered it contained all the things necessary to actually work on Tuesday (the 2nd box just has a back-up monitor), after another 8 minute call to UPS regarding the missing 2nd box and an email to the lady at MAJOR CORPORATION, I took a deep breath, unclenched my butt and let my UPS rage float away.

We still had 2.5 days left in a holiday weekend and the weather was beautiful. I hopped in the car with my husband and went to volunteer with the homeless animals at Lange Foundation. Kittens make everything better.

I understand that there are real problems out in the world. There have been over 1,000 tornados this year in the mid-west. People have lost family and property in floods and other natural disasters. War and famine and disease and slavery still run rampant on the planet. I know that my 3 days of frustration with UPS is really not a big problem.

They are still idiots though.

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Showing 6 comments
  • Ernessa T. Carter

    I don’t want to say that UPS is the devil, but they basically are. I’ve had so many problems with them that knowing I’ll have to deal with them often influences whether or not I’ll buy something I don’t really need off the internet. They’re especially bad when you live in an apartment, but in general I’ve found their customer service rude to the point of being intolerable. The delivery guys are cute, tho. 🙂

    • Amy Robinson

      They are the devil! I’ve been writing emails to all the sites I order from telling them to stop using UPS. I’m turning into that kind of crazy. If you google “UPS Arminta” (our delivery center) or even “UPS Sucks” you’ll discover that we are totally not alone in this thinking.

      A friend of mine likes to say the attitude of the staff of a company is learned from the top down. UPS must have a really crappy CEO. Oh, and our delivery guy is a very butch blonde lady…who is still kinda cute.

  • Ernessa T. Carter

    I don’t want to say that UPS is the devil, but they basically are. I’ve had so many problems with them that knowing I’ll have to deal with them often influences whether or not I’ll buy something I don’t really need off the internet. They’re especially bad when you live in an apartment, but in general I’ve found their customer service rude to the point of being intolerable. The delivery guys are cute, tho. 🙂

    • Amy Robinson

      They are the devil! I’ve been writing emails to all the sites I order from telling them to stop using UPS. I’m turning into that kind of crazy. If you google “UPS Arminta” (our delivery center) or even “UPS Sucks” you’ll discover that we are totally not alone in this thinking.

      A friend of mine likes to say the attitude of the staff of a company is learned from the top down. UPS must have a really crappy CEO. Oh, and our delivery guy is a very butch blonde lady…who is still kinda cute.

  • Annilita

    One day when we were still living in AZ and I had my arms full of sleeping children, I looked up and saw someone walk in front of our picture window, stick something on our door, and walk away. I thought that it was someone sticking a flier to our door, because our neighborhood seemed to be a prime target for such things and it wasn’t uncommon to come home and find three or four fliers stuck in cracks around the screen door. When my hands were free, I went out to have a look and it was a sticky from UPS saying that they couldn’t deliver our package because no one was home.
    I about lost my mind.
    All I could think was that they assumed this was the case, because normally my kids make so much noise that he could hear us when he drove by our house, and since they were sleeping, he assumed we weren’t home.
    But, our car was in the driveway, and I had been sitting on the couch staring out the window with sleeping kids on me for a good ten minutes and no one had knocked or walked up to the door before he stuck the note on it.
    Eeeeeevil!

  • Annilita

    One day when we were still living in AZ and I had my arms full of sleeping children, I looked up and saw someone walk in front of our picture window, stick something on our door, and walk away. I thought that it was someone sticking a flier to our door, because our neighborhood seemed to be a prime target for such things and it wasn’t uncommon to come home and find three or four fliers stuck in cracks around the screen door. When my hands were free, I went out to have a look and it was a sticky from UPS saying that they couldn’t deliver our package because no one was home.
    I about lost my mind.
    All I could think was that they assumed this was the case, because normally my kids make so much noise that he could hear us when he drove by our house, and since they were sleeping, he assumed we weren’t home.
    But, our car was in the driveway, and I had been sitting on the couch staring out the window with sleeping kids on me for a good ten minutes and no one had knocked or walked up to the door before he stuck the note on it.
    Eeeeeevil!

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