After being a fan of RHU for quite a while I decided to order the books "Retail Hell" and "Return to Big Fancy" from Amazon to enjoy reading while I recover from surgery. Nothing like funny books to laugh too while loaded up on extra strength pain killers. Now I have never had a problem with Amazon before with orders, and this story is not about them. They did their jobs correctly. This rant is dedicated to the USPS (United States Postal Service), and how they lost my books in the mail.
I first ordered my books April 7th, and Amazon took the payments and shipped the books the next day. I did not pay for priority mail because I was patient enough to wait the 4-10 shipping days as that was long before my surgery was due for. So when the 12th rolled by and I didn't get my books, I didn't panic because it happens. However, when it rolled to the 16th and still no books I was starting to wonder "Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego with my books?" I decided to look up the tracking numbers I was given, and to my shock and horror the books had not been scanned since the 8th! That meant they were lost. So then where were they?
Well the first book "Retail Hell" left the buyer and was sent to the other end of my state. Okay, where I live is one hour from the International Airport for the north half of my state. That means that all mailed delivered to me goes to that Airport to be picked up and delivered, not 10 hours to the other end, where they claimed it was sent to the owner of the book. No, I live 10 hours in the other direction! Arg! Okay, that's not too bad though. It's in my state so that should be easy to track down and put on the correct truck back north. Even though it hadn't been scanned for so many days.
So, where's the second book "Return to Big Fancy" at? The other end of the country! What is it doing up there? That is not only miles away from me, it's states away! The seller isn't even at that state! What is it doing there! Why is it up there! Way up north nearing Canada? No! Turn that book around and bring it down here to the Sunshine area! It too had not been scanned since the 9th. This was really bad as no one was carrying to keep track of my books, after all what are tracking numbers for anyways?
Well I was not going to take that since the post office were my next door neighbors. Fifteen seconds later and I walk into the doors with both the tracking page printed out as well as my original order receipts. That kind of got drilled into my head after so many stories. Inside the postal service were three women, two who were nice and one who always gave attitude to my mother and me every single time she served us. I saw here there and was praying I wouldn't get her, but naturally this story wouldn't be here if I didn't. I shall call this woman Entitled to my job so long as you don't make me do my job. Miss Huffy for short.
I walk up to her with no greetings of "Hello, how may I help you?" like how I've been hearing her co-workers say. Whatever, I skip it and say "I have ordered two books that were supposed to arrive days ago, and they are lost in the system."
Miss Huffy loudly huffs and then asks: Do you have any tracking number?
I hand her both tracking number pages, "Yes I do. Can you find out what happened?" What she did next is why I call her Entitled to her job.
Miss Huffy looked at the pages, sagged her shoulders, loudly huffed again (by the way I am hard of hearing so when I say loudly huffing that falls to my near deaf ears that means she was real loud to the normal hearing people), then she looked up at me and declared, "If it wasn't updated by us we know nothing. It has to be scanned for us to do anything. It's not in the system"
I had to stop myself from laughing in her face because according to the tracking numbers both books were picked up by the USPS as stated on the pages. So they bloody well were in the system. Heck, I even had gotten an email from one of the sellers saying it was sent off and thank you for my purchase. I should have printed that too. I did not leave, and she was giving me the stink eye of "Why are you still standing there?" then she noticed that I had more papers in my hand.
Miss Huffy: What are those?
I smiled and answered: "Proof of purchase."
She snatched them out of my hands without asking if she could see them. Read over the dates of when I bought the books, when they were suppose to be delivered, how much I paid for them, and that tracking numbers were included. Her shoulders sagged more, and she let out a loud huff again. I noticed that the co-worker to her left suddenly looked at her with a look of embarrassment as I lost count at how many times she was huffing at me.
I smiled and told her thank you, and she stomped off. She quickly came back and said that her boss was on a call, and that it would take a while.
I smiled and said: "Not a problem, I can wait. May I stand over there?"
Miss Huffy actually smiled for once and answered: "Sure! Next in line!" (before I had even moved or thanked her)
So I hobbled off with my balance stick (vertigo) and leaned against the wall while I waited for her supervisor. It wasn't a long wait, around three minutes when he came out with all of my papers. I walked over to him and he handed the papers back to me. It was then that I got this silly statement.
Mr. Not going to care: "Because the tracking numbers are digital there is absolutely nothing we can do to find out what happened to your packages. They are not in our system since they have not been scanned." (Again not what the print out of the tracking numbers state. They say on both pages, "April 9th picked up by USPS" Not in the system my foot.)
I blinked at stared at him as I processed this BS. "Absolutely nothing" so he's standing there telling me that each and every single thing sent in the mail has "Absolutely" no way in the world to be tracked down should it get misplaced?
Mr. Not going to care: "Maybe you should just call the sellers."
Then I turned around, lifted my shoulders and head up, and marched out of the post office. Now then I have watched Undercover Boss where they did show the behind the scenes of a postal company so I do have a general idea of how they work. Plus with all of the information my mom tells me that she knows of when looking up the laws and such. So I'm not dumb in how these things work.
I did not call that day as it was late in the afternoon and the postal offices were closing for the day. The next day was my surgery, and shockingly one of the books magically arrived at my door with the morning mail. It was the first one 'Retail Hell' that had been sitting at the other end of the state for so many days. The day after surgery and I was online checking the other package I discovered that it was suddenly in the system, sent on a very fast plane as it arrived in my state the same day it left the other one, loaded up into the mail truck at the International Airport that is just an hour away, and delivered to my lovely neighbors at six in the evening. The final note on the tracking page: Delivery to resident in the morning. So if that page is true I will be getting "Return to Big Fancy" real soon.
You know this is pretty funny. Being a fan of RHU and ordering the books by Mr. Hall, and I get my own Mail Hell story to share. Also, sorry for the long story. I wasn't sure how much or how little to cover in telling my first story. Thanks for reading, and here's hoping that second book gets here.