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A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

What Can Brown Do For Me?

Well, for starters, brown could deliver packages to my apartment when I'm sitting in it.

When I was working at Scott Meredith a long long time ago, I used to think UPS was the most wonderful thing in the world.  Vinnie the driver would cheerfully come by day in and day out bearing packages and it seemed to be the model of efficiency.

Working out of my home office, I have generally come to loathe and detest UPS.

Today I was expecting a new toner cartridge for my photocopier.  UPS says they couldn't deliver it at 3:36 PM because nobody was around.  The only thing is, I was sitting at my desk at 3:36 PM.  So why don't I have my package?  I don't even have an InfoNotice that should have been lurking in the lobby.

And this is not the first time this has happened.  Phantom delivery attempts are a frequent occurence.  This is the second package this year with a phantom delivery attempt. 

In December, UPS managed to deliver my new kitchen faucet to somebody else somewhere else not even in my apartment building.  The driver successfully retrieved it the next day.  It had been opened, but I think all the parts were intact.

Even when they deliver packages, well...  Vinnie always seemed to show up around the same time every workday.  For your home office, maybe UPS will show up at 6:38 PM one day, and then at 12:16 PM the next.  That makes it really easy to plan around waiting for a package.

They have this wonderful web site, and at least in the modern age many good businesses will send you the tracking # so you can watch UPS screw up in real time.  But bottom line is this:  if I'm sitting in my home office from 9AM in the morning to 6:30 at night, UPS should somehow manage to get a package to me.  No 3:36 and nobody was home BS.

And as a general rule when I call their toll-free number, I just don't ever get the impression that they really give a hoot that they can't master the simple art of getting a package to me when I'm sitting around waiting for it.

In all fairness, the Post Office manages to screw up, but at least if something doesn't get to my PO Box I don't have to sit around from 10AM to 7PM waiting for it not to arrive like it should during this long delivery window.  Fed Ex manages to screw up, but I feel as if they show just a little bit more love when you complain.  And there are e-mails that disappear into cyberspace and spam filters.  There's no foolproof way except maybe a phone call where you actually speak to someone to get information from here to there, and these days there's generation 200X that doesn't believe in using the telephone.  But when I think about Vinnie swinging by the offices at 845 Third Ave., there's something particularly disillusioning about the fact that brown manages to do so danged little for me.


Lisa Iriarte said...

My complaint is that sometimes they will simply leave the package on our front porch. Now, we live in a nice neighborhood in a small town, but I'm a teacher. I'm well-liked, but certainly I've given my share of bad grades and punishments over the years, so there are students who would have no problem with stealing/damaging a package on my porch. I suppose that is simply a matter of policy, and nothing really terrible has happened yet, but it still concerns me. Oh, there was the time I ordered a giant bar of Hershey's chocolate (five pounds) as a prize for my highest achieving student. It was left on my porch, in Florida. Thank goodness I got home before it began to melt.

Maria said...

Hmm. I haven't felt that love when calling Fedex. I'd have to say the two are about equal--and on par with the post office. I can be sitting here in my home office and they (fedx or ups) deliver the package to my front doorstep--they Almost Never ring the bell. This is very unfortunate when you live in warm Texas and are faithfully at home all day because an order of cheese is to arrive. Very Unfortunate.

If I had to guess stats, I'd say the post office rings the bell the most often (especially once the dear lady came to find out that I am home 80 percent of the time--sadly she has moved to a different route.) Fedex and ups...hmm. It would be a tossup. Can't recall either of them ringing the bell lately.

Anne said...

I am having trouble with UPS too. I wrote a Rant about it here...

And referenced your recent rant. Hope you dont mind.

TheGiant said...

Stupid Brown I was expecting a package today, even paid extra for Saturday delivery, stupid driver didn't even try to find my house he just maked it as "incorrect address" when that is not the case, just because the house is only 3 years old, and the street is not in any GPS. If it's not on his stupid map then it must not exist. BAH, in 3 years this is the first time this has happened with UPS. Now they've rescheduled it for Monday, if I had wanted that I would not have paid extra. They owe people their money back if they can't deliver on the day that's paid for.