Monday, March 31, 2008

Something is Lost

Part 2 begins on March 11th my father’s 72nd birthday. I ran to the post office with kids after I picked them up from school. Thomas helped me label all the packages fragile as I had forgotten. There were 7 in total, 1 going to the UK and 6 going domestic. As always I sent them first class with delivery confirmation. I started getting panicked e-mails from my customers a little less than a week later. The packages had not arrived. I checked the tracking on the first one. It had been scanned in Warwick and then nothing. I checked all the others and it was the same thing. I assured my customers I would go to the post office and try to find out what could have happened. Now call me crazy but going to the post office is one of the errands I actually enjoy. Now I know I can use Paypal shipping and probably should because it would provide free delivery confirmation but I just haven’t gotten around to it. I like writing out my own addresses and I like visiting the clerks in my local post office. When I inquired with Bob about my packages he assured me everything went to Providence that day and he gave me a phone number for consumer affairs. I called consumer affairs and got a voice mail for Beth. I left her a panicked message and drove down to Providence to see if I could talk to her. When I arrived at the big post office in Providence I found another Bob at the counter. He said I looked stressed and asked me to explain the situation. He was very nice and told me he was going to check the computer and he would be able to calm me right down. I knew what he would find and that he couldn’t but I waited patiently while he went to check my confirmation numbers. While I was waiting Beth called me on my cell. She asked me if I had purchased insurance and I sadly told her no. She said I couldn’t file a claim then. I told her I was at the post office and could she come and talk to me. She said where? I said downstairs at one of the windows. She said she wasn’t allowed to do that. I said Please? I wanted her to have a face with my dilemma. She said ok and came down to meet me. Bob returned and said he turned up nothing on the confirmation numbers. I already knew that. Beth and Bob exchange knowing glances and Beth said she could take down my information and run it by her boss. She said my packages were likely tied up in Springfield MA. She said when Providence’s sorting machine is down (they only have one) the packages go directly to Springfield. She said it was a good sign that they were all together and that none of them had moved. She said Springfield was likely behind in their sorting and that they would eventually turn up. I wanted to believe her. I told her the packages all contained handmade glass pendants and were not easily replaced. She urged me to buy insurance from now on and made a copy of all my confirmation numbers. I left feeling that at least a few people cared about my 7 lost packages. My customers were amazing. They were patient and understanding. We waited. The packages I mailed on March 14th all arrived at their destinations. I started praying to St. Anthony to find that mailbag. We waited some more. Every day I checked the status and every day was the same: Received at Pilgrim station March 11th. No further details. I started thinking about remaking the items. On Friday morning March 21st Beth called me on my cell. She had good news. On Thursday March 20th after 10pm the packages were finally checked into Springfield. They were in the system!!! Beth sounded almost as excited as I was. I thanked her for the news and she apologized for the delay on behalf of the US Postal Service. I told her I didn’t care as long as they weren’t lost! It took almost 3 weeks but all of my packages have finally arrived at their destinations. My customers are thrilled. I am thrilled. St. Anthony came through and Beth is getting a surprise in the mail…providing it doesn’t get lost.

No comments: