Friday, July 11, 2008

F*%K You UPS, F*%K You Very Much

So this is not really that big a deal. What I need to do is take a chill pill and get over myself. But, on the other hand this should not be that difficult.

I ordered a package from Amazon. Usually I don't have any problem with Amazon packages. They show up with the mail. I usually order very small packages (books and music and movies) so when I get home BING! there they are. It has always been a pleasant experience. UPS on the other hand can take their brown little outfit and stick them where the sun don't shine. This may even be to soon for me to write about this because it JUST happened and I should calm down first but I am so angry!

I had a book and CD rush delivered to me. The CD I have been having a hard time tracking down in stores and I ordered the book because I thought "As long as I'm ordering this other thing." I wanted them both before I left for New Orleans. Could I get them in New Orleans, it's not an impossibility. The book is David Copperfield, and while I've had a hard time tracking down a new copy in the City (it seems to be on everyone's summer reading list), that book isn't and wont be out of print. The CD is the Dead Presidents sound track, an awesome sound track I recommend to anyone. One of the best of all time. I had a copy but lost it and this was to replace it.

Now, again, it's not like I have to have these things before I leave...but I would like to. That's why I paid almost the total price of my purchase to ensure they got to me on time.

UPS leaves one of their notices on my door yesterday. They tried to deliver the package, but I wasn't home. They will try again Friday (today) between 2:00 and 5:00. Shit, I think. I'm not going to be home. I have work all day and then I have the play. I wasn't expecting them to use UPS. Usually it's just regular mail. Shoot. I don't get the notice until 11:30pm, so I can't call their automated system to rearrange the drop off place. So I call this morning.

"Can I have it dropped of at my local UPS store? "

"No."

"But I've done that before. I know there is a charge and I'm willing to pay it."

"You have to call the store and ask them if it's ok."

"Really?"

Really, I'm thinking. I have to call the store. Really? There isn't just an agreement about this? Really? So I call the store. It's fine. The guy doesn't even take my name. It's fine. It's all fine.

So I call back. I confirm that the store said it was OK. The guy then tells me the package can be picked up on Monday. Wait. Wait. Wait. I'm not here on Monday. I'm on a plane on Monday. Can't it be sooner? No. But the store is only a few blocks from me. Can't they just drop it off there so I can pick it up on Saturday? No.

I'm to angry. I don't want to cry to the UPS guy. I hang up.

I chill out. I call again.

"Fine, I say. Fine. I'd like to arrange to pick it up at the package center." Mind you, the package center, while in SF and technically less then 10 miles from my house, is actually a 45 minute drive and in a not so nice industrial unlit neighborhood. There is no official parking, the pick up center doesn't even look like non employees can enter. It is very intimidating and uncomfortable. "Great." He says. "The package will be available to you on Monday." WHAT!!!!!

The pick up center isn't open on Saturdays (when I'm around.) "But you don't deliver on Saturdays. What am I supposed to do?" He doesn't have an answer. So I hang up.

Chill, I say. Chill. But I can't. I can't chill. What if this package had been important. And more importantly, that doesn't matter. The package is important to me! That is why I ordered it. I start writing. Then I remember the old rule with customer service. The customer is always right. And I'm right. I deserve my silly package of silly things. So, I call back.

We go through the whole thing again. This time I plead.

"But the Store is only a few blocks from my house? Couldn't it be dropped of there today instead of my apartment?"

"No," she says sticking to the party line. "No. That transaction can't happen until Monday. Can't you just go to the package center?"

"No. No I can't."

"Is it very far away?"

"Yes. Yes it is. "

"Ok, then what do you want me to do?" This is good. I'm in the right. I tell her I expected this to be delivered regular mail. I expected this to be just dropped off. I need it before I leave town on Monday. I had it rush delivered for that very purpose. I can't go anywhere but the places I need to be at today.

"Can you have a neighbor sign for it?"

"No, not at this point." I don't have their phone numbers and even if I did, I'm not sure they know who I am or if they hate me or if they'd understand what I was saying. The ones who would be home would be older ladies who don't speak English. One even says, "Hello mama" as I pass her in the hall. I think she thinks I'm pregnant, which is horrible. I want to tell her I'm pregnant only with my own laziness and just need to loose 20 pounds. But I think she'll get the hint when no baby comes and I still look bloated. I don't know the people in the buildings around me. Plus, I am no longer home to leave UPS a note on my door about what to do with the package.

"Are you sure you can't go to the pick-up place after 7pm?"

"Yes. I'm sure." I'll be in costume at that point. I'll be doing vocal warms ups and stretching and quite probably bitching about my UPS experience. And I don't want to leave work early because it's my last day here for three weeks and I don't want to leave Coleen in a lurch. Plus, Coleen isn't here today so if I leave I may be leaving someone else hanging. Even though I spend so much time doing nothing, part of my job is sitting around waiting for something to happen. And even if I leave work at 1pm and get home by 1:30 there is a chance that that package will have come at 11:30. It's happened before. There is a chance it wont come until after 5pm. It's happened before.

"Could you have someone else go to the package pick-up center after 7pm to pick it up?"

I think about Matt. I think about how Matt has worked hard all day at his job and how I'll be leaving him for three weeks. I think about how he could do it for me and about how I'm always asking him for silly favors and this would be the silliest of them all. And how it's a book and a CD I could get almost anywhere and I really shouldn't have bought them so last minute anyway and how I'd be making him rush around and deal with stupid UPS for me. Go into a scary neighborhood after 7pm to maybe meet with the driver and maybe get my package. And it's just not that important.

"Maybe." I say defeated into the phone.

"I'm running out of options here." She says. So am I, I think to myself. I thank the heavens that this isn't a really important package, and I reconsider ever using UPS again, and never having anything rushed from Amazon again.

"Well, if you do find someone. Contact us before 7pm with their name. Send them with a note that they are authorized to pick up your package. Make sure they have their ID." She says this in her best "I'm sorry" tone.

I feel so defeated.

"I'll see what I can do."

"Ok. I'm sorry." And I know she is, but I don't think it matters. If I don't get that stupid package somehow today, then Matt will have to pick it up from the UPS store anyway. And then he'll just hold on to it, because mailing it out to New Orleans would be stupid. And I'm going to cry. I can feel it building up in side of me. I'm going to cry because I'm stressed about going to New Orleans. I'm worried I won't write a word when I get there. I'm worried I'll be robbed, lost, lonely, alone, too hot and uninspired. I'm worried that I shouldn't be leaving Matt at all. I'm worried that I'm not prepared, that I'll forget something. That I'll do something wrong. And Matt. I don't want to leave Matt. I was so happy to months ago when this all seemed like an adventure, but now (as it was right before I went to Europe with Emily) I don't want to be separated from him. Who in there right mind makes that choice? The man I love is in San Francisco, and I'm in New Orleans. For three weeks. What the f*%k was I thinking.

And I've spent the last five weeks crying my heart out at least four times a week. Not just crying. Weeping. On stage. To get there, to this place a woman who just lost her husband to a bad bad war, to get to that place I think about the closest thing to my heart. I think about Nathan. I think about him in all the contexts that thinking about him could get me to cry. I think about playing the game of Life with him, and how poetic that is. I think about him at one or two running around in a Micky Mouse belly shirt that children in the 80's wore. His blond hair falling into his eyes, and his silly silly smile. I think about his big rough hands that he never seemed to be able to hold in a way that was comfortable. I think about how he doesn't really like a lot of touch. I think about him in uniform. I think about him holding a gun. I think about fresh turf and a head stone with his name on it and I weep. I weep dangerously. I weep uncontrollably. I don't act. For five minutes on stage I weep for my living brother and my living fears. I weep for all the times I never said I loved him and all the times I did. And I fight with myself in my mind. I don't want to cry. I don't want to think about it. I don't want to use this to "get there." I don't want this, and then I cry more. And I'm so tired. I know if I call UPS again, it will be that person crying. The scared, worried, sad, tired actress.

I feel like such an asshole. Because it's not about this stupid package. It's about me and all the stuff I need to just breath out. I will be fine in New Orleans. It will be wonderful, and Matt and I will road trip back to San Francisco and that will be wonderful. Nathan will come home from Iraq, I have to believe that. I need to just breath, breath, breath.

I'm going to call back one more time and try to talk someone into doing something. I'm the customer, and I'm always right. And I shouldn't have to f*%king deal with this bullsh*t.

UPDATE: Called again and got a very nice woman who said all the same things. This time she also said I could arrange to have it delivered at my local UPS store and then call at like 7am tomorrow morning and see if there is a driver who can drop it off tomorrow. She said they do that sometimes. I have my doubts. But it will be at the store and if anything, Matt pick it up from there when it is convenient for him and then it will just be at home waiting for me. This should be easier. There should be a motherf*%king system in f*%king place.

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