WHERE’S MY PACKAGE? RECONSTRUCTING AN EVENT

It’s the season of so many things, but one of the biggest is shopping online. This is when we need packages to arrive on time. So, of course, this is exactly when they are most likely to disappear. I got three emails from UPS yesterday telling me three packages had been delivered to my “front door.” As soon as I saw “front door,” I knew it was trouble.

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Our front door is inside the gate where Bonnie and Gibbs are ever on guard. In order to bring something to the front door, they have to go through the gate with the big “BEWARE OF DOGS” sign … not to mention figuring out how to open the gate, then convincing it to actually open, which isn’t easy. We get lots of deliveries. It all gets delivered to the big red door alongside the driveway. We even have put a big table so if the weather is bad, they can put it up out of the snow or puddles.

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NO ONE delivers anything to the front door. And none of the three packages actually arrived. Since most of this was stuff that was on super clearance or for use during the holidays, it was a depressing loss. UPS is the primary delivery service out here. There’s also the United States Postal Service (cheap, but good luck with that) … and FedEx which is usually good, but during holidays, erratic.

Officially speaking, these packages were delivered to our front door by UPS at 3:25 pm.

Uh uh. Not at the front door, either of the two side doors, or the door upstairs on the deck. Or at either of the gates or by the mailbox. Or alongside the shed. No packages. I looked. Garry looked. I looked again. Garry looked again. Nada. Nothing.

The red door by the driveway

The red door by the driveway

It could be that the delivery guy, being a holiday temporary employee delivered the package to the wrong house. It has happened before. Usually, that’s the end of it. We never see it again. We’ve gotten a lot of other peoples’ packages, but we are good neighbors and deliver them by hand to the proper house. Other folks are less honest or more lazy. Not sure which. Maybe both.

So I called United Parcel Service, alternatively known as UPS or brown because they dress in brown uniforms and drive brown trucks. FedEx is all red, white and blue and the United States Postal Service (USPS) drive white trucks and don’t bother with uniforms here. In the city, they still wear blue, official uniforms, though. In the country, we are grateful to get mail at all and are not picky about apparel.

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UPS had no idea where the packages were. “Maybe some other family member picked them up?”

“It’s just me and my husband.”

“Have you checked …”

“Every door. Every gate. Ever inch of the driveway and up by the mail box. And the back porch. No packages.”

“The driver came back with no packages. He said they were delivered.”

“Well, he didn’t deliver them here.”

“We’ll call you back in less than an hour.”

The deck gate.

The deck gate.

I waited. And waited. So, I called again, this time with the case number. No one knew anything, but they would call me back in less than an hour. Repeat one more time. Still no information, but they would DEFINITELY call me back in less than an hour. No, really, they would call me back.

Meanwhile, I called Lands’ End and they said they’d send me a replacement coat and I called Amazon and they said they’d send me a new oven thermometer. There was another missing Lands’ End package, so I called them, again … only to discover that four of the six items I’d ordered were no longer available. Only one sweater and a pair of dress pants for Garry could be replaces. And he really needs those pants for the party we are going to next week. I agreed to give it one more day in the unlikely hope UPS would “find” the packages. Sometimes, they say packages have been delivered, but they haven’t really delivered them. They are planning to, but to keep their bosses off their backs, so they mark them as delivered early. I’m hoping this is what happened. Otherwise, one of my neighbors got an early Christmas bonus.

The back door


This morning, I woke to the phone ringing. It was the UPS driver. Yes, indeed, he delivered them to the people next door. The unpleasant ones who seem to feel we are not nearly good enough to be their neighbors. That must be why they kept our stuff. The drive thinks he can get it back. I have my doubts, but I appreciate him trying. Isn’t there a law about this or something? It’s really theft, in passive-aggressive mode.

From my point of view, the worst part of the deal is that the three clearance sweaters I ordered from Lands’ End are no longer available in either my size or color. Out of 6 items, they can resend just two. So they will replace two items, refund the other four, and collect the money from UPS’s insurance. It’s the original vendors who deal with the problems, replacing missing packages and then filing the endless paperwork to get their money back. Meanwhile, the neighbors have one lovely wool coat, a pair of men’s dress pants, five lovely sweaters, and a rather classy oven thermometer. Free.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Tis the season indeed, which is why I do all of my holiday shopping before Thanksgiving. It’s only the beginning of December and I won’t be doing anymore ordering until the holidays are over. This is as much holiday angst as I can handle.

CONSTRUCT | THE DAILY POST

43 thoughts on “WHERE’S MY PACKAGE? RECONSTRUCTING AN EVENT

  1. This is so complicated. We have a postal service which is fine. We have the UPS which is also good, but far too expensive, so it is usually only mail companies that use it. What I find strange is that I get at least 3-4 messages a day from UPS telling me that they have a problem with my package delivery, especially as I am not waiting for any packages and it all looks a bit strange on the computer, so I ignore them. Perhaps they are your missing items?

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      • I have never heard of Lands’ End. Must have a search on Internet, although I never wear sweaters. I only wear short sleeves at home and if I need more warmth, a cardigan on top, although I very rarely am cold.

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      • I thumbed through the BIG Land’s End winter catalogue. Lots of great stuff. But I don’t need anything.
        What happened to the ladies’ underwear section? Oh, that’s Victoria’s Secret. I like the articles.

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  2. In the UK, I’m pretty sure that’s theft plain and simple. Spending money put accidentally in your bank account, picking something up in the street and keeping it… all theft. I don’t suppose you can go to the local Sheriff or whatever you have? You have the UPS driver’s word on it…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Um, keeping your mail is a federal offense. If the delivery driver knows for sure that he delivered your mail to your neighbors and they deliberately keep it, it’s not just rude, crude, and socially unacceptable, it’s punishable by law.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So strange ! Didn’t the delivery boy took their initials or impression on the mobile?form? It is a practice here and if there is a lock at the door then they take the packet back, inform the owner and check for the availability. Not at all fair on your neighbour’s part if at all they kept the packet. It amounts to stealing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I guess I should not assume that you’ve seen, or caught, as it were, your neighbor wearing your sweaters and Garry’s pants. You should go over there one day, after the holidays, and ask if they liked the gifts you bought for them? I’d be worth the picture of the expression on their faces alone.., then you leave, waving good buy and a “Merry, Happy” something. I bet that stops, or at least, modifies their behavior somewhat.., may even project a little old fashioned “Jewish Guilt.” Waddaya say? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a strange place. My neighbors will come and get my packages if they’re left outside too long. Then they will take them to their house and text me that they have my packages. Then I text back, “I’ll be home Monday.” “OK.” Monday comes with an invite for tea and my packages. Seriously. I often wonder if this place is even REAL. Your neighbors sound like arschlochs…

    Liked by 1 person

    • UPS explained the facts of life and said that just because UPS made a mistake doesn’t mean that they are entitled to keep the stuff. I’m glad they did it, because I had no proof that they had gotten the packages. Nothing on paper, anyway, or even an email. Just a verbal explanation from the driver and I wasn’t going to try to take THAT to the cops. Also, frankly, I don’t want to be at war with my neighbors. They are not nice people, but I have to live here and I’m too old to go to war.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Not out here in the country. It would be hard for me. The door is a long way from the living room, down two flights of stairs and at the other end of the house. I don’t move fast anymore. But in any case, the problem has been dealt with.

      Apparently the guys from UPS explained that they would be involving the police were the packages not returned. That’s all it took. But I couldn’t do that because I have no proof that they WERE delivered to the wrong address. Only UPS could do it, and they did. And I am grateful. But exhausted. I’m not ordering ANYTHING more until the holidays are O-V-E-R.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Signing for delivery is essentially up to the shipper.., and costs more money.., at least that’s the way it is with FedEx and I can’t imagine it’s much different with UPS? Just something else to get more money from you, and relieve the transporter the responsibility of worrying about a signature. it also saves them a bunch of time hunting you down, or arranging for redelivery. If you’ve ever watched the UPS or FedEx guys, they are really hustling. Bottom line; mistakes will be made.

      If what you ordered is real expensive, or hard to replace, the shipper will usually opt for paying the “sign” fee. I know it sounds silly, but they do give the shipper an option, and I suppose if you’re doing a ton of shipping having a choice makes a difference. All in all, they are playing the odds that 99% of the time the package will reach its destination. The one thing that puzzles me is the touch pad “sign for” devices they all use which are hard as hell to sign legibly. Seems to me that anyone could sign that thing and you’d never be able to know, for sure, who?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I just signed one of those touch pads a couple of days ago. It was for something rather expensive. I don’t know how those signatures can be legible.
        Leslie

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  7. I was going to suggest going to their house to demand your stuff. But after reading the comments, it looks like UPS did that for you. What kind of people are they?! Sorry for you, Marilyn, but I hope they returned your items unharmed. Blasted neighbors……!

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