March 28th, 2012

krazy koati

When I fly back to England, I'll think of all the people I know

When I proposed to bunny_hugger I didn't have a ring with me. Partly this was my own general incompetence; I didn't manage to find time to shop properly. Partly this was because I wanted to be sure I got her a ring fitting to her tastes. She has much better tastes than I have, other than that I've chosen her while she settled for me. We resolved to find one together, and eventually she did find one she liked, online, and that I agreed looked wonderful. I bought it, through Amazon, and waited eagerly for delivery.

One night, after I'd seen the package going through its progress from Queens to New Jersey, I checked the UPS tracking report and found it had been delivered, left at the door. I didn't think there was anything at the door. There wasn't. The next morning I asked my parents, and they hadn't got anything. There wasn't anything at the neighbors' houses, though across the street was a pile of three unrelated UPS-shipped packages. The ring was --- somewhere.

I called UPS, and they said they needed a tracer request to find it, and this had to come from the original shipper, so I called them and explained the goings-on. For several days UPS claimed to be working on tracking it, although I was brought to rare temper when they sent me an e-mail with a receipt claiming that the recipient had acknowledged receipt of the package. Since this was exactly what I did not claim I spent quite some irritated time on the phone with the UPS representative.

(Those following my Twitter feed now understand why I was posting about feeling stabby towards the company.)

So not only did they fail to deliver the ring, but in the course of this ``tracing'' they prepared a report claiming that I had acknowledged delivery. And not only had they prepared a report claiming that I had acknowledged delivery, but the e-mailing of it to me was a mistake. They meant to send it to the shipper. Indeed, after I called them to chew them out for this blunder they apparently did send it to the shipper since he was confused about what this meant. Fortunately he understood my view of things.

The jewel-maker, I should mention --- JewelsForMe --- was understanding and supportive throughout all this, and got to work right away on a replacement. That was sent, alas, by UPS again, but this time with a signature demanded, and my mother signed for it, so that I did have it in my hands ready to gaze joyfully at, unfortunately, not before bunny_hugger went back home.

In yelling at UPS agents over this sequence of blunders I confess to not only getting angry but also losing some of my dignity in explaining just why their failing to deliver the engagement ring I was giving my out-of-state fiancee who I can typically hope at best to see once a month screwed up everything. This is, however, above the threshold of what it takes to get a customer service person at UPS to actually say, ``I'm sorry'', so bad as I may feel for resorting to that level of emotional manipulation I did have that little feeling of triumph. I got UPS to say sorry.

The last bit of paperwork needed was the preparation of a police report, and I went to the township police station to do that. The report ought to be ready for pickup tomorrow or Wednesday, and then I can call UPS to arrange for them to pick it up, assuming they're in that line of business too.

This did, though, leave the matter of getting the ring to bunny_hugger.

Trivia: Extremely pure crystals of silicon have a blue-grey metallic sheen. Source: Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide To The Elements, John Emsley.

Currently Reading: Fred Meijer: Stories of his Life, Bill Smith, Larry ten Harmsel. So you probably figure, oh, he picked this up while in Michigan. Nope. This lightly hagiographic tome was from the closeout sale of a book discounters in the outlet mall near me. At a cover price of $1.00, marked 75 percent off, it really doesn't matter if I'm interested in Fred Meijer; it's almost more expensive not to buy it. (That said, yeah, Fred Meijer sounds like a great guy, but apparently his whole life was full of nothing but relentlessly chipper improvements of everything, with interludes of little homilies like finding out how it was a store in Indiana was built with the bathroom doors opening into the bathroom instead of out, the way they should.) (And I agree with Fred Meijer that bathroom doors should open out.)