Field Reports, Writing

Field Report: Here Comes Christmas Edition

Sergeant K

Private Ryan appointed me the Greeting Card Czar at the beginning of last year. At the time of this honor, the position was intensive as it involved the following duties: (1) Ordering cards using no official schedule whatsoever and (2) … Nope, that’s it.

I don’t think I’ve ever asked the origin story for how our shipping company came to sell greeting cards. What I do know is that becoming the Greeting Card Czar transformed me into a person who cares deeply about greeting cards.

On my life’s list of “Things I Randomly Care About” rankings, “greeting cards” is sandwiched in between “the need for good obituaries” and “getting people to understand that bunting is a statistical disadvantage in baseball.”

The fact that he used to call our card rep and have them send whatever cards they wanted to send us is blasphemous to me. You can’t just give that power away! These are the puns and rhymes and dirty jokes that our people are going to purchase for their loved ones. They need a loving hand of guidance on their way to the card that says “Viagra Stolen: Police in search of hardened criminals.”

I ordered over $1000 of cards (and magnets!) because he said “make a big order” and because I can’t name a single czar known for their restraint.

Christmas shipping is underway. Someone also sent a “Thanksgiving kit” which included lots of tiny versions of a typical Thanksgiving meal. It was adorable and grandmothers are amazing.

On Monday, I texted my good UPS buddies and said, “Bring reinforcements.” They brought an empty truck and needed every inch.


We had a customer argue with us when we informed them that Fed Ex Ground and Fed Ex Express are separate companies. As the discussion progressed into it’s eighth minute, I had that thought I have sometimes where I consider that if THIS is the last conversation I have before I die, then we will know for certain life has no meaning.

In the span of ten minutes, customers brought a $2000 piece of glass framed artwork; a rusty, disgusting car bumper; two 50x24x12 seats from a van; a bottle of holy water; six Bibles (different person than the holy water); a book to “make someone with Covid escape from reality” except the subject of the book was “being alone in the wilderness” which (while perhaps relaxing) may not be inspiring to a person in isolation; a care package with nine bags of chips in it; and this glorious, magnificent beast.

This grandmother was SO excited to send her 2-year-old granddaughter this massively long, 20-pound very hungry caterpillar. “Now this can be smushed,” she said, which is an official shipping term. “And can you make it so when they open the box, the head springs out?!?”

Oh of course we can! So to this 2-year-old granddaughter in Oregon, I apologize on the off chance that this spring-loaded, massive caterpillar causes you nightmares instead of joy. Just know that your grandma was so thrilled to send it to you that I refuse to believe the outcome can be anything but good.

Private Ryan also gave me permission to venture into the world of magnets that are sold by the same company as the greeting cards. I’m excited to see if they sell. I am significantly more excited to call myself the Magnet Magnate.

Remember the little things, everyone. And wear a fucking mask.

Colonel C

Had some extra vacation days in December. Asked Sergeant which days they would need my help at the little shipping store. It’s sort of like when you marry a soldier, you marry the military. Except it’s shipping.

And no, I will not be calling her the Magnet Magnate. We all have our limits.

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