Field Reports

Field Report: December 2-4

Sergeant K

Basic Training tells you they’re preparing for this. Can you execute the sale? Can you lift that package without straining every muscle in your back? Can you remember to lock the door every night?

You do your speed box exercises. You learn to assemble a box and then quickly dissemble it when you realize you measured wrong. You must successfully shoot the tape gun. You are ready, they tell you at graduation.

But they don’t tell you it’s going to be like THAT.

Had a woman call, the sound cutting in and out, but I deciphered the questions based on the fact that it was the opening monologue from the hit play, “I Have This Amazon Code.” Finally, she apologized. “I’m on a hike and I’m not sure where I am, but when I get back, I’ll come in and you can help me.”

My theory is now that a person will die on a deserted island even though they have signal and battery because they won’t stop shopping on Prime.

Man came in and asked for fake grass. “Like Easter basket grass?” Yes, he confirmed. Then he showed me the goose eggs he wants to ship. What is the primary purpose of a goose egg? What happens if it breaks? I have questions, none of which I was going to ask and was perfectly happy to say, “No we don’t pack things using fake grass from Easter baskets.”

Private Ryan is so lucky I’m always coming up with new Field slogans.

Customer comes in to pick up a gigantic box. Like oversized painting sized. Like if you’re 5-feet tall and you have a friend who is 5-feet tall and you’re 5-inches thick and you lie perpendicular to each other? That’s the size of the box and definitely the way I’m going to measure boxes going forward.

Anyway, the customer couldn’t get the box into the trunk of their Ford Focus-sized vehicle. Private Ryan went out and returned. “They said, “I think we should strap it to the top of my car.”” “Are you here to get the twine then?” I asked.

I try to keep customers’ identities anonymous but cannot be held accountable if a Ford Focus cruises around town with a massive box strapped to its roof. (It also reminds me of the time I rode home from Chicago in a car with a mattress strapped to the top of the car and whatever the hell we strapped it down with ran through the windows and then up and over the mattress and I have no idea how that ever made it home.)

Customer Complaints Round-Up!

“That’s weird. I sent something last week there for $7.”
“How much did it weigh?”
“It was just real little. Like maybe half a pound.”
“Sir, you have 12 pounds here.”
“So that’s going to be more expensive?”

“SpeeDee Delivery is 10 cents cheaper than Priority Mail on this package.”
“Of course it is,” customer responded, disgusted.
“Do you have a preference?”
“Of course they JACK UP the price of SpeeDee so that you have to buy Priority Mail.”
“No no — SpeeDee is 10 cents CHEAPER.”
“That’s just like the Post Office.”
“SpeeDee is its own company. It’s not the Post Office.”
“Yes it is.”
“It’s not. They are two separate things.” I helplessly point to the sign that has separate logos for SpeeDee and for USPS. “Two separate. See?”
“I’ll just pay up for the Priority Mail. Fucking post office.”
“That’s the spirit!”

Customer who was fairly deaf so this entire conversation was yelled. Except the last line. I mumbled that beneath my mask.

Average length of time I can handle Christmas songs with lyrics: 49 minutes and diminishing. Not only do I want to prevent spontaneous sing-alongs in line, but I also don’t need all 5 minutes and 27 seconds of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” while attempting to communicate through masks after having eaten half a bagel over six hours.

General Mom randomly sends a message asking what my blood type is. I wait for clarification on why she wants to know, preparing for a blood transfusion since I’m a universal donor. Nope. Just a fun fact question for the middle of my Thursday.

Final customer on Friday arrived at 5:25, walked maskless through the door yelling that she’d “had the virus and lived to tell about it and doesn’t need to wear a mas and she’s so fucking tired of hearing about it and this return is such a headache because………………….. and I’m not paying that, I’m going to call them.” She leaves. She returns at 5:29. “Bastards are making me pay for it and I might just stop watching the Home Shopping Network and I gave them an earful about it and ………………………………. why are you charging me an extra $0.95?”

“It’s the after hours fee,” I explained, the last vestige of the last nerve frayed as she sauntered out the door.

It will shock you to learn she’s from Wisconsin.

I finished a puzzle yesterday but sat in one spot for too long with my legs curled under and actually had to put Icy Hot on my knees. I didn’t put that together, though, and instead I thought to myself, ‘This is it. I can’t do this work anymore. I’m going to have to retire from The Field.”

No concern there. Just a puzzle injury. A sitting puzzle injury.

Colonel C

I made the sergeant soup and waffles and spaghetti and made sure she had clean socks for the upcoming week. I located and boarded up the latest dog escape hatch for the 18th time after they frolicked on the neighbor’s deck for the millionth time. They are still alive, though, which means all of my meditation and positive thinking works.

Mostly I’m just excited about these glasses. I feel fancy again. I’ve literally been in the best mood because I bought four of these babies right here and they have a bit of a stem there, see, so my tiny hands can grip them better and they’re not that ugly plastic. Solid, 1970s glasses, possibly with lead paint built right in. Giddy.

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