Field Reports

Field Report: Dec 7-9

Sergeant K

I called it “craotic.” Crazy and chaotic. It’s the best word ever. I’m going to write an autobiography called, “Live Love Craos.”

Anyway, let’s discuss phone calls.

When the phone rings in December, it is like a telecommunication version of Russian roulette. We have caller ID and everything, but sometimes we forget that this particular name is the one of the person who sent hand lotion to Mexico which customs there is now treating as though it is ten blocks of cocaine.

“You need a specific permit signed by a licensed physician in order to send medicinal imports.”
“It’s hand lotion.”
“Well, that is still a medical supply, is it not?”
“It’s hand lotion.”
“It could be used improperly.”
“Like if someone what? Drank it?”

Speaking with Mexican customs representatives goes nowhere fast

So you answer the phone and hope for the easy ones. The easiest one is supposed to be any version of “What are your hours?” because that actually HAS an answer. But there is always that one person.

“What time are you open til?”
“Are you sure?”
“The internet says 6.”
“No it doesn’t.”
“Yes it does.”
“I assure you it doesn’t. I run our Google listing and our website.”
“I’m looking right at it.”
“You’re looking at UPS.”
“You’re UPS.”
“No we’re not.”
“Are you sure?”

Listen, lady, don’t call a business and argue with them about their hours on the busiest day in that business’s history, k?

Private Ryan, of course, being of sound mind and body and the owner of The Field, has to make the worst of the calls. Customers believe that he’s the only one who can do some of these things. While Private First Class and I get offended when a customer tells us to wait for him to put a plastic picture frame in a box or that Private “Ryan knows how to do this for me” when it is something like taping a box shut… trust me when I say you’ve never seen two people claim to be more inept and incapable of something than when they ask us to call a shipping company to ask about something. We literally act like we don’t know how to dial a phone.

For Private First Class, her reasoning is that she hates talking on the phone. For me, it’s that I hate hold music.

No one is comforted by your hold music, massive companies. I know you want to play a song so that you assure people their call is still active and I’m sure part of it is to dissuade people from continuing to call. But those of us who have to call you do not need your crackly broken up accordion version of “Old Town Road” in our lives. And I don’t need an automated caller telling me anything. Just play a small beep every 10 seconds or so and we’ll be good to go.

Photo of the Week

This was the UPS pile at 3 o’clock in the afternoon on Tuesday. Just one carrier.
FedEx had more.

It is well-documented that I have a deeply entrenched hatred of Amazon. This hatred comes with the caveat that The Field receives a pittance for each labeled drop off and that 8 million pittances add up. For said pittance, I am happy to scan already printed Amazon return labels and move them to the back. That, to me, is the work level associated with that amount of money.

Unfortunately, Amazon makes this a fascinatingly complicated operation. Helping people set up Amazon returns is annoying at best; helping people set up Amazon returns in December is an abomination to capitalism. Watching a line form to the door and out to the parking lot with people carrying dozens of packages and gifts to be boxed and sent while we help a person try to use the internet is statistically proven to cause Private Ryan health issues. (His little pulse-rate-tracking watch tells him so.)

This conversation happened with such a line.

“I dropped off an Amazon package and they’re saying they didn’t get it.”
“Okay, well, I promise you it left the building.”
“You guys were really busy when I dropped it off.”
“Cool. I promise you it left the building.”
“I really need the refund.”
“Listen, can I call you back? We have a line to the door.”

Phone call on Monday. The busiest day in The Field’s history.

“I was told someone would call me back yesterday and no one ever did.”
“I’m sorry. We never had a break from people being in the store.”
“You were really busy when I dropped it off.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You took my name yesterday.”
“Would you mind giving it to me again?”
blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
“I’ll look into it, but it’s probably better to just call Amazon. They typically will just give you the refund.”
“Okay, I’ll try that.”
“I promise you it left the building.”

Phone call on Tuesday, the new busiest day in The Field’s history.

“Amazon is claiming they didn’t get it.”
“Listen, I promise you it left the building. It is not sitting here. I don’t have the tracking number, but if you give it to me, I’ll enter it into the system again. But that’s the extent I know.”
“Well, I borrowed my friend’s account…”
“Yes, okay, it’s in the system, I have no other information. I’m sorry.”
“You guys were busy when I dropped it off.”

Phone call on Wednesday, not the busiest day in The Field’s history. Only the fourth busiest.

“I have spent every ounce of fucks I have with you and Amazon. I am being kind to the people I am seeing in person while wearing a mask which prevents me from drinking water and forces me to eat a bagel over the course of three hours and my voice gives out every day about an hour before closing (WHICH IS AT 5:30) and it feels like I am gargling sand which causes me to cough and have to waste voice time reassuring people that I don’t have Covid and the idea that I have had three conversations about this with you is time I can’t get back and I am about to blame you almost solely for my vocal issues if you do not just fucking call Amazon and demand a refund. Good day, sir.”

Inner monologue, not spoken out loud. See: vocal issues

My favorite package today was the shipment where someone put frozen meat in a box with a Playstation to send to the West Coast without any concern for meat blood disrupting video game console’s primary functioning. When we expressed concern, they offered to put the whole box in the freezer to ship out tomorrow.

I love when people offer solutions that solve no problems and create at least three new ones.

That being said, when I arrived at work yesterday, a customer had left us all a fairly large tip for helping her close on her house (by sending paperwork in the mail) and for making her feel welcome here in town. She’s delightful and I love her and customers like that never have to bring us treats but they’re the ones who always do.

I’m just happy the ones who insist Private Ryan pack their things also bring treats for only him. Sometimes, these treats taste like cigarettes. I’m good not having those.

A woman thought the jar that we have set out to raise money for St. Jude’s was a tip jar for us. I yelled across the room, “Ryan! This woman thinks we should have a tip jar!” I looked at her and said, “No no. Let’s raise money for kids with cancer. Blah blah.”

Later an 8-year-old came with his grandmother and donated money to the jar saying, “They need it more than I do.” Then he wandered over to the magnets and picked one out for his sister and came back over, opening up his Velcro wallet to pay for it, and saying it was perfect for her. He didn’t have enough money to cover the tax on the magnet so I pulled out a dollar from my pocket, gave that to him, and told him to always stay how he is.

Colonel C

I left the house today and it wasn’t to try to corral the dogs after noticing them running around the neighborhood. Big day! A little bit tired from all the outside world action. Red glasses are in the dishwasher. I’m so excited to drink out of them again!

Life is just one big party, isn’t it?

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