UPS hired a whole lot of people to drive their own personal cars to deliver packages this holiday season. Today one got out of his Ford Focus (so handy for this mission) and walked in The Field’s front door and said, “You’d think for a place that mails things that you would have your address on the front door.”
The Field has massive signage on the side and front of the building that says “The Field.” The roof is bright red. There is a sign near the intersection of two major streets that says “The Field.” In addition (and I feel this might be a fact worth mentioning), we are six blocks from the UPS Distribution Center where these drivers go to pick up their packages. Yes, there are other ways to get to this building, but the primary route would take you directly past The Field.
This isn’t a criticism of someone not knowing our address. This is a criticism of loudly announcing to a room filled with people that you had trouble matching the package addressed to “The Field” to the building labeled The Field. This is a criticism of messing with our mini army after the day we had yesterday.
I’ve named it “Black Monday Shipping” so that it will reign in infamy. We had 550+ customers. I don’t know how many customers Walmart has in any given day, but they have more than four employees so it’s difficult to compare our struggles. Mathematically, I don’t know how the four of us could see that many people.
Highlights of our record-breaking insane days:
I sent a message to Colonel around 1:50 on Black Monday. Did I have time to shut off my caps lock? I did not. Did I have time to ask for something specific? I did not. My message said “FOOD” and nothing more.
About 30 minutes later, Colonel walked in with four milkshakes and a chicken strip basket from Dairy Queen. I don’t typically drink milkshakes but anything with a straw that I could shove under my mask that would give me calories to burn was going to work. I ate two chicken strips over the course of three hours. That was the total of my food intake from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Spoiler alert: That’s not enough.
Today, we received an alert that we had a new Google review. It began, “Yesterday…” which made us panic because none of us really remembered yesterday. (We did all have stress dreams, though.) (Reminder that this is a part time job for most of us.) We clicked on it tentatively and it said, “Yesterday, this place never had fewer than 5+ customers in line and yet, the clerks were so friendly and fast.” It said something about how nice we were and apologized for the wait even though it was obvious we were going as fast as we could.
I looked at Private Ryan and Sergeant First Class and asked, “When were we friendly yesterday?”
We all assumed it had to be about someone else.
Package of the Day!
A lot of things went wrong about 4:30 today. It was stressful. I was tired. A man told me to smile at which point I may have sneered (but it was a pleasant sneer), “You don’t know I’m not smiling.” Mask joke!
Yesterday, a customer who routinely believes he is the most important customer we have, had the audacity to come to the counter without even knowing the address and thinking he could just call the person on speakerphone to get it while I waited patiently. I believe I stated, “Step aside, sir.” He then made me find a piece of scratch paper so he could write it down. The closest piece of scratch paper was on another station at which point I almost biffed it and said, “Jesus” quite loudly. And the only thing that prevented me from shooting lasers out of my eyes was my sudden and overwhelming urge to quickly yell, “Is the reason for the season!” to cover my Lord’s-name-in-vain moment.
I scanned in 30 of the 218 UPS dropoffs yesterday only to come around the corner and realize the system did not record any of the scans. I got back to my station and the woman before me said, “Do you need a minute?” And I actually took it! I went outside for 30 seconds, pulled my mask off, and breathed fresh air. It was life saving.
Earlier in the afternoon, a friend came in and I asked if she was in a hurry and she said no. I told her I was going to pretend to be working on hers while I did something else entirely for another customer because otherwise that would never get done. She played along nicely. It was one of the Chicken Strip Times. Those are the best.
I even smiled. It was the best three minutes of the day.
I ordered more red glasses. This is starting to remind Sergeant of when I ordered too many accordions as a joke. Every day, more red glasses. A half hour ago our dogs went nuts like someone knocked on our door and she made me go check. She asked if I was expecting another delivery. I wasn’t sure how to admit that I simply don’t know. I’m in the red glass market now. Too far gone.
The last box that arrived had one completely broken glass. I took pictures of the packaging and couldn’t wait for Sergeant to get home to show her how terrible it was! I waited for her to shower and sit and then brought it in, aghast at the pack job some UPS store in Ohio did.
“Amateurs,” I said and she smirked. “Should hire the professionals to do it.”
This made me feel better because earlier today I said I was going to come in and ship some gifts out and she looked at me like I had three heads. I saw my mistake.
But still. I nailed the “FOOD” text. That’s a lot of goodwill built up.