Field Reports

Field Report: Day 354

Sergeant K

Private Ryan is on vacation. In the past, when Private Ryan goes on vacation, the following has occurred:

  • The single most catastrophic computer issue that could happen
  • Purchasing a new computer and installing new software while attempting to recover the entire history of the company’s database
  • Doing that while training Private First Class on her fourth day of work
  • Figuring out (on the fly) how to do an international freight shipment worth $12,000
  • Getting yelled at by the customer who wanted me to magically know how to do an international freight shipment worth $12,000
  • At least three blizzards

The thing about Private Ryan’s vacations is that he often goes to remote, faraway lands to chase elk or stomp around in the cold looking for parts of the things he is always trying to shoot or sit in a boat to play “catch & release” for a week. These are not places where one just calls to ask a question. These are places where we become de facto owners for a few days which means we have no power but all the responsibility.

The other thing to note is that he was a solo act for so long that everything exists in his head and he’ll just remember what he told people. This is fine except we are not in his head, we have no idea what he told people, and the number of customers who claim to be his best friend is proof positive that men are the most emotional, need-to-be-accepted gender by leaps and bounds.

Let’s start today by talking on the phone to one of those “best friends” shall we?

“Yes, say, I’m looking to ship a DVD out and I’m wondering how much that might cost.”

“Just a single DVD?”


“It can ship media mail which will run somewhere around $4-$6 depending on where it’s going.”


…..long pause because it was not clear if this was a positive “I can’t believe it’s that cheap” what or if it was a “that’s highway robbery and you should be arrested for extortion” what….

“That’s cheaper than any other route,” I offer to figure out where this is heading.

“That’s crazy! When I looked it up online, it was 50 cents!”

Ah, so we’re going the highway robbery route then. Also apparently completely full of shit.


Here it comes. Can you feel it? I can feel it.

“Well, I know Private Ryan pretty well.”

Yes, well, I most likely spend more time with Private Ryan than his wife so let’s not compete.

“And he usually gives me a great deal. And I have A LOT of DVDs to be shipped so I was hoping to get some sort of business discount.”

“Oh we do that for people with high volume shipping needs. How many DVDs are you shipping?”

“At least 10.”

Though we do not have a specific number for what constitutes high volume, it is greater than 10.

“Okay, well, it’ll still be about $4 per shipment.”

“But I saw it was 50 cents online!”

“Then you should definitely go with that.”

I am absolutely setting him up for the “mic drop” line that I know is coming. He was also big into that scoff, patronizing laugh that what I’m telling him isn’t real and he’ll just wait for the big boss man to come back, having absolutely no idea that when these situations arise, Private Ryan asks me to create a spreadsheet to determine what we can charge to still be a profitable company while maintaining that he is everyone’s best friend.

<Beavis and Butthead level “heh heh”> “So you’re telling me it’ll just be cheaper to put a stamp on this and send it that way?”

“Actually, no, I’m not. A stamp is 55 cents.”

….mic hits floor…

“Oh.” Long pause. “Well, I guess I’ll have to look into that. Tell Ryan “the fishing guy” says hello. He’ll know who I am.”

“Super will do.”

“The Fishing Guy” apparently. The Field could run without any other services if we got a dollar every time someone says to say hi to Ryan from “the fishing guy” and thinks that narrows it down to anyone other than the previous 13 callers of the day.

My other quick story is simply that there is a customer who ran into the store at about 5:29 p.m. saying, “I’m so sorry I’m late!” Then she came up to the counter and handed us snacks. “I meant to get here sooner. Have a great night!” And she promptly left the store. She did not ship anything nor did she pay for any service. She simply wanted to bring us snacks and actually apologized as though we had asked her to please deliver the unsolicited snacks EARLIER in the day.

Yesterday, one of my favorite customers brought us an entire plate of cookies because “I know Private Ryan is gone so you girls will get a chance to eat these.” Then she announced to everyone in The Field that her new driver’s license photo looks like she’s attempting to have a bowel movement.

The Field is definitely alive and well.

Colonel C

Dodger starts obedience training tomorrow. We mostly want him to learn to socialize and get his nails clipped without our groomer having to change her clothes four times because he pees out of fear. The derp refuses to go outside before bed, we think because he’s afraid of the dark, but doesn’t have any accidents. We are convinced it is because he has a separate bladder where he simply stores his “fear urine” so he can maximize his liquid output when scared. Obedience training should be a blast. Sergeant is very thankful I told her I would be taking him because she flunked puppy school with Slider and it was traumatic. I have but only one regret that my waterproof clothing has not yet arrived.

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