Field Reports

Field Report: Day 394

Sergeant K

One of y’all down there’s getting fired.”

Customer’s first words after I answered the phone.

The best thing about this phone call is that I got to defer all future phone calls to my fellow soldiers until they have one equal to it. I won’t have to answer one until 2025.

Let’s dive in!

“One of y’all down there’s getting fired.”

“Okay,” I responded. Let’s just see where this is going.

“Somebody down there is opening my boxes. This ain’t the first time. Y’all don’t even put it back in the right box! You’d think y’all would try to hide it better or somethin’. But one of y’all’s getting fired.”

I immediately recalled last week where I did open someone’s box to repack it to make it about $20 cheaper for them. But I’d asked permission and they’d given it to me. “I’m not sure what you’re talking about. Did you ship a package through us?”

“Well somebody’s goin’ to jail cuz I ain’t fucking dealing with this anymore. I don’t know who down there knows me and hates me but y’all can’t open my shit and get away with it.”

“Did you ship it with us?”

“No. I ordered it from Wal-Mart.” <author’s note: Wal-Mart does not ship through The Field> “One of you’s goin’ to jail, you understand?”

This went on for a full five minutes.

I went to school once upon a time to learn crisis management skills but at no point did anyone ever discuss diffusing a customer who thinks one of the three soldiers at The Field is personally opening people’s packages, taking out the items in the order, placing it in another box, and delivering it.

Bet you missed that they weren’t even accusing us of stealing anything.

Eventually, I explained to her that The Field is a specific entity and that they would need to call FedEx’s 800 number and tell someone there that they’re going to jail. I calmly explained that Wal-Mart and The Field are not affiliated with one another.

“Well, don’t you agree someone should go to jail for this?” they asked me.

“You’re certainly within your rights to tell them they are,” I responded and they hung up.

No phone calls for me for a good long time indeed.

A civilian wanted to ship a full-size child’s stroller to the East Coast and became somewhat confused when the price was around $96.

“I was hoping it would be closer to $10,” they said.

“I could send one of the wheels for $10,” I responded.

They laughed.

And then they chose not to ship the item. Or just a wheel.

PFC had a customer throw a pen at the counter, declaring that “Private Ryan would do it for me.” It is a thing we’re legally not able to do for a customer without accepting liability should anything go wrong. So no. Private Ryan wouldn’t do it for them.

This led PFC to text me prior to my arrival. “Apparently, it’s National Asshole Day. You might want to meditate just a bit longer before coming in.” I did, indeed, do two meditations instead of one.

Got to The Field and expressed concern for PFC who responded by telling me that Mr. PFC had recently discovered “The Sign” by Ace of Base and loves it. I agreed that it is an amazing pop song. “You should play it at your wedding,” I told her. “I’ve heard worse wedding song lyrics than “And I am happy now living without you” believe it or not.”

I hope next week Mr. PFC discovers MMMBop. Then we’ll really have something to talk about.

Private Ryan had a person who needed a Wal-Mart label printed. So he told them to just email the label to us and we can print it.

“I can’t email you. This email is extremely confidential,” the customer explained.

“The label is confidential?” he asked.

“No. The email address from which it would be coming is extremely confidential.”

“We’re only interested in printing the label. I’ll delete the email immediately after printing it.” (This special customer service statement is, basically, “We don’t care even a little bit about your shit.”)

“You don’t seem to understand,” they shot back, frustrated. “It’s too confidential for you to ever know about.”

This is today’s version of Private Ryan Dwarfs Sergeant K in Customer Service. He suggested they screen shot it and text it to us. I don’t even remember how this turned out.

All I know is that I 100% would have looked at them and said, “It’s so confidential that you signed up on with it?”

And finally, I went to adjust my bra strap at one point in the middle of a busy day. My hand slipped and I punched myself in the throat. And when I say “punched,” I mean that this shot is what self-defense instructors are telling you to do in an extreme situation. It was temporarily very difficult to breathe, everything in my neck got tight, and my voice got a little hoarse.

Yesterday, I went to the chiropractor for my monthly adjustment. She started playing with my neck and goes, “My goodness. What happened to your neck? Did you clothesline yourself or something?”

I told her I didn’t remember because saying, “I tried to adjust my bra strap and punched myself in the neck so hard I have leftover injuries” just felt like something that I don’t need written in my medical record.

Do I qualify for workman’s comp if I punched myself in the throat while at work? (This joke comes from Private Ryan’s first response to any perceived injury being offering us workman’s comp paperwork. He even did this once when I choked on a piece of cookie. It’s like he went to a workman’s comp conference and retained only that he needs to offer the paperwork in order for his employees to feel valued and heard and to prevent them from suing him.)

At least I have baseball.

Colonel C

Most of my mornings are spent telling the Sergeant that it is currently 35 degrees outside so she shouldn’t ride the two-wheel tank to work and that no, I am not going to put snow tires on it. She asks these things while I am working in my office.

The other morning, she was making breakfast and I was on a call. I couldn’t remember the name of a place we’re going and suddenly, I hear her yelling the correct name through the closed door. I accused her of eavesdropping and she said that she actually works to never hear a word I’m saying on a call because it makes her feel sorry for my plight as a spreadsheet expert.

That makes me feel heard. /rimshot

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