Field Reports

Field Report: Year 3

June 21, 2021

Sergeant K

At one point today, I walked across the street to Kwik Trip and halfway, a major foot cramp occurred. And that might be a highlight of this Monday.

Customer wanted to ship a 47-pound box to Nicaragua. Told me that only clothing was in it. This was fine except three cords (including one to an old rotary phone) were hanging out of the box. Turns out, this shipment would cost about $950. Customer was appropriately horrified at the cost and said no thanks. Which is good. Because lying on customs forms gets your package stuck in customs forever. It’s like Packages Purgatory.

Speaking of, Fed Ex Express lost a package. The whole reason to pay for Express is it is in transit for a shorter period of time, presumably making it harder to outright lose. This case is a bit odd, though, in that supposedly the box contained only an empty bag. I acknowledge that it is very possible to have an empty bag with emotional attachment. But it is still fishy as hell to me that someone shipped this, insured it for A LOT of money, and it is the first package Fed Ex Express has lost in the entire time I’ve worked there.

Speaking of, my three-year Field anniversary was last Friday. Still crazy that it’s my favorite job of all time and that I have zero regrets about giving up a career for it. But with customers like these, who needs therapy, really?

Customer(s) of the Day!

I cannot narrow these down today because it is quite the collection. It’s a rare instance where we do, indeed, have a tie among them. Much like how mothers often don’t admit which child is their favorite, I cannot reasonably select on that rises above the others.

Speaking of children…

New customer came to my station. They appeared quite nervous, a trait I typically assume is associated with shyness or anxiety, so I try not to make it seem like I’m in a hurry. They laid a letter-sized envelope on the scale and I knew we were in trouble after my second question.

“Since it’s your first time here, I’ll create an account quick. What’s your name?”

“Shipper McShipperson.”

“And what’s your address?”

At this inquiry, they semi-angrily reached into their purse and dug out their driver’s license. Note that I had not requested an ID, just an address, which doesn’t seem unreasonable to request as a shipping store.

After copying down the address and handing the ID back, I took a deep breath of dread and asked, “And a phone number where we can call if there’s a problem with your shipment?”

To this I was greeted with, “Do I have to give you my first born’s social security number, too?”

Just glad I wasn’t let down.

I was tired and a bit ornery so I did my regular “stare blankly at a person until they decide to answer the innocuous question, even if the answer is “I don’t want to give that to you.”

In sequential order, the customer then:
1. Didn’t want to show me the envelope where the shipment was going, as though that matters to me at all and also it was a church so, like, what?
2. Asked for a label so they could handwrite the address
3. Became offended when I offered to just put stamps on it
4. Became amazed when I printed off the label that MAGICALLY had both their address AND the address where it was going on it!
5. Asked me to print it in a different font because the 5 looked like a 6
6. Sighed heavily when I explained this was not possible
7. Stayed until I put it in a larger envelope before transforming into Grateful McGratefulson and rapidly repeating how thankful they were for my help and how amazing The Field is and how they were so “used to doing all the work” of addressing their own mail and “would definitely be back.”

Why do these people leave on threats?

Next up…

There are MULTIPLE editions of this book…

I often feel like customers dressed head to toe in Vietnam Veteran attire are begging for a fight from every person they come in contact with. This was no different when one threw this booklet on the scale and gruffly said he needed to send it to someone.

The “New Biden Era Edition” in the upper right corner killed me. Some wrote multiple editions of a book review. This is quite the book report by Fredy Burgos here. But it is a book report. It is literally section after section of, “In this chapter, I learned…”

Did I read this small booklet? Yes, I did. I preferred the Insurrection Edition myself, but to each their own.

Then came in this guy…

Skip to the next heading, Mom…

Dude came in with a “ream of paper” box, walked up to the front, and asked me if I wanted to “see what was inside.” Friends, I did not want to see what was inside because I watched Se7en when I was way too young and I know the types of things that appear in boxes.

Of course, saying “no” really wasn’t an option. So he ripped the lid off and I literally instinctively backed away.

(Seriously, Mom, skip to the next heading if you ignored me the first time)

Inside was the most real-looking fake cobra I’d ever seen. It was this very odd … decorative? … piece of … art? … that this guy had sold online for way too freaking much money. I asked him to set it on the scale and he told me I should.

Fucking sadist.

Come on back now, Mom!!

We have a new regular customer who is apparently into the cremated remains turned jewelry business. Did you know cremated remains can only be shipped one way? Such a weird shipping law.

Had another customer come in with a number of old car signs — the metal flat ones that adorn body shops and whatnot. I was alone and he said he’d “talked to Private Ryan” so I didn’t bother to get his name or anything. They had sheets of paper attached and it’s not like we do a ton of these.

When Private Ryan arrived, he asked me who they were from. I said I didn’t know, that the guy said he already knew about them. Private Ryan (with an endless amount of space in his brain for people’s names and faces) asked if it was so-and-so. I told him to watch the video because I have no space for names and faces.

And it was true. The guy had talked to Private Ryan in April…

…of 2020. Mighty bold to think you’re that memorable.

I have begun to spend an incredible amount of time writing and talking about fantasy baseball. All those years spent counseling people into new careers and taking risks must have worn off on me. And by that I mean that that’s how I’ve always been so this being enjoyable is not a surprise. You know when it’s time to try something else. Don’t wait four years to do so. Go find yourselves your own Field when you can and be happy.

Colonel C

Sergeant and I had a fight last week that I think redefines a First World Problem. We rarely fight so it kind of took us by surprise. There was even a little yelling and then she got on her two-wheel tank all frustrated.

I suppose if your worst fight in four years is about what concert vacation to go on in 2022 that you’re probably doing okay.

Happy Solstice, everyone!

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