SO. Allow me to preface this by saying no good deed goes unpunished.
Firstly, my instrumental woes. On the 15th of this fine September, I purchased a few goodies for the drum set. Namely a how to book, another stand for the ride cymbal, and a USB mic for kicks and giggles. There were three attempts to deliver this package to me, of which all three times my lovely roommate was actually home but somehow missed the knocking. You would think 11:00AM, 11:30AM and 5:45 IN THE AFTERNOON would be more than reasonable times to be awake and alert, but not for my roommate as was made apparent. Admittedly, the last time the driver said he would be out between 10-2, there was a lot of rain in the city so his delay was acceptable. I mean half the city was flooding. And it doesn’t dismiss the fact that my roommate was pretty worthless. So when I came home to the woes of my lack of instrumental goodies, I called UPS. Unfortunately, I had called right at 7:00PM, which is apparently their deadline for doing anything to packages.This all happened this past Monday.
I got off the phone, defeated and unable to send my package to be held at a local facility. I was determined to call in the morning, shouting at the top of my lungs to get my package held, though. So I called at 9:00AM on Tuesday, on my way into work. The person I spoke with said the package had already begun it’s long journey back to Kansas City, from whence it came. I was baffled. They said they would call the local center to see if they could find the driver and setup what’s called an intercept, which I assure you is just as it sounds. I received a call around 2:00PM from a UPS employee at their HQ, and he said he could put in the intercept on my package. It would arrive in Kansas, then as it was getting processed for the day, would come straight back. Sounds nifty. He said he would call me today and give me an update.
Well, today went by with its own set of ups and downs. Around 4:00PM, the paranoia took over and I decided to call the center. Apparently, an intercept was not ever put in for my package, and in fact was making its way to the Kansas City warehouse as we spoke. Fury began to seep through my phone and into this woman’s (Ms. Reynolds her name, the poor soul) ear as I bulged at the sides with unbridled loathing and anguish. I promptly hung up, as she was only a supervisor at my local facility, and turned my aggression towards the HQ. They were the true deceivers. I spoke with a much more helpful lady this time who was named Roxanne. (You may have noticed I didn’t start taking names until the fury within could no longer be contained. If only I had planned better. My list would be much longer.)
Roxanne told me she would have someone from the Kansas City UPS site call me within the hour and have it intercepted, truly this time. Despite the fact that I called to file a complaint against the Sandy Springs UPS site, and mind you a complaint was logged, something happened. Again, my anger faded as I let common sense and human decency take precedence over the minor setback. Surely this woman would set things straight. She spoke with sound reason and sympathy that can only be contained within a decent human being. As the time passed, my paranoia again set in. It wasn’t until 45 minutes had passed, as I was driving home through mild traffic, that the call finally arrived. A swift feeling of glee and anticipation were quickly dashed, much like the first time you realize your father is the one dressed as Santa Claus, and that the reindeer are nothing more than plastic LIES. The package was on a semi-trailer and is practically impossible to intercept. And apparently my complaint went against the Kansas City UPS, not the Sandy Springs. Not only has my package been lost within the steel confides of a roaming semi-trailer, not to be mistaken for a full trailer, but my cries of malice and discontent were harbored to the wrong neighbors. COULD IT BE ANY CRUELER?
But worry not. This story ends on a somewhat happy note. I spoke with a Guitar Center representative, again whose name I failed to retrieve due to a lack of anger-output. She said that returned packages are treated like refused packages, and a full refund would be instated. So at least my money wasn’t frivolously spent, just my time and piece of mind. Thanks UPS. So I plan on WALKING IN to Guitar Center and making my purchases next. Seems much easier than dealing with our parcel services in the Americas. A wonderful story, don’t you think? I know what you are wondering. How does this pertain to the preface? It doesn’t, really. No one was doing a good thing, really, just your expected services. It’s the NEXT story that truly will embark on a journey of treachery and deceit. Alas, it has yet not come to conclusion.
Three weeks ago, there was a knock-knock-knock upon my door. Usually I answer the door with a bit of grimace in my step. I hate to be bothered. It doesn’t matter I spend my time pacing back in forth, in search of the next menial task I feel fit to give meaning and purpose, or that I spend hours on end debating which task should be next. The knock-knock-knock pervaded my thoughts and had to be dealt with. I answered slowly, half wishing the thing in front of me to be some sort of creature, ready to do a battle of justice against a noble warrior, just to pass the time. That’s what I would do if I were a wondering creature. Instead I was greeted by a girl. One I had seen before. A neighbor’s child. She had papers in her hand. Before the words left her mouth I knew I had already made a grave mistake. She timidly asked, “Would you like to buy something? We are selling cookies and magazines to raise money so I can buy stuff on this sheet.” She thrusted the sheet towards my face as my eyes began to adjust. The colors were vibrant and scattered with stars bearing hundreds of points, and a trivial scoring system as to the cost of these things. Electronics, gadgets, dolls, etc. etc. All with numbers that were far superior to the normal cost of these items.
This was entrepreneurship at it’s finest. Teaching younglings that self determination was the only thing holding a child back from becoming the only kid ever to achieve the impossible goal of affording the big screen TV at their age. All you had to do was turn on that sweet sweet child charm and find the next sucker in line. How delightful, how adventurous, how educational. These are the thoughts of the feeble parents who force their children into the drudging labor. If ever there was a moment I remember a sudden spark in my heart, a sudden distaste for dependence on human beings and materialism, it was having to do this task. I remember my sheet always laying bare. Not a single mark or name. No matter how many steps I climbed. Half the parents wouldn’t give me the decency of answering the door. Most would scream from their wooden haven, “NO THANKS”, and let me walk down the steps beaten and destroyed.
I lingered on this thought for too long. She was staring at me awkwardly. I don’t think she expected to make a sale here. More of a last-ditch effort to escape her parent’s judgmental eye, as if it’s the child’s fault no one in America believes in helping the young entrepreneurs. I had to break eye contact. I looked at my wrist, as if looking at a watch. I have no watch. I looked back, her feet were already pointing to the side, ready to walk away. I could see her paper. It lay bare as well. Something stirred. I don’t think it was guilt, for it didn’t feel dishonest. I think I realized I had an opportunity. I wasn’t going to be one of those people. I wasn’t going to turn it all away. Not that I agreed with the process and the idea of turning this child’s dreams to worthless materials, and not that I would spend enough money for her to purchase anything but a small handful of candy, but I was going to do my part. Maybe to relieve myself of the torments that still haunted me about this experience. And to do the same for her. So I selected from the cookies one of the 3 lb. tubs of cranberry lemon cookie dough. It looked delicious. I wrote a check for $13.00, as that was the cost of the purchase. I handed her the check and dreamed of the arrival of my wondrous cookies and doing a good deed.
Three weeks have passed, and I had all but forgotten of my good deed and the escapades of my cookie delight. However, upon checking my bank account this afternoon, I was treated with yet another turn of events, for mind you I didn’t resolve all my instrumental goodies until just 20 minutes prior to writing this. My check cashed for $100.00. HUH?! I clicked the check, as my bank scans the checks when they clear them. I looked upon it in awe.
If you look at this check, you can clearly see the 3 has been written over with a 0 and another 0 added. But in the written amount, it still says thirteen dollars. I understand my hand-writing is pretty terrible, but I don’t think that says one hundred. Nor would it say it on the sheet I signed. I’ve already called the Suntrust and have a case filed. A few questions have been floating around my mind. 1) Who changed it? B) Who didn’t look and cleared it? III) Who cares about consistent sequential ordering?
So that’s my story. I am amazed at the world and all the tricks she tries to play on me. For the world has to be a woman. Only a woman could treat me so poorly and still entice me enough to stick around for the rest.