What Brown Can’t Do

The slogan for UPS used to be “What can Brown do for you?” and I think of it every time I sit here trying to be a zen master, trying not to use every swear word I know to describe the brown truck and the clueless driver who can’t find my house.

Warning: Rant coming.

We live rural. And with that comes a lot of adjustments that have to be made. We have to drive half an hour to get to some semblance of civilization (i.e. the nearest Walmart). We have to commute half an hour to get to our respective jobs. And we live on a road that claims to be in Poland but is actually in Newport.

Hence lies our troubles with UPS (apparently FedEx can find us, no problem).

They just can’t seem to find our house. Time and again we’ve ordered things online and they just haven’t been able to make their way to us. Just before Christmas I had an amazing present for my wife coming through UPS, and the truck drove down our road but didn’t stop at our house. I saw it. It passed right by, slowly, but our driveway is very long, and it was impossible to get him to notice me shouting from the garage doorway. Continue reading “What Brown Can’t Do”

Between 8 AM and Noon

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How come it seems like anytime a company says they’ll be there between 8 a.m. and noon they always show up when you least expect them? I was waiting on a package today, and I was here for all but 15 minutes of the “approximate time,” and of course they came during that 15 minutes. Luckily for me, I set it as a non-signature drop-off, but what if I hadn’t?

Why do all these companies have such large windows of time for these kinds of drop-offs or stop-bys? It’s like the cable company saying they have a 4 or 6-hour window that their representative “should be by,” when we all know that if they do show up they will probably be at one end of another of that window (and usually at the tail end, if not over the time allotted).

I guess I just don’t get it. I mean, in this world of technology, advanced metrics, and all that jazz, how come we can’t be very specific with our times? If your GPS says it is 35 minutes to the town I’m in, and you know you’re going there that day, why not give me, let’s say, an hour or a 2 hour window instead of the 4 hour behemoth? That seems far too old school in this new school age. Or maybe I’m just ahead of my time. But I don’t think so.

And, aside from that, the company knows around the time they’ll be in your neighborhood. They know if they’ll be hitting your town at the beginning, the middle, or the end of their route. So even if they don’t give you a very exact time, at least give you the ballpark figure. “We’ll be there in the morning. We start our route at 8, and you are 3rd on our list.” How hard is that? You can even program in your route and the computer will do the rest.

It’s just so difficult for me to believe that these companies aren’t just resting on their supposed laurels, that they aren’t still giving these wide-open swaths of time just to toy with us, the consumer. Whether it’s the cable guy, the UPS guy, or whoever else is coming to offer a service, it all seems a bit shady to me.

But maybe that’s just me.

Sam

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