Wednesday, March 02, 2011

My Bloody Valentine

Logistics is big business these days. You know: getting an item from A to B. B preferably being the address that has been stamped all over A. It is surely an indication of how advanced we have become as a society that we can send an item half way around the globe in 24 hours and deliver it to a specific postal code in the middle of nowhere. Talk about precision bombing of the friendly sort.

So. Logistics then. It’s an amazing concept. A global concept.

And we’ve all heard of a few of these companies that specialize in logistics. FedEx. DHL. Erm... and some others.

We are all dependent on them at some point. We are all pinpoints in the vast logistical web that is the human race; part of the logistics network in a mostly passive sense.

We wait for these guys to find us and render unto us that which someone else has deigned to make ours.

Things like Valentine’s Day presents.

My wife bought me one of those this year – as she does every year.

I have yet to receive it. It has yet (at the time of writing) to be delivered. Because the logistics people can’t seem to get their heads around the simple logic of reading an address label and assigning the package to a correct delivery route or even – and this makes me gasp – finding the right package with the right name and address on it.

I do not yet know what my Valentine’s present is. Only that my wife is as cheesed off as I am that we are still waiting for it to arrive. She has, bless her, bought me a second extra present to keep me going in the interim so you could argue I have benefitted from this balls up. But that isn’t the point, is it?

The first attempt to deliver the package was a non starter. DHL subcontracted the delivery to a local logistics company who, ironically, were located a mere mile away from my house. If I’d known this at the time I could have walked round to the depot. I wish I had. They’ve “lost” the package. Not that they’re admitting to this, mind. It has been “loaded onto one of their vans for delivery”. This status was apparently flagged up on the 16th February. So, I can only assume the driver is coming to my house via The Maldives and will arrive as soon as he can get someone to haul his van off the coral reef.

My wife rang and notified the vendor who were as cheesed off as we were. They sent out a second version of the item express delivery. This time DHL would deliver it themselves personally.

They didn’t. They called when my wife and I were both at work (surely a common occurrence these days), didn’t try the neighbours who were all in and took the parcel all the way back to their depot in Sutton effing Coldfield which is miles away from my house. It is not a part of the world either of us are familiar with so we did not fancy having to drive all that way, with the kids in tow, after a hard day at work. Could we come at the weekend? No. They are closed Saturday and Sunday. So if you are working parents you are pretty well stuffed.

We opted to have the package delivered to my place of work. I had to email them to do this – or so the automated telephone message informed me. I did so. I gave them every piece of information that a true logistics-head could want. Things like my name and my work address; the delivery code of the item, the original address, the service route, my mobile phone number, etc. Everything.

Yesterday DHL delivered the wrong package to my place of work. A package not addressed to me, with not my name on it and looking nothing like the package my wife had bought for me. Gregory Beavis if you’re reading this... I apologize for the delay of the delivery of your own package. It is currently in my possession.

Cue tightly voiced phone call to DHL (once I’d navigated the automated telephone firewall and actually got to speak to a living breathing half-thinking human being). Cue many apologies.

They could see straight away what they had done wrong. They had delivered the wrong package. They had not delivered the right one. This from a logistics company whose whole raison d’├¬tre is to deliver packages to the addresses printed on them.

Apparently they’re going to call again today and we are going to swap packages. Kind of like a dodgy drugs deal at an international airport. Only this time, I hope, without further foul ups.

I am not holding my breath.

I guess the moral of the story is this: if you want to guarantee that something is delivered to some specific person in some specific place you’d better bloody well start walking now and deliver it yourself.

Trust me; it’s the only logical thing to do.



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41 comments:

Anonymous said...

BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN
Why American men should boycott American women

http://boycottamericanwomen.blogspot.com/

I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don’t know how to cook or clean, don’t want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.

BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN!

Steve said...

Anonymous: you again. Please read the post you have so uninterestedly commented on and then get yourself a mail order bride. I wish you the very best of luck with getting her delivered.

The Dotterel said...

Blimey, who's that guy ranting about American women (above)? Maybe this explains your 'missing' comments, Steve? Or maybe he's waiting for a Valentine's Gift from said American woman and - like yours - it's gone AWOL. And now - thanks to DHL - he's forced to piggy-back your blog to rant about it.

Bloody logistics, eh?

Being Me said...

Mate. Poor Anonymous. He needs your help. Quite obviously. I can't help giggling at the spam, is that wrong? Oh great, as I type this comment, he's just spammed MY blog! Aaaargh, it's spreading...

On the logistics of the supposed "logistics company", I hear ya. I have been waiting - ok, it's only been 3 days for me - and called the freight co. today who gave me a *yawn* story about sending it to their Freight Investigators. Which makes me cringe. They have a team of special investigators because they lose parcels so often??? Here's a thought: GET COMPETENT STAFF WHO CAN READ. Problem fecking solved, you eejits.

Sorry. I'm mad. And I want my marketing cards before I go to the conference in Sydney, damnit!

Being Me said...

Steve, just read your suggestion for your anti-American-women new friend. You are the man! That was a fantastic suggestion.

Steve said...

The Dotterel: I have no idea who he is and don't really want to know. I made the mistake of checking out his blog and came away feeling very disturbed. Now that is a big admission for me...

Being Me: I am mad too. I share your madness. It is spreading just like Mr Boycott American Women except possibly it is a darn sight more welcome. I think we should boycott the logistics companies. And you're right: they have an invesitigation team to investigate missing parcels? Is losing parcels bigger business than actually delivering them? What gives?!

Sarah said...

What a mess-up for your package. Some seem doomed to spend their time not being delivered, as though a bad fairy decided to target them with a purgatorial spell.

As for your anonymous boycottamericanwomen poster, he seems not to have noticed that you are not American and not married to one, and never blog about such. In any case, he's just coping the steal on another guy who has a website called something like nomarriage.com which is an self-indulgent massacre of the concept of marriage to an American woman. At least he doesn't go around spamming innocent blogs though.

hey, anonymous - wrong target, mate! I suggest you contact a Russian dating site scammer for a really exciting time! hehe

joebloggs said...

You know what mate, I had exactly the same experience with my Valentines gift to the Missus..."Honest love it must have got lost in the post"!
That's another fiver saved... I blame Austerity Britain, just doing my bit!

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

This is Christmas all over again. Did you annoy someone in another life, Steve?

joebloggs said...

Just read Mr Boycott American Women's thoughts and I feel he has a point therefore I too am going to boycott all "American Women", except for the fit ones of course..and the rich ones..and the ones who just want to sleep with me!
(If any of the above are reading this then please do not hesitate to contact me!)

Steve said...

Sarah: it has now actually been delivered - I have to say by a slightly abashed DHL delivery guy. Sigh. So all's well that ends well - until next time, of course. As for Mr Boycott... I assume he's OK with dating American men...

Joe: just blame DHL and then show your wife my blog post. We can split all the money you save 50/50 (or I'll dob you in). Mind you, just read your second comment so maybe you are making contingency plans already. I'd like first dibs on Christina Ricci, please. Oh and Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore.

Trish: I think in another life I was a Jack Russell who bit a postie on the arse. I think in my next life I might opt for the same.

the fly in the web said...

I ordered books from America to be delivered in Costa Rica...they arrived safely having travelled via Germany as that was cheaper than sending them direct!
No wonder America is going down the tubes...not that that can happen fast enough for me...

Anonymous sounds like a lot of American men in Costa Rica wondering why, after having shamelessly exploited a woman, she goes for the financial jugular when she can.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

What a disgrace! We live in the middle of nowhere and often get the wrong letter delivered to us! And when we have a parcel delivery that arrives when we're not in, they take it back to the depot which is a 35 mile round trip away!

Anonymous is a pain in the arse. He is obviously a very bitter robot, I can't imagine him being a human being. I have been (dis)graced with his comment, too. What a total knob-head!

CJ xx

Steve said...

The fly in the web: financial jugular? I think someone needs to aim a little lower down with this guy, lower down and a little more venereal...

CJ: you're the second person today to complain about Mr Boycott; he's plainly putting it about a bit and making a nuisance of himself. I think we ought to boycott him... or try and encourage Blogger to.

Rol said...

I hate to tell you this, but it was delivered here by mistake. I've been using it, but am finding it a little tight to be honest. Not that I like to brag.

Steve said...

Rol: I hate to tell you this, mate, but it was a new thermos flask, not a butt-plug.

Heather said...

Wincing at Rol's abuse of your new thermos.

The post here is a law unto its own. I've long since given up trying to figure it out. All parcels will eventually arrive somewhere between 3 days and 5 weeks significantly more battered than when they left their starting point. Unless of course they don't turn up and then...well...as far as I can figure out that is somehow my fault and I should only blame myself for being stupid enough to entrust it to the postal system.

Mr Anon seems like a happy friendly chap, doesn't he? I'm sure he goes down a storm at dinner parties.

Steve said...

Heather: I really don't want to think of Mr Anon going down at anybody's dinner party. I don't think such attention would be very welcome. Your postal service sounds much like the Royal Mail. I have friends who are posties (believe it or not) and I'm reliably informed that anything marked "fragile" is singled out for a good hoofing around the depot.

Phil said...

I agree with Joe Bloggs. Your wife’s a bit of a ‘Blagger’ you soft, daft ‘Blogger’ you.

She’s spammed you a great “It’s in the post dear!” line, and you’ve gone an tripped all over it.

I’d just love to see your face when the phantom parcel does eventually arrive, and after tearing it open with great ceremony, you discover a couple of green and very mouldy chocolate ├ęclairs, well and truly past their sell by date. Ha, Ho & Humpty Hum!

Is your wife a bit of a fast runner?

Gorilla Bananas said...

Men who get Valentine presents are the bottom of the food chain. Omega males that postal workers jeer at and scorn. If you turned up at a depot they would daub your nether regions with brightly-coloured dyes.

Steve said...

Phil: present arrived finally today and was great. So there, yah boo sucks to you!

Gorilla Bananas: my wife says, "you, outside now." Do I let my wife fight my battles for me? Damn right. We'll see how far up the food chain you are once she's finished with you.

Kelloggsville said...

A courier company managed to lose a $12,000 Optical disk unit that was being delivered in my name. It took 2 years to track it down. 2 bloody years! maybe it extrapolates to value, the longer this goes on the more likely it is be a diamond studded walking stick.

Marginalia said...

Steve, you've got a friend.

Thanks for the warning I'm having 4 trees delivered tomorrow. If your experience is anything to go by it'll be a forest by the time it arrives.

Look on the bright side. Now you can ask for cash.

Steve said...

Kelloggsville: knowing my luck it will be a gold plated turd.

Marginalia: it'll either be a forest or sawdust depending on the due care and attention that your chosen courier service pay to their delivery duties.

Tenon_Saw said...

'once I’d navigated the automated telephone firewall' - Steve you have such excellent turns of phrase; I bow in envy. (Have you sent me your book yet?)

Steve said...

Tenon_Saw: thank you. Re: book - which one? The finished one or the one I'm currently half way through? Will email you!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

You should threaten them that they'll be paying for your divorce if you don't receive it + 15 years custody for the kids! Lx

Logistics has to be one of the biggest b/s words in business. I mean what else do the a-holes do all day to have any excuse whatsoever not to know own their business inside out?

Which reminds me, I'm still waiting to receive a book ordered from WH Smith about 6 weeks ago!

Steve said...

Laura: logistics is just a psuedo bullshit word for your common-or-garden delivery man at the end of the day. They're just glorified postmen and I object to them glorifying in an "expertise" that they clearly don't have!

Suzanne said...

Glad you got your parcel at last, what an absolute pain.
BOYCOTT AMERICAN MEN (and crap postal delivery companies) :)

Readily A Parent said...

How is that wrinkled, partially deaf, illiterate truck drivers who are more concerned with producing the finest beer farts than in checking their delivery schedule can manage to get shipments to stores on time, but the uniformed, at least partially educated, nicely frangranced - if not reeking of cigarettes - parcel delivery men have to create such a ballsup before delivering the wrong parcel five weeks late?

I just don't understand. I've worked with truckers. They're morons, but they manage.

Steve said...

Suzanne: yeah! Boycott American men! Already way ahead of you, sister!

Readily A Parent: truck drivers can manage 'cos they're just delivery men who deliver parcels. DHL et al mess it up because they're logistical engineers carrying our logistical operations and they're brains can't cope with the sheer amount of syllables in their job descriptions.

lgsquirrel said...

Happy Valentine?!? I hope your present has finally arrived and was not already opened by someone along its global wanderings.

Steve said...

lgsquirrel: finally arrived yesterday, delivered by an abashed looking delivery man. I'm just hoping he was able to find his way home again afterwards.

Livi said...

Postal systems suck! I'm sure they're getting worse too! *tuts* Back in my day.....well, actually back in my day it was exactly the same! But ya know!

Steve said...

Livi: the times they aren't a-changing...

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

Is it here yet? What is it? I hope it's worth the wait.

Steve said...

Very Bored in Catalunya: yes it is. Not telling. Yes it was.

London City Mum said...

I was going to post a sensible comment but am still laughing at the anonymous one posted up the top.

You certainly know how to pick them Stevie babe.

LCM x

Steve said...

LCM: more like they seem to know how to pick me...

Mark said...

Maybe the jerk who wrote the anonymous comment about Thai brides should get them delivered by DHL - the waiting would make it all the more satisfactory to his teeny tiny... brain.

Steve said...

Mark: I like what was suggested by the pause. Probably accurate too.