Write On Grrrl

Voice of Empowerment. Not reason.

These Shoes Were Made For Walkin'

I never really thought much about my relationship with the UPS man.

I order things. He delivers. Pretty cut and dry really. But then he started messin' with my shoes.

In my advanced age, my feet have become increasingly more temperamental. Yet, I refuse, REFUSE, to go the traditional route of the American white sneaker. Contrary to popular belief, they do not go with everything. My solution? Bargain shopping stylish shoes on-line that are, gulp, given a seal of acceptance by the American Podiatric Medical Association.

Thank God they exist. And they arrive at my house on the creep. That's usually the easy part.

Granted, in the two years we've lived here, two things we were anticipating were never delivered: a pouch of prescription drugs (hope those water pills provided you with an outstanding high) and a pair of costume clip-on earrings. But in both instances, there was no proof of delivery, so replacements were issued immediately.

We've since smartened up, placing a vintage milk tin at the side door for the smaller stuff, which consequently makes us appear to be the only folks in the 'hood receiving a fresh milk delivery, as well as obsessively tracking the packages so we know which day to expect them.

My new shoes? The tracking status claimed they were delivered to the rear entrance. Now that's odd, because our UPS man du jour, while parked outside our house at the time that delivery was recorded, didn't exit the truck. I was watching. I know how this can go. So I called the on-line vendor, who launched the UPS investigation.

Such a serious term for a lost pair of sandals.

And thus began my intensive UPS education, where I learned, thanks to my new, slightly combative, pal at the national customer service center, that an investigation for a lost package takes 1-8 business days. During this time, not one, but two members of the UPS team, first national, then local, call to make sure you haven't somehow recovered your lost package, next to hypodermic needles in a weed filled lot.

I also learned that the UPS drivers have a whole lot of power. If no signature is required, they have the discretion to leave your box. Ho-hum. But much more disturbing: if a signature is required, they can use their authority to approach a neighbor, any neighbor, and ask them to sign for your package.

Say what?! Indeed, I trust my neighbor across the street, he's from Kansas after all, but I couldn't believe UPS asked him to sign for my new computer if I didn't come to the door.

Yup. All in the very same week.

As my shoe investigation entered its second week, the national office said the next step would be for the driver to return to the scene to see if he could remember where he left the package.

LOL indeed.

Two days later, the local office told me they'd be happy to close out the investigation, and refund my money, because it appears that someone is following said UPS driver around the neighborhood and stealing packages. Clearly, this must be one really quick thief. So quick, that I almost wonder if they hitched a ride on the truck. You know, on the back bumper or something.

So Brown, now that my case is officially closed what can you do for me? I'm so glad you asked.

1. Stop giving your full support to clearly incompetent drivers and/or scammers. 2. Consider that all of those boxes you are processing everyday actually have something in them--that the receiving party would like to see, instead of being obsessed with just the sheer volume of movement and the money that goes with it. 3. Work on getting someone cute to do my route, 'cause if we're going to be brushing hands over the delivery pad, seeing that my address now requires a John Hancock, it might as well be slightly enjoyable.

 And then all might be forgiven.