A big irritation can cause us to make different choices. A little irritation can prompt a blog. As I work to let go of the bigness of the following story, I realize in the big scheme of things, this is a little irritation–though I will not use FedEx again if I have the choice. Writing about what happened helps me feel lighter and soothes the irritation I feel. But I also want FedEx to know they could provide better customer service.. It became glaringly obvious to me (through dealing with them this past week) that a shipper should not offer a pickup service without also providing a label– they are the ones that need the label and have it in their system!
To listen instead of read, play the audio (sorry about the pops in the mic. I’ll work on that for next time):
Reflecting on an irritating task that took all week
Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening.
I just woke up so I will take this moment to breathe in. Breathe in, breathe in. Breathe in with directed breaths. Breathing in a little more. A little more. filling all of my lungs. My diaphragm. My tummy. Directing the breath to the back of my lungs. Top, front, bottom, belly, hold, hold, hold the breath right up to the tippy top of my head and release the breath. Releasing the breath very slowly, even slower than I brought the breath in. Like I’m breathing out through a straw and very quietly, as quietly as possible. That’s how you know you’re doing it right. And just like my dogs used to shake, or stretch, do the downward dog, get the air into the body. Let all the cells of the body rejuvenate. And then stretch or shake.
What I’ve attempted to write about several times this week, and I haven’t yet–I’m going to give you now. You can’t make this stuff up. (laughing a bit) It’s really funny in retrospect, but at the time, it was frustrating. Isn’t that the way life goes? Sometimes.
So what happened was I had an issue with my work laptop and it needed to go back to the company. And my company deals with FedEx (for shipping). They have a corporate account with FedEx.
My company sent me an email last Monday. I woke up to that email, saying that FedEx would be here to pick up the laptop. Anytime that day, from like, 9:30 am to eight o’clock at night or something. Okay, but I had no previous notice of that. So I was sitting there reading the email thinking, well, that’s great, but I don’t have a printer to print this label that they’ve emailed me. I don’t have a box. I mean, the laptop originally came in a box that was like storage, a little storage box. It was kind of thin but nice, you know with a little bit of a molded insert in that box. It had a place for the little adapter and such. Right?
So I thought, but I can’t ship it in that. I’ll put it in that box, but I can’t ship it only in that box. I would still need a shipping box. And of course, we don’t have a car so I thought well, I’ll have to Uber or Lyft over to the UPS store to get a box to print the label that was kind of what I was thinking. And then I thought well, you know, let me just let my company know. That I’m just reading the email at 10 am on Monday. And FedEx could be here at any time but I don’t have a printer and I don’t have a car.
So I wrote them back. I thought let me try the Easy, easy way first right? Never known to ask, have not because you asked not most of the time. I emailed this gentleman back who had sent me the email with my company. And I just told him that I said you know I don’t have a car anymore and I don’t have a printer to print this label email me. I appreciate this but I’m just now reading your email. They could be here any time. What do you suggest?
Had I known about a day before a couple of days before whatever. That’s what I would have done right? Go to the UPS store which is a mile away. It’s a little too far for me to walk and print the label and I’d have been prepared in other words, right? He writes me back and said, FedEx probably has a way to print the label–when they pick it up and I believe they even have packaging on the truck. You know that you can pack it when they get there. So I thought okay, cool. Silly me was thinking why else would they have pickup service if they couldn’t help people to package their stuff? Wrong! I’ll get into it in a minute. I decided not to worry about it. We’ll see what happens when they get here.
So that afternoon, I think it was between noon and two o’clock. Nice. FedEx drivers. She stops, lady. Real nice lady. Very informative, and very educational. She takes a look at the laptop. In the box. I had it in the box and everything so she could see exactly what I was shipping back and she said well let me let me go the truck get you a box. Do you have your label I suppose they emailed me a label. I don’t have a printer. Oh, well. She said I can’t print the label. They have to when they put the order in. They have to specify that the driver printed the label. She said there’s a way to do that. And if they do it that way, then I can print the label. She said because I’ve done it for other people but she checked she was on our little handheld machine and she said I can’t print your label. But I’ve printed labels for other people because it comes in from FedEx, from corporate FedEx in a different way. Whatever that means. Right? Now I’m not looking at her machine. How do I know and such but she said hold on let me go and get your box at least you have it boxed up and ready. And then all your company has to do is resubmit for pickup and check the box or fill in you know whatever they have to fill in on there and for me to be able to print the label. So I’m like okay, so I didn’t want to argue the point with her. I’m not gonna tell her how to do her job, nor would I know how to do her job right. But as a systems person, I could imagine that Yes. She was probably right that there was probably a checkbox or the directions or something that when you fill in to have them do the pickup, you can ask the driver to print the label. Mean It only makes sense, right? Why in the world, would FedEx have a pickup service but expect people to have a box and a printer at home to mail their package? It just doesn’t make it’s not logical to me and seems quite ridiculous that they would expect somebody to own a printer if you don’t have a car or a means to go and take the package to a FedEx store.
So that was the first cause of irritation. me thinking through their process and what it should be if you consider customer service and if you consider logic. That’s the way it should go right?
So I put the laptop (she even stands at the door) in the box and she said, “Oh, okay, well does it fit? Is it gonna fit?” I was like yeah, you know, I think if I put this in first and that in next, turn it this way, whatever and she’s like, oh, yeah, and then the box can even pouch out a little bit if you need it to for the AC plug the electrical plug. Because you know those things are a little bulky. Yeah, so I got it in there. She’s like, okay, great. That looks good. So yeah, just have them read and she tells me everything. Again, you know, like I’m an idiot, but whatever. So I listen to that. It’s like a 5-10-minute little chitty chat at the door. Right. And I think or and you know, she’s happy goes, walks away. I’m relatively how much happy or could I be because I’m still dealing with the laptop, right?
So I go back to my new work computer. And I email work and I tell the gentleman, this is what just happened. So he goes to put in a new request. To have them come back the next day to print the labor one he sends me screenshots of what he’s filling in and he said so Sheila, I don’t see where I should be making this request. LOL You know, like he’s trying to have fun with this situation. So I wrote him back and said, Well, what about this area? Can you click there and take another screenshot so that I can see what’s behind it, you know, a little drop-down arrow and stuff like that? So we go back and forth in our email several times. Meanwhile, the lady that I work with, she’s chatting with me and sending me emails too, because I have like regular work to do as well as this (laptop) stuff going on. So I’m kind of handling you know, I’m juggling my tasks, I’m handling things and kind of trying to direct him to which I’ve never requested a FedEx pickup. It was the first time I’m seeing it too.
So I said, “Well, hang on and let me get back to you.” I looked a little bit further. I didn’t Google it or anything like that, which I guess I could have done that would have probably helped. But as I said, I was busy doing other things. So I went back to the label a few minutes later, and I said “Oh, look, here’s a field, which was what I was looking for initially, that you could fill in with text character field.” And it was limiting you to 25 characters, but I thought well, that’s fine. We’ll just say driver, print label. Print upon pickup or something like that, right? It was a free-form text field. So let’s make up something that’s short but descriptive for the driver, right? Or for the company to know to be able to do whatever they need to do on FedEx and to get the driver to understand they need to print the label. All right. So that’s what we did. I suggested to him what to type in that box and sent him the email and thought, okay, great, that’s handled. That’s all we need to do, right?
Again, any rational person logical person would think that.
So, Tuesday, nobody shows up.
Wednesday, nobody shows up. I thought, “If they don’t show up by five o’clock on Wednesday. I need to email the company back and say that FedEx hasn’t shown up again. So I don’t know. (I might ask him) “Did you hit the Submit when you sent that request again”? Do I need to take an Uber or Lyft ride over to the FedEx store and just take care of this? I mean, I didn’t want to sit on it all week. I didn’t know how fast they needed the old laptop back. Like I said, it had problems with it. So it wasn’t like it was a brand-new laptop I was sending back anyway. It’s gonna have to be refurbished.
So Thursday morning, I get an email saying they’re gonna be here to pick it up. Presumably with the printed label, right? Between I think it was like 4 and 6 pm or something and I thought, okay, that’s weird. And then the more I looked at that label, that was something that had Monday’s date on it (the previous Monday). I laughed to myself and thought, “This is probably not right. You know, it’s probably not going to happen.” So I went ahead and priced what it was going to cost to take the Lyft ride or the Uber ride–Lyft was a little bit cheaper–over to the FedEx store.
I went ahead and did some legwork. I called the FedEx store and the Walgreens store. Because I’ve I just have this thought that well, they are maybe I better just double check. Maybe they won’t print the label at Walgreens because the closest FedEx drop-off store or point for me would be the nearest Walgreens. I know that sounds weird as Walgreens is a pharmacy but they also do photo print at Walgreens. I think I’ve even had photos printed there in the past so of course I’ll just print the label there. slap it on the box, and that’ll be it. I could almost walk there. But against like, right on the edge of being a little too far to walk. So I called them first because I could just have this vision of me being with the Uber driver, you know, or whatever or the Lyft driver and them saying, no, they couldn’t help me or whatever, you know something going wrong, so I thought I better just call double check. I did and I’m glad I did because she said Walgreens said they cannot print the label and I thought well that’s ridiculous too I mean, where’s their customer service if you’re dropping off a package and let’s say you’ve even got it in a box, but you don’t have the label and somebody’s emailed you the label? You know, somebody needs to be able to print this label. And I said well don’t you print pictures anymore? And she said, Well, yeah, but they can’t print the label. I mean, it just makes no sense to me whatsoever. So I said, “I’m glad I called first. Thanks.”
You know, so then I called my UPS store because that’s traditionally where I go. That’s why we don’t have a printer because we print stuff something like once a year why would I even have a printer? And if I don’t have a car Why would I have a printer? I mean, that doesn’t make sense either. So oh my goodness. I go ahead and call them and they’re like, Well, yeah, so I can go to the UPS store to print the FedEx label and then walk it across the street to the Walgreens store to drop it off. That’s what I was gonna do. Thursday, by the way, and they still didn’t have the label printed after all of that. And I suppose my company requested specifically that you print the label we filled in the form and said driver print label. No no, and she was adamant. This one was a different lady, adamant that they don’t print the labels, and almost seemed irritated with me. So I was just like, whatever you know, and just let her walk away. I didn’t even try to you know go over it several times. Right. That was Thursday.
Friday morning I woke up thinking, “Oh, I could go to my community office” where we live in this 55 Plus subdivision. They don’t offer many amenities here but they have a pool they have a pool table. They have a couple of us pieces, workout equipment, and they have a business office and there’s usually one or two ladies there all day long. Except for lunch. And they do. I don’t know accounting or whatever they do when people buy a unit in here they help them they have paperwork and application you have to fill out you have to they have to do background checks on people, you know that kind of stuff, right? So they’re a little mini business office if you will, but there’s no and this is key. There’s no open area business office like you see in some apartment communities because we’ve been looking at the apartment communities and they’ve all shown us where you can go and sit and use their computer and their printer and all of that they have an open business office for residents, but we don’t have that here. But I thought being that they have a little office area behind one of those half doors where the tops open and the bottom is closed, you know, their little safe and secure in there. I thought they would probably be able to help me it’s one piece of paper by the way. I mean, how difficult is one piece of paper to print? Right?
So I walk to the community center business office. And I asked them nicely, “Can you help me? Is there a way that I can get a piece of paper printed?” I had it both on a thumb drive and my phone as an email thinking one way or the other. Right if they don’t want to put a USB drive into their computer because they’re afraid of getting a computer virus. Understand that I was doing everything in my power to head off any potential issue. Okay. Now, she said we don’t do that anymore. She went further and said we’re not allowed to do that anymore for people for residents. Because she knew I was a resident because I had to have a special key to get into the building. Yeah, that’s another thing. But no, so she couldn’t help me. She could not print one piece of paper. So I thank her for nothing, right? I didn’t say that. But that’s how I felt.
I turned around and I walk away and I walk back home. And on the way back home. Yes, the thought. Hit me and this is why I probably said enough and sold the car. And you knew that that was probably coming right? Yep, that thought dropped in. Okay, Sheila, but how often do these kinds of things happen?
You know what? (thinking to myself) When you sold the car you told yourself and Richard this is, you know, the money that we’re saving every month not having the car if you have to take the occasional Lyft or Uber ride and it’s 20 bucks or whatever it is. Just do it and don’t complain about it. Don’t fuss about it. It’s just part of life, the right things happen. So I go ahead, come back. And I just said since I’m dressed and I’ve already been out I’ve already had a nice discussion with somebody. I will go ahead and just do it now. Now mind you, it’s Friday morning, this past Friday. I’ve been dealing with this all week. And I was done. I was just over it–having made those phone calls the day before.
I thought even though the Walgreens UPS Store combo was closer, I thought, “Why don’t I just go to the actual FedEx store,” right? I thought let me just do that. It’s further than Uber. That Lyft will cost more, but at least I’ll know that I can do it in one place. Go to the proverbial horse’s mouth right? Surely nothing could go wrong there. They’re FedEx. I have a FedEx email label. I have Yeah. Right. I have it in the FedEx box from the driver. What could go wrong? I didn’t even think about what could go wrong. So imagine my surprise when Richard and I (because he didn’t want me to go alone). We get the Lyft driver. All of that goes beautifully. Well, wonderfully well. We enjoyed the conversation with our Lyft driver. She was lovely. Pleasant lady. Good.
Get over to FedEx. I even check on the Lyft app that they’re allowed to wait for you for five minutes. I was like, Cool. I get up to the door. There’s a little older man kind of trying to beat me to the door at FedEx, you know, and I thought well, that’s okay. You know, let him go. He opens the door for me. I thought what a nice surprise. He opens the door. I say thank you. I go and he lets me go first. The clerk is now just becoming available. There were two clerks there.
I put the box on the counter and said I have a number for the label and my phone. I pull up the number. At first, I misspoke I said it was a return because, in my mind, it is a return but to them, it’s not a return. So I quickly amended my statement. I have a shipping label in my phone. Also. I had taken the extra step of getting the little number that they send you because if you’re going to an actual FedEx store, you can let them know in advance and they send you a number and the number corresponds to your label that you already have and that of course that I had emailed to me and in my phone as well. So she is already a little bit put out with me. I don’t know why, but I think just because I said that statement a little bit differently than she was expecting right off the bat. But she asked me again about the number. I tell her and she puts it in and then she goes to another computer. And she kind of looks back at me from a little bit further away and asks, “What’s in that?” And I said, “It’s a laptop.” And she said, “That box isn’t big enough (for a laptop) How thin is it? It’ll get damaged.” So, I stand there for a minute thinking FedEx gave me the flippin box, you know, I mean, the woman looked at (it when we packed it), so then that’s the next thing out of my mouth. I said, “Well, the delivery driver has stopped by twice this week to get the package and they’re the ones that gave me this box and watched me package it so I think it’s gonna be okay.” and “It is inside another box. So, you know, believe we’re good.” She’s like, “Well, you’re gonna have to take responsibility for any damages.” The company is paying to ship it back. Just put it in another box. You know, like I want it to get snotty at that moment say if it makes you happy. Put it in a bigger box. I’m sure they’ll pay for it. That would be another charge for a box. I don’t care. You know, I mean, I was still smiling or in my kind kindness t-shirt. Still smiling very aware. And also very aware this nice older man who led me in the door first is waiting behind me.
I want to hurry this process along. I got Lyft outside waiting. I didn’t want this to be an exchange at all. Just print the label. Give me a receipt. Let me out the door, right? So then she already now is printing the label and walks back over and just start slapping these labels onto the box. The same box I had the laptop in brought it in that she was complaining about right? She’s now slapping labels on it. So I just smile at her. Look at her. She’s like, I’m just letting you know that you’re gonna be responsible for any damages. Okay, fine. You know, like, I think I just said okay, I mean, what was I supposed to do? She had already printed labels. She already slapped the labels on the box, but she just had to lord it over me or whatever. She just had to be the queen of the universe at that moment, like balls in her court. Do you know? What was I supposed to do–grab it back from her? I don’t think so. Not after the week, I’ve had with this silly laptop in this box–trying to get it shipped out. Strike three for FedEx. Absolutely the worst customer service (and process experience) from the standpoint of them coming by twice (at that point) to pick it up and not being able to print a label.
Like I said, you just can’t make this stuff up.
So the clerk gives me the receipt and tells me it won’t be picked up till 5pm. Mind you, it is 10 am on a Friday. She says it won’t leave that store till 5 pm that day. Again, I thought to myself, “That’s ridiculous.” Then she adds, “Your company won’t get it back till Tuesday.” Okay, I did thank her but I’m sure in my mind it was more of a “thank you for the very little you did.”
I get back in the Lyft. We have an enjoyable ride. I didn’t even talk about it. Richard asked how the drop-off went. I said, “It’s off. It’s being shipped. It wasn’t, the best experience but I’ll tell you when we get home.” I didn’t want the Lyft driver to hear me complaining and what are ya gonna do. Right? The thing is done. I just wanted to forget about it. So we ended up having a very pleasant ride home. There was some Rogen started showing driver had to take another little detour route, that kind of thing, but we just had a little chitty chat with her. She played her music at a very low level, but it was Christian music, so that’s fine. We enjoyed it.
And yeah, we get back home and about three or four hours later. Ding dong. It’s FedEx. They were coming again to pick up the laptop. I said, I already took a Lyft over to your store. Oh, okay. It was yet another delivery driver too, by the way. And that person didn’t have a label in their hand either.
So, you know, I can imagine how that was gonna go but yeah. Interestingly, as well, my company had sent me yet another label and said that it would be picked up. So I wrote them back and said, It’s okay, it’s gone. I took it to the store. It’s all done and it’s on its way back to you. But I certainly wasn’t expecting anyone to stop again on Friday.
So yeah, that was a surprise. Four different delivery drivers, wasted stops, essentially. And then the kind of (I don’t want to call her) snotty or rude (behavior) but just very lacking in customer service skills from the person at the FedEx store. And early in the morning too, you wouldn’t think she was already having a bad day–unless she got up on the wrong side of the bed that morning. Who knows, right? But you always gotta figure we never know what the other person’s dealing with. Maybe she just got jilted or something. Maybe she had a sick family member. I mean, you just never know. Right? She could have a million things going on in her life. So I gotta breathe and offer her Grace and be kind., As kind as I can muster anyway, at that moment.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai – edited with Grammarly.
We Are ALL Connected and the decisions of others can and do influence, push, or pull us to the degree we ALLOW.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments.
Sheila “Spiral Sister” Murrey (p.s. We’re on TikTok! Search for Spiral Sister)
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