Monday, December 21, 2009

Public Service Announcements

In case, you know, you need to know: to cope with UPS. When you call UPS, there is no option in any menu to speak to an agent, but if you decline to press any buttons, even for English or French or to enter your tracking number (interesting: if you don't choose a language, you get English) they will eventually tell you that you can't speak to anyone unless you have tracking number, so call back when you've got one. Then a long pause that sounds like it might be permanent, then the weary voice of the autoprompt, asking "So do you still want to speak to an agent?" Say "yes" and the voice recognition software will direct you to an actual competent and (somewhat) sympathetic human. Man, that was tricky--but worth it.*

...what to give for a holiday gift. There's great recommendations (and little bios of their sources so you can check for cred [they all have cred]> at The Advent Book Blog. I recommended a book last week, and now that the person I was giving that gift to has received it, I can link to my recommendation. do something nice. Could you be persuaded to give blood? I know many people can't because of low iron or certain prescriptions in their systems or other health problems, but if you can I think Canadian Blood Services could really use it this holiday season. I base this guess on the fact that last week, the gentleman donating in the chair next to mine experienced the briefest of dizzy spells, and *five* nurses were all over him like a bad suit--cold compresses, elevated legs, fans, cookies, ecetera! They were really really nice, but you just got the feeling they were a little underworked. A few more donators would keep the nurse/donator ratio a bit more even. I know nobody likes needles, and I personally loathe the whole process, but I feel SO GOOD afterwards, knowing I did something for someone (3 someones!), plus awesome karma for the day. I mean, just a few short hours after making this donation, I found a tambourine on the sidewalk!!!! Karmically amazing.

...describe people that are just too hyper. When someone described a potential project (going to see Sherlock Holmes on Boxing Day) as likely to be pandemonium, I said approximately, "Don't worry, we'll deal with the pandemaniacs."** He responded, "That's not a word," but I think it is now, and it's a pretty good one. I give it to you.

Hope that helps!

* I just received the package, so I guess this is a win. But it took a week, four delivery attempts, one formal complaint, plus me saying morosely after I'd registered the complaint, "Can you write on it that I'm very sad?" (no, they can't), so I am not feeling very victor-like.

** What I actually said was dumber than the above, but the neologism was the same, and this is my blog and I'm allowed to edit the past if I choose...right?


amy jones said...

Speaking as someone who has had every customer service job in the history of the universe, saying "Can you write on it that I'm very sad" would have made me run barefoot through the snow to get your problem solved. Well done!

August said...

UPS should just be avoided in general. I ordered a book from the States and UPS charged me a $25 "cross-border handling fee" (that the shipper didn't know about and that I therefore didn't learn about until they showed up at my door), which was more than the price of the book and the shipping put together.

Rebecca Rosenblum said...

Aw, thanks, Amy! I was pretty pleased to have this one resolved.

But, August, I think dealing with shipping is just a nightmare pretty much whoever you deal with. WHen I got home last night a note from CanPar, saying they'd tried once to deliver my *Best Canadian Short Stories* and will try again today while I'm not home, and then return it to the shipper. There is no number or website. I'm just screwed. Sigh.

August said...

You can call CanPar customer service at 1-800-387-9335, and there's a number of other ways to contact them here:

But you're right about shipping in general. My father used to send me things via Purolator, but because of some weirdness about my building, they won't deliver to my door. (I even caught them sitting across the street in the truck once; they didn't even come to the building; they just logged sitting in their truck across the street as a delivery attempt.) We also don't have a building-wide doorbell/intercom system or anything, so I always wind up having to go to my 'local depot' to pick up packages. My 'local depot' is in Etobicoke.

AMT said...

i will swallow my natural inclination to spew bile all over your comments page about UPS, DHL, FedEx, and in fact every shipping company i know, and instead will tell you that pandemaniacs is my favourite new word.