Friday, November 5, 2010

DAM -n- NoBloPoMo Day 5 - Posting Frustration

No, not blog posting. Package posting.

I had several packages to post today. Eleven to be exact. One needed to be shipped FedX, and the other 10 by the postal service. All packages were sealed, labeled and ready to go this morning when I set off to post them. The one for FedX even had a pre-paid label, so I really just needed to drop it off.

It used to be you could go into a ship-it place and take your pick from all of the major carriers – FedX, UPS, DHL, the postal service, or whatever. They would even tell you when each option would arrive and which option was cheapest. Now, they’ve all gone specialized. The UPS store only ships UPS. FedX Office (formerly Kinko’s) only ships FedX. USPS, of course, will only do USPS. But, Office Depot is all wild and crazy and will actually do both UPS and the USPS. But I can’t find any place near me that does all of them. So, I had to make at least two stops to ship my packages. FedX wasn’t bad…at least once I found the place. Then I had a choice between Office Depot or the Post Office for the rest of my packages. I went with Office Depot, because they usually don’t have much of a line, and Post Office almost always does. Besides, the PO is another 10 minutes away.

I won’t make that mistake again.

I’m used to doing UPS at Office Depot, and kind of prefer it over the UPS store, simply because I can enter the shipping information in the computer myself, rather than write everything out by hand and then stand there while the clerk enters the same information into the computer (seems kind of inefficient to me). But, I wasn’t shipping UPS, I just needed postage slapped on each of my already-labeled packages.


I was told I had to enter all of the shipping information on all ten packages into the computer. Really? Just to get USPS postage? So, it took me ten minutes to enter all the shipping information into the computer. I was mildly irritated by this, but what the heck.

Then, the clerk had to take each package, weigh it, measure it, and answer at least 30 other questions on the computer about each package (nine of which were identical). Then print out a label. FOR A PACKAGE THAT WAS ALREADY LABELED. And get the little plastic sleeve to put the label into. This process took another 15 mintues. By now, I was more than mildly irritated.

Because my alarm went off. It had been 2 hours since T-Bear had tested his BG, and he needed to test again. He hadn’t eaten breakfast, and I was concerned about him dropping before I could get back home with lunch. I had timed my morning, I thought, so I could get the packages shipped and pick up lunch and be home in time for that 2-hour mark.

But, I was still standing there, waiting for the clerk to finish printing out labels FOR PACKAGES THAT WERE ALREADY LABELED so I could get postage applied and mail the damn things.

When the clerk took the first package on the stack, and opened the plastic sleeve, and slipped the label into it, and carefully sealed the sleeve, and carefully applied the plastic sleeve with the label in it to the back of the package – that would be the package THAT WAS ALREADY LABLED ON THE FRONT – I must have started turning purple thinking I would have to stand there and watch her do this to all ten packages before I could check out. So, when she asked if I would like her to check me out now, I probably had a bit of an edge to my voice as I responded, “YES. PLEASE.”

It took another five minutes to print out each bar-coded entry, then scan those entries into the cash register computer, then run the transaction, then print the receipt both for me and on the back of their documentation.

All so I could get postage on my little packages.

And, what does all of this have to do with diabetes, aside from my usual concerns that T-Bear’s BG may drop before I can feed him if my timing does not work out perfectly?

All of the packages, all 11, were diabetes related. The FedX package contained a three month supply of Pods that needed to be returned to Insulet because they – oops – sent us a shipment after I had told them we were no longer using their pump. For a second time. Since they only use FedX, they sent me a prepaid return label.

The other 10 were JDRF Walk t-shirts that we were sending to some of the folks who sponsored T-Bear in this year’s Walk.

Next time, I’ll just drive the extra 10 minutes, and stand in line for 10 minutes, to get postage slapped on my already-labeled packages.

Oh, and to add insult to injury, I pulled into a drive-through for some “fast food” trying to make up some lost time…and had to sit in the parking lot for 10 minutes waiting for my box of tacos.

I give up. At least for today.


  1. The UPS Store shippes both UPS and USPS.

  2. We all have days like that once in a while. Always happens when we are in a hurry too.

    I hope today goes better for you!

  3. @Anon. Thanks for the clarification. But would I still have to fill out one of those blue slips for each package to get postage?

  4. Sounds like a perfectly craptastic way to spend your time. Hey - I'm glad Insulet is taking the pods back. Sounds like the MDI is working nicely.