Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Humorous Christmas Package Story

Last year, my mom and her friend Phil came out to celebrate Christmas with us. This year, they are celebrating at home in New Jersey.

Last week, I realized that I needed to get to the mall, buy them gifts, and ship them out in time for the gifts to arrive before Christmas.

I noticed an email offer from Macy's for "free shipping" on any order of $99 or more. I thought what a great idea! I can just go online, pick out gifts for them and it will be mailed to them free of charge!

As it turned out, it took me at least an hour to find each gift! Whenever I would find an item that I thought they would like, sometimes the sizes or colors were no longer available.

I was starting to think that maybe I shouldn't have been so lazy! This "easy way" to send gifts was turning into quite the project. But it gets worse. Keep reading.

When I finally settled on my gift choices, I went to the check-out page. After filling in all of the shipping and billing information, I came to find out that one of the items was no longer available. Arrgghhh! Back to the shopping pages! Since I was trying to match three different items, I had to go back and change the colors of some of the previous items, too.

About an hour later, I completed the mission! Or, so I thought...

A few days later, I got an email message that one of the four items I was sending had already been shipped out. The other three items were not available for shipping yet.

Uh oh...

I looked at the details of the order and saw that the one item that was available was being me! Arrgghhh! Apparently, when I went back to the shopping pages and changed my selections, the "shipping" section needed to be re-typed in. I didn't realize this and so the item was now being shipped to the billing address...mine!

I got on the phone. I was on hold for 45 minutes! Finally, a pleasant male voice came on the line and asked how he could help me. I told him the situation and asked whether or not the additional three items could be re-routed to my mom's address. He placed me on hold for about ten minutes, then came back and said that he would try to get it changed to the correct recipient. I asked him how sure he was that it would happen. Fifty percent chance? Eighty percent chance? He thought that there was an eighty percent chance that it could be re-routed.

Whew! That was good to hear.

We have had packages being delivered constantly at our house over the past two weeks. Some required signatures, others did not. On Dec. 19th, I arrived home after running errands to find a huge box at the front of my door. It was from Macy's!! Arrgghhh! I was immediately out the door, heading to the post office to mail it to my mom.

There is a small post office annex in a strip mall near the dry cleaners that I frequent. I thought that the line would probably be much shorter there, than at the main post office. I walked in, with my huge package and asked how much it would cost to send it to New Jersey. The service person measured it and weighed it. She said, "$78.50 ma'am."


Okay. I'm opening this thing right now and will try to figure out how to re-package it, right there in the postal place. It was the "last day for guaranteed delivery" before Christmas. I didn't have the luxury of going home, re-packaging it and sending it off the next day. The lady behind the counter helped me with some suggestions.

To add insult to injury, when I opened the box, the "gift wrapping" that I paid for online consisted of a white Macy's box with a single white ribbon wrapped around it. Nice....huh? Sheesh! Cheapos!!! I paid $6.00 for the gift wrapping!

I was livid! No, I was pi**ed off! (sorry) The Macy's internet sales manager that I was planning to call was going to get an ear full from me!

In order to get the items to fit into two of the larger Priority Mail package boxes, I had to take the items out of the Macy's boxes, wrap the white ribbon around them and stuff them into the boxes. Pretty...huh?

There was tissue paper, ribbon and boxes all over the floor as I tried to make the previously bulky items fit into smaller boxes. Couldn't even gift wrap them. They would not fit.

One older woman using a walker came in to get in line (a line that was growing by the minute) and because of my mess, she couldn't get through. I apologized to her and moved all of the stuff out of her way.

Because I had been furiously unwrapping the items in the back of the store, I didn't notice (until that moment) all of the people in line curiously looking at this "crazy lady" (well...if the shoe fits! Right Susan? heh heh ;-) ) kneeling on the floor, frantically shoving clothing into boxes and making a mess in the path of all these customers trying to get in line. It's a small place and a bit cramped. I just smiled at them and's a long story.

I placed two items in one box, and the third larger, thicker item in another box. I placed the card and item description sheet in one of the boxes. The cost to mail them this way came down to $27.00.

Two days later (Dec. 21st), I returned home from Christmas shopping and found a phone message from my mom. She said that she got the gifts and that they were lovely! She mentioned that I have good taste!

I was fast!

She then mentioned that she was planning on wearing one of the gifts tomorrow. I thought...tomorrow? Maybe she meant tomorrow night?

The next day (Saturday) I called my mom from my cell phone while driving around doing some last minute stocking-stuffers shopping. She thanked me, again, for the gifts. She said, "In fact, I have it on right now. (It was 3:00 p.m. eastern time). I wore it to the hairdressers (a.k.a. salon) this morning and everyone said I looked very "festive" in it."

I said, "You wore it to the hairdressers?"

She said, "Yeah...I didn't know what it was, but wore it anyway. It's a pants outfit, right?"

I said, "No mom...they are flannel pajamas!"

I tried so hard not to laugh! Here is, yet again, another one of what my kids label "a Grammy story." You see, my mom has many such stories in her 83-years-young history. Someone remind me to share the one about the mannequin! Hilarious!

She still said that everyone at the hairdressers thought she looked great! They probably didn't have the heart to tell her that she was wearing pajamas! Cute ones with little skiing penguins all over them!

When I shared this story with my husband we both laughed till the tears ran!

Back to my phone conversation with my mom.

I asked her if she received two packages. There is a second one with a robe in it. She said no, not yet. Ah - ha! That's why she didn't know what they were! The card and the package description insert were in the second box!

Later that day, I received another package from Macy's. It was the one that was supposed to have been shipped first!

Ah yes...the joy and convenience of internet Christmas shopping!


Susan Smith said...

Dear Christine:

I am laughing out loud on the East coast!

Merry Christmas to my very special "little" sister and her family on the West coast. I love you. (ss)

Anna said...

Great story, Christine! Best laugh I've had all day.