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Higher Expectations

Big Brown and Miss K mano a mano

One of the joys of actually being at an oil field gate guard  location with an established street address is UPS and FedEx delivery right to the door of your recreational vehicle.  UPS usually does a pretty danged good job in rural South Texas.  FedEx tries really hard but they bumble and fumble around so bad sometimes it makes me wonder.  I guess FedEx is easily confused.

Now just let me say right now that I only use UPS and FedEx when I run up against the dreaded “This item cannot be delivered to a PO BOX.”    Explosives, flammables, personal thermo-nuclear devices and such are NOT to be entrusted to the US Postal Service.  They won’t touch ’em.  When we were closer to my folk’s house sometimes I would have that stuff delivered to them and then I would sidle by and pick it up.  Problem was that some of the stuff I was having delivered freaked my Mom out so I had to back off that option.

I love the fact that our present location has a valid street address.  I did the ‘test run’ with some little diddly item and UPS came through with flying colors so I was figurin’ we were all set, right?  Regular readers know I just get all red-eyed mad when it comes to people slackin’ their jobs.  For some reason, we have become a herd of cows that just accept substandard service.   An 80% effort  is deemed acceptable and we just shrug it off and go on to the next disappointment.

In this South Texas Brush Country, the oil industry is flat out driving the local economy forward at an amazing rate.  Used to be folks got by raisin’ a bunch of skinny mama cows and leasing some ground to rich hunters out of San Antone and Houston.  Now they are all driving new Super Dutys and Mama can afford to get her hair done every week.   There is a fractious element to all this big business….  local businesses are stretched providing services to all  these oil field folks, traffic can be a nightmare in these little towns that boast little more than a flashing yellow light at their biggest intersection and the roads get beat to hell.   Gotta pay the price of progress I reckon.

Now I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer by a  long damned shot but I can pretty well figure some stuff out on my own.  If I was a UPS driver I would sorta take into account that the roads may be a skooshy bit bad at times and the transient nature of the oil field might make for a difficult delivery now and then.  Make sense?  Seems logical and reasonable to me.

South Texas is semi-arid.  They don’t get copious amounts of rainfall down in these parts and when it does rain it can present challenges.  Low water crossings become impassable and the caliche rock roads turn into a sea of mud.  Taking into account most of these county roads were only designed to accommodate a rancher pulling a stock trailer or a trailer load of round bales,  you can only begin to imagine how bad they get after months of oil field traffic beating the snot out of ’em.  Hey, it is what it is.  That is why they invented 4 wheel drive after all.   UPS Driver knows  this.  Every time it rains the scenario plays out.  It was the same last year and it will be the same next month.

We had a good little rain about a month ago and our main drainage seems to be the county road that runs in front of the property here. That happens when they grade the road year after year and push it all out to the sides.  Eventually the elevation is lowered and the road becomes the lowest point.  Gravity takes over from there.

Our road was a muddy mess with some good size chug holes in it where the water easily came up to the floor boards of the Suburban.  It was just a nasty damned mess but traffic was still moving through and business was getting done as usual and then the Bad UPS Lady showed up.   She got out of her truck bitchin’ vehemently and I was taken aback by how pissed she was.   After all,  I was availing myself of a service I had duly paid for and she was treating me like some nefarious scoundrel and it just didn’t set real well with me.  I couldn’t help that she had not closed the little slider doors on each side of her cab and her floor was now covered with a half inch of  slippery caliche road scum.  Hell, I can’t fix stupid!

So she asked me ‘Is this Janey Jane’s place?’  –referring to the Ranch Owner’s wife.  ‘Yes ma’am’   I replied.   ‘She works in town, right?’  ‘Yes ma’am’ I said again.  ‘Well, next time I am just gonna deliver the stuff to her.  I’ll be damned if I am coming out here again.’   I signed that little electronic dealio for the package and she was on her way.  Good riddance!  Don’t let the door hit you in the ass!

Well, we got some more rain the other day and the road turned to crap and I had UPS packages in transit.   Wonder of wonders, a nice young man showed up  –with his slider doors closed BTW– and jumped out the Brown truck with a smile on his face.   I commented on the condition of the road and he just grinned and throwed up his hands.  What are you gonna do, right?  It is what it is.

2 days later the Ranch Owner came wheeling up to the door of the RV in his Polaris UTV and jumped out with a box in his hand.  You guessed it-   Bad UPS Lady had made good on her threat and delivered the package to his wife in town.  I was mortified!  I apologized profusely and he said it wasn’t no big deal.  But by damned, it is to me!  We are in place here on HIS property because strangers have invaded his little enclave.  We are not invited guests and to impose on him and his wife in such a fashion is unconscionable.   I told him how this whole deal did not set well and to please have his wife reject the delivery if Bad UPS Lady tried that stunt again  — and I meant it.

I guess my karma was off or something this past week because 3 different orders from 3 different parts of the country converged together at some point and were slated for UPS delivery all the same day.  I was tracking them online and saw they had been marked as delivered and my heart sank.   I had seen hide nor hair of the Brown Truck.  Bad UPS Lady was up to her evil tricks again.   When I saw the Ranch Owner head my way the next morning,  I surely dreaded it because I figured the back end of that Polaris would just be heaped up with some of my goods.  He stopped by, we visited for a few minutes and he was gone with no mention of any UPS.    Hmmm, that was odd.

I emailed one of the shippers and informed them my packages showed as delivered and I had not received them.  They emailed me back the proof  of delivery and the signature was NOT the Ranch Owner’s wife.   I remembered at that point that she had come home from work early and was not even in the office at the time of delivery.  On top of that, Bad UPS Lady had marked the packages delivered to the original destination.  No mention was made that there was a delivery exception and she had delivered all 3 orders to a different location.   Man, did that fly all over me!  I just can’t tolerate such rude behavior.  She wasn’t even doing a good 80%

4 days later, I still don’t have my goods and no mention of them from the Ranch Owner.     Maybe they are sittin’ in the back room of the  Ranch Owner’s wife’s office or maybe somebody absconded with them.  Hell, I don’t know and I am surely not gonna bother the Ranch Owner with it.   This morning real early I notified all the shippers that I had not received my order(s).    They have started the wheels in motion and I intend to follow through with it to the bitter end.  It is an extreme hassle going through all this mess and I am just hoping Bad UPS Lady catches a fair amount of grief over it.  I know it is not good to wish her ill will but she worked hard to earn that bad karma.  Let the chips fall where they will.

End Note: Little Victories  by Chris Knight from the Little Victories cd.

Been a few years since I heard anything new from Chris Knight.  It was worth the wait.

 

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6 comments to Higher Expectations

  • Doug Rich

    Andy, do not let up on the Bad UPS Lady. That kind of service is not acceptable at UPS. I worked for them for 34 years and people that did not deliver good service soon found themselves on the street looking for another job.
    It might have been that she is a relief driver and that is not her route, but that is no excuse for bad service. Hold their feet to the fire via the shippers.

    I enjoy your writing and look forward to every new post.

    Doug

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    • Andrew

      Thanks Doug,

      The Bad Lady is the regular route driver and has been for many years. Maybe she is just an angry person. She is certainly the exception to most UPS drivers in rural areas. Most go out of their way to be helpful and courteous. Maybe oil field trash pisses her off.

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  • Clay

    You don’t need anyone to tell you how to run your business my friend but reading this pissed me off to the max. Like Doug said hold their feet to the fire. Bad delivery lady needs to find herself kicking a can. In this economy where so many are looking for work she needs to be pink slipped! Be sure and call the central recieving office or whatever UPS calls their central terminal and talk to someone with cajones and relate to them what she said about delivering in town. It is what it is as you say and what this is is a crock o crap!

    Clay

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  • Miss Kathy

    “Maybe oil field trash pisses her off.”

    Who you calling trash?

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  • Don

    Changing the delivery point without authorization would piss me off too.

    “”Miss Kathy
    October 15th, 2012 at 1:03 am · Reply
    “Maybe oil field trash pisses her off.”
    Who you calling trash?””

    RuRoh. Me thinks Miss Kathy is going mano a mano with Andy next.

    Don

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  • I don’t allow no Stinking YARD PARKERS or three times used up thrift store davenports neither. I made sure the second fridge resides In doors. So far Andy hasn’t gotten the “hint” ’bout the need for a wringer washer…..

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