I should be feeling extremely excited and enthusiastic. You see, yesterday I received my new Paramount ME-II mount. Well, actually I am excited. I’m looking forward to many enjoyable hours with this remarkable piece of modern technology. However, first I need to be sure that the contents of these two heavy boxes are undamaged, considering the indifferent treatment given them by the guy in the brown truck.
It all started yesterday morning. I received an email from UPS that two packages were on their way with delivery expected between 12 noon and 4pm. I told my wife to be on the lookout for the big brown truck, just in case I had to go out. She agreed and the rest of the day went by routinely. About 2pm, we got a call from our daughter saying that she was without electricity and could one of us please stop over with a few grocery items. We ’ve had some intense thunder storms all week. These were the aftermath of tropical storm Isaias. I said, “no problem”. What I was thinking had to do with UPS and according to Murphy’s Law, the truck would probably arrive while I was out. Well, family comes first, so I was off to my daughter’s place. With luck, I figured I’d be back in less than an hour.
Upon return, sure enough, there was a UPS truck parked across the street from my house. This might seem normal, but our street is quite wide and we have above average traffic that time of day. The driver was sitting in the cab reading something. I rolled down my window and gave him a friendly wave. He didn’t notice me, so I pulled down our long driveway. I intended to park in the garage and then guide the driver down the driveway to a point in front of the garage door. I figured the closer he parked, the shorter the distance. After all, those boxes are heavy. After parking the car, I turned and saw the driver struggling with the smaller (86 lbs.) of the two boxes. I called up to him as I walked up the driveway, “use your hand truck”. I was worried that he was going to drop that box. He said, “I don’t have a hand truck. We don’t have enough at the warehouse, and they were all gone when I left to make my rounds.” I said, “why don’t you pull your truck down the driveway”. He said, “I’m not allowed to drive onto your property”. So, at that point he puts the box down at the top of the driveway. It was more on the street side of the curb near my mailbox. I said, “you’re not going to leave it there, are you”. He said, “yes, I’m only required to deliver it to your address, which is as close as I can get it to your mailbox”. I said, “no, I don’t want you to leave it there. Let’s get your manager on the phone. Maybe with my approval, he’ll let you drive down to the garage door. He said, “I don’t have a manager”. At this point, I’m thinking there’s something wrong with this person and he has a serious problems with his job, his boss, and perhaps life in general. I’m also thinking about how unlucky for me to get this driver for this particularly important delivery. At this point, my wife walks out to see what is going on. She says, “why don’t you ask Joe (our next-door neighbor) if you can borrow his hand truck.” Hand truck, what hand truck. Oh, right, Joe is the neighbor who helped us load those heavy boxes for the church picnic last summer. So, over to see Joe and back with a rusty but serviceable hand truck. A few minutes later, both boxes are sitting on the floor of my garage. I reluctantly thanked the driver and asked him where I needed to sign for receipt of the delivery. He looked very confused by my question but said that a signature wasn’t necessary because this was not considered a high value delivery. Oh? Well, I’m not a rich man, but this equipment cost a bit more than lunch money. So, I asked him what he would have done if I had not encountered him upon returning home. He explained that they routinely leave large boxes like this at the mailbox, and that he would have done just that. My wife and I looked at each other in surprise, not so much because of what he said, but the indifference in the way he said it. So, off he goes to his trusty brown truck. I was thinking about his next customer and wondering if he/she would have an easier time and almost didn’t notice him walking away with Joe’s hand truck. My wife, always the voice of reason, said, “you better leave Joe’s hand truck right there. He works for FedEx”
After a bit of reflection, I decided to write this little account. I tried to contact UPS by phone, which I learned is close to impossible. During the pandemic they are not taking phone calls and offer their online customer service support site as the only option.
This experience was really strange and in some respects even comical. It left me with a number of questions. Why did the driver park across the street and risk danger rather than in front of my house/driveway? How did he plan to deliver two boxes weighing 86 and 115 lbs., without a hand truck? Why doesn’t UPS have enough hand trucks? Considering last year’s $75B revenue, you’d think they could buy a few more lousy hand trucks. Is it true that UPS can’t/won’t drive onto your property? Why weren’t the boxes marked high value? What is considered high value? Why didn’t the driver ring the doorbell to tell us he arrived?
I was able to reach Software Bisque and reported my experience. They were very nice and explained that they generally don’t have a problem with UPS. They told me they plan to look into this and also to have a discussion with the dealer. They asked that I provide feedback regarding the condition of the contents of the two boxes.
I really hope this was just an unusual incident. However, I have read some hair-raising stories about UPS and other shipping companies here on this forum. I hope to record the unboxing of my new ME-II. I’m not so experienced at recording video, but if its successful, I’ll post it here.