Holidays portend bum-fuckery of the highest degree because everybody takes the day off, so nothing is accomplished and everyone needs to frantically scramble over the following few days to catch up on the missed work, instead of, say, having done the work ahead of time like a responsible adult. Fernando is the one who suffers, for is it not always the case that the most competent individuals in a group are dragged down to the fetid mediocrity accepted by the masses?
This happens on every holiday, but it's worst when the days in question fall on either a Friday or a Monday because then the weekend is immediately adjacent and it provides a minimum of three nonproductive days for the failures to gestate into a tentacled beast which threatens to choke the joy and life from him.
Memorial Day always occurs on a Monday.
Fernando sits at the store that Tuesday. He awaits delivery of his movies and has been at the store for a few hours now, as it is rather important that he procure his inventory so that he might arrange for profit to be made off it. Coffee at the ready, he kills time alternating between browsing Fark and playing browser-based tower defense games. He has his blinds open so he can easily catch glimpse of the delivery truck and, more importantly, so its driver can catch glimpse of him. He takes a great risk in doing this, since open blinds attract ne'er-do-wells and lookie-loos who think that because Fernando visible within the store, the store is open for business.
At around 11.30, the UPS truck pulls into the parking lot from the printing place next door. A second man is perched within it, sitting on the steps leading up to the cab. The truck slows up as it cruises past the store, then vanishes out Fernando's line of sight. The deceleration led Fernando to infer that it would be pulling up somewhere in the parking lot.
Fernando rose from his chair and walked around the counter to meet the driver. He peeks out the front door.
The truck is in the process of pulling back out onto the highway. Fernando attempts to flag it down and shouts, “Hey! HEY!” but he is paid no heed. The truck speeds away to the south.
“For FUCK'S sake!” Fernando yells, loudly enough for some old people coming out of the restaurant about two hundred feet away to look in his direction. He growls out a sigh of consternation and storms into the store to plop down before his computer and pull up contact information for his local UPS syndicate.
Fernando calls the nearby customer center which serves his area; he learned last time that the nearest physical UPS Store is unwilling to provide any meaningful service to him. Fernando allows the phone to ring seven times before he hangs up.
Perhaps he dialed a wrong number. Such things have been known to occur. Fernando tries again, double-checking each digit as he taps it out on the numerical pad.
Fernando allows the phone to ring six more times before he hangs up.
“God damn it so much,” he mutters as he pulls up the webpage to UPS proper. He dials the customer service number and is greeted with the prompt which implores him to choose one of a limited number of options, none of which will assist him. When the computer-lady finishes asking if he'd like to press nine for Spanish, he growls, “Representative.”
“We can help you with that in just a moment,” chirps the automated message. First, though, they would prefer that I elect one of the previously listed options.
Fuck that noise. “Representative.”
“One moment please. Your call is very important to us.” Fernando hears the fuzzy click as his call is rerouted. “UPS customer service, this is Australia.”
Fernando tells the man his name, his business, and why he is calling.
“I'm sorry to hear that,” says Australia. “Have you tried contacting your local customer center?”
“I did. No one answered.”
“Sir, what was the tracking code so I can check into that for you?”
Fernando rattles off the line of 25 letters and numbers. He hears faint tapping, then Australia says, “The delivery is scheduled for today.”
“Right. I am saying that the truck drove right past the front of the store.”
“Sir, perhaps it was a different truck out on a different route.”
“Possible, but unlikely, seeing as there's but the one route here and the truck had just pulled out of the printing press next door, into my parking lot, and past the store.”
“Sir, items which are scheduled for delivery on a certain day are not guaranteed for a set time. It is possible that the item is still awaiting delivery and will be out to you by the end of business hours today and was not on the truck in question.”
“I checked the shipping status online. It is marked as in transit. Why would it be marked as in transit and scheduled to be delivered if it is not, in fact, in transit and scheduled to be delivered?”
“Sir, I appreciate your concern, but the item is scheduled for delivery by the end of business hours today.”
“That doesn't answer my question.”
“Sir, could I put you on hold for just a moment?”
Fuck no. Fernando felt the suspicious tingle that if he were shunted into customer service limbo he would never escape its noxious embrace. “I would rather you didn't.”
“Let me pull up the contact information for your local center and send them a message. It will just be a moment.”
Fernando hears typing as Australia composes his message, or something which resembles a message. This takes about two minutes, during which both Fernando and Australia are silent. Then Australia says, “Sir, I have sent a message to your local center and you should expect a phone call from them within an hour regarding the status of your delivery.”
“Sounds good. I look forward to hearing from them.”
“Sir, I apologize for the problems you seem to be having with this delivery.”
“It's not your fault. Thank you for your help.”
“Thank you, sir. Good-bye.”
The waiting resumed. But look, now it's opening time and Fernando did not receive his promised phone call and still does not have his movies!
The saga continues.