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Into the Great Delivery Void

In case you didn't know, October is a big fan of Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?" routine.  It started with the great coffee adventure at the start of the month, and now it's time for Round 2.

I've been waiting for the arrival of a new book for an upcoming Clutter review.  I was out of town for a few days, but when I got back on Wednesday the 18th at around Noon, there was a note from UPS saying there was a package waiting for me at a local pickup point.  I Googled the address to see where I was going, thought I understood, and confidently headed off to get the book. 

Those of you who know me well will not be surprised to hear that I had been walking for about 5-10 minutes when I looked at the address again and discovered I was going to the wrong place.  (I bring many skills to the table, but a sense of direction is not one of them.)  My actual destination was approximately a 10-second walk from my front door.  I had to laugh as I turned around.  This wasn't the first, 10th, or 1000th time I've done something like this, and it certainly won't be the last.

I walked into the correct location, handed the employee my UPS slip, and that's when it all fell apart.

After going through the packages, she informed me that the book wasn't there.  That was confusing, since the slip said the package would be there for seven days and then returned to the sender if not picked up by then.  That meant I should at least have until the 20th before it disappeared, right?  The staffer insisted that what must have happened was that they tried to reach me on the 17th (for reasons I still haven't figured out, since the slip clearly said the 13th), and that the package would probably come when he made his deliveries to their location later that afternoon.

None of that made any sense to me, but I left the location and waited a few hours to try again.  When I returned later in the afternoon, the driver had come and gone, but still no package.

I came back to Clutter Headquarters and checked the status of the package online.  According to the site, this book was last recorded as being in transit on the 16th.  Not helpful, but I hoped things would be cleared up the next day.

There was no package at Clutter Headquarters on the 19th, so I went over to the pick-up location (without getting lost this time), where the staffer told me there was still no package.  She called over her boss who proceeded to give me a long-winded explanation.  I have to point out here that English was not his first language.  Not saying that in some, "Speak American!" right-wing Nazi sort of way, but to point out that maybe something got lost in translation.  I could have sworn he told me that the UPS guy had just been there, and that he had my package.  Still no idea why he would have it now, but the manager took down my number and said he would call me when it came in.

Increasingly confused, I walked out of the store, turned onto my street, and saw the UPS truck about a block down the way.  Score!  I ran to the truck to make sure I didn't miss him.  Finally, this circus was almost over.  I caught the driver walking back to his truck and gave him my slip, with a smile on my face that quickly fell when he told me the book wasn't on his truck.  I told him that the location manager had less than five minutes ago told me he had it.  The driver looked back at me like I just spoke to him in Portuguese.  He said he didn't have it, but maybe it would appear on Friday the 20th.

There was nothing left to say, so I walked back to the pick-up location to confirm one last time that they didn't have this book.  I watched the employee go through each package, and then the manager came back (on his Bluetooth, supposedly talking to UPS about me, in a conversation I now doubt actually took place.)  He then gave another 10-minute-long word salad about how they had mistakenly sent the book back to UPS, but not to worry it would eventually be there.   He said UPS would call him back in 10 minutes, and he would call me.  (I'm still waiting for that call.)

So, flash-forward to Friday the 20th.  I look online.  The UPS website said the book was no longer in transit, and it was delivered to the location at 5:30 this morning!  The 800 number said the same thing!  FINALLY!  I had some errands to run before the store opened, but I was relieved all morning that now I'd definitely be getting this book which would take up a good chunk of this weekend's schedule.

I walked into the location, grinning ear-to-ear as I told the employee I knew they now had the book, so I'd be happy to take it from them.  She looked pained as she took a glance behind her and said they didn't have anything for me.  I told her that the UPS website and phone line definitively said otherwise, and that the package had been delivered to them.  She looked helpless as she told me I was welcome to come back when they get today's deliveries last this afternoon.  I had to leave the store before the expletives came tumbling out of my mouth.

As I finish telling you this story, my friends, there is still no book, and I have a few hours left before the store is supposed to get today's drop-offs.  Adding to the fun, I've lost the slip and tracking number, because, sure, why not?  What I did see online before I logged off the last time is that according to UPS, if this book isn't claimed by tomorrow, it will go back to the sender, so we can start this all over again.

All I can do right now is laugh at October's sense of humor and promise you that I'll do my best to make sure you can't tell which upcoming review is connected to this book.  This clown show has left me more of a rambling fool than usual, but we're still professionals around here.

Hopefully November has something different in mind, because this skit is getting old.

Abbott and Costello October 20 2017

October's favorite skit.  (pic via



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