Patience is a Virtue

What. A. Day.

I should start off with a word of thanks to those of you that have snagged some of these Keith tees from me. I'm down to about 45 or so, which is great. I'll continue to leave this option open to you guys for a few days before taking the remaining stock to a Goodwill.

I gotta say, it's surprising how many folks put in orders since this blog is the only place I mentioned it (so far), and I didn't think I had that many readers! I track traffic here, and I thought I was averaging just 45 hits a day or so, but apparently I need to check that figure again... :D

I also want to thank those of you who went out of your way to express.... uh... I guess you'd call them condolences (?) over this latest tee disaster. They say misery loves company, but I think it's pretty satisfied with acknowledgment as well, and getting emails to that extent made things just a little better today.

And then I went to FedEx.

I hate to make this blog a podium for my grievances about life, (yeah, another one of those bloggers!) but I've gotta say, this week has SUCKED. And today's fiasco at the local FedEx shipping center was so bad that it just makes me laugh to think about it now.

Ok. So. Here's the story.

So I've been getting into this wholesaling thing lately, and that in itself has been a formidable challenge. Like anything business-related, it meant a lot of research, brainstorming, and problem-solving along the way. Which is fine. I like challenges like this, and it's cool to feel that sense of accomplishment once it's been handled successfully.

Anyways, one of the wholesaling accounts that I landed was for a retailer in Tokyo. This is pretty great for me, because I've always thought my stuff would do fairly well in Japan, and getting into a physical store there was a bit of a dream come true. And finally, after many emails back and forth, they made the payment for the order today and asked that it be shipped via their FedEx account. Fine, I thought. I'd never used them before, but it'd be nice to get one more thing under my belt in terms of experience.

So I go down to the nearest FedEx/Kinko's shipping location and place the box on the counter along with all my paperwork. Now, as I said before, I take a bit of pride in learning how all this stuff works, so I felt pretty good standing there with my Formal Invoice and Certificate of Origin in hand, neatly typed out and stapled together. I even knew how much the package was going to cost to ship - $178. I'd done my work, and figured it would be a painless process to send this thing on its merry way.

Well, the employee was an older man, very kind and soft-spoken, and went about carefully weighing and measuring my box while I waited. Then he entered the amounts (one key at a time) into the system and we waited some more. He had a frown on his face at this point, and entered the numbers a second time. Then a third. Clearly, something was wrong. We were about 5 minutes into it at this point. I asked what the problem was, more out of curiosity than annoyance, and he slid over the receipt:

"Well this just can't be right," he said, motioning to the total figure. It was $19,442.00. Yikes.

I thought about this for awhile, and the answer suddenly became obvious. For one reason or another, the amount was showing in yen, the Japanese currency. I remembered from when I was in Japan last year that a single yen was roughly equal to the American cent. I was never a math genius in school, but it doesn't take one to move the decimal a couple spaces and figure out that this would've just about matched the amount I'd come up with earlier.

I proposed my hypothesis.

"No, no, it can't be that," he said. "System just doesn't work that way. Must just be a glitch." He said this while shutting of the computer and hitting the restart button.

It was at this point that I realized I was in for the long haul. I decided to let him deal with the issue while I walked around the store. I did this for about a half hour. I'd peek over occasionally at him huddled in a corner on the phone, talking to tech support, gradually losing hope of ever leaving the place.

But FINALLY, 45 minutes after first entering the store, he motioned for me to come back over to the scale, my box, and my neat stack of documents.

"Well, you'll never believe this," he said. I was pretty sure I would.
"Looks like this is in Japanese money! How about that!"

But you know, I really couldn't be mad at the guy. He was doing his best, and made a mistake, and that was that. That didn't make me not want to ram my head into a wall, but it did soothe the issue just a bit.

What a day. What a day.

posted by Mr. Linty @ 4:56 PM,


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