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Ms. Knits: Curtains

Monday, January 16


On Saturday, I met up with Caitlyn, Lynette, and Ruth at Frog Pond Knits to knit and visit. Bad blogger that I am, I did not take any pictures, and so I have no documentary evidence that the event occurred. It was a fun break from my studies, and nice to see everyone again. I also witnessed the completion of Ruth's first sock - yay, Ruth!

Ruth & Caitlyn also surprised me with a very sweet card congratulating me on finishing school, and (as if that weren't enough), a gift certificate for yarn! Thanks so much girls, you have no idea how much your thoughtfulness and encouragement means to me!

Caitlyn asked if I ever got the rest of my curtain order... indeed, I did, just last Thursday. I had no idea that curtains could involve so much drama. To make a long story short, I had to make a change to the order after it was placed (due to insufficient product knowledge of the person who took my order), so my curtain and valence panels ended up with the wrong rings on them. Dealing with the return was a complete nightmare, and UPS is a bunch of bumbling idiots.

(this post got a lot longer than I thought it would... scroll to the bottom for the pictures if you don't want to hear my rant about UPS)

Here is a conversation that I had with UPS about a dozen times in the last three months:

"Hello, I'm calling because company X issued call tags to get a box returned to them, and it hasn't been picked up yet. The number of the tags is Z123456. Can you help me?"

"Let me look that up in our system. Oh, we can't pick up the box because your address is not in our system."

"Well, that is the correct address, and the exact location is near cross streets X & Y, can you make a note of that and have someone come out to pick up the box?"

"You'll have to call Company X and have them issue a new call tag and indicate the cross streets in the comments of the call tag, as this call tag is no longer valid."

Then, I'd call Company X:

"Hello, I'm calling regarding order XYZ. You sent out call tags, but UPS can't figure out where my house is. Can you make a note of the cross streets on the call tags and reissue them for me please?"

"That should be easy enough. I'll have to send a request to the factory and have them issue the new tags. It will take them 3 business days to get back to me."

"Can you confirm that they can make a note on the tags with my location?"

"Let me check. No, there is no space on the form for comments. We'll just have to use your address."

"That won't work, UPS doesn't have my address in their system."

"Didn't UPS deliver the box to you in the first place?"

"Yes, they did. I'm confused why they can't find it now too. Clearly they are idiots. Can you just find some way to make a note of my cross streets on the call tags? Or can I just send it back myself and have you credit my account?"

"We can't let you send it back, we'll just have to issue the tags again."

"Fine, thanks for your help."

And then more calls to UPS. And more calls to Company X. Dozens more calls. Dozens. All the same. Finally, one evening in December, a UPS truck stopped by to deliver an unrelated christmas package. I tore through the house, out the front door, and chased the driver down as he was getting back into his truck.

"Excuse me sir, is this your regular delivery route?"

"No, why?"

"How did you find my house? I know this street is not in your map system."

"Oh, I live in this area. I know every place around here."

"Well, I've been having some problems getting a driver to come out and pick up a box that needs to be returned to Company X. Supposedly no one can come out because my address is not 'in the system.' UPS customer service has not been very helpful either. Do you know if there is anything I can do to get my address in the system?"

Long pause.

"Ok, I'm *really* not supposed to do this, but call this number, and tell them you need to get a new address input into the navigational mapping system. Try to sound like you know what you are talking about. If they question you, tell them you used to work here, or that you know someone who used to work here who gave you the number. I didn't give you this number, OK? Maybe wait a day or so to call too, so they won't trace it back to me."

Whoa. This must be an important number. Note to self - file this one away for safekeeping.

"Wow, thank you! This is very helpful. Have a great Christmas!"

I was a bit nervous about calling the number, given the apparent secrecy, but I did, and shortly after, someone FINALLY made it out to pick up the box so the curtains could be sent back to get the proper curtain rings sewn on - nearly three months after the call tags were originally issued. Thank goodness for the friendly UPS man who gave me the secret number, or I would still be cursing both UPS and Company X.

And without further ado, here are the curtains that finally arrived on Thursday:

All in all, I'm very pleased with the way they turned out. I adore this fabric, and the curtains and valences add a lot of character to the family room.


Blogger caitlyn said...

Ooooh, the curtains are very pretty! I like the vibrant colors. I laughed at the UPS / company X story...though I'm sure it wasn't so funny while you were going through it. Thank goodness for the nice UPS driver!

1/16/2006 4:14 PM  
Blogger janna said...

I can so identify with the UPS story, because they have the same problem with my Mom's address. Everytime I take something to the UPS Store to send there, they question the address. When I swear it's correct, they ask "Is it new?" No, the house is at least 30 years old! Eventually, they take the package and it always gets there, but it's really frustrating!

There are two possible explanations: Mom's town is small, and, although they have street addresses for 911, they don't have mail delivery to the door - they have to go to the p.o. So maybe that's the issue, although there an awful lot of rural towns without mail delivery. (And don't get me started about how people in small towns have to pay for a p.o. box, when both city-dwellers and folks out in the country get it delivered for free!) Or maybe it's because Mom's street actually has two names - it's only a block long, it loops back to the main street on both ends, and each street sign has two names on it. I've tried both of the explanations on my local UPS people and they look at me like I'm the one wiith a problem!

Anyway - this rant is about as long as your post! The curtains are very nice, but I think UPS owes you!

1/16/2006 5:10 PM  
Anonymous Dani said...

The curtains ARE lovely but man, UPS deserves a kick in the butt! Its part of the reason I REFUSE to deal with them, as I have never had any good UPS experiences.

1/16/2006 5:37 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Beautiful curtains. I'm somewhat comforted by your story. I've never had problems with UPS, but FedEx is horrible. How many times do they have to deliver to my house before they remember where it is? Jeeze.

1/17/2006 10:08 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

hey cyndi! it was really good meeting up over the weekend - we should all get together to hang out more often! after February, of course. =)

wow, i had no idea about the UPS system! but i'm glad the curtains came through! they look great!

1/17/2006 10:15 AM  
Blogger Lynette said...

Very nice curtains! And certainly they were worth all the trouble with UPS and company XYZ. I also have issues with carriers not being able to find my house but not to the level of frustration you had. That was a funny story though :-) Secret number, I like that. Was it their customer service line by any chance?

1/17/2006 12:45 PM  
Anonymous Rebekah said...

So while reading your post I had Mission Impossible theme music playing through my head. Good grief what an ordeal, but at least it all worked out in the end.

My boss and I love our UPS guy, he has great legs.

1/17/2006 1:28 PM  

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