Things That Make Me Want To HeadDesk


Or, alternatively, BACK OFF BITCH.

So I have this former roommate from college. We were roommates our freshman and sophomore years and besties for awhile (not to overly promote myself or anything, but I made her and her now-husband happen. And later encouraged him to just wait it out when she broke up with him after graduation. Because I am a nice person.) until she sat by and let our other two roommates pull some serious mean girls shit on me (apparently I deserved it because I did evil things like drink non-diet soda and, you know, EAT real food and I had boys who liked me. Bad fifi! Also, although interestingly enough this was never thrown in my face like the other stuff, I was/am a bit bossy. No one is perfect.) and then, at the end of the day, she picked the mean girls over me (I mean, it’s worked out for them-they were in her wedding) and, at the time, I was deeply upset and sad, but let it go because we had been besties. However, as time when by, and she made what I see in retrospect to be very half-assed and fake overtures of continuing friendship, I eventually got to the end of my rope when she told me she could give me 10 minutes when she was in DC for a week and broke things off. And we have not talked since. However, we do still have mutual acquaintances and I hear things. And we are still face.book friends because unfriending someone, deserved as it may be, seems awfully spiteful to me and I just don’t really care that much.

As such, occasionally I log into fb and see things about her. And occasionally such things are enough to make me blow up Jill on gchat all: can you believe what horseface did now?!? (I’m a bitch. I get that. But she does also have a very narrow face…). Because she is FOR REALZ copying my life.

Granted I only have two incidents of this, but it’s enough. Exhibit A: of all the law firms in all the world, she summered at MY law firm. MINE. In the Chicago office, but still MINE. Which means we may have to cross paths sometime in the future. Of course, I don’t know if she’ll actually end up working there, but given the economy, I can’t imagine she won’t be on the list of new lawyers come fall. SIGH.

So then, (Exhibit B), I log into fb today and see that she has posted honeymoon pictures. And even though they are the wee little thumbnail pictures, I think, “hmmm those look AWFULLY familiar.”

That’s because they stayed at the exact same random (but very nice)hotel in Costa Rica that the Boyfriend and I stayed in when we went two years ago.

Yes, yes. I realize I sound crazy. The Boyfriend says I should be happy because we were trendsetters (we stayed there right after it opened). I say: MINE.

Sigh.

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Subtitled, Why yes, UPS, you ARE welcome for the free and totally unsolicited advertising.

This Christmas, I ended up with four presents that couldn’t be delivered in person for one reason or another, but namely geographic issues. One, for bestie Jill in DC, was small enough that it could be sent first class mail, and, as I figured at the time, how badly could the USPS screw up first class mail to DC? Especially since I was sending it over three weeks before the holiday. Another, to Godson Z, was going to Philly, so even though the package was a bit bigger, I assumed that, again since I was sending it WAY in advance, the post office could manage to get it the two hours to Philly in a timely fashion.

There was no way, however, that I was entrusting the other two packages to the USPS. One, to other bestie Rachel, was going to the great state of Texas and the other, to my favorite girls, absolutely had to get to DC in a timely fashion since they were insanely lucky and got to celebrate the holidays on the beach in Florida (not that I’m jealous or anything!) and I wanted it to arrive before they left.* Rachel’s package also included her birthday present, so I was on a tighter time frame there as well.

I have been nursing a wee grudge against the USPS since Christmas 2007. Rachel was pregnant with Godson Z at the time (his birthday is Jan. 8 – happy birthday, Godson Z!) and, for a variety of reasons, she wasn’t having a baby shower. I had been out in Texas right before Thanksgiving and was going back for Godson Z’s birth (a story for another post, dear readers) and between finals and the holidays, there was no way I could get back out there to throw her a shower. So I did the next best thing: I made her a baby shower box:

and I bought a ton of presents (baby presents, like onesies and pacifiers and such, are relatively cheap, so you can buy lots!) and the Madre bought a ton of presents (because she is awesome like that) and I coerced the boyfriend into contributing a few presents and even Jill and Liz, who had only met Rachel once when Rachel kind of unexpectedly joined our annual Labor Day on the lake in 2006, each contributed a present and a card (because they too are awesome like that and knew it was important to me).

I put a ton of time into the box (SO much more fun than studying!) and wrapped everything individually and generally tried to make it as nice as I possibly could. Rachel’s birthday is right before Christmas, so I wanted the box to get there before her birthday and before Christmas so she could appreciate it and wouldn’t feel like she was being overshadowed in all the baby excitement. So, first of week of December, I took the box to my local post office (which, to be fair, was kind of a crappy post office – if you had to go there, you always wanted to make sure you had a book or something with you because you could be in line forever) and paid something ridiculous like $30 for priority mail to guarantee that the box would get there in two to three days. I repeatedly asked the person at the post office when the box would get there and told him how important it was to me that the present get there in a reasonable amount of time and the man repeatedly told me “two to three days. two to three days.”¬†OR SO I THOUGHT. BECAUSE THEY LIE.

I went home and waited for a call from Rachel. And waited. And waited. I didn’t want to say anything to Rachel because I wanted it to be a surprise, so when there was no word two weeks later after Christmas, I called the post office. This is when I first learned that Track and Confirm is crap and that, therefore, the man on the phone couldn’t tell me where my package was or when it might conceivably make its way to Texas. It was also when I was informed that the whole “two to three” days things is not a guarantee, but is, instead, an estimate. The man on the phone also told me that I couldn’t reasonably expect for my package to get from DC to Texas in two to three days because, hello? it was the Christmas season and of course everything takes longer at Christmas.

I was livid.

I mean, I get the whole Christmas thing, I do. BUT THEN DON’T OFFER A SERVICE THAT PURPORTS TO SEND THINGS IN TWO TO THREE DAYS. And, at the very least, have your employees tell the customers the truth when they ask. The package eventually showed up in Texas a few days after Christmas and Rachel loved it and was very happy, but at that point, I could have totally saved myself roughly $20 dollars and sent the thing media mail with the same result.

Of course, because of the whole “not a guarantee” thing, the post office refused to refund my money. Not that I didn’t try.

I first discovered the joys of and headache-free-ness of using UPS (I don’t ever consider FedEx when sending things because I know from working pre-law school how ridiculously expensive FedEx is) when I needed to temporarily move roughly 100 pounds of clothes and books and purses and shoes (whether or not I NEEDED all of that
is, if you ask the boyfriend, open to debate, but I firmly contend it all was, in fact, necessary) to New York for my three month stint as a summer associate and I was flying an airline (ahem USAirways) that was charging BIG fees for checked bags. I investigated the post office, but they were pricey and I was a little skeptical anyway after the Christmas incident of 2007. I was pretty resigned to the fact I was going to have to pay the crazy airline fees, but then my mom suggested I at least check out UPS. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that not only could I send 50 pounds for only $30, (vs $25 for parcel post or $40 for priority mail), but my boxes would get there in only two days because UPS ground rocks.

I did comparison shop with USPS this Christmas just to check, but the UPS prices were roughly the same ($9.95 to send 3 pounds to Texas via USPS, $12.53 to send the same package via UPS) and I knew that UPS would actually get my package there when they said (and actually, it got there a day early-it took three days instead of four).

Also, with UPS tracking is free and by tracking, they actually mean TRACKING and not “we’ll update if we feel like it because we’re actually under no obligation to do so” even though you paid $.75 for this crap service ahem, Track and Confirm, ahem. And I don’t know about you, but I LOVE tracking the things I send out to see where they are. I am weird like that.

Now, in the post office’s defense (and, fair warning, this will be the ONLY thing I say in the post office’s defense in this post), both USPS packages DID get there in an amount of time that the average person would find both expected and reasonable so that is where they TRICKED me and I got cocky. I even twittered about how impressed I was by the efficiency of the Grand Central post office.

After Christmas, I had to send some important documents back to New York that, for reasons I will probably discuss in a later post, had to get to New York before the first of the year. On Monday the 28th, I took said important documents to the Post Office, explained the situation to the clerk, and asked if I should spend the $18 to send the documents overnight. And he said that there was absolutely no reason to do that because I could spend only $4.95 for priority mail and it would absolutely get to New York in 2 days on Wednesday (are you seeing the BIG RED WARNING signs here? because I didn’t). Worst case, and he stressed that he didn’t think this would happen because New York is, you know, SO CLOSE, it would get there Thursday morning.

Would anyone like to take a guess when my super super super important documents got to New York? If you guessed Monday the 4th, you would, in fact, be correct (luckily, I had faxed copies of the documents and the person they were going to accepted those, so we still met the deadline). When I called the post office, the woman on the phone gave the stupid “not a guarantee” line again and then told me that even though all the signs at the post office say “two to three days,” the post office, in fact, considers five days to be “delivered on time.” She also gave me the stupid line about how I shouldn’t expect things to be on time during the holidays.

I’m so glad that your standards are so low, USPS. Really.

So you are all thinking “fool me once…” but it, in fact, gets worse. Last week, my mom had to send some documents to New York and, thinking she would learn from what happened with my documents, paid the $18 to send the documents overnight.

Would you like to guess when the documents were delivered? If you guessed “not overnight,” you would in fact be correct. If you guessed “two days late,” you would be even more correct.

USPS did give her back her money, but I don’t think she really gave them much choice.

I hate the post office.

*Of course, as it turns out, sending a present that early to a five year old and not letting her open it for two and a half weeks is the equivalent of Chinese water torture, so I may need to rethink this plan in the future.

Maybe this would be a good time to utilize an experienced gate agent to deal with the approximately one hundred unhappy people trying to get to LaGuardia instead of a brand new agent who is a freaking tortoise and seems to only get slower when she looks up and sees the massive line in front of her. Oh, and dude in the cordoroy jacket with the slicked back hair who clearly styles himself in the college-professor-as-invisioned-by-hollywood vein and whose name badge is cleverly obscured so all I can read is “Matt” and who is clearly some sort of higher management, it does NOT help when you tell us all to cut her some slack because she’s a newbie. (Also, it does not help when you try and hit on cute female stranded passengers, fyi). You might consider, oh I don’t know, actually doing something, instead of just wandering around with your two way pager looking special. Just a thought.

So I started this as a reply to Heather‘s comment, but thought I should just make it a general disclaimer so anyone reading the blog who doesn’t read the comments doesn’t think I’m too horrible:

See here’s the thing: I know I sound like an unmitigated brat bitching that she allegedly spent that much money on me. But a) I feel like it’s highly inappropriate given our relationship (not even considering the our personal non-relationship, just the boyfriend’s sister thing), b) over the last 4 years or so of gift exchanging, we have pretty much stayed in the same price range, so it is TOTALLY NOT COOL to suddenly drastically jump outside the established boundaries of our relationship and blindside me with a (have I mentioned inappropriately) expensive gift (I am not paranoid, but I swear she does things like this just to create a situation in which the boyfriend and I have to have a conversation where he tells me that my gift is suddenly just.not.good.enough), and c) (and this is kind of bratty), I kind of doubt she actually spent $80 on me – she’s just telling the boyfriend that. Let me explain. The boyfriend’s sister works for company X. Company X gets lots of freebies and samples and uses, but doesn’t keep, a lot of products. Company X, like other companies, also has unsold inventory. Following me? So Company X then has sales where all the employees can buy these things at a sharp discount. This is where the boyfriend’s sister does her holiday shopping. And that’s lovely because I am a full proponent of saving money and getting good deals, but she never ever ever takes into account what I might actually like or need. Let’s call the products “shower gel” (it’s not a bath products company, in case you think I’m slipping up here!). I have tons of “shower gel.” I have every possible type of “shower gel” I might ever want for every occasion. I even have all the specialty “shower gels.” I am well stocked. And I guarantee the boyfriend’s sister not only got me “shower gel” but got me like, what would be $80 worth on the open market of plumaria “shower gel” (remember that from bath & body works – boy did I love that in middle school) that I will never use because it makes me break out in hives now.

I do know this is a stupid example, but it’s the best I could think of.

So much for my great presents for the boyfriend’s sister. He just informed me that I should get her something else so I won’t feel uncomfortable because she spent around 80 dollars on me.

Which, is she insane? WTF. I wouldn’t spend that much on me if I were the boyfriend’s sister (see previous post on that very subject). And I guarantee you it’s going to be something I don’t want and don’t like. Guarantee. Whereas I now have to get her something off the list she sent the boyfriend to supplement my gift.

She is crafty, that one.