I attribute this moment of sheer lack of brilliant foresight and incredibly un-intelligent thinking to the fact that only hours earlier my brain nearly exploded in my skull due to the incredible stupidity on behalf of DHL. Well, let me in fairness not paint the entire company with the same brush. I generally get outstanding service from the delivery people who work for DHL. Really outstanding. Like the driver who was set to deliver by package calls my cell phone and comes three blocks over to deliver it to the bar where I am having a cocktail. Yes, like that good. Memorable.
But the people behind the desk are a whole other story. Hence this blog post. I should warn folks that this incredibly dense behaviour, although occasionally illustrative of the mind shattering checklist inside-the-box process bureaucracy experienced in Oaxaca, I am positive this can sometimes be a global experience.
It was one of those experiences where you want to find the person in charge of the stupid policy and just shake them. Maybe, if the occasion presents itself, a light open hand slap upside the head.
For back story, I am sending a small gift of 2 pair of too-small-for-me-brand-new-except-one-run workout trousers (not pants, as they are destined for England, you see), 2 watter bottles and 2 packages of M&Ms. I know this seems like a ridiculous bit of stuff to send but just go with it for now.
I walk 9 blocks to the closest DHL office to buy a box to pre-package my stuff and get it ready for shipment. I will not seal the box because DHL has to see the stuff you pack to comply with their customs and import/export policies. (See what I just did there - I recognized a good, solid, makes sense policy.) I will also mention there is currently a small heat wave in Oaxaca and although only 11 in the morning and already close to 30 degrees (86 in the other measurement).
I arrive at the DHL office to a small line up, but this gives me time to evaluate which box I need. I decide on the smallest yellow DHL express one. It is 41 pesos. (2.17 USD or 3 CAD). I get to the counter to a whispering service person.
Customer Service Hint #1: Speak Up. I have no problem with your Spanish - IF I CAN HEAR YOU.
- I ask the service person to sell me a small box.
- She asks me if I am shipping something.
- I tell her yes, later today, I need to box to pack it.
- She tells me I can only buy a box at the time of shipment.
- I just look at her. I leave.
I calm myself by counting the blocks home and wondering what the distance is (2 kilometers, 1.26 miles, round trip. I checked when I got home).
Here is what I have learned. Obviously, I had no idea that those little yellow DHL boxes were such a hot fashion item. I usually stay away from fashion news but the likes of Beyoncé or a Kardashian MUST have been seen with one of these gems. Maybe they added a shoulder strap? Either way, they are obviously such a thing that having one if you are not immediately shipping your goods could not possibly be tolerated! I may well likely try and sell such a coveted item. Maybe, wait - maybe I will try and ship something in it via Mex Post or FEDEX! NO!
Customer Service Hint #2: Just tell me not to seal the box because the agent taking my package is going to need to inspect the contents.
There is a brain cell I am obviously lacking that does not allow me to understand the value of irritating a front end customer to this extent. No. You may not have a box in advance of your shipping time. Don't be ridiculous. EVERYONE knows this. Silly girl. Silly, silly girl...