I made the mistake of ordering 6 items that were supposed to be delivered via DHL in the weeks before Christmas. This is what happened.
Monday, December 5th, 2011
DHL is sending me e-mails! I can pick up 2 deliveries at the post office! Yay! but wait, what is this, they didn’t leave a notification slip in my mailbox. This is weird.
Tuesday, December 6th, 2011
I receive the notification slip via mail. Strange. Anyways, off to the post office before work, with the notification slip that sais that there are 2 parcels ready for me to collect.
Once I get there, I am waiting in line for 20 minutes, as usual. My favorite clerk is working the desk, you know her too, I believe.
I hand over my notification slip, she disappears into storage, and reappears with one box. Of course. Well, I ask, where is the second one? “What second one?”, she asks me, already bringing my blood to a boil with rage. The second one on the notification slip, of course. Well, they don’t have it, must have returned to the hub with the driver. They promise me to call, I leave furious.
Wednesday, December 7th, 2011
No info on the missing parcel. I decide to sign up for a service where I could have packages delivered to an automated station a few corners away, the thing scans your notification and then spits out your delivery, no matter what time of the day. The confirmation comes in after 2,5 hours, and apparently I am to receive a little box with credentials and instructions. Great, another thing that can go wrong.
After I get home from work I find a note telling me that I can get 2 packages from the caretakers office. He is home of course, but I can ask his son who lives a few doors down to get them for me, which he gladly does. Things are looking up, or are they?
Thursday, December 8th, 2011
Email notification for 2 parcels. No notification slips. Not a surprise anymore, I am expecting the worst by now. Who is that person that signed for them? Never heard or read that name in our house.
Friday, December 9th, 2011
I am being awakened by the doorbell. It is a delivery driver, telling me that he has a parcel for me. I throw on some sweatpants and a hoodie, and make my way downstairs, just to see that he has not climbed a single set of stairs. The box that he is trying to deliver looks to me like it contains all the credentials for the package station that I signed up for. Too late to save me this whole ordeal, but better late than never. After I greet him, he suddenly remembers that he needs to see some ID to hand this over. I climb up the stairs to the 5th floor to get some ID. I climb down from the 5th floor again. The delivery monkey realizes that his hellish little terminal wont accept my ID. He’s telling me to pick it up from the office around noon. My urge to strangle him is only trumped by my hangover.
On my way to work I ring at my caretakers office, but he’s out, so I won’t get my deliveries from yesterday. Then I stop by the post office. I am being greeted by name, which I take for a bad sign. The clerk is telling me that the package station credentials were taken back to the package hub, because they were unable to accept my ID, too. I am expected to wait for another delivery attempt the next day. The information that I won’t be home the next day triggers the worst response possible:
“You’ll have to come in next week then.”
I suspect an elaborate practical joke by now. Good news though. The clerk has read my name twice today, she leaves for the storage room to get something for me. Wonder upon wonders, it is the “lost” package from Tuesday, with the correct date written on it with a sharpie. My question when this delivery had arrived is answered with an insult.
“Tuesday.” “You and your coworkers where unable to find it on Tuesday.” “Then it must have come some later day.” “I am sure it did…”
I come home from work and I ring the caretakers sons doorbell once more. Unfortunately my boxes from yesterday are not in the office this time, and I phone DHL once more, to ask where my 2 deliveries from yesterday are, and why I have not gotten a notification in my mailbox, either. The very apologetic lady on the phone tells me that the driver has left the parcels with my neighbors. That is the information that I can get from online tracking, too, I have just never heard of that person that signed for it. He or she apparently lives in a completely different town house on the same street, a person that I have never met in my life and never would have, if it hadn’t been for these fucked up hoops the German postal service is making me jump through.
Turns out the person that signed for my stuff lives down the road, other side of the street, at the next street crossing. Perfectly obvious place to leave something for me. What the hell, I am waiting for some pizza I ordered, let’s try to get this over with. I ring their doorbell. Nobody answers. Right. Either they are out or they didn’t hear me over the TV or something. I ring the doorbell again. The second name on the doorbell answers me via the intercom, not my mystery “neighbor”, but her or his roommate. I introduce myself, terribly sorry about the late inconvenience, but your roommate accepted a delivery for me. I couldn’t make up his answer in my wildest dreams:
“Yes, but I won’t hand it out to you today, not anymore. Do you know what time it is?”
I reflexively apologized. Then I did check out my watch. It was 10:30 pm. I don’t know if I should be pissed or feel guilty by this point.
Saturday, Decembert 10th, 2011
Well, guilt did win. I got up and got my neighbors some Christmas chocolate to apologize. I get there around 10:30, nobody on the intercom… Great, this looks like I’m gonna be busy with this until at least Monday. I decide to try again before I leave for Dresden. At home, I finally receive the credentials I need to use the package station and never go through this ordeal again.
Second try. I walk over there, backpack on my shoulders, chocolate in my hands, chip on my shoulder. A woman answers the intercom, the lady that actually signed for my package she opens and I gird my loins… She hands mrey my package and I launch into how I feel sorry for ringing yesterday, and how I got her and the other gentleman this to apologize. Her response?
“This unacceptable! I don’t know where you got your bad manners! We have a kid! Even 8 would have been unacceptable! Who raised you to be such an inconsiderate person we have a kid! WE HAVE A KIIIIIIIID…”
At the point where she starts yelling, I start laughing. I throw the chocolate at her feet, wish her a merry Christmas, I turn around and leave…