Standardization

“As 2007 unfolds, we at The Company continue to improve our global delivery capabilities so that we will remain a premier service provider and trusted IT advisor to our clients and partners. As part of that we must improve standardization, globally. Our clients expect it, and our business needs it. Standardization and automation are key enablers of a more flexible, more cost effective business model.”

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The Postal Adventure

One of the great things about where I currently live is that everything I need or want is withing a 4.5-mile radius of where I live. That includes a postal center in the mall, which means I have access to a post office until 9pm. That’s a big help, especially on a day like today when I had to drop off a ton of packages for an eBay auction I had.

The great thing about eBay auctions is that once people pay, I’ve been able to print out prepaid postage for my packages, to include a delivery confirmation number. Even on overseas packages, I’m able to print out the proper forms, only needing the special envelope from the post office to place the forms in before shipping.

That said, today I took a load of packages and padded envelopes to the postal center that’s at the back of a candy store in the mall. The elderly lady working the postal counter didn’t seem to pleased to see me. She seemed even less pleased when I told her everything save for a package to my brother had postage on it (via those nifty labels I printed) and that I had one overseas package that required a special envelope. I handed her the padded envelopes (each containing a single DVD in case) and then she grabbed all of the packages, save for the one on the bottom which I held onto because it was going overseas and the one for my brother.

Another customer came up and rather than finish with me, she told him, “He’s got computer stuff so your next.”

What? I know she’s referring to my prepaid postage labels but I have a package that I have to pay for and another that required her to provide a special envelope to stick to the package. Sheeze, lady.

OK, I’ll just play this off because she’s old and the word “computer” likely gives her a panic attack. As she attempted to take care of the other gentleman (and was doing it wrong apparently), I noticed that two of my customs forms were missing somehow. I was annoyed with myself for not double-checking that before the old lady took the packages. Then I realized that two of the sheets were likely still stuck to the back of another package due to static electricity.

When the gentleman had finished his transactions, I got the old lady’s attention and asked her about the customs forms. She was reluctant to check the postal package bin because she was sure there were no papers placed there. Well, sure enough, one of the pages was stuck to the back of another package, but the old lady couldn’t find the other and wouldn’t do any real looking. I know it was there because all four sheets had been together, but the old lady had turned into a jackass and begun to brey and snort. Well, I was an idiot for not ensuring I didn’t control the hand-off of packages to her and thus keep the customs forms segregated.

I paid for the package for my brother, which also seemed to annoy her, and then went home to reprint the label and grab a bite to eat. I had until 21:00 to get back to the postal center to send off the package.

It was 20:30 when I walked back in. I had two additional packages to mail off from customers who’d paid me in the mean time, and I handed them to her. Then, I handed her the four, preprinted, prepaid customs forms. Well, this threw her for a loop because this customs form when filled out by hand has six copies, two of which go to the post office (or so I gather). I tried to explain that the post office already knows about the package because they’d already been paid. However, she would not hear anything of it and called her boss. That was fine with me because this way, I’d have a better chance of getting things done properly.

From what I heard from my end, the lady’s boss wasn’t that knowledgeable but did manage to figure out that there was no problem and that the old lady should just pack three of the four forms (the forth I got to keep). I again tried to explain why I wouldn’t need the additional two forms for post office notification weren’t needed, but her frown shut me up. A brick wall that thick cannot be penetrated.

Well, at least everything got mailed. ^_^;

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