All in all this has really not been a very pleasant day.

Something must be afoot. It’s been days since my last post. I know, I know… all of my millions and millions of fans must be waiting with bated breath wondering what new and incredible insights I’m going to grace WordPress with. Okay so there’s nothing true about anything in that statement other than “I’m” and the only thing I have to say is in regards to the lovely men and women at the United Parcel Service.

So I  had a discussion with my father last week. Years ago, when I was last in NY I had started building a computer. It was a great system (at the time). It was going to be my new weapon to inflict massive amounts of graphic design damage upon the world. But as life would have it, certain circumstances arose where the construction of that computer had to be put on hold. Pressing real life matters forced me abandon my project in mid construction. Flash forward to present day my father and I came up with the idea of him shipping the partially constructed monster beast to us before we leave for Nunavut. It made sense. I could put it together and have it shipped up to our new frozen home with all out other belongings. Who could handle such a task? Certainly not the conventional mail systems. We’ve had nightmare encounters with the United States Postal Service and inviting Canada Post into the mix is a recipe for disaster. Who then, dammit? Who?

What can brown do for you?

Of course! UPS! I’ve used their postal service for years and have always had good results. They’re quick and reliable. It seemed like the logical choice.


My father brought everything down to the UPS Store and did the right thing – or least what we thought was the right thing – and had them pack up the components. He explicitly told the dedicated worker that it was a computer and needed to be marked fragile and handled with care. He was met with a warm smile and the classic reassurance of “No problem.”

The packages arrived very quickly. Heck I don’t even think it took more than 3 days (and that wasn’t express shipping or anything). When I heard the knock at my door I was jazzed. I was finally going to be reunited with my Frankenstein. When the driver handed me the packages I saw that they were a little dinged but that’s expected with long distance travel. Lo and behold when I opened the box containing my hard drives and case I was horrified…

Yeah… my case was wrecked. The entire front panel had snapped off  from the case itself and the top portion was completely shattered. With the aid of some Krazy glue and a bungee chord (yeah I MacGuyver with the best of them) I managed to glue the pieces back together. My hard drives were in an sorry state as well. I had three mounted in it… securely mounted I might add. The one in the drive bay was totally jarred from it’s spot and was inside the case acting like a battering ram to the motherboard. Apparently one of the mounting brackets was bent so severely during transit that it quite literally fell out of its spot. Whatever volleyball game they were playing with my rig must have been a good one because the hits that rattled the first drive loose must have been so violent that they broke 2 of the 4 screws that had one of my other drives mounts. It dangled precariously as if holding on for dear life.

So the what’s final prognosis? Well my monitor works at least. I have to wait on my CPU cooler to arrive before I can assemble everything and test out my board and drives. So it’s the waiting game once again. I should be livid at this point in time but the move has me properly distracted enough. There’s a disturbing annual trend that’s starting to develop every October now. I seem to be destined to have something screw up in the spooky month. Last year I had tried to get some custom t-shirts ordered for my wedding but that fell through right at crunch time. Long story short, I was out $350 four weeks before the wedding and had no shirts. Ironically I’m four weeks away from another big day so I’m hoping that this counts as my bad October event so that we can get to where we’re going without any major mishaps.

What can brown do for you?

Put the kibosh on your property apparently. Welcome to my shit list UPS.


8 responses

  1. UPS is my nemesis. FEDEX is my second nemesis. One time, UPS could not find my house, so the driver apparently tossed the package into a snow bank, where I found it a few days later soggy and dinged up. They couldn’t find my house because the label had been damaged (by them) and rather than looking at the computerized shipping information and printing a new one, someone guessed at the numbers on the damaged label and printed a new one by hand. The driver got frustrated when the house and the street on the label did not exist, so he threw the package out of the van at the place he thought was closest. I found it through some careful detective work a few days later. FEDEX must be headquartered above the arctic circle, that way they have recourse when their “overnight” service takes a week.

    October 29, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    • Ha! Sounds like what happened when I went through the USPS to have some flowers delivered to my mother on her birthday. The flower company guaranteed me on time deliver and quickly had the bundle expedited the same day. The problem came in the form of the Post Office. They botched a print of the label and suffered through the same bout of ineptness that you described above. End of story, my mother gets her bouquet a day late, I get comped a free bouquet by the flower company (a courtesy call on their part) and the USPS gets off clean as a whistle.

      October 29, 2010 at 2:14 pm

  2. Amy

    Is there no recourse for something like this? This would so piss me off!
    I had an airline completely destroy one of my suitcases and they weren’t going to do anything about it because the massive tear was “on a seam” so must have been a defect in the suitcase itself. Urg!! It was clear that the baggage monkeys threw my case by the telescoping handle used to roll it around, not by the re-inforced handle that is there for this purpose.
    I blacked out for a moment, so I don’t know exactly what happened, but when I came to I had a brand new suitcase and the customer service person was on her knees, crying and clutching a crucifix.
    I wish I knew what I had said so I could give you some advice in dealing with UPS.

    October 26, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    • I’d probably be on Page 6 if I was still in NY. Amazing what a handful of incompetence can do in tarnishing a name.

      October 26, 2010 at 4:13 pm

  3. oh no, that sucks!! i think you should make a sculpture out of krazy glue, bungee cords, damaged computer parts, and lots of “brown” and post a youtube video about it. 🙂

    October 26, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    • If my drives are fragged then I just may do that. 😀

      October 26, 2010 at 4:12 pm

  4. Yikes, Ian…that’s horrible! I thought you were going to say they got you at the door with a “brokerage fee” before they handed over your parcel (one of the joys of getting courier shipments from the States when you live in Canada!).

    I had a nasty experience with Canada Post after my mom passed away. She was in Carleton Place, Ontario, and I mailed seven big boxes of her stuff to myself in New Brunswick (cost more than $250)…Long story short: several things were broken. I cried when I saw the sugar bowl I remembered from childhood in pieces! They also managed to break the glass on several framed photos/paintings. The insurance for CP doesn’t cover “breakable” items…really just covers loss in transit!

    I hope you’re able to jerry-rig your computer so that it will work…


    October 26, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    • Aw man that’s awful. I can imagine how that must have felt. Like being socked in the stomach I’d figure. Postal Insurance is such a joke (that isn’t funny). I think I have enough parts laying around to make some kind of monstrosity. Maybe not what I originally intended but something nonetheless.

      October 26, 2010 at 1:56 pm

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