Have you ever ordered something and absolutely had to have it delivered overnight? But wait, there's that annoying thing you do every day that makes it impossible to receive a package at home...work. So how do you collect a package that requires you to be at home?
This problem starts last weekend when we were filming a video at Zion National Park. If you can imagine the canyons in this national park...well, I dropped my camera lens down one.
This happens on Sunday. On Wednesday (today), I am scheduled to film a music video for pop star Lauv. So you can feel the instant anxiety of:
1. How to I get the funds to replace a $1,000 lens in 72 hours
2. How do I get said lens delivered to me overnight, since Monday is a holiday
3. How do I sign for the package when I have work
I remember that my lens was insured, but I need the money right away to make the purchase. I decide to tap into my savings, pull the money in advance, and order a new lens on the spot; plus 50 hard earned Washingtons to overnight ship this small glass cylinder.
This is a gamble because my insurance company has already replaced this lens twice in the last month. So I'd have to convince them I'm not a total moron, and it's worth letting me have a third chance.
I keep thinking about how huge it will be for my career to have a video with Lauv in the books. Money was no object. Fuck it. Pay all the shippings. Buy all the lenses. I'll eat noodles for a year, I don't care.
The package is scheduled to deliver at 6:00 pm Tuesday. Just in time for me to get home and pick it up! Smooth sailing.
Until I get home and see a "we missed you" sticker from FedEx. They showed up moments before I arrived.
Photo from conversation.which.co.uk
"I'll just give the distribution center a call tomorrow morning," I think to myself, "and have them hold it so I can grab it during my lunch."
I sigh a breath of relief, as I reassure myself that this plan will work. I feel silly for the extra money I paid to see a "we missed you" sticker, but I keep my focus on Lauv. Stay positive. Stay focused.
The next morning, I call FedEx at 9:00 am sharp.
"Sorry, we load the trucks early, so your package is already on its route!" the nice FedEx lady informed me. "Let me call dispatch and see if we can get it held here so you can pick it up after 6:00 pm."
Well that doesn't work. Doors for the show are at seven, and FedEx is over an hour from the venue! Trickles of anxiety are making their way into my head. My brain shifts from a state of positive understanding to ramping emotions of stress.
I call FedEx back.
"Hello. Thank you for calling FedEx. Are you calling about a packing you're sending, or expecting?"
Great. A machine.
Photo from Khaleej Times
"Help," I say instead.
"I'm sorry, I didn't get that, could you repeat your answer?"
"I'm sorry, could you repeat that?"
"Invalid number, please try typing in your tracking number."
"Agent. Person. Help. Please. Zero. Customer service. Desk. Hotline. Office. Michael Scott."
I'm losing patience fast. Then the phone transferrs me.
"Hello, my name is Carl, how may I be helping you today?" Someone on the other line says with the most foreign accent I've ever heard.
I won't bore you with the details, but that leads to a dead end.
Then my phone, which has almost no service at my job, goes straight to voicemail with a phone call. I open the notification and hit play.
"Hi Mr. Collette, I understand you're trying to get a package that's already out on a route. I've reached our driver, and he said he'd be at your address between 10:10 and 10:15 am."
I look at the clock, 10:04 am. Are you kidding me? Holy last minute. I grab my keys and sprint out of my building. Adrenaline completely replaces everything in my body.
I nearly slip on the ice covered steps as I round a corner to jump into my car.
I speed out of our complex, and made my way towards the freeway. It's 13 degrees outside, so there's ice everywhere. Move fast, but be careful.
I enter the freeway going 90 on the on-ramp, until I reach a utility truck that's trying to merge at 30 mph.
I'm hauling a ridiculous amount of ass down the thankfully dry and clear freeway. I reach my exit and merge off, switching my eyes between the road and the clock. Just as I tap my brakes to slow down at the stoplight, I slide a little bit on some ice, and the nerves in my hands get super tingly, and then my palms get sweaty. I roll to a stop and look at the clock again.
Photo from ausqb.deviantart.com
I know I'm more than five minutes from my house, so I have to make up time. Then my phone rings again.
"Hello this is FedEx, we wanted to remind you that a truck will be at your door between 10:10 and 10:15 am for a delivery," I'm well aware. Thank you for the additional stress. "Have a nice day!" The recording says as I pivot my head back and forth to check for cars as I turn onto my street.
I can see the neighborhood. Except another dingbat is driving his Ford F-FuckFifty 10mph below the speed limit. I am literally bouncing in my seat yelling "go! Go! GO!"
I keep saying to myself, "I'm going to make it. I'm going to MAKE IT." I feel like I'm in Mario Kart, in first place on the last lap on Rainbow Road. The music tempo is picking up, and I'm laser focused on the finish line in the distance.
Photo from Mario Kart/Nintendo
I pull into the neighborhood, looking around for the big white truck and orange letters. I turn once more onto my street, hoping the driver was here on the later side of the time window.
I ease up to my driveway, look over at my door, and squint my eyes to see the "sorry we missed you" slip taped up again.
What do I do now? I went through a dozen different call centers, customer support lines and robots to get this special pickup window arranged. How am I going to get my lens by the end of the day?
Then I decide that this guy probably has more deliveries in the area, so I hit the gas and turn the corner. I am going to find this damn truck at all costs.
A few moments later, I spot a white truck moving down the street heading in my direction. I flash my lights and swerve into his lane as he slows down. It looks like a scene out of The Italian Job, except with fewer explosives. Bonus points if you can spot Spiderman in the video I'm referencing.
Photo from The Italian Job
The driver probably assumes that "Will Collette" is the only guy dumb enough to stop a FedEx truck while driving, so without communication, he goes into the back and comes out with a package that has my name on it.
"Here you go, Mr. Collette!"
I smiled as I take the box from him and rip it open on the spot. I pull out the lens as the fresh glass glistens in the sunlight. The last time something like this happened was when King Arthur pulled a sword from a rock.
"Can you move so I can finish these deliveries?" The driver asks.
My perfect moment shoots back to reality as I look up at the driver, who is looking at my sideways parked Mustang in the middle of a street.
I jump back in my car and blast "I Like Me Better" as loud as I can. Lauv is going to get a music video today, and all the FedEx "sorry we missed you" slips in the world can't stop me.
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