Friday, August 08, 2008
There’s a mystery afoot-it seems UPS lost not 1, but 2 5-½ foot tubs that were bound to a pallet. How in the world can something of that size and heft just disappear? That was my mystery this week.
At the “day job” I get to help find things sometimes. Or correct little things. An example-customer calls, “hello, Carine? I don’t want to trouble you but something is definitely wrong here. My installer put the valve in the floor for the free-standing tub set and then the stone guy laid down the travertine. Now here’s the problem: the trim is 1-½” narrower than the valve. What should we do?”
Turned out that the vendor sent the European version of the valve by mistake. Now I know what many of you are thinking-get the client the right valve and all of life is beautiful. Problem is, that travertine I mentioned, it was $10,000 worth of flooring. No way was the homeowner going to pull it all up!
What did I do, you ask? Simple (LOL), I convinced the vendor to custom make the trim to fit the valve that was now permanently anchored in the ground, pay for the plumber to install a “substitute” trim (donated by them to make up for this giant size packaging error), as well as the one being created when it arrives from Germany. Oh, I also arranged to have the vendor ship everything direct-by FedEx overnight.
Not bad, client was happy, vendor was thrilled that they weren’t going to be sued and my boss was happy he didn’t have to do a thing or raise his blood pressure even one little blip.
But UPS lost 2 tubs! Somewhere between Fontana, California and Kent, Washington they have to be-but where and in what condition? Where did this “loss” occur? All I know is that our warehouse manager packed those two tubs on a pallet and UPS picked them up. If the client hadn’t called me in a well-deserved snit, I would have figured that the tubs were at her new home being installed into her two bathrooms-WHERE THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN!
What did I do? This time I shared the “wealth” of my ensuing headache-I called the warehouse manager and told him about our slight “problem”.
“Carine, I don’t know what happened, but we have a UPS rep now, I’ll give him a call and let you know what I find out.”
He called back 2 hours later-seems the UPS rep doesn’t know how they could lose something of this magnitude either. But he said he’d find out.
I told the warehouse manager the client had given us a day and a half or she was cancelling the order and said “let UPS pay you the damages, I knew I should have just ordered them up here”.
What was the end result? UPS did find the tubs-somehow they took a rather “scenic” route via Dallas, Texas!
Fortunately after she calmed down and realized that for all her threats-the only tubs available were at the local home improvement store, which were of rather questionable quality. She’ll have them early next week.
I tried to solve this one in a timely manner. But some things are just out of the realm of possibility. I’m sure you’ve all heard the cliché: sometimes you’re the hero and sometimes you’re the goat. Well, I guess this week I was a bit of both-for the heroine part, I did my share of the job, I got the tubs and made sure they were shipped. Then for the goat part-I couldn’t find them once they left the county. At least not in a record amount of time.
It’s not that I think this is my fault, it was way out of my hands-after all, I wasn’t the one at the loading dock putting those tubs on the wrong truck, but I do feel bad that the client was put into such a bind.
The lesson here: Never schedule a work crew until all of the product is within full view, no matter how reliable you think worldwide shipping companies are supposed to be.
Over here, we say "sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug"! Of course, we like to always be the windshield, but we are bugs all too often as well.
Hope all is well with you and your family!
Here-we say either you're the hero or the goat!
We have a lot going on here, hope all is well on your end