Friday, September 22, 2006

Fishy Business

I'm sure FedEx is a good shipping company. I'm sure they are fast and accurate and careful with their deliveries. But their slogan definitely needs some rethinking, especially for the store in Tustin where, well, I'll let the slightly altered slogan I've come up with speak for itself.

FedEx - "Our service is so bad, you absolutely positively have to stay overnight."

Erica and I went to FedEx with the express purpose of laminating some small index cards, as well as a larger sheet of paper for her school project. Little did we know it would end up being close to an hour long experience.

First of all, the person "helping" us didn't know what in the world he was doing. Personally, I assume that most people are trained to do their job before setting foot on the floor, but I guess that isn't always a fair assumption. It took him over 20 minutes just to figure out how much it was going to cost. At first, he was scanning barcodes tentatively, trying to mask the fact that he had no idea how to charge us for laminating something - as if it was an archaic service that no one ever requests - like ordering a Filet o' Fish sandwich at McDonald's.

"Hi, I'd like one Filet o' Fish please."


*frantic scrambling is heard through the microphone as several of the employees search for their fishing rods*

"Uh, it's gonna be like 3 days for that to be ready sir, could you please park around on the other side and wait?"

Then the FedEx guy asks some qualifying questions to make it seem like he knows what he's doing.

"Do you want the cold or hot laminate?"
"Do you want the glossy or non-glossy?"
"Do you want the gold plating or the platinum plating?"

To all of which we replied, "Whichever is cheapest."

Finally, the FedEx guy finds a barcode that seems to satisfy him, though he still appears to be utterly confused. He tells us that it is going to cost $53.

Of course, the first question out of my mouth is, "Why is it so much?"

I am answered with some disjointed babbling as he trails off in mid-sentence, leaving me wondering once again what in the world is so difficult to understand about the process of lamination. You stick a piece of paper in, and voila!, it comes out all shiny and purdy-lookin' - at which point you don't pay $53 for it. What's so hard to figure out?

Eventually, through the combined efforts of three other crack staff members, they realize that $53 is, get ready for this, not the correct price!!! Amazing! How did they figure that brain stumper out? They decide that the real price is actually just under $20 for all of it, which still seems to be a relatively high price to charge for sticking a piece of paper in a machine.

OH! And the clincher was that the big piece of paper that Erica needed laminated was about 4 inches too wide to fit in their machine. Get this:

They offered to cut it to size for $1.75...PER CUT! What in the whole entire universe could possibly justify them charging $1.75 per cut? Do they hire God himself to cut it? Using diamond-edged scissors made from the divine wings of angels? Frankly, I'm surprised they didn't make us put a deposit down when I borrowed their scissors to cut it myself.

So, almost an hour after arriving, and a quarter short of twenty dollars later, we left, tired and annoyed at the blatant incompetence we were subjected to, just to get something laminated for a school project. Hey, at least FedEx doesn't serve fish sandwiches, yet.

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