TLDR: Z Achieved

So of course I have delivery tracking for my visa, and I’m not saying that I’ve been refreshing that page obsessively, but yesterday morning, I saw it left the center in Durham and was on the final leg of the journey to me. I stayed in the apartment, doing a little packing and cleaning, but mostly just bouncing around waiting for my visa’s arrival. Because I’m going back to China! Did I mention that?

Around 4, I got an email saying the delivery had failed because no one was around to sign for the package. But… but… but… I was here and no one came…. well, anyway, I called FedEx customer service. and a really nice man explained that once in while that happens, and not to worry, my package wasn’t lost, and it would be redelivered tomorrow. That wasn’t exactly reassuring, since I didn’t have any reason to think tomorrow’s driver would ring the bell, knock on the door, or call, either (adding still more days to my visa wait, and making my express shipping fee an even sillier waste of money). But! I could also go to the FedEx center and pick it up. And look, I have the center’s address right here because I’ve been obsessively refreshing the page.

“It’ll be there at 5, and it’ll take a few minutes to check everything in, so you can come get it about 5:30. Have a great night.” It really was going to be great as soon as I get my visa!

Of course it wasn’t there.

“Not here.” I could actually see “没有” appearing in subtitles as the cashier spoke to me.

“Do you know where it is?”

“It’s still on the truck.”

“Do you have any idea when it might be here?” (Ok, Meg, don’t freak out, I’m sure every package that comes through here is someone’s really important something. Stay calm and polite.)

He got on the phone, and found out that the truck was expected back around 7:30. I reminded myself to unclench my teeth, and relax my shoulders, and to politely confirm that they would indeed be open at 7:30 and be able to hand me my package then.

The cashier mentioned that it was the driver’s second day on the job, and I went from feeling the fury of YOU HAD ONE JOB! to a much more sympathetic reaction. Everyone screws up sometimes! You have a lot to remember on your second day at a new job! And it’s not like my package got destroyed or sent to Timbuktu! Everything is about to be fine!

“Maybe you could let the driver know that next time, they could ring or call or knock, so I’d know there was a package for me–”

“They always do that.”

“No, see, I’m here trying to pick it up because no one knocked or rang — ”

“That’s impossible. Our staff doesn’t do that!” I’m not entirely sure what he expected me to say there You’re right, I’m sure your coworker did everything properly, but hearing the doorbell is really complicated, you know? And I might have messed it up or maybe he was expecting It certainly seemed like I was sitting at home waiting for a package all day, but you’re right, I might have actually entered another dimension. But sure, the new uy running several hours late definitely didn’t skip a step anywhere, and I’m a weirdo who pays for express delivery, refreshes the tracking page all day, but ignores the doorbell so I can come to the FedEx center for kicks.

Since we had some time to kill, we went and picked up some comic books and action figures, and here we is a special pronoun that actually means my husband, Harold. (Did you guys see how I worked “my husband” seamlessly into my post about getting my visa? Being married is so awesome!)

When we came back, I wasn’t actually sure if I would ever get my package or if I would find out that they’d closed at 7 and it was impossible that any staff had told me differently. But, no, my package was there! And inside that was my passport! And inside that was my visa!

My visa is for the correct type, correct entry date, correct name, correct passport number. I was about to take a photo, so I could share how beautiful it is, after this long wait, but then I thought the better of posting my passport number and visa number online. But trust me, it is lovely.


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6 Responses to TLDR: Z Achieved

  1. Jennette says:

    I had that same experience with the US postal service a few days before Christmas. I was home all day but got a note in my mailbox saying I hadn’t home to accept delivery of a package. Total bullshit. The driver must have wanted to get home quicker for the holidays and didn’t bother taking the time to walk up the stairs and try delivering it to me. I left town the next day, so I didn’t get the package until the next week when I came home. I’m glad you got your visa though!

    • Meg Stivison says:

      I’m really glad my visa is here, too! It was pretty strange to be told by someone who wasn’t there that what happened couldn’t possibly have happened, but getting my visa overshadows that!

  2. How awesome that you’re returning to China! It’s definitely a nice place to be (with lots of excellent food). Visa applications are definitely a headache. I rarely travel to anywhere that requires me to have one. It’s really annoying when customer service insists they did something you know they didn’t, but most of the time I’m too lazy to argue with them. Still, your package survived and have fun in China!

    • Meg Stivison says:

      Really exciting to be on my adventure!
      Yeah, it was one of those situations where there was nothing to be gained by arguing, even if I were able to explain why you don’t tell customers that there’s NO WAY the thing that just happened to them could have happened, it wouldn’t have magicked up my package. So I just left and came back later.

  3. Andrea says:

    At the townhouse in Nutley, not only would UPS not ring the doorbell, usually they didn’t bother getting the package off the truck – they’d come to the door with the ‘sorry we missed you’ note all pre-filled out and ready to stick on the door. If you were madly hitting refresh or had the app notify you and managed to get out there before they left, they were pretty irritated at having to actually hand you your package there.

    • Meg Stivison says:

      Maybe I should have been refreshing even faster! Also when I checked the address on Google maps, pretty much every review was a 1-star comment on how they can’t sign for a package if no one knocks or rings. But, sure, that’s totally impossible, every one of those people was just confused. Ugh.

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