One little package… The Saga continues

For the tedious backstory take a look at my previous blog One Little Package…

On Tuesday 25th January I realise that my post it note with my Customer services reference number on it has fallen victim to my co-workers tidying mania. I’m going to have to brave the automated system again. I don’t know how I manage to do it but I spend less than 3 minutes listening to the vaguely lobotomised voice offering me ‘press 1 for…’ choices and I get put through to Laura. Laura listens to my slightly hysterical explanation of the saga and the missing reference number and calmly explains she can find my case through my post code. I give her the post code and she tells me that my package has been returned to sender – because I didn’t pick it up. I bite my tongue and point out that I have been attempting to collect my package. I seem to have spent an unholy amount of time dealing with this small jiffy bag. Laura apologises and says she will pass on the package details and attempt to ‘catch’ my package at the Belfast Returned Post centre and get it posted back out to me. To be honest I am doubtful that this will be possible and even if it does happen I still have the same problem that I will be at work and unable to sign for the package. It’s like an Escher print of eternal staircases. But don’t want to burst Lauras cheery little bubble and she signs off with the promise of a written apology. I really hope they don’t post it.

Wednesday 26th January I get home from work and I discovered a little red “sorry you were out” card on the pile of post, indicating that my postman had tried to deliver a package requiring a signature. I’m starting to get terrible déjà vu – I’m sure the same thing happened to me about 2 pages ago. Now I’m not sure if this is Lovely Laura actually managing to deliver on a promise (see what I did there! – o I’m so funny!) or if I am about to be dragged into a fresh delivery hell. So on Thursday I call Oldham Depot again my first 2 attempts are met with an engaged tone. Third time lucky I get through and manage to speak to Nilesh.
Nilesh tells me that a package is there for me. In a deeply suspicious voice I ask him to clarify if he is looking at the information on a screen or if he actually has my parcel in his hands. He pauses. It’s on the screen. I tell him that given my recent history I would appreciate it if he actually went to have a little look. He sighs – he’s clearly having one of those days when every phone call is from some awkward bugger with an axe to grind. To give Nilesh credit he toddles off and when he comes back on the line he says that my package is in his hands and he gives me a reference number. He says he’ll write it on with big numbers so I can see.
That night the Moog and I go home via Oldham depot. I queue up behind a chap who is going off on a rant that about a problem with a little red card. I smile at this brother in arms against the red card tyranny of Royal mail. He clearly thinks I am a loon and moves further away. I hand my new little red card over to the woman behind the counter. This is the same little lady who told me on 6th January that my package was still in Manchester. She takes the card and disappears into the back. Brother Ranter is still at it when she returns with a jiffy bag with my reference from Nilesh written on in VERY BIG numbers.
As soon as I get hold of the package I know it’s not my original package. It is in fact a bead for my sisters bracelet which I thought was being posted to the office. I don’t know where my original package is but I’m now taking this as a personal challenge. I WILL get this parcel.

Just over a week has passed since I called Laura at the Royal Mail Customer Service centre and in spite of the ripple of excitement caused by my other little red card, I am still no closer to knowing when my package might be redelivered. I get the little red card with my barcode and reference number on and call the 08457 740740 number again.

I speak to a chap called Dan who has a cold and is sniffing at the end of every sentence. I give him my reference number and the line is silent while he reads through my case notes. I say silent – what I mean is fairly quiet punctuated by large sniffs as he attempts to keep his snot in his nose rather than falling down his face. So Dan reads my notes and asks me what I want from him. I explain that I am looking for a timeframe of when I might be getting my package. Dan tells me that on my file is a letter ready to be sent to the National Returns Centre as soon as my packet is received there. I express surprise that my packet is not already there as over a week ago Laura told me it was on its way. I can’t think of many places where the Royal Mail could put a national processing centre which would take a week to get to from Manchester or Oldham or wherever my packet was.

I have this image in my head of my little jiffy bag standing by the side of the road, cars splashing puddles into it’s little papery face as it attempts to hitchhike to the National Returns Centre.

Anyway after assuring me that once my jiffybag completes its journey and the barcode is scanned, this letter asking them to send it back to Oldham will be sent. I ask Dribbly Dan when I can expect this to happen. Dan sniffs and tells me that the National Returns Centre has a huge backlog and the timescale is somewhere between 3-8 weeks. I could have left the country by then. I might have emigrated and have to face the package being sent onto Atlanta. I thank Dribbly Dan for his time and tell him I hope he feels better soon. To be honest I don’t mean it.

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