Monday, August 18, 2008

One more reason to be annoyed with China

I ordered some funny little jewelry finding on eBay from a seller in China. They were cheap and not something I've been able to find anywhere else, so yay for that. Except, I bought them in June and still haven't gotten them yet. I've been in contact with the seller, who, despite reassuring me that I'm her #1 most wonderful and favored customer, hasn't really been able to do anything aside from giving me a tracking number and telling me to go ask my post office. Fair enough.

So, on Saturday I went to the post office. That's a crazy thing to do, I know, but I had a package to ship out anyway so I figured I'd ask while i was there. I mentally prepared myself and then I went. To. The. Post. Office. On. A. Saturday.

It was like going to a third world country. A line of people out the door who looked like they'd all been there for a few weeks. Naturally, the woman ahead of me seemed completely confused by the idea of mailing an object and didn't know how to ship it or what to put it in or how it worked at all. She had the item she wanted to ship and an address and that's it. le sigh.

I finally got my turn with the grumpy government worker and he was nice enough. I gave over my package and bought some cool Eames stamps and then casually asked him about my missing package. I gave him my tracking number and OH MY GOD, he got up to "go in the back" to see what he can find out. No, no! Come back! Never mind! Ah!

Now, anyone who's ever been to the post office and had an employee disappear in to the mysterious back region knows they are completely fucked. Here's what I think happens:

- goes into the back
- takes a smoke break
- eats a snack
- laughs it up with other employees who are "looking for a package"
- has another smoke break
- catches up on his stories
- plays package pyramid bowling
- takes a little nap

When he got up and walked around the corner I felt the heat of the collective rage of the other twenty people waiting in line. OH MY GOD WHAT DID SHE JUST DO? WHY IS HE GOING IN THE BACK. WE ARE NEVER GOING TO LEAVE NOW. LETS KILL HER WITH THESE FREE PRIORITY SHIPPING BOXES THAT NOBODY KNOWS HOW TO USE.

I coped by staring at the wall and pretending I couldn't feel the hate-rays penetrating me. Approximately 800 years later he wandered back and showed me a printout of the exact same information I'd given him to begin with - that my package had been been accepted July 02 in Shanghai. He earned his paycheck, however, by explaining to me that it meant the package hasn't actually left China yet. It's still in customs. Grand. I thanked him and fled the post office before the rest of the patrons stoned me.

I contacted the seller to let her know what was up and she offered to send me a replacement...wait for it...WITH MY NEXT ORDER. Now, I haven't even gotten my first order yet so why would I order more stuff I'm not going to get? What, am I an idiot?

I do wonder if my stuff will ever be released or if it's just there in customs forever. Does anyone know?


  1. This entry made me laugh out loud when I got to the part about what really happens when a postal employee leaves the counter; that's what I've always suspected really happens, too.

  2. My brother's been living in the Middle East and Asia for a number of years and this kind of stuff happens to us all the time. I learned early not to send my nieces clothes, because inevitably they would arrive after they had outgrown them. But the packages almost always arrived eventually. Six months was pretty standard, though. Now he has an APO and mail service has improved immensely.

  3. It was worth it for the stamps, though. Am I right?

  4. Would have been nice if the seller had warned you. I bet that you can get $ back if you paid with Paypal.

  5. Literally laughed out loud!

    I hope you've recovered from the stoning. (You didn't mutter "Jehovah" on the way out, did you?)

    PS - LOVE the Eames stamps - considering framing them. Too nerdy?

  6. Wow- your next order. Did you ask her to please send it to your new address at 101 Hell Frozen Over Street?

  7. You should have had her give it to Olympian Michael Phelps to put in his suitcase. At least he could have gotten it out of China.

  8. Customs is the international version of the post office, except no customers. Just one giant "in the back"' of boxes and government employees. Good Luck.