Skip to main content

canada post is guaranteed to drive you a little crazy

i want to make this clear, right off the top: no one envies postal employees at this time of year. it's harsh work tramping through snow and sleet and driving in dangerous conditions or even just standing at a counter with a line up of people who are all convinced that it's your fault that they waited too long in order to mail your holiday packages. those jobs are thankless and everyone should bear that in mind when dealing with postal employees close to xmas.

however, there is a sort of mentality that seems to permeate the upper echelons of the postal organisation that i would like to characterise as an absurdist conspiracy. they're all mad there and they want you to join in the fun. to illustrate this [again] here is a conversation i had with a canada post employee when trying to ship a package to halifax.

me :: hello, i'd like to ship this box overnight to halifax

customer service rep :: we can't do that.

me :: it says on the sign behind you that you do.

csr :: [double checking] oh yes, that's our overnight service.

me :: so i'd like to ship it overnight for it to get there tomorrow.

csr :: well i don't know if that would work.

me :: it's 8 in the morning. your counter just opened. doesn't that mean that the package will go out today and arrive tomorrow?

csr :: well i wouldn't bet on it.

me :: i don't understand.

csr :: well the guaranteed next day service only applies when you're shipping to a city.

me :: halifax is a city.

csr :: yes, i know.

me :: so why wouldn't the guaranteed service be available?

csr :: it is. i just don't know if it would get there by tomorrow or not. it's very busy.

me :: so your guaranteed delivery service isn't guaranteed to get there?

csr :: well i would never guarantee that. but you can ship it for next day delivery and if they don't deliver it, you can call canada post and ask for your money back.

me :: but will they still deliver my package after?

csr :: i can't say.

me :: [ponders length of time it will get to fed ex counter and determines it is not an option] ok, well, i want to ship my package.

csr :: are you sure?

me :: yes.

csr :: and when would you like it delivered?

me :: um... how soon can you get it there?

csr :: well we have the overnight delivery service.

me :: i think i'm going to go lick an electric socket now.*

csr :: pardon?

me :: i'd like to ship it overnight.

*it's possibly definitely true that i didn't say this out loud. but i really wanted to.

note :: while checking the postal code to which i was shipping, i noticed that canada post's web site will soon be limiting the number of postal codes you can look up on line. i believe that the restrictions will only limit the number you can look up in one day, but there's very little information available. i have to wonder who in hell thought this was a good idea. looking up postal codes is one of the few things that would drive people to the canada post web site. in particular, it seems like a spectacularly bad idea for a company that is poised to start laying off thousands of employees. wouldn't they want to get people used to going on line rather than calling for this sort of information?

Comments

Bellyhead said…
Is it due to pending financial ruin that Canada Post is being so oddly peculiar? I feel like I'm reading some absurdist play reading your recent CP posts. :(
Kate MacDonald said…
Canada Post has certainly been experiencing some losses, however I think that they may be mistaken about the reasons. They are assuming that people are no longer using their services because they are sending less mail. That might be partially true, but I think that the larger problem is that people are using other services even when they do have mail to send, because they have no confidence that anything sent via CP will ever reach its destination.

On a happy note, my package did make it. So really, CP just got themselves a minor bit of bad publicity for NO REASON. Which is silly, because they've managed to generate so much bad publicity for good reasons otherwise. (More on that to come.)

as long as you're here, why not read more?

eat the cup 2018 :: welcome, comrades!

even regular followers of this blog might be surprised to learn that the longest-standing tradition on more like space is not tied to politics, makeup, mental health or even writing, but sport. i started the quadrennial eat the cup "challenge" [in quotes because i'm not actually challenging anyone but myself] way back in 2006 as a way of combining my growing love of soccer, my love for cooking and my still-new blogging habit. i determined that, as i followed the world cup, i would cook dinners to honour the winners of different games, meaning that the meal would, as far as possible, feature traditional dishes from those nations. in subsequent iterations, i started to do dishes that were combinations of different winners from the same day or, as the competition wore on, combinations of the different combatants.

finding certain ingredients can be a challenge, even in a diverse city like montreal [and i live on the cusp of some of its most diverse neighbourhoods], but what…

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…

making faces :: divine inspiration

several months ago, kat von d announced that she was doing a palette and lipstick inspired by divine. for many gen x'ers like me, divine was our introduction to the world of drag and, possibly, to the idea of transgenderism. now, divine wasn't transgender; he was a gay man who lived his celebrity life in drag, but seeing him still put the idea of the transgender person in the public mind. to this day, he's frequently mistaken for a trans woman. [side note :: as a "drag" artist, divine did not do impersonations of female stars, which is usually associated with drag performances. his character was all his own.]

divine came to his stardom through the films of john waters, the king of trash cinema who worked with a troupe of actors and filmmakers [dubbed "dreamland studios"] in all of his early films. if the broader public has heard of any of his films, it's mostly likely hairspray, which was then made into a hit broadway musical, then back into a film …