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January 6, 2011

Are you a man or a mouse?

Filed under: General Articles — Tags: , , — admin @ 12:11 am

Does your Fedex guy knock like a man or a mouse?
Fedex is the most wonderful company — I would never knock them. But, I have always had the worst knocking and pricing problems with them.  First of all, their rates used to be reasonable in the old days.  But, with the price of oil going up, so has the price of Fedex.  Their drivers are generally good, but there are little things that can go wrong.  When you have a regular driver who comes daily and knows you, all is generally well.  But, the minute you get a replacement driver, then trouble could arrive at your front door.  This story is from 2004 in Los Angeles, CA.
Knock loud!
I trained my driver to knock loud, so I could have them pick up my daily inundation of boxes.  Once in a while, they had something for me too. 
If someone delivers documents to me, and I can’t hear them knock, then I don’t get the documents, and can’t do the signing.  In such a case, I would have to wait for the truck to get back to the office in the evening and pick up my package by hand, or call and request a redelivery attempt.  Such a pain, that I have a mailbox at a staffed MBE store.  That solved that problem except for late Saturday deliveries.
In 2004, I had outgoing stuff every day. I would have to spend 30 minutes loading my car and taking them to the nearest Kinko’s as a daily ritual.   After some phone calls to fedex, explaining how I need the verbiage, “KNOCK LOUD” to be in the notes section of my file, and leaving some signs left for the driver — I thought I had trained them.  Finally, I had gotten the driver to knock really loud.  My roommates complained about the daily noise abuse, but, I always got my packages picked up — assuming someone was here when the driver came. 
The Replacement
Then, the replacement came and didn’t knock loud, and I didn’t get my pickup or delivery. I had to go to Fedex and pick it up by hand in the evening after being put on hold for 20 minutes talking to a robot.  What a pain. I kept getting different drivers every day and it didn’t end!  Most of the reason I needed them was to pick up many become a California notary course packages that were selling like hot cakes.  I would have to take this huge cluster of clunky boxes to Fedex / Kinko’s myself if they didn’t come.  Sometimes it took two trips to get all of those boxes in the car.
The Sign
Finally, my roommate couldn’t take it anymore. She tried to get me to put a doorbell that would ring in my room.  I said that if the driver isn’t trained to ring the doorbell, its as good as not being there. They will still knock like a mouse.   
I had gotten around the delivery problem by taking packages myself to a local Los Angeles Kinko’s and having my mail boxes place handle incoming.  But, what about supplies?  Fedex would only deliver these to my apartment, and refused to drop them at any other address in Los Angeles.  Supplies included Fedex emvelopes, shipping forms, etc.
     So, knocking was still an issue.  I decided that I need a fool-proof solution since I’m dealing with fools.  I put a HUGE sign in purple and green markers (same color that FeDex uses).  It said in large letters.  KNOCK LOUD!   This still wasn’t 100% effective, but better than before.
The UPS guy who came, was the same Filipino guy, year after year. He knew us, and we knew him.  He never got sick, he was never late, and he never went on vacation. He was superman, I suspect he is immortal too, but I can’t prove it.  But, Fedex had a different guy each time — at least in my neighborhood in Los Angeles.. This is no way to run a business. I never saw the same face twice, at least not in my neighborhood in Los Angeles.
I give up!
The biggest problem for me was that there was no communication with the driver. This was a security measure, and probably needed.
It got to be too much of a pain.  The driver would either come when I was not there, or knock like a mouse.  They only caught me once per week.  So, finally, I said, “I give up”.  My housemates are complaining bitterly about the daily disruption, the knocking, the noise, me not being there, etc.  I decided that I would cancel my daily pickup and load my car up and make the pilgrimmage to Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles, California and deliver these boxes myself.  What a pain.


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