Monday, September 16, 2019

Going Postal

Going Postal



From its inception The Lost Canyon Project has been shot through with a strange fate driven metaphysic. The whole event has been spun out in a web of just- so encounters, and unlikely coincidences, and eerie good luck in completing the task. Something lit the creative burn in me, and I followed it through by organizing and archiving the nearly 900 paintings and drawings from Pete's estate. I created the Lost Canyon Archives Word file, and .jpg files. I  got ready to print a  nearly 500 page catalog of Pete’s artwork.

Somehow the energy began to fizzle when I took the SD card to the printer. First from an oversight on my part, and later from an oversight on the printer’s part it took much longer than anticipated, and we ended up with three unusable copies of the book.
But we overcame that obstacle.

 August 30 I mailed the completed document to Pete’s brother Richard in South Carolina. This, in a weird way, felt like Christmas in reverse. I was proud of the work and I was really looking forward to hearing from Rick and Geri once they opened up that box, and got a look at it.
It still hasn’t happened.

The catalog should have taken three days to get there. But Hurricane Dorian delayed things. With service back to normal I followed the package tracking on line. After being sent to North Carolina, and then Washington DC, it was sent to the distribution facility in Richmond, Virginia. All good. But from there it was sent to Charlottesville, Virginia. Charlottesville returned it to Richmond, who sent it back to Charlottesville, who sent it back to Richmond.  So I double check the receipt. The clerk entered the wrong zip code; it was off by one digit. 

So now what? Try finding a phone number to call. Not easy. The 800 line is busy is busy is busy but if you get through there is a wait of two hours. So go on line. Try to find the forms. Not easy. Fill out forms, and submit them. This is not Amazon. It isn’t a user-friendly experience. Hit submit, and nothing. 24 hrs. later I get an auto-notice that my request is in the computer. Two- three days later, and nothing. Package is still in transit between Richmond and Charlottesville. And back. I submit a second request through their crappy on-line system.
Well, maybe try and find someone at the post office who will know what to do and how to do it. Fat goddamn chance. Might as well go hunt for Bigfoot in Area 51.  I took the receipt, and the correct information to the local PO where I mailed it. Same crabby ass clerk who took the package last week is at the same window. I start to explain what has happened. Rude bitch doesn’t even listen. “Go uptown. I can’t do anything.” That's all she said. End of story.
I'm getting angry.
So, I drove uptown to the main PO, and parked in the lot, and waited in a long line. The clerk there didn’t speak much English, but she couldn’t help either. "You wai wahl I geh managah."
 A few minutes later Managah appears. I show him the receipt, explain what has happened. Give him the tracking number, the Address, and the correct zip code. He takes all the information and disappears for ten or fifteen minutes. The guy returns, and I’m thinking I can get on with my day and have done with this. Wrong. He hands me my stuff back along with a piece of paper with a phone number written in ballpoint. “Call these guys" he says. "It’s the Charlottesville post office.”
 Apparently making telephone calls was not part of his his job.

By now I’m really angry. I get home and call the number (Note that I am, indeed calling during east coast business hours). It rings!  Five, ten, fifteen times, it rings. Finally I got a recording saying that this number does not take phone messages. Click. I tried it three times more. No answer.
The Hamptons filed a missing package report, but the package isn’t showing up as missing because it is recorded as being in transit between Charlottesville, and Richmond. I cannot file an insurance claim for the same reason.
In the mean time I got two automated survey emails from the United States Post Office asking for my feedback on how they did with the service requests that I submitted. My feedback, it seems, is valuable, so they can continue to provide good service.

I have not been able to get assistance from one damned employee. Not one. Nobody gives a shit, and nobody will lift a godamn finger or take a step out of the way to do anything. After all, it's in the system. And as I type this morning, the package is still, 17 days later, being shuttled back and forth between Richmond and Charlottesville. In transit.
And so.

I emerge from this spiritually charged, and intricately woven flow of events, encounters, challenges, inspirations and tasks, only to get dumped into a Kafkaesque trap of  stupidity, laziness, and human error magnified  to hellish proportions by automation and computers.
And I have gone from angry to very angry to totally pissed off to 'wake up in the middle of the night pissed off, and wanting to wring someone's goddamn neck'.
And I can not get any assistance with this crap at all.

Post office don't give a shit. 
Let's hope for better news by next week.