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  1. #41
    Rooting for the Underdogs
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    If at all possible, I always tend to go with USPS for shipping packages. Out of the USPS, UPS, and FedEx, I've had the best luck with the USPS over the years. Plus, if you're shipping books or dvds, you just can't beat the price for media mail. If I must, I'll go with FedEX over UPS after a certain incident in 2003.

    My younger sibling had interned in NYC that summer and had taken the small microwave I'd had in my dorm room in college. As the sibling's internship was finishing up at the end of summer, I was moving out of the apartment I lived in my first year of grad school and into a new place. Neither the new roommate nor I had a microwave, so instead of shipping the original microwave back to our parents, my sibling just sent it on to me.

    The microwave traveled all the way across country and made it to my town. Rather than deliver it (they claimed they tried, but they never left even one of those notes on the door that they'd been there and would try on another day) they put it back on a truck and sent it to the return address (my parents address). We had been watching the tracking and knew what was going on. We called and told them that the package had made it to my town, had been turned around before being delivered, and could they please send it back my way. It made it nearly my parents before they turned the package back around again and sent it 2000 miles back to me. This time it was delivered. The package was horribly, horribly mangled. I pulled the microwave out of the box and it was dented. I plugged it up and put something in it. It started emitting sparks.

    Ok. Fine. The package had been insured, so I called UPS about filing a claim. I explained the situation. They told me that my sibling would have to physically go back to the UPS store in NYC that the mircowave had been shipped from to file a claim. By this point (the shipping the microwave back and forth across the country had taken several weeks), my sibling was already back in school in LA. We explained that my sibling had done an internship in NYC, was 3000 miles away from the said store, and that going in person was out of the question. We asked if there was something else we could do. We were told that we were out of luck and nothing could be done... The whole sitution was just ridiculous, as was the unwillingness of anyone we spoke to about the matter to be able to figure out a way to file our insurance claim. Seriously, was it really necessary for someone to physically go back to the store, especially since my sibling and I were 3000 miles away and our parents 1000 miles away?

    Since that point, UPS has been my last choice in shipping.

  2. #42

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    Like politics, it is all local. I hated the USPS when I lived in California. The carrier would leave notes telling me I had a package or certified mail rather than walking up a flight of stairs and knocking on my door, thus requiring me to make a trip to the post office that typically involved at least an hour and a half. Unnecessarily. And the requirement that I deal with slow clerks who epitomized the ones in the FedEx ads that FedEx got such grief about.

    Here in Colorado I have a fabulous mail carrier -- a real gem -- but my local P.O. is a PITA because it isn't staffed at all rationally and they've got some grumps. I choose to drive five miles to get to another post office that is smaller and that has much more pleasant employees and a much lower chance of being stuck in a twenty minute line.

    But I've quit using the USPS to ship packages, unless they have to go to a PO Box. I love being able to print mailing labels on plain paper and insert them in the plastic sleeve for FedEx ground, and I really love being able to waltz in to my local Fedex/kinkos (open 24 hours a day) and simply drop the package on the counter and leave. Way, way less grief than the post office, and then I get emails automatically telling me when the package has been delivered, and emails if the package has some kind of shipping irregularity, perhaps due to weather problems. And if there is a problem, the FedEx customer service folks are pretty helpful, unlike the USPS customer service folks, who are close to as annoying as some of the Indian customer service representatives.

  3. #43
    drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karina1974 View Post
    That's one good reason why unions should be abolished. When you've got union protection and it will take pulling teeth and nails to get rid of you, you will be more lax at your job. Same with tenure. Every single "perk" of a job, including the right to keep that job, should be based entirely on merit and job performance, not on how long a person has been with the company.
    I know you said "should", but you do realize that seniority benefits are widespread outside of union jobs, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Karina1974 View Post
    Not if they are performing the job the way it's supposed to be done, and putting enough focus and determination into doing every task as though their life depended on it, and beating themselves up if they make a mistake, and making note not to make that same mistake again.
    Oh the drama!

    Sorry, but if I had an employee who handled every task like their life depended on it and beat themselves up over every mistake, I would be looking for a reason to get rid of them. Focus and accuracy are always going to be assets, but anyone that tightly wound is bound to be a real PITA. It's more important that someone be able to prioritize their tasks and move through mistakes.
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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    I know you said "should", but you do realize that seniority benefits are widespread outside of union jobs, right?
    Yes, but rarely are they able to enforce it the way union contracts will. With private-sector, non-union jobs, you can make cuts and layoffs based on performance, or simply on who it makes the most economic sense to terminate. Unions? Seniority rules. Fortunately the day is coming they're going to break that, especially for teachers unions, and be able to lay off based on performance so they can keep the ones actually doing a good job.


    Sorry, but if I had an employee who handled every task like their life depended on it and beat themselves up over every mistake, I would be looking for a reason to get rid of them. Focus and accuracy are always going to be assets, but anyone that tightly wound is bound to be a real PITA. It's more important that someone be able to prioritize their tasks and move through mistakes.
    This is also true. There's a difference between doing your job well and realizing that some things are more important than others, even at work. The only people where even ALMOST every task is a life or death decision are medical personnel and veterinarians.

  5. #45
    drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    Yes, but rarely are they able to enforce it the way union contracts will. With private-sector, non-union jobs, you can make cuts and layoffs based on performance, or simply on who it makes the most economic sense to terminate. Unions? Seniority rules. Fortunately the day is coming they're going to break that, especially for teachers unions, and be able to lay off based on performance so they can keep the ones actually doing a good job.
    And often those with the most seniority are the ones let go first in the name of "economic sense", with little to no regard to performance. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. There are slackers in all areas of the workforce, people who are rewarded for subpar performance, and the wrong people are often the first to go during layoffs whether there's a union involved or not.

    This is also true. There's a difference between doing your job well and realizing that some things are more important than others, even at work. The only people where even ALMOST every task is a life or death decision are medical personnel and veterinarians.
    and air traffic controllers...there are actually a lot of jobs that involve constant careful attention, but those are specialized industries.
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  6. #46
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    Well, I feel I need to say something in defense of unions.

    Yes, I have a union job, but work very hard, and pay fairly high dues to the union.

    For myself, I do a lot of work that is not in my classification because that is just who I am, and I know many others who do the same. Many union workers are very proud of the job they do. Unfortunately there are some that do the bare minimum and hide behind the union rules to slack off, knowing the union will protect them. Which is actually a fairly small number. And believe me, I have seen this first hand and absolutely hate that part of being in a union. The reason I think it looks like a bigger problem is the ones who take advantage of the protection are the ones who make the news.

    I also worked at a non-union job, and it was miserable. With no protection, the employer was free to take advantage of some of the employees however he saw fit. There was one set of rules that applied to some of the workers (two hour lunches, not following safety rules etc), some that applied to the rest of us. I was expected to answer the phones and work my lunch because we were such a small company. One day he wanted me to pick up cigarette butts because the Fire Marshall was on the way for an inspection. (Did I mention this was a printing company with hundreds of flammable inks & thinners that some employees were allowed to smoke while using?) Then my boss, the owner felt that since I was just sitting there anyway, answering the phone wasn’t really “working” so I should take my lunch at my workstation so I didn’t miss any calls. Mind you my work station was also surrounded by chemicals so that I didn’t feel comfortable having anything to eat. We did not receive fair wages for the work we were doing. And yes, I did try to report what was going on to the authorities, but nothing was done and then my job got even worse. (I got out of there as fast as I could)

    That said, I think there should be more accountability for union workers (I am all for it!). No one should keep a job simply because they are protected by a union.

    The biggest problem is in some industries they are a necessity to make sure people are protected. If companies would be responsible and fair to all employees and follow necessary safety rules that would be great. I just don’t see them doing it when the greed of a bigger profit margin is in sight.

    Okay…I will get off my soapbox now.

    Back to the topic at hand.

    I have had good and bad experiences with USPS, UPS & FedEx. (I was a shipping and receiving clerk for 16 years)
    Recently my complaint has been with the post office. We send out Airport Directories to all airplane owners every year with updated information and had no major problems until this year.

    This year they have a new machine (they laid of 50 employees that used to do the job) that sorts all small packages and we have had so many packages come back empty. This has never happened before. They have even been delivering the empty packages to the recipient and they asking them for postage due because of the special handling (they put the envelope into a plastic bag that states it is empty!!! DUH!). When I called them to complain, they had every excuse in the book as to why it is not their fault the packages are damaged. Um..they were just fine when they left here on their trucks.
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  7. #47
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    Yeah, if we could just get rid of those stinking unions, things would be great. I'd love to work in a factory for 12 hours at a whack for a few hundred a month. Seven days a week would be awesome too. It'd be like back to the 1880s! What could go wrong?

    As for the topic of the thread, my experience with UPS and USPS has been pretty unremarkable. I think it's the luck of the draw.

  8. #48
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    I've been tracking a package shipped by FedEx, yesterday the package made it to my town and this was the updated message: Arrived at local Post Office - Allow one to two additional days for delivery. One of the boxes next to it was USPS. Is the norm for deliveries where a signature isn't required? I've never noticed? I was happy that it was being shipped FedEx, now I'm disappointed that it's being delivered by the USPS.

    I do agree though that it is not just limited to the company, but has to do with the individual carrier, or maybe a whole local group maybe as far as deliveries go.

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by zhenya271 View Post
    I've been tracking a package shipped by FedEx, yesterday the package made it to my town and this was the updated message: Arrived at local Post Office - Allow one to two additional days for delivery. One of the boxes next to it was USPS. Is the norm for deliveries where a signature isn't required? I've never noticed? I was happy that it was being shipped FedEx, now I'm disappointed that it's being delivered by the USPS.

    I do agree though that it is not just limited to the company, but has to do with the individual carrier, or maybe a whole local group maybe as far as deliveries go.
    That's FedEx Smart Post service, not FedEx Home Delivery. Smart Post is subcontracted to USPS for delivery. Companies like Amazon and Sears will send a pallet of shipments via FexEx, and they will be broken down at a USPS hub. Sometimes, you'll be able to track the pallet as it makes its way near you, buy you won't be able to track the last steps.

    Home Delivery stays with FedEx the whole time.
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  10. #50
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    Thanks, Aceon! It was Lancome. It was was also free shipping, so I guess, I can't really complain.

  11. #51

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    Had my another fun experience today with UPS again. I had ordered a new console table for our living room through Kirklands. It was a sale that I couldn't resist and they didn't have it in stock at the store.

    I will admit that it arrived two days before I expected it. However, when it arrived there was a huge hole in the box and the packages of screws, nails, etc. were hanging out of the box. My favorite part was that it was leaned up against the front door to the point that I couldn't open the door. I had to go back outside and try to move the box so I could get the door open and get the box in the house. No such luck...it was so heavy that I almost pulled something trying to move it. So I'm sitting on my steps thinking that I'll call my hubby when I look at the diagram on the box and see that it is not what I ordered. It was a dresser and not the console table. So I'm about to get mad at Kirklands when I see it isn't my name or address either. It is my neighbor about half a mile down the road. So I call her and find out that sure enough my console table is there. Our husbands got to switch the packages when they got home.

    I tried calling UPS, but first they told me that I would have to talk to the shipper. I explained that the shipper was right and that UPS had mixed the packages up. She told me that she could "start an investigation" but that it would take 3-5 days to have someone out to remove the package. So I was supposed to have a box blocking my front door for up to five days? Thank goodness for the hubbies.

  12. #52

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    Many moons ago before the electronic delivery system scanners now used by the Big 3, UPS delivered a big screen TV to our sorority house that some neighbor won in a sweepstakes. We were SO tempted to pawn the darn thing because it was state of the art back in the 80's. But we tracked down the guy even though there would have been NO trace of it coming to our house!
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  13. #53
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    I was at my parents' house today and got there before they got back from my mother's surgery follow-up appointment. While I was waiting for them, USPS rang the doorbell, dropped a package and took off before I came to the door.

    So much for the notion that they do better than UPS.

  14. #54
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    I have had good and bad experiences with UPS, USPS and FedEx. I really do appreciate my mail carrier, though. He is friendly, courteous and best of all, reliable! The Post Office staff where I live is the same. The service I receive at home is so much better than at my office, when some days, the mail is not delivered at all!

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    I was at my parents' house today and got there before they got back from my mother's surgery follow-up appointment. While I was waiting for them, USPS rang the doorbell, dropped a package and took off before I came to the door.

    So much for the notion that they do better than UPS.
    Unless a signature is required, that's how USPS, UPS and FedEx all do it here.

    I'm another whose had almost all good and a few bad experiences with all three.
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

  16. #56
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    The only one I've ever had a major problem with is DHL.
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