Christin Milloy:

Rise up and seize equality

Dear UPS: You Fail to Deliver

TO: UPS Canada
1022 Champlain Avenue
Burlington, ON L7L 0C2

Dear Sir, Madam, or Gentleperson,

With regret, it is my somber duty to inform you that the man who serves my condominium building, in the capacity of UPS delivery person, is a douchenozzle ignoramus extraordinaire.

I’ve spoken to a few of my fellow residents, and several of the staff in my building. All of the evidence presently available to me indicates that your delivery man is either unable or unwilling to carry out his delivery duties to the basic level of our collective expectation (specifically, “delivery”).

Picture of a door with a UPS delivery failure notice affixed.

Behold, my indeliverance

In a managed condominium such as the one in which our story is set, it is customary to leave a package with the 24 hour concierge security staff located in the lobby, in the admittedly unlikely event that a resident with a full time day job might fail to anticipate UPS, taking the requisite sick day in order to fulfil the implied obligation to your delivery man by remaining present in their home on a weekday afternoon.

Like a ghost, he appears each day at the same time and stalks the corridors… retracing the same steps, over and over, as if he were a living, breathing, genuine delivery man. And yet, he remains perpetually unable to complete his previously unfinished business. At each door he visits, he leaves behind (in lieu of ectoplasmic slime) not a package… But merely his sticky paper tag, that telltale echo of his passing, sure to throw a chill up the spine of any resident who returns to look upon it.

Concierge security are the heroes of our story. They act as agents, duly authorized by residents to accept packages by means of a contract for release (my signature is on file at the front desk). Security has explained this process to the UPS guy more than once. I have even left him handwritten notes, taped to my front door, theorizing on the basis that this appears to be one method of communication with which I can be certain he’s familiar. But all this, tragically, has been to no avail: The man in the brown shirt claiming to be your delivery man simply won’t cooperate.

This creates a problem for me as a client of UPS, a problem which I do not experience when dealing with your major competitors for my package delivery business, specifically FedEx, Purolator, my girlfriend’s backpack, and even Canada Post (who have grown wildly successful despite their status as a Crown corporation, potentially due to their controversial practice of actually delivering the parcels and letters entrusted to their care).

As a direct consequence of the shenanigans wrought upon our building by the aforementioned UPS cosplayer in your employ (and I hesitate to continue using the term delivery man in the absence of actual evidence to suggest completed deliveries), your brand “UPS”has grown into a dirty word amongst our residents and security staff.

The practice of having staff at a reception desk sign for package delivery is a concept neither bizarre, novel, nor outlandish. It’s an established cultural standard, and a regular component of their jobs. I see no difference in this context between our concierge, and the reception staff at my primary place of employment, who are consistently able to take delivery from a more enlightened iteration of your delivery man on a very regular basis. The condo is a corporation, and the concierge security guards are our paid staff.

These honourable men (and sometimes women) in maroon personify our front line of defense against the occasionally treacherous world beyond those automatic glass doors, and they usually offer us their service with a smile… Until somebody mentions that most devious of characters, the clear antagonist in our story, UPS guy, invariably provoking a grimace, a frown, or an eyeroll from our tastefully blazered gents. His all-too-familiar antics, the bane of the embroidered badge.

“He has his particular way that he likes to do things, and it doesn’t seem to matter what we tell him,” says Andrew, one of our daytime security guys. Andrew is quite friendly and adorable, with a kind of a mustache thing going on. It remains unclear to me why the UPS guy feels it’s necessary to disrespect Andrew in any way, or me by extension, since Andrew is working as my representative to your company in this case.

I am given to understand, from closely studying the text imprinted on your minion’s adhesive leavings, that the methodology underpinning your delivery system revolves around “the attempt.” The crux of the issue with this particular employee seems to rest upon that critical moment when he considers that the threshold of the attempt has been reached (which seems to occur at some point between the first and second knock upon the suite door). He then fills in the slip, performs a digital enchantment of some kind, and then opts to depart with my undelivered goods: A clear case of premature package migration, compounded by his failure to be sensitive and considerate to the needs of his partner in this exchange. I am not a difficult woman to please, and I’ve clearly communicated my desires and boundaries to him on a number of occasions… yet still he only seems to care about his own experience of delivery.

If one of our security staff happens to catch him on his way out of the building (for he never conscientiously seeks them out), they receive from him… not my package, but a shrug, and (I imagine) a mischievous grin as he explains that “the attempt” has already been made. And then, poor Andrew’s mustache contorted to a frown, he watches powerless as the UPS man arrogantly marches off with an armload of other people’s things, like some kind of disgruntled reverse-Santa.

The net result is that I or my associates have had to retrieve my UPS packages from his obscure lair far more often than I’ve actually seen them delivered to me. Or, they end up unceremoniously sent back from whence they started, like the little sister in any vintage commercial for Popomatic Trouble. Those are, indeed, troubling outcomes when I consider that I have paid money for (what is ostensibly) a delivery service.

I have read online that UPS opted to change their slogan to “We (heart) Logistics” in 2010. I can see where you’re coming from with that: I concede that handheld barcode scanners (being somewhat reminiscent of the Tricorders from Star Trek: The Next Generation) do seem exciting, and I can imagine how the adhesive delivery failure notices must be as fun to deploy as they are devastating to receive. On the other hand, I have learned from Wikipedia that the “PS” in UPS is meant to stand for “Parcel Service.”

Kindly look into this.


Christin Milloy

One Comment

  1. Becky
    Sunday, 2015.07.19 at 12:42

    I have to say, although I expected this to be an article about trans* issues, I was not disappointed. I really hope the person(s) who received this letter was as amused as I was. You’re such a clever writer! Still chuckling at: “I am not a difficult woman to please, and I’ve clearly communicated my desires and boundaries to him on a number of occasions… yet still he only seems to care about his own experience of delivery.” lol

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Christin Milloy