Once upon a time, I used to pronounce UPS as "Oops!". They would knock on your door, then leave one of those delivery notices almost immediately so you wouldn't have a chance to meet them before they drove off. Or if you were (un)lucky enough, they would toss your package onto your balcony, contents be damned. Oops.
To be fair, UPS has really cleaned up its act over the past few years. You can now sign up for UPS My Choice for free and digitally give them a shipping release to leave your packages at your front door so you no longer have to visit their regional center at 8pm to pick them up. Through that service, they also send you email alerts to let you know a package is on its way. From my experience with UPS My Choice, they have never lied about when a package was going to be delivered. And this holiday season I used them a lot. They even delivered my new work computer in two business days just before Christmas -- as promised.
The same can be said about FedEx. They were a frequent visitor to my lair during the past month, and only once did I have a package delivered late. Even then, it was only one day late and it was attributed to the weather delays both companies experienced about two to three weeks ago. So you can imagine how upset I was when I read this poor excuse for journalism hit piece on both companies on MSNBC.com.
Both companies are The Grinch? They are to blame for customers not having a Christmas? Bullshit.
Common sense tells (most of) us that buying last minute gifts via the Internet is a tricky proposition. In order to receive those gifts on time, a lot has to go right. The retailer has to pack and ship the order in a timely manner. The carrier has to pick the merchandise up and deliver during said deadline. The weather also has to cooperate, which rarely happens. The buyer also has to input the correct address and payment information into their computer. Any deviation in that chain of events will cause deliveries to be late.
Maybe Tony Dokoupil and MSNBC should put the blame where it really belongs: consumers and the companies that enabled them to buy at the last minute and overstress these carriers beyond their capacities to service customers?
To read comments written by people who put so much value into the consumerism part of Christmas makes me sad. Christmas should be a time to reflect on what you're thankful for, not what you don't have. If you have a warm home, food on the table and reliable transportation, be thankful you have the basic necessities. There's a lot of people out there who rely on food banks, Section 8 housing, WIC and/or public transportation to get by, and that number is not diminishing. Nor do they care if their precious new tablet/laptop is under the tree on Christmas morning.
This was a great Christmas for me, and I'm grateful since there have been others in recent years that didn't go as well. The holiday season when I had to spend my last $120 to euthanize a beloved pet still haunts me. Then there was the one when I wasn't sure where I was going to live after January 1st, and I had to ask my father for a loan to pay rent -- a loan that I wasn't 100% sure I could pay back as promised. There was one Christmas where I was wrongfully terminated from a job three days prior, and then another one where I didn't get to spend Christmas with anyone. And I'll always remember the holiday season when my mother was in the final stages of terminal cancer and was taken by ambulance to a hospice center on New Year's Eve.
These are some of the reasons why I have no sympathy for those individuals who ordered their gifts online at the last minute and then bitch that the CEO of UPS is getting paid $9 million a year to run the company and had the audacity to let his employees have Christmas off. When you put consumerism and your selfish interests over the true meaning of Christmas, you cease being a Christian in my eyes.
Who cares if a package gets delivered a day or two after Christmas? Whatever happened to "It's the thought that counts"? Or forgiveness?