Saturday, May 7, 2011

In a Holding Pattern

It’s clear paddling trips often involve things with absolutely nothing to do with paddling.  We made two trips to the post office and sat at the mailbox the best part of an hour waiting for the carrier, but still no radio, even though the delivery of the parcel mailed six days ago was a priority.  I learned long ago that it matters little how much importance you place on your affairs in any transaction, or how much money you invest in them.  What matters most is the sense of duty and commitment felt by the person you are investing your business with.  If something isn’t being completed as agreed, and you protest that it was understood to be a priority, watch the response.  If the words and countenance convey a “Yeah?  So?” attitude, your trust and money have been poorly spent.  This is the actual conversation I had with a clerk at our local post office when trying to decide how to send a parcel.  I asked, “How long would it take regular mail to reach that address?”  Answer—“Three to five days.”  “Okay, how long would it take if I paid for priority mail?”  Answer—“Three to five days.”   Now, to be open  and honest, I have to admit a certain simplemindedness  when it comes to the complex affairs of international trade, so I had to ask what appeared to me to be the obvious question.  “If the service time is the same, what’s the difference between regular mail and priority mail?”  Answer—“We charge more for priority mail.”  So here we sit to see what Monday brings.

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