Wednesday was my last day of work at Adobe, and I spent most of the day packing up my computers and peripherals. Since I'd received my PC laptop and two monitors from my new job on Tuesday, as I removed and packed the old equipment, I set up the new. Good LORD the new monitors are huge.

clearing space for one of the monitors first monitor in, powerbook being packed old monitor and PC packed, new PC in place new monitor, new PC

When I finally finished packing, around 9pm, I had 9 boxes. (Luckily Al had the foresight to save the original boxes for all the computers and the monitor.) I printed out all the prepaid FedEx shipping labels Adobe was kind enough to e-mail me, and then tried to figure out how to arrange for a pickup. I quickly figured out that arranging for pickup would mean staying tied to the house all day Thursday, however, when I had planned to spend the afternoon doing stuff with the Beaner. I skipped the pickup option and figured I'd just take the boxes to FedEx myself.

There's a FedEx/Kinko's store 3 blocks from here, but getting the packages to the store was harder than one might imagine. I considered using my granny cart or the Beaner's wagon to tow them over there, but either would have required at least three trips, as the monitor box alone took up the entire wagon (and wouldn't fit in the granny cart at all). I finally decided, reluctantly, to drive, even though that would mean a longer trip due to one-way streets.

After wedging all the boxes in the back of our car (it has quite a bit of cargo space, but less than our old car had), I realized that it probably would have taken at least 5 trips with the wagon to get all the boxes to the store... and I started wondering how I was going to get all the boxes *into* the store in one go, considering that it took me four trips to load up the car. I figured I'd just park in front of the store and ask for a cart of some sort.

It was only when I made it around the corner onto Market Street that I realized there were no parking options in front of the FedEx store—only bus stop, a tow-away zone (because the buses need room to get around the corner), and a No Stopping Anytime taxi stand. Past the taxi stand, and really too far to walk with all those boxes anyway, all the parking spots were full.

I ended up pulling over by Trader Joe's and pulling out my iPhone to try to find another FedEx counter at which to drop my packages. The search was fruitless, however; the results were similar to those of a search for Starbucks (namely, there was a FedEx location on practically every corner, but none with parking options). I remembered that there was an office somewhere near Grays Ferry Road, but I couldn't remember if it was FedEx Ground or FedEx Express, and it wasn't clear how to get it to come up in the search (search by city instead of Zip Code?).

After about 10 minutes, I gave up and drove the circuitous route back to the front of the FedEx/Kinko's, parked in the taxi stand, and put on my flashers. I ran into the store and almost tripped over a FedEx employee who was crouched in front of the packing supplies table, restocking. "Can I help you?" he asked. Woo! Helpfulness! IN PHILLY! "Yes!" I replied. "I've got 9 rather large boxes in my car outside. Do you have a cart or something with which to bring them in?"

"No," he replied, and walked away. OK, *there's* the surly attitude I was expecting! Whew.

I went back out to the car and began the tedious process of bringing in 2-3 boxes at a a time. The monitor had to come in by itself, so I think I made a total of 4 trips, maybe 5. By the time I was finished there were boxes stacked all around the gentleman who couldn't decide how he wanted to send his package and was therefore in my way. While I waited I managed to flag down the unhelpful clerk and ask for 9 of those clear envelopes that hold the shipping labels and proceeded to match up labels with packages.

By the time I was finished, so was the waffling gentleman. The other clerk then weighed and scanned each package and gave me a receipt, and I was able to dash back out to my car a final time. No ticket on the windshield, woo! (When I called Al to tell him the story, I ended with, "and I didn't get a ticket!", to which he replied, "that you know of." RIGHT. Here in Philly, if a parking inspector spots you parked illegally and starts making out a ticket for you but is either too lazy to put it on your windshield or doesn't get an opportunity because you pull away from your illegal spot before s/he's done, you find out about the ticket only when you get a notice in the mail that you're being fined an extra $20 in addition to the amount of the original ticket for not paying the original ticket, which you didn't know about.)

OK, so TRIP TO FEDEX SUCCESSFUL, as far as I knew. After a quick shower, I had about an hour before the Beaner got out of camp in which to set up my new PC and try to get some preliminary work done for my new job.

After the Beaner pickup, we hung out for a bit at home, talked about what he'd done at camp, and then called Al to see if he wanted to meet for lunch. He did, so we walked over to Al's building and had a pleasant lunch in its new upscale food court.

After lunch we spent about an hour reading books (and buying three of them) at Borders, and then we stopped for coffee on the way home. On our arrival back at the house, I noticed a FedEx envelope on the floor by the mail slot, and as I usually do, I opened the front door to see if the mailman had left any packages wedged in the storm door.

You know what I found, right? A FedEx notice that a delivery was attempted, and that I could retrieve my package at 3600 Grays Ferry Road. Well, at least I knew the address of the place now, and that it was a FedEx Express facility. Oh, and the fact that a MacBook was waiting for me there was some consolation as well.

I'll just sit here until you're done

Posted by Lori in work at 12:33 PM on August 10, 2008


Oh how I loathed trying to send and receive packages in Philadelphia. Your story is the EXACT reason why. UPS is even worse than FedEx...

Posted by: Megan at August 11, 2008 9:08 AM

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