I’m a bit of a moron on most occasions, especially occasions that call for me to step up and be a man. Wait! No! Not a man but a MAN (all caps in case you were wondering). Being a MAN in my book means using your head (the one on your neck). Wow, none of this sounds wonderful, but I’ll get to my point eventually.
Shipping and Handling are big MAN words. Men ship. They also handle. They charge for these services – shipping & handling. They go together. Like cream & coffee or sex & violence. I ordered a pair of microphones from Radio Shack. I like (or rather, liked) Radio Shack for a very long time. They had everything. Nowadays (what with the kids today and their hula-hoops, and rap music, and the ice cream), the stores are bare. They’re still (oddly) good for shortwave radio supplies, but you’d be damned if you could find video coaxial cable ( a popular item with me many years ago), RF transmitters, blank video-tape or discs or flash drives. They don’t sell stereos anymore, just those stupid 7.1 surround systems.
So, you have to go online. You go to the web-site, and they tell you everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) is available. In stock! Great. Except they’re not being entirely truthful here, and God forbid you get confirmation that an item is available in a store near you, ’cause it just ain’t true. This happened on a recent trip to Best Buy. After I had confirmed that an item was in stock at that particular store, I go to the store and blammo! Not in stock on their precious computers!
Of course, nobody has these microphones I want so I order them from Radio Shack because – according to the site, they’re in stock. In stock where, exactly? Is it a warehouse down by the docks, guarded by Big Men With Batons & Tasers and foamy-mouthed German Shepherds as far as the eye can see? This is what I picture in my head.
Now some time between the initial entering of information (names, credit cards, security codes), the choice of shipping preference (butt-slow or super-fast), and then … finally … placing my order, I find that the item has mysteriously gone out-of-stock. NO! What the … ? As of this writing, Radio Shack had filed for bankruptcy, so it makes sense something would be out-of-stock, and that would eventually cancel the order, but a “heads-up” would’ve been nice. Just sayin’.
I will miss Radio Shack. As I said in a podcast, it was the one store where I knew I could buy 50 feet of coaxial so I could steal cable back in the old days. I wonder where all the video pirates and shortwave radio enthusiasts are going to shop for their respective needs. Probably Amazon. Oh well, not my problem.
I chose “super-ultra-ridiculously-fast” shipping ’cause I really wanted that damned microphone, but then I went back after seeing the thing was out-of-stock, and chose “box-strapped-to-an-autistic-tortoise’s back shipping”. I figured I might as well wait anyway, so why should I pay for the atomic speed?
Maybe I don’t understand “premium” services, “premium” options. I assume that you take two boxes, filled with the same merchandise, mind you, place them in two sets of arms. One set belongs to a flabby, skinny old man, the other to a young, muscular man. The flabby, skinny man is UPS Ground (1 to 5 business days or whenever the hell we feel like it), and the young, muscular turd is UPS “Express Critical” (whatever that is – this is how you transport plutonium or urine samples). I give the old man a lot less money. I give the young man a blank check and off we go.
Strangely enough, you’ll get a predestination paradox kind-of a situation where the slower shipping method is somehow faster than the express shipping method. It’s times like this that the circuitry in the back of my android brain begins to corrode, melt, and then smoke. I turn to the window and see … wait a minute! That looks like my tortoise, yep, oh wait … no never mind, it’s just a flabby old man crawling on his asphalt-scarred belly.
UPDATE: The order from Radio Shack was cancelled (at their request), so I ordered equivalent microphones and accessories from Amazon at “Tortoise Delivery Speed”, received the items in about four days. No fuss, no muss.
Questions? Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org