Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Oops Ups!

It's not very often that I regret living in the country. But yesterday was one of those times. Now I would be the first to admit that our cottage is not the easiest of places to locate, having no street address and therefore no number. But it's the same as thousands of other little places in France and, to make life easier, the Marie have thoughtfully placed a diagram in the town square directing the benighted traveller to these out of the way spots.
We can't be that hard to find. The mail man delivers the bills promptly each day, the electricity man comes to check the meter regularly as does the water man and we show up on Google maps.
In fact the only ones unable to locate us seem to be the Jehovah's Witnesses – and United Parcel Service.
UPS deliver stuff far and wide around the globe, day after day, using the latest in modern technology and a fleet of brown vans. But our place has got them beat.
Not for the first time either.
Expecting an important package from the UK, I duly checked the tracking number and viewed its pilgrim's progress, which seems to have been about as fast as Chaucer's lot. Our package arrived on-time overnight in Angers, our nearest city, and was duly loaded onto one of the aforementioned vans and headed south towards us, a mere 25 kms. away. It returned to Angers like a man with his braces caught on a door handle and the tracking log says, plaintively, that the address was insufficient for delivery.
No doubt dismissing the driver as an incompetent fool, it was sent off again the next day presumably with a more seasoned navigator at the helm. It came back to Angers with the same result.
The third time it happened, I suppose they were out of drivers willing to venture once more into what must have been a terra incognita for them, for the tracking log was prompted to say that 'an exception' had occurred, whatever that may mean, and that they would be writing to us.
Remarkably, the letter arrived overnight at the exact same address that UPS were unable to find.
By now I had E-mailed UPS office in Paris, pointing out that we had been at the same address for ten years and that it was the only one we had. Would they like us to move to make things a bit easier for them?
An apologetic reply has been received and I now note that the tracking log of our package says that it is being re-delivered to 'a new address.'
I'm just wondering whose address they are proposing to deliver it to.


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