Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

May 5, 2014

But it seemed so simple ...

ASHLAND — The instructions seemed simple: “Please sign the attached documents and return in the envelope provided.”

I signed, I stuck the papers in the envelope and I sealed it. Then I realized it wasn’t going via the good old U.S. Postal Service. Nope, the return envelope was for FedEx.

Since I regularly receive packages from FedEx at the house, I figured getting that envelope back to the sender would be a snap. I soon found out how wrong I am.

Working in a small town has its challenges, including finding a box to drop the envelope in. I thought I knew where one was, but soon realized it was for UPS packages.

Still, how hard could it be to find one of those boxes, I asked myself. This is modern society where everything is easy.

Uh-huh. I was so wrong.

I stuck the envelope in my car with the intention of driving around Ashland until I found the right box to send it back. But since my house is in a part of town where apparently no one sends anything, I soon forgot about the envelope without a physical reminder. So it stayed in the car as I traveled out of town mid-week, oblivious of the need to get the thing sent back.

On Thursday, I came home to find a duplicate set of papers and return envelope on my doorstep. Apparently the senders were either getting impatient or figured I never got the first one.

Friday, I traveled to the Columbus Zoo with my sonny boy accompanying an elementary school class. I explained that I had to find somewhere to drop the envelope and asked him to keep a lookout for the elusive FedEx box.

We did look along the way, but had no sightings. And quite frankly, by the time we’d walked through that whole big place, returning the papers was at the very bottom of our agenda.

I decided Sunday night to call the next morning and have FedEx pick up the envelope at my office. Easy-peasy, I figured.

Once again, I was so wrong.

I started by looking in the phone book but I couldn’t find the company in the white pages. Or, as it turned out, in the Yellow Pages even though I looked under such headings as “package delivery,” “mail services” and “courier.” So I turned to the Internet in my search to get rid of the darn thing.

A few clicks and I was on the company’s page. I found the place to list my name and address, filled out the form and clicked the button to schedule a pickup.

The immediate response was an error message giving me a phone number to call.

I called. I gave a real, live person the same information I’d put in the computer. After she read it back to me and I confirmed it was all okey-dokey, she gave me a confirmation number and asked how long our office would be open.

She assured me they’d pick it up within the next two days, wished me a good day and that was that.

Maybe an hour later, someone in a FedEx uniform dashed in, picked up the envelope and that was that.

I really hope these are the last papers I have to sign for these people. I’m beginning to think if there are more, it might be easier to just drive them to Illinois myself next time.

CATHIE SHAFFER, editor of The Greenup News, can be reached at cathieshaffer@zoominternet.net

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