Monday, April 29, 2013

My Bizarre Life

Maybe a month ago a nice young lady from Ohio--I'll call her Katie--ordered a copy of Tea and Trouble Brewing.

I took a white bubble-padded envelope that had contained a book I ordered from Amazon, then I scribbled out the old address label, tucked Tea & Trouble inside, folded in the excess, and slid it all into a nice yellow envelope.

I addressed and return-addressed the yellow envelope and sent it off, media mail.

A few weeks later I got something odd in the mail.  It was the white padded envelope, still open on one end, with my book inside.  I decided the package must have been damaged in transit and they salvaged enough of my scribbled-out address off the label on the old envelope to send it back to me.

There was no sign of the yellow envelope.

I sent Katie another book right away.

Today I got an email from Katie.

Hi Dorcas,
I did receive the book you sent me on Saturday; thanks a lot! I ordered all four of your books for my mom for Mother's Day, and made sure to order them early enough so I could "proofread" them before I give them. =). . .

Actually the reason I'm emailing you though is because I got another package in the mail today from you, with two bottles of pills (Simvastatin and Levothyroxine). I'm sure they were sent to me by accident. Do you want me to mail them back to you or to another person? 

What in the whole world was this all about??  I have never taken either medication in my life.  How could they have showed up in an envelope from ME??
Or was I going crazy, forgetting my meds and mailing pills to strangers?
I wrote back:
I have NO idea what is with those pills!
Were they in a taped-up yellow envelope??  Because this is what happened with your book:
I wanted to pad it so I got a white bubble-padded envelope that had been sent to me from Amazon.  I put my book in there and then slipped that into a yellow envelope.  A while later I got the book back in the white padded envelope, and the yellow one was nowhere to be seen.  I had scribbled out the address on the white one but somehow they got it back to me anyhow.
I'm wondering if a batch of packages got run over or something and they patched things together the best they could and stuck the pills in the yellow envelope and sent them to you?? Was there an invoice in it, or any indication where it was from?? [Besides me??!!}

She replied:
 No, there isn't any invoice or other paper, but the label on the bottle has an address and phone number of a pharmacy, and the doctor's name as well as the name of the patient, so if they're not yours I'll try calling the pharmacy and I figure they'll be able to tell me what to do with them. And yes they're in a taped-up yellow envelope and it looks kinda torn and re-taped, so I'm guessing too it happened in the mail somewhere. My sister and I shrieked with laughter when we opened the package because we thought you had sent them to me by mistake!! too bad. =)
I wrote back:
Well I am glad it gave you some amusement but rather embarrassing to think you thought....well never mind....but seriously i could see myself doing that so I will now be quiet.
Yes, by all means contact the pharmacy.
[Simvastatin and Levothyroxine]

 Katie said:
Ok I called the pharmacy and they are sending me a return label, so it's all straightened out. Thanks for your help! And don't be embarrassed... I do stuff like that all the time. In fact, recently after I signed in to my gmail account on an iPad at Best Buy then couldn't figure out how to sign out again, and then wildly waved at a man in McDonalds that I thought was somebody I knew, my best friend told me she thinks my purpose in life is to do dumb stuff to brighten people's days! So I laugh with them and life is a little brighter for all of us. It's just nice when other people do things that are slightly low IQ too sometimes, so I feel better about myself. Anyhow, I did get a laugh out of this whole situation and hopefully Mr. X will get his Simvastatin and Levothyroxine soon. (hahaha)

I thought that was a happy ending to a very bizarre story.  Feeling the need to share it, I posted about it on Facebook.  Not five minutes later, Emily came in the front door and said, "Do you know we have crop circles in the front yard??


 No, that's not supposed to look like an alien face, with my shadow and all.
Face or not, it's still creepy.
I brought up the subject at the supper table.  Steven smiled to himself.  Maybe this one is easily solved.

Then, since life happens in threes, we have the case of the sheet music.

I will post the email I finally wrote after great frustration and far too many emails and phone calls [more than I documented here] hoping to catch the attention of a live person who would resolve this once and for all.

Dear Sirs:
You are I are developing a long and painful history, and one more chapter has been added to the saga.
Synopsis of chapters:
1. At the behest of my children, I ordered a booklet of music in March.
2. Two days later, the children said they don't need it after all.
3. The booklet arrived.  I sent you an email saying, "Can I return it unopened and be refunded?"
4. You sent me a stock email that did not answer my question.
5. I returned it unopened.
6. I received an email wondering about this.
7. I called and talked to a woman who may or may not have been irritated with me.  I thought we got it all figured out.  The flowers bloomed and life was good.
8. The plot thickens: A second package arrived in the mail from Sheet Music Plus.
9.  I thought it might be a ticket to Cancun, since I am such a valued customer.  Or at least a Starbucks gift card.  Instead, it was yet another copy of the sheet music I had originally ordered. With a bill.
10. I called about this.  A nice gentleman told me he'd email a return form.
11. Which he did.  I returned the package.
12.  My husband reviewed his Visa bill and discovered that we were charged for sheet music on March 13th and this was never refunded.
13. He was not happy.
14. Neither was I.
How will the story end?  With a happy sigh and sunshine and laughter and balanced Visa bills?  Or with ongoing chapters of frustration and despair, of darkness and gloom and packages of sheet music doomed to forever passing in the mail?
The story waits.  It is for you to decide.
Dorcas Smucker
 I sent it to every email address I could find on their site.

I received the following replies, both from THE SAME GUY.  [Unless "Kevin" is a trademark name like Betty Crocker.]

Thank you for contacting Sheet Music Plus.
Our records show that your inquiry has been addressed by one of our Customer Service Representatives. We thank you for contacting us and hope that everything has been resolved.
If not, please do not hesitate to contact us again.
Customer Service
Thank you for keeping us informed. The order was returned to us and resent. I guess at some point an error was made. You have not been charged in any way. We have already refunded you for the item. Please keep or donate the item as you see fit.
We look forward to helping you with your sheet music needs in the future.
Let us know if we can be of further assistance.

Customer Service
I am thinking:
Dear Kevin: You are mistaken.  I have indeed been charged "in any way."  And I cannot "keep or donate the item" because I returned it to you.
I was ready to have He Who Pays the Visa Bill call and resolve this, since the stories usually end abruptly, three or four chapters quicker, when he calls instead of me.
However, he just checked online and the charge has been refunded.
We are very happy with this development.
All the same, I think I'll go hide in the bedroom for a few days with a tinfoil hat on my head.
Mrs. Smucker
p.s. You were supposed to laugh at my story, or at least smile.

Later: Steven says, "I was just messing around with the mower, seeing how low the blades could go."


  1. Hi Dorcas,

    Very funny... enjoyable to read... all three back-to-back, strange episodes! If it is appropriate and not too personal, let us know why Steven "smiled to himself." That's got to be another interesting story in itself. Thanks for sharing your life in the shoe with us.

  2. HAHA - Love the title, how appropriate. My first thought was, I thought only pharmacies can send drugs through the mail, but then again, what do I know, and at this point I'm not sure anyone knows a whole lot of anything about that package. Too funny! And I'm with Ruby (above) - I'd love to know about the crop circles. Spill it, Steven.

  3. I did chuckle. Your experience with the sheetmusic guys sounds so familiar. I loved what you said about the guy who pays the bill calling them. So familiar. :-), I usually have to get my unmarried son to do that kind of trick for me, for some odd reason, it usually involves him anyway. We have gone around and around with Dell's service tech somewhere in India and we can't understand his lingo. :-) Ah such is life. Kim

  4. I'd say Steven was spray painting something...
    Little wonder the PO is having $$problems. Sending stuff to the wrong people in re-taped packages. scary
    I love your way of contacting customer time try poetry maybe they will actually pay attention.

  5. Methinks that we are not the only family that has managed to kill the lawn by shaving it a bit too low in a spot or two... I'll bet Steven made his experiment right next to the front walk, where everyone walks to get to the front door, too; right?

    Hopefully no one decides to try my experiment a few years back, and pour a canner full of boiling water on the lawn beside the deck. That section of grass took three years to come back...

  6. Very strange.
    My mom placed an order for animal medications from a legitimate online pet medication/supplies store awhile back. She tracked the package from the midwest until it reached Portland, where it sat for days. She paid for 2-day shipping on it. After awhile, the tracker said it was lost in transit at the sorting facility. We figured someone must have stolen them.