Day: June 29, 2017

I Love a Good Mystery

I love a good mystery.  Even more, I love it when the human female is mystified.  I try to make her life a little more surreal each and every day.

Take yesterday, for example.  One of her Tech II’s brought her a note hand-written on notebook paper, saying that a box of duct tape from Smiling River in South America arrive with no packing slip, so here was a receipt.  The human female was quite puzzled, because she hadn’t ordered any tape.  She asked the Tech if she had ordered it.  No, Other Tech wrote the note.  Well, did Other Tech order it?  First Tech wasn’t sure, as Other Tech was out sick.

The human female then asked Office Workers 1 and 2 if they had ordered it, since they are generally in charge of office supplies, and duct tape is sort of an office supply item, if you kind of squint.

Blank stares.

So today, the human female has asked Other Tech the following questions:

  1.  Did you order duct tape?
  2.  If you did, did you use the credit card or a purchase order or what?
  3.  Why not just buy the stuff at the store, like a normal person?

Other Tech has responded  “No”, “see above”, and “well, duh, that’s what I do”, respectively.   So the mystery remains!

Well, let’s just see if we can get to the bottom of this.

Here is the box in question.  I’ve decided it’s not so much a smile in the logo as a snarky little smirk.

I approve.


Let’s just have a little look, here.


Sure enough, four rolls of duct tape, no packing, no packing slip.  Just Tape in a Box.


No clues here.


Let’s examine the label for hints.

Well, here’s our first problem.  This isn’t even a correctly-formatted  university address.  The university doesn’t use street addresses, and there’s no internal mail stop number.


The human female is now running the tracking number on Unrepentant Package Squashers’ website.  Ha!  She has learned that it was signed for in the departmental stockroom.  How it made it there with that garbled address is anyone’s guess.

Now she is emailing Detroit Tool and Supply to see if they can cough up a PO number or a name on a credit card or something, because seriously—someone ordered this stuff and is probably wondering where it is.

Oh, look.  There is another shipping label underneath the first one.  How very odd…


On this label, there is the name of a professor in the Chemistry Department, along with another improperly formatted, incomplete university address.  Note that the Chemistry Department is on the other side of this very large campus from where the human female resides.  The two departments do not share finances, personnel,  stockrooms, or other facilities.

Armed with this name, the human female has looked up this professor and emailed her to see if, by some chance, she has ordered some smirky duct tape.

Return email:  No, I have not ordered any duct tape, smirky or otherwise.  Let me ask around, because duct tape sounds like a Thing One Of Us Might Do.

Copied on email:  Hey, Chemistry Staff, did any of you order any duct tape?

Copied on email:  (chorus of “not I!”)

Copied on email from Chemistry Purchasing Agent:  Yes, YOU, “J”!   You asked me to order some duct tape for you and I did.  So there.

Email to Chemistry Professor:  Come and get your stoopid tape.

Okay, okay.  The human female, who was a bloodhound in a former life (and who still looks like one, especially first thing in the morning), has solved my little mystery.  She figured it out.  Am I disappointed?  By no means!  Because, all told, this has WASTED a good forty minutes or more of productive time, and she has NOTHING to show for it!

My job here is done.

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