The human female orders a lot of glassware. She likes the look and feel of it, and she’s especially enamored of tiny little beakers and flasks (almost as much as Sigyn.) But mostly she orders it because the students are about as neat-fingered as a manatee wearing boxing gloves and they break pounds and pounds of it every year.
Recently she logged into the punchout for the Vendor Who’s Responsible and ordered the following:
- 500 5 milliliter pipettes
- 500 1 milliliter pipettes
- 48 400 milliliter beakers
- 36 600 milliliter beakers
- 4 2000 milliliter beakers (that’s 2 liters, for those of you who are frightened by zeroes)
The glassware has started arriving. The pipettes all seem to be in one piece each. That’s okay. I’ll have my fun later. They break like flimsy toothpicks, especially the little 1 ml ones. Breathe on those funny and– tink! (I think it’s especially fun to make them break off in the pipette pumps. Bonus points if the toxic substance catechol is involved, because then there is PAPERWORK.)
Let’s see how the 400 ml beakers made the trip.
Tsk, tsk. The one I’m standing on is fine, but the one next door, not so much.
Great Frigga’s hairpins! Of the box of 48, FIVE have been smithereenified! That is 10.42% breakage. That is simply unacceptable!
Hmm. The 600 ml beakers are all right. Let’s have a peek at the really big ones.
Ehehehehehe! She ordered one pack of 4. She received 1 case— which is eight, and one of them is BROKEN!
Now she has to try to figure out who owes whom money. Does the Vendor who’s responsible owe her for the five smashed beakers? Does she need to pay for the three superfluous large beakers? It depends on whether they billed her for four big beakers or eight, doesn’t it? You see, she doesn’t have an invoice, she just has the packing slips (plus a mountain of cardboard and a slightly fuller broken glass receptacle.)
If the Vendor Who’s Responsible has billed for all eight of the 2000 ml beakers she only wanted four of, but which she elects to keep, then the Vendor Who’s Responsible needs to adjust the invoice, subtracting the value of the shatterated 400 ml beakers and the now-defunct 2000 ml beaker from the total originally billed.
If, on the other hand, they billed her for four 2000 ml beakers, then she owes the Vendor Who’s Responsible money, even with the broken 400 ml beakers, because those big guys are not cheap. She will have to figure out the value of the crunchy 400 ml beakers and subtract it from the value of the three un-ordered-but-useful-enough-to-want-to-keep 2000 ml beakers and pay the resulting figure—along with the monies due for the four unbroken 2000 ml beakers, the unbroken 400 ml beakers, the 600 ml beakers, and all the pipettes, of course.
If she wants the Vendor Who’s Responsible to replace the five broken 400 ml beakers, it will involve not only math but much Haranguing By Telephone, because the Vendor Who’s Responsible may insist that is is not Responsible, placing the blame squarely on Unrepentant Package Squashers for damage during shipment. (AKA: “They were fine when they left the warehouse.”)
If she doesn’t want to keep all the big beakers, she has to figure out how to return them, though the Vendor Who’s Responsible may not want a less than a full case back. If it’s anything like the Great Glove Fiasco of 2012* they will ask her to return the seven unbroken ones before they will send her just the four she wanted in the first place.
One thing is abundantly clear: She is out of counting fingers. Yes indeed, time for the pencil and paper!
I can hear her brain cramping up from here.
* In that debacle, she ordered four CASES of ten boxes of gloves each and received four BOXES. The Vendor Who’s Responsible insisted that they could not merely send her the missing 36 boxes because their software would not allow them to ship that much “free” product. They insisted that she return the four boxes before they would ship the four cases. I wasn’t around then, but I get a good laugh every time I think about it.