Unrepentant Package Squashers

Holiday Secrets and Mysteries

It’s very near Yule, and yuletide secrets abound!  What is everyone buying for me? What did the human male buy for the human female this year?  What did the human female get the human male?

Whatever it is…it seems to have gone astray.

where's David's book

Ehehehe!  She ordered four things.  Three of them were sent to a pickup hub rather than the house and arrived just fine last week.  The fourth, not so much.  Between the Large River in South America and Unrepentant Package Squashers, that thing is well and truly lost.  The online tracking is still showing the above.  The latest email the human female has received says, effectively, “Well, this is a tad embarrassing.  We’ll see if we can’t hunt down the package that traveled hundreds of miles and made it all the way to your home city and was out on the truck for delivery—and then vanished.”

She tried calling the Large River, and they said, “Sorry.  Our system shows it could still arrive.  If it hasn’t shown up by the 18th, then we’ll talk.”  How long do you think I can string this out?  New Years?

Another mystery:  Why didn’t they send all four items in one box on the same day instead of two boxes one day apart?  The better to serve you!

That’s not the only parcel that was wandering around out there with the human female’s name on it.  Behold the masterpiece that was the tracking for the gift ordered for the human male’s mother:

Mom’s sweater1

When Fex-Ex hands off to Usually Smashes Parcels Significantly, the results are delicious.

I updated that before it finally did show up:

Mom’s sweater

Three words for you, mortals:  Bricks and mortar.

Will anything arrive in time?  I’m not telling!

>|: [

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Or sometimes you can, it just takes a really, really long time.

All the human female wanted was some phosphoric acid.  It shouldn’t have been difficult, right?  The stuff is, after all, practically everywhere.  They put it in soda, for Sleipnir’s sake!

So the human female, months ago, ordered a case of six three-liter bottles.  (Well, 6 x 2.5 liters, but the Vendor Who’s Responsible likes to round up).  They were part of one of the big orders back in May.

Now, sometimes I like to pick an item or two on a large order and have a little fun.  You recall–the May orders sat on her desk for months, incompletely received.  Part of that was test tubes.  And part of it was the acid.

So, the acid didn’t come and it didn’t come and it didn’t come.  When the human female called the VWR, they told her that it was delayed because the manufacturer had to make it.  Because why on earth would they actually STOCK it?

More queries, more excuses, more delayed estimated ship dates.  One after the other.

It was taking so long that she thought maybe she should order a different product, because sometimes the VWR has one version of a chemical if the others are out of stock.  So she fired up the online catalog, and discovered that, sure enough, there was an alternative–and it was even less expensive!

vwr phosphoric acid is three cents

Three cents for a case seemed like an awfully good price!  But then she logged in or refreshed the screen or something and it came back as its regular price.  And behold! The product she had ordered was by far the cheapest one–by a factor of ten.   All the other options were ultra pure and ultra pricey.

She would just have to wait.

And wait she did!  The shipment was delayed again and again.  There were supposed ship dates all throughout June.  Nothing.  Finally, on the 19th, it was definitely, absolutely, 100% going to ship.

It shipped on the 24th.

The package took its sweet time, nordling all about the continent, seeing the sights and, no doubt, stopping at all of the quaint roadside attractions this part of Midgard is known for.  Enormous balls of string, reptile farms, diners shaped like improbable headgear, that kind of thing.

On June 28, the acid reached Texas.  And vanished.

phosphoric acid trip

How does one lose a shipment that, according to Unrepentant Package Squashers, weighs one hundred and thirty-four pounds?  The human female called the VWR and called UPS and asked them to please, please find the shipment.  It was if it had been swallowed by a black hole.

The human female followed up a hunch and confirmed that yes, phosphoric acid IS used in the manufacture of various illicit drugs.  Perhaps it had been absconded with by some meth-making malefactor.  Sigh. Probaby gone forever, then.  She called the VWR one more time, and they promised to reship the whole case.

So, the replacement acid didn’t come and it didn’t come and it didn’t come. 

But then–a miracle! (No, actually, it was me just deciding to have a little more fun.)  In lateish July, the original shipment mysteriously reappeared in in tracking!

phosphoric acid trip-2

The human female waited with bated breath.  The package went out for delivery, but then turned around and ended right back up at the freight center.  How maddening!

But then–delivered!  Huzzah and great rejoicings!  Delivered at last!

phosphoric acid trip-2

Except, it wasn’t.  It wasn’t at the stockroom, and it wasn’t at Central Receiving.  No shipment, anywhere.

The human female called the UPS, who assured her it had been delivered.  She assured them it hadn’t.  UPS insisted they even had a signed delivery receipt.  Signed in the stockroom, big and bold, by someone named “Jason.”

Except that there *is* no person in the stockroom whose name is Jason.  And there isn’t anyone at all in the University’s directory whose name is Jason and who has a last name that sounds anything like what UPS said was the receipt.  She had UPS send her a copy of the receipt.  Yep!  Jason Kl~~~~ squiggle -something.

It was at this point that the human female had what I believe is known in some parts of Midgard as a “spittle-flecked nutty.”  She ranted to anyone who would listen—and anyone who couldn’t scuttle away fast enough–about how someone’s head was going to roll for this.  She wanted answers.  She got none.  She wanted a full investigation by a Congressional Subcommittee.  She got excuses.  She wanted an army of workers to start building the gibbet and making a path for the tumbril.  She got crickets chirping.

She demanded that Unrepentant Package Squashers launch an immediate investigation.  The delivery driver must be found and made to say where and to whom he had “delivered” the goods.  Probably, there was no Jason at all, and she had uncovered a far-reaching conspiracy to divert honest, hard-working people’s phosphoric acid into the seamy world of clandestine drug laboratories.  Wasn’t the acid actually identified on the external shipping label for all the world to see?  The VWR was practically asking for people to intercept and misuse their goods!  Yes, indeed, she was going to break the story Wide Open.  By gum, she was going to see this through!

And then one morning, the nice lady in the stockroom asked her if she knew anything about a large, unclaimed parcel that was just sitting in the basement of an adjacent building.

Could it be?  Was it?

It was!  Filthy, plastic-wrapped, holey, and with its attachments all torn up–but undeniably a big batch of phosphoric acid!

phosphoric acid-box

The bottles, despite the total lack of packing material, hadn’t broken.  All 18(16) liters accounted for and perfectly intact.

The paperwork, not so much.

phosphoric acid-box-torn label

Oh, how she wished the boxes could talk!

The human female, while undoubtedly relieved to be able to FINALLY close the PO, was nonetheless disappointed that she had not, in fact, busted up a drug ring. She does lead such a boring life.

Some questions remain.

Where was the shipment between July 2 and July 22?  Three weeks is a long time to misplace such a hefty shipment.

–Who is is the mysterious Jason Is he actually a Jason?

Why did the Unrepentant Package Squashers  let some random humanoid sign for such an important shipment?

Why was it just left in sitting in the basement, with no attempt to find out who it belonged to?

Why does the shipping statement from the VVWR say the weight was 73.58 pounds, while UPS has paperwork that shows it weighs 134 pounds?

phosphoric acid-weight

–Just what did the UPS charge VWR for the shipping? Did they bill for 73 pounds and change, or the nice, round, entirely-fictitious weight of 134?

Why did the VWR say they couldn’t ship until late June because the acid was, “being made” when the made-by date on the bottles says they were born in early May?

phosphoric acid-date

–And finally, since the Internets says, “Phosphoric acid is made from the mineral phosphorus, which is found naturally in the body,” what—or WHO–is the manufacturer making this stuff out of???

And, oh yes–where will Loki strike next?  What will his next mischief be?

There’s really no telling. Rest assured, though, human female, you won’t see it coming until it hits you right between the eyes. . .

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So What Was In the Demolished Box??

I am just as curious as Sigyn is to see what is in the mutilated box delivered by Unrepentant Package Squashers yesterday.

Sleipnir’s fetlocks!

It’s more of those stackable animals for that game the humans liked so much.

2balancebeasts-crowd

What is this one supposed to be?  I approve of the color, but I have no clue what it is.

2balancebeasts-chameleon

Oh.  The human female says its a tricky lizard, one that can change his color at will.  Being a shape-shifter myself, I can appreciate the usefulness of a quick disguise.  You and I may get along well, lizard.

Sigyn is introducing herself to…  A person-faced lion with a goatee and aviator goggles?!

2balancebeasts-sphinx

I’m beginning to wonder if the shaking up that parcel took mashed all the contents around and this thing started out as five or six other things…

Okay.  This one, at least, I recognize.  A flamingo–nothing else is that pink or that stilty.

2balancebeasts-flamingo1

They’re famous for standing around on one leg. Sigyn is practicing her own balancing on one leg.

2balancebeasts-flamingo2

It’s not going very well.

Stay behind me, Sigyn!  Unless I’m very much mistaken, that is a dragon, and it doesn’t do to leave them out of your calculations, especially if you are small, cute, and tasty-looking.

2balancebeasts-dragon

Sigyn, don’t!

2balancebeasts-dragon2

Oh, well.  I should have known she’d have the beast tamed in no time at all.

Ehehehehehe!  The chameleon was silly, the flamingo was ridiculous, and the dragon, though fierce, has these goofy little wings and really isn’t very terrifying at all, but THIS goober takes the cake.

Or the fish food, as the case may be.

2balancebeasts-eel2

Don’t be fooled by its wiggly little forehead “worm,” Sigyn.  That’s how it lures in its prey.

Sigyn! What are you doing?!  Have you NO sense of self-preservation at all?

2balancebeasts-eel

Oh.

2balancebeasts-eel3

Playing dental hygienist.

Sweetest, you and your notions will be the death of me yet.

>|: [

Oh, Well Done!

Sigyn, did you hear something?  I thought I heard a thumpy noise, like something out on the front porch…

loki-lookright-pkg

Nothing over there…

loki-lookleft-pkg

Nothing over he—

Sweet Glittering Bifrost!  The Unrepentant Package Squashers have outdone themselves this time.  I asked them to pay a extra special attention to anything they were given to deliver to the humans, and they’ve surpassed my wildest dreams.

I mean, look at this!  It’s a thing of mangled beauty!

One corner is magnificently crumply.

welldoneups2

And look, Sigyn!  Take a moment to appreciate how the sealing tape is hanging on by just a few fibers.

welldoneups3

Careful, love.  I don’t want you entangled in what intact tape there is!

welldoneups0

UPS, you have done yourself proud with this one!

welldoneups4

I salute you!

welldoneups1

>|: [

 

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Remember last July when the human female and her crew switched from regular lab gloves to biodegradable nitrile gloves?   I had fun with that shipment.  It arrived in tatters and parts had to be replaced.  They’ve been patting themselves on the back for “helping the environment.”  Well, I’ve been helping the work environment,  making sure it is one of cHa0$ and obfuscation.

The very first thing the human female did when she got back into the office after Yule break was to order the “green” gloves for the semester.  That was on January 2.  She ordered 4 cases of extra large, 23 cases of large, 32 cases of medium, and 32 cases of small, ten boxes to the case.

This time I wanted to make sure they all arrived in good condition.

Just not all at once.

On January 9, about half the gloves arrived via Fed Up and Exhausted.  There was more than a bit of confusion, and the stockroom clerk almost didn’t sign for them, because They Had One Mission And Stumbled (THOMAS) had helpfully addressed the boxes to “Stephen Wolfe,” which just happens not to be the human female’s name.  She couldn’t check the packing slip, because there wasn’t one, just the freight weight statement. The shipment sat in one of the lab rooms while she worked with the vendor to figure out a) were the gloves hers and b) where were the rest?

About that time, the human female received four shipping notices from Unrepentant Package Squashers.  No explanation for the change in shipper.  The four shipments arrived on January 10.  Each one was a single case of small gloves.

After many emails to and from the customer rep, the human female managed to get THOMAS to agree to finish sending the order.  On January 11, more packages showed up, via Fed-up and Exhausted.  The human female and her minions counted and counted again, and came to the conclusion that they had the right number of cases of extra large and one extra case each of large and medium.  They were, however, still short a case of small.  No packing slip here, either.

Email, email, email, moaning, wailing, gnashing of teeth.  The customer rep was busy, busy, busy and ended each of her “I’m working on it” notes ended with a cheery “Let’s make 2019 the best year ever!”  

On January 14, the female managed to squeeze a packing slip out of THOMAS, but it showed only 23 large and 32 medium.

The human female finally gave up and called customer service directly.  They promised to make it all right.

On February 5, she received a shipping notice from Unrepentant Package Squashers that the long-awaited gloves were finally en route.

They arrived on February 11–and here they are!

glove box

I dragged it out as long as I could, and considering that many of the glove boxes sat in the big middle of the main prep room bench until all was completed and that turning in the non-existent packing slips required a novel-length explanation for the bean counters, I’d say it was one of my better jests.

And to think they’ll be ordering again for summer or fall!  Ehehehehe!

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A Tale of Pipettes, Part II: The Great Un-boxing

It is time.  Time to tackle the huge shipment of pipettes that arrived in less than pristine condition.  This is a portion of the boxes–the good ones:

pipette-boxes

The smashy boxes have been segregated to the front desk so their degree of smashiness can be ascertained.

The human female and her staff are now proposing to start unpacking and see just how bad the damage is.

It’s not looking good…

pipette-box smash7

The corrugated carnage is of the extremest sort.

pipette-box smash6

Hmm.  The pipettes themselves seem actually to be unharmed.  Pity.

pipette-box smash8

Oh, well, can’t have everything.

It’s like some malicious math problem:  If there are thirty-nine boxes, two product boxes per box, and three pipettes per product box…  Plus packing cardboard.  The human female and her staff have become automatons.  Open carton.  Take out boxes.  Open boxes.  Pull out the cardboard straps holding the pipettes and remove the fancy-cut-and-folded cardboard inserts.

So. Much. Cardboard.  I am making a castle out of the empties.

pipette-fort

This is possibly more pipettes than have ever been assembled in one place at one time in the history of the world.

pipettes2

In each box there is also a registration card, a booklet in a bag, and two boxes of pipette tips, each its own plastic bag.

pipettes

It’s a recycler’s nightmare.  The human female and her techs are nursing dozens of paper cuts, and there are at least four carts of flattened boxes to be hauled out to the recycling bin.

Each pipette also arrived with one or two tags hanging from it.  Hmmm…  Scan the code and enter info for a chance to win something…

pipette-tags

And nothing in the fine print says I can’t enter 300 times.

pipette-tags2

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A Tale of Pipettes, Part I: Getting Them Here is Half the Fun

Quite a number of the laboratory exercises that the human female and her staff have to prep and support employ very Precise Scientific Devices known as micro-pipettes. These are capable of measuring out infinitesimal aliquots with great accuracy.

Image result for micropipette

That’s the theory anyway.  In practice, the students forget to use them with the disposable tips, adjust the volume to ten or twenty times the required amount, and hit the tip discard plunger instead of the uptake/dispense button as often as not.

Recently, the Powers That Be have decided that these teaching lab pipettes are a disgrace, a blemish, a true PR nightmare for the Department.  An edict was issued that they be replaced, one and all, and one of the professors who is in the progress of overhauling all of the lab lessons ordered one hundred sets, each with three pipettes of varying sizes.

Folks, that is a LOT of pipettes.  They were quite eagerly awaited.  I mean, who, faced with the task of checking the calibration on a whole floor full of pipettes, hasn’t fantasized about chucking them all out the window and starting afresh.

Some of them arrived.  Some of them didn’t.  Unrepentant Package Squashers insisted that the missing TWO PALLETS had been signed for.  But signed for where?  And by whom?

Some diligent phone calling by the ordering professor eventually turned them up.  In the Biggish City to the West.  Yep, delivered to the wrong university entirely.  After some argling and bargling, Unrpentant Package Squashers deigned to pick them up and to deliver them to Central Receiving on this campus.

Then it was just a matter of getting them here.  The human female suggested that the fine folks at Central Receiving be enlisted to deliver them (as the CR folks have proven themselves prompt and dutiful in the delivery of dead cats, but the ordering professor wished UPS to make good their delivery or refund the shipping fee.

The pallets were coming!  They didn’t come.  A date was fixed!  And discarded.  They were coming on Friday!  No, Monday.  No, Tuesday!  Finally, an independent moving company was hired to bring them.  A company that had– it must be mentioned–just the week before dropped an expensive and fragile instrument off a delivery truck no fewer than three times between Building A and Building B on the campus.  Moreover, they propped the mangled package up in hopes that no one would notice the damage.

People noticed.

So here we are today, awaiting the two pallets from the movers. The humans are hopeful, if possessed of more than a little trepidation.  They know not that I slipped said movers a little tip to deliver the goods in an… amusing condition.  I can hardly wait to see in what condition they arrive!

Oooo!  Here they come!  Two pallets, a total of thirty-nine boxes.  Most of them look pretty good.

pipette-box smash4

Others, not so much.

pipette-box smash2

Ehehehe!  That one’s good and crumply!

pipette-box smash3

Yikes! Ehehehehe!

No, wait, this one’s my favorite:

pipette-box smash1

I have a feeling that the un-boxing is going to be interesting indeed…

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