Learning to Laugh at Logistical Hassles

package front door

In my columns, I often write about how one should focus on what they can control (as opposed to trying to exert influence over what they can’t). There’s only so much someone can do, after all. So, I think we should worry about what we can actually do to achieve the outcome we’re looking for.

Also, as it happens, I spoke with someone recently about how bad times end up being funny times with the benefit of hindsight. We all have funny stories to tell that weren’t very funny while they were happening.

… This is one of those stories.

A few weeks ago, one of my installing dealers placed a substantial order for a large commercial installation. They also arranged to have it drop shipped directly to their client’s job site.

“No problem,” I told them. We do this literally all the time.

So far, so good.

Except the courier company lost the shipment.

Then they found it.

Then they lost it again.

Finally, they found it. But wait, now, they failed to deliver it on multiple days. The notes on the tracking page were an absolute comedy of errors. In the spirit of confidentiality, I can’t tell you what the actual reasons for failure to deliver actually were. But they were all of the same calibers of excuses as “Delivery failed, there was a BEE on the front door!”

What should have taken two days to be delivered took nearly two weeks, and a big chunk of time and effort out of the workdays of myself, my dealer, my warehouse manager and ultimately the troubleshooting department at the courier. I was mad. My warehouse manager was mad. My dealer was mad. And his client was mad. I’ve had my share of work drama, but this was a truly unique experience. I’ve never seen anything like it.

But wait: there’s more!

The gear was finally delivered; my dealer calls me. His guys are on-site and they told him that he accidentally ordered 75-ohm antennas with F connectors instead of the 50-ohm antennas with N connectors that they needed. That, he admitted, was 100% his fault.

“No problem,” I said.

And you know what? I’ve done the same thing. We all have.

Except now I did have a problem: We’re backordered on the 50-ohm antennas until the end of August. Ugh. Some days you just can’t catch a break. It was time to get creative. I thought about it, then it hit me.

I called another of my installing dealers, who’s about an hour and a half away from my first dealer. I told her the whole story, and what my other dealer was up against. She was sympathetic. As I said, we’ve all ordered the wrong part before. She agreed to send two antennas to him by overnight delivery, and he can pay her back.

So, problem solved, crisis averted. Everyone is happy. Most importantly, the client is happy. It sure wasn’t funny at the time, but now that my stress level has abated, it actually kind of is.