Yesterday, I headed to the FedEx store to return some property owned by my former company. They had given me a VoIP phone and a laptop to work from home that last month.
I guess they weren't very worried about me sending the stuff back. I mean, they didn't hold my final paycheck hostage or anything until they got their stuff back. Which either means that they trusted me, or that the stuff wasn't worth much. I'm voting for the latter.
I had printed out the email that had the mailing address for the stuff, and their FedEx account number to use.
The phone had come new, in a box, bearing the brand name of said phone. That box came in a FedEx box. I already had the laptop from the office. So yesterday, I shoved all the parts of the phone back into the box in which it came. Then I took the FedEx box, and shoved the laptop and its peripherals in there. I walked into FedEx/Kinko's with my two boxes, and told the girl behind the counter, Melaney, that I wanted to ship them.
Can I say something quick here about Melaney? Why do parents do this to their kids? The girl looked to be about 18 years old, and I'll bet she has spent the better part of that 18 years saying,
"No...it's M-e-l-a-n-E-Y," then sighing deeply and silently cursing her mother. I know people think that these creative spellings are really cute and all, but what they really are is a huge pain in the butt to the person that has to spell their name out to everyone seven times a day. If I had a nickel for every time I've had to tell someone "No, it's E-Y" about my own name, I would never have to work another day in my life.
Anyway, Melaney was wearing a name tag that said "Crew member since 2009." I'm assuming she is a recent hire, since we're still near the beginning of 2009. Aren't you impressed by my deductive reasoning skills?
I dump the boxes on the counter and tell Melaney I want to ship them. She says,
"You'll need a box for that," pointing to the box that the phone was in.
"Don't you have those here?" I inquired.
"Yes, they're right over there," she said, pointing behind me.
I pointed at a sign over her head that said "Professional Packing Services Available."
"Don't you have packing services?"
She looked at me, wide-eyed.
"You want me to pack it?"
I smiled at her.
"Yes, I would like you to pack it."
"Um...that's gonna cost like $15 to have me do it."
I smiled again.
"That's fine. In fact...make it cost as much as possible. Do you have some packing materials that are more expensive than others? Use the really good stuff. In fact, if you can wrap it in gold leaf, go ahead and do that."
She gave me a strange look as she took my boxes, and I set about filling out the shipping form.
Name, address, city, state, zip, phone of sender. Name, company name, address, city, state, zip, phone of recipient. Shipping options. Hmmm.
"Hey Melaney...what's the most expensive shipping option?"
"Um...that'd be overnight air."
Overnight air. Check.
"Ok, so I'm using this company's account number for this. Where do I put that?"
She pointed to the spot on the form where I carefully filled in the company's FedEx account number.
"It's going to take me about 20 minutes to pack this. Are you going to watch while I do it, or do you just need the receipt?"
"Oh, just give me the receipt, that's fine. Thanks."
I took my receipt, and with it, made the last break with my job.
Yes, I know it's petty and juvenile. But it made me feel a little better.