Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Shipping Clerk Thoughts

I can spell Schenectady, Canandaigua, Poquonock, and Worcester without even thinking about them... but Albuquerque takes a little work.

I can abide loose boxes or flappy tape. Tight, flat, and ready to be hurled across a room is the only way to go. Pack your boxes as if they're going to be angrily thrown on the floor and then have an air conditioner dropped on them, because that's more likely to happen than you might think.

Street (ST), Road (RD), Avenue (AVE), Boulevard (BLVD), Terrace (TER), Circle (CIR), Cove (CV), and Apartment (APT) (among others) get abbreviated, but Way, Route, and Unit  generally don't, nor do compass directions (North, South, etc.) in town names (N MAIN ST, SOUTH BOSTON, MA, for example). USPS standard is all caps, all the time, and as little punctuation as possible.

Labels with scannable codes should be placed such that a code section isn't over a seam. Zebra barcodes can wrap around an edge as long as the edge is perpendicular to the stripes. Human-readable information can be over seams or around corners if necessary, because humans, unlike most code scanners, can read across lumps, ditches, and edges.

I love some of Massachusetts's zip codes, because they're a zero followed by a year, and I get to spend a few seconds thinking about what might've happened in that year every time I type in one of those codes. North Hatfield (01066) is the Battle of Hastings, Sudbury (01776) is American independence, Nutting Lake (01865) is the end of the Civil War, and Ipswitch (01938) is my father's birth.

There are some strange street names out there. Cool Lilac Avenue, Turkeysag Trail, East 4 1/2 Street, High Barney Road, and Calmer Ernst Boulevard have all been destinations for packages I've packed.

Some people don't know the proper format for their own addresses.

There are good packing tape dispensers and bad ones. May the gods have mercy on your soul if you take one of my good ones.

Monday, October 9, 2017


This just in!

White politicians and pundits are throwing temper tantrums because black athletes quietly draw attention to disproportionately high number of deaths among their brethren at the hands of law enforcement. White politicians claim they don't want sport to be politicized, while simultaneously politicizing everything else.

Oh, wait... this isn't news. This is business as usual in this administration. God help us.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

All That Tech, But No Intelligence

I would love to supplement my income by selling e-books on a variety of subjects through your marketplace. To do so, I need an Amazon Pay account. To get that, I need a physical address where I can get mail, and it needs to match the address on my bank account. That's where the problem occurs.

See, I live in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, and the United States Postal Service doesn't find it cost effective to hire someone to walk around delivering mail to the 500 or so people who live within the village limits, so we all have Post Office Boxes, and have to go pick up our mail at regular intervals. UPS and FedEx will deliver packages to my house, but for everything else, it's the PO Box.

Now, my bank understands that my mailing and physical addresses are different. My oil company gets it. My electric company gets it. My credit card companies get it. But Amazon... Amazon doesn't get it. Amazon seems confused by the notion that anyone might have a street address that isn't also a mailing address. Amazon, for all its technology, is less intelligent than my oil company, which is saying something.

So I email Amazon about this, hoping that maybe having someone point out the problem will get the powers that be to think about their policy. I get a response, from an email I can't reply to, that says there's no seller's account registered to my email address, and I need to sign into my seller's account for them to be able to help me.

Keyboard is not connected. Press any key to continue.

I'm not going to be selling on Amazon any time soon. *sigh*

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Dammit, Jim, I'm A Doctor, Not A... Wait...

I'm thinking about finding a new doctor. My current doctor, a naturopath, is friendly enough, but I've been having some issues with her practice. For example, the last time I saw her (only a month or two ago), we spoke at length about my suicide attempt 15 years ago, and it being a reason why I have an aversion to taking pills. At yesterday's appointment, I had to explain the whole thing again after she recommended a list of supplements I should take, all pills. She had my file right there in front of her.

The kicker, though, was that after she suggested the pills, and then switched over to some liquid supplements and stepped out to ask her boss whether one of the things that only came in pills was okay to be crushed, she came back in, clued in to the fact that budget is also a concern, and finally, after almost an hour, started talking about ways to get those particular nutrients from food.

A naturopath who suggests pills and supplements before suggesting dietary changes doesn't seem like a terribly good naturopath, if you ask me. Added to some other red flags (like ordering labwork but not telling the phlebotomist I was coming or how much blood to draw), I'm thinking I might be switching practices soonish.

On the plus side, the labwork revealed why I've been perpetually exhausted and depressed lately: underactive thyroid! I like having answers to nagging questions, and this one ought to be easy to fix... even if it does mean taking a (tiny) pill every day.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sox vs Yanks

BossMan is slightly wicked. He put a Boston Red Sox sticker on one of the company vans and then had the temp employee from New York drive it around town running errands. Luckily, the New Yorker has a sense of humor.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hearing Protection

I told y'all a while back about the shed my bosses have on the property that got damaged by the garbage truck. Well, they've got their handyman/carpenter friend on the job, and not only did he straighten (with the clever use of comealongs and trees) and reinforce the frame, he's turning the building into quite the cozy studio for Boss Lady.

The other day, he was using a benchtop planer to dimension some lumber, and I noticed that he wasn't wearing hearing protection. I had to go out to ask him to move his truck anyway, so while I was there I asked him if the screaming noise of the planer bothered him. "Aw, nah," he said, "I just turn off my hearing aids and I can't hear a thing."

Proof that deafness can be a blessing, I suppose.

Monday, September 11, 2017


Grandparent Update: Just as I was about to call her, my grandmother sent me an email saying they're fine and had no damage. *whew*

In other news...

The bosses' son injured his back a few days ago, so he's not doing any of the heavy lifting he usually does. He's also suddenly become concerned about everybody else's backs, so when he saw me lifting two soup bins (combined about 45 lbs.) and carrying them from one end of the building to the other, he said something about hoping I didn't hurt my back, too. I came back with, "I'm a former Teamster, pumpkin, my back doesn't break!"

Once everyone within earshot recovered from their laughter, I got a high-five from his girlfriend. She then decided that she needs to start calling him "pumpkin." I'm not sure if this makes me a bad influence or a good one.