Tuesday, October 30, 2012
things, systems, needs, a 4 figure riddle, and 2 lessons
"today i’ll try to be open and not get upset about things that don’t work out. it’s the nature of things, in a way, to sometimes not work out."
that's what i wrote a month ago, after tackling some technical problems that are too detailed and boring to describe, but can be summed up in the lines of a friend: "sometimes getting frustrated puts us in a mood where we are upset that we can't solve the problem, and that mood makes it impossible for us to solve it."
of course, i meanwhile forgot about the nature of things, especially things that are just minor stuff, like: picking up parcels at the parcel station with a pincard. which is such a neat thing: no more missing the delivery van. no counter hours. just go and pick it up, whenever. only that the not-really-minor delivery service (DHL) changed their system overnight from sending simple messages via mail to sending 4-figure-Tans to mobile phones instead ("mTans"). and the new system is dysfunctional. so right now, there are thousand of parcels neatly waiting in parcel stations. like a giant early advent calendar under lock and key.
my parcel consisted of: 2 books. and it's not like i have nothing to read here. still. knowing that they are there, and i would drive by the parcel station anyway, and had no way of getting them, just felt frustrating. so i called the hotline, which, surprise, was stuck with callers. i waited, tried another number, waited, got frustrated. and also: got even more determined to get this parcel, today. like, it's the crucial thing to get done today (which now reminds me of all the things in life we NEED to have, and are excited about, a feeling that then often strangely vanishes after holding them in our hands for 5 minutes, and then putting them to the other important things we needed to have.)
but wait, this is going somewhere.
after getting back to that frustrating mail that told me that yes, there is a parcel for me, but sorry, there is also a problem, i saw that there was a footnote included: a link to their facebook page. i clicked, basically to find a place to vent. and found hundreds of other customers with the same problem in fancy variations. and i also found: a facebook customer service who invited people who posted their problem to mail them directly. so i did. and then went on the drive to get the other, minor stuff done (like: i might actually need something to eat today). the drive took me past that parcel station. i stopped there, checked my mobile. and i didn't really think it would work out in time, but there it was: a message with the mTan i needed.
so now i have the books, and they now have this story attached.
lesson #1 of the day: If you can't reach any customer service via phone, try facebook.
and lesson #2: It's the nature of things to sometimes not work out. Really. It's nothing personal.