Sunday, January 09, 2011

Doing Battle With Behemoth

Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, FL
34 42.54 N 081 05.58 W

I'm temperamentally ill suited to dueling with bureaucracies.  Just the anticipation of having to knock heads with one of them makes me turn purple.  My hair stands on end, my breathing becomes shallow, I sweat, I become inarticulate, and my blood pressure soars.   When conflict erupts I rapidly become livid, and to control my anger I suppress myself so severely that I become mute.  Needless to say, that sets me up to lose every skirmish.  Sigh.

Tomorrow will be one of those dreaded days.  Here's the story.

I ordered a hearing aid online.   It is something I resisted doing for many years.  Recently however, my hearing started deteriorating more rapidly to the point were Libby really began putting pressure on me. I've been told that an aid won't help my type of problem, so I'm skeptical that it will work.  Therefore, I didn't go for the $4000 super ones for two ears.  Instead, I ordered a $200 middle of the line one for one ear.

My problem is that it didn't arrive.   Within 24 hours of my order, I got an email from the vendor with a shipping tracking number from the post office (USPS).   I checked the number on the Internet.  It says that my package was enroute as of 12/31  /10, with expected delivery 1/3/11.  That date is long past.

I went to the local post office to ask.  The lady there looked up on thier internal computer.  The packaged was scanned "ENROUTE/PROCESSED 12/31/2010 18:52 DETROIT, MI 48233"  That's one of those monster mail processing facilities.  Apparently, it never left that place.

My task on Monday is to try to contact the supervisor at that mail processing facility and convince him to search their warehouse for my package.  If that fails I have to fight with the hearing aid provider to get a refund.  If that fails I have to deal with my credit card company to dispute the charge.  Man oh man, my face is getting red already.

STOP PRESS: While writing this blog post, I decided to check the tracking number one more time.  My package arrived in the Florida sorting center 1/07/2011 16:12.  Hooray!

The incident shows my weakness.  Just the potential of conflict with a bureaucracy screws up my emotions.  I extrapolate, project, overreact, setting myself up for failure.  Fortunately, the cruising life mimizes my exposure.


  1. i have heard that sometimes expectations effect outcomes.
    that is to say, one's prejudices can cause data to seem to support a 'desired' (as in predetermined) theory.

  2. Lots of wasted energy dad!
    Just writing about the potential conflicts made you live the situation before it happened (which it didn't).
    Glad to hear (!) you are trying a hearing aid :)

  3. Dear God,

    Please give me boundless patience.


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