Special delivery! Carmine screeches about ordering stuff off his Zenith!

I’m madder than that dope at Warner Bros. who okayed an $80-million budget and hired Kevin Costner to make the movie “The Postman” — then saw it take in less than a quarter of that at the box office, over the fact that nobody — and I mean nobody — knows how to deliver a package to yours truly.

Look, you all know ol’Carmine was a hard-working member of the United States Postal Service for more years than I would like to remember, so there is nobody out there better suited to rate delivery services than me. I walked the walk, baby, so I can talk the talk.

And this week, keeping in mind the fact that I’ve already knocked FedEx for it’s inability to get me a cellphone before my sister’s birthday, I now nominate the United Parcel Service as the worst deliverer of things to me.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Carmine, how could the United States Postal Service, FedEx, and UPS all be the worst delivery services?” You wanna know how? Because I said so. And here’s proof.

But before I give you the proof, I want to get something else off my chest: if UPS doesn’t shape up, the entire economy of this county will go down the toilet! That’s because guys like me — who drive around on scooters instead of walking (and there are more and more of this silent, motorized majority every year) — tend to like to order stuff directly to our homes. But ordering stuff requires companies like UPS and FedEx and the Post Office to actually get off their hands and deliver the darn things. Now, I have no problem ordering from QVC or the Home Shopping Network, or any number of infomercials I see late at night or early in the morning on the Zenith in the living room (I especially like to order from Omaha Steaks, especially since Big Mike’s Meat Market on 17th Avenue closed down), but if I can’t be sure those steaks are going to be delivered posthaste, I might not make that order. And if I don’t make that order, the whole system could collapse!

Look, I’m going to make a long story endless: I ordered something from Staples and expected it to be delivered by May 10. It wasn’t. I made some calls and they said it was being shipped by UPS, and should be there any day. It never came. I called again, and they told me it would be at my house on May 14. Well, May 14 came and went, and there was no package. That’s when I really started to get screechy.

So on Tuesday, May 15, I again called UPS to inquire where my package was. They told me it wasn’t delivered because there was no apartment number, but the delivery man had been instructed to deliver it to the building manager’s office (opposite the mail boxes). I called my manager several times to see if the package came, but it never did.

Next, via the U.S. Mail I received a card from UPS informing me that they were unable to deliver the package and gave me an address where I should go pick it up.

This reminds me again of the Scarlet Pimpernel poem that I have modified for you: “We seek him here, we seek him there, we frustrated customers seek him everywhere. Is he in heaven, he belongs in hell, that non delivering UPS delivery man … that never rings your bell.”

During the last call I made to UPS, I asked if they could deliver my package to my home, in my building 150 yards opposite the building where the office manager’s address was. The customer service rep said that they wouldn’t allow a change of delivery point without an additional charge. That did it! I demanded to speak to an intelligent supervisor, or the president of UPS.

My rage that was melting the telephone wires when the next guy in line told me that the package had been located and someone would deliver it to the manager’s office within two minutes. Rather than screaming again and possibly missing the delivery of the elusive package, I whistled for Tornado, who whisked me to the other building in record time.

I called the porter who informed me that the delivery had not come yet.

Finally, the UPS delivery man appeared with a hand truck full of packages.

I asked him, did he have a package for me, Carmine Santa Maria, and he said “No!”

“Are you sure?” I asked him. “It’s from Staples!”

He pulled out a package from Staples addressed to “T. Durham.” I looked at it and it said Big Screecher, that’s me. I showed him my column in the Brooklyn Graphic with my photo on it as proof!

Look, I don’t blame that delivery man. He was delivering a package that was so jammed with labels it was practically undeliverable. But this proves that the UPS delivery service is terribly flawed, and practically nonexistent to apartment houses that don’t have concierges to accept mail. So whenever you see a commercial or infomercial to buy something, and you choose to do so, don’t expect it to be delivered, expect to go pick it up yourself!

Screech at you next week!

Read Carmine's column every Sunday on BrooklynPaper.com. It really is the best thing on the web that day. E-mail him at diegovega@aol.com.

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