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2:49 am EST        48°F (9°C) in Carlisle, PA

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After what the shipping company DHL has put me through in the last couple of days, I have a plan. I’m going to head about eight miles (13 km) down U.S. Route 11 from the Flying J truck stop I’m currently at, down to the U.S. Navy supply center in Mechanicsburg, and steal every fucking nuke I can find in there. From there, I’m going to transport said nukes to DHL’s headquarters in Wilmington, OH, about halfway between Cincinnati and Columbus along Interstate 71, and FUCKING NUKE THAT GODDAMN SHITHOLE TO KINGDOM COME.

I’ve never before heard of a shipping company being too fucking stupid to securely attach the shipping label to the package. I mean, as long as I’ve been sending and receiving packages, shipping labels have had adhesive back sides so that they can be securely attached to the appropriate package — but apparently DHL is too fucking stupid, incompetent, or cheap to do that now. It is for this reason — DHL’s utter incompetence — that my Gateway laptop is currently God-knows-where in some kind of limbo.

Two days ago, on January 3, I called Gateway’s repair-service number to check on the status of my repair job. (For what it’s worth, interestingly enough, the repair-service call center is located in the 408 telephone area code, somewhere near San Jose, CA; the actual repair facility to which my computer was sent is in La Vergne, TN, 15 miles southeast of Nashville.) In any event, Gateway told me that they had received my computer last Friday, December 29, and had finished repairs and shipped it back out on Tuesday, January 2. Their rep proceeded to give me the DHL tracking number with which to track the shipment.

I then went ahead and called DHL; their automated system could only tell me the package was in transit, and wouldn’t tell me an estimated delivery date. I followed the option to speak to one of their customer-service reps, who informed me that my package had apparently missed a flight on Tuesday and therefore missed its originally-planned Wednesday-morning delivery. At that point, around 5:00 pm EST Wednesday, she informed me that the delivery had been rescheduled and was now slated for yesterday morning (Thursday, January 4).

I called my mother around 4:00 pm EST yesterday, asking whether the package had yet arrived. After she told me that it had not, I called DHL back, and upon punching in my tracking number, the automated system simply informed me that I was being transferred to a live customer-service rep. She proceeded to give me the wonderful news: only the shipping label for my package had arrived at DHL’s Romulus, MI facility, and the package itself was nowhere to be found. Obviously, the label had come off somewhere in transit, because THEY WERE TOO FUCKING STUPID TO PROPERLY SECURE IT TO THE PACKAGE!

I asked a few questions about the exact details of the shipment. I was informed that, from its origination in La Vergne, TN, the package was taken by a ground courier to a nearby airport — probably Nashville International Airport — where it was loaded on a plane destined to DHL’s main processing facility in Wilmington, OH. From there, it would have undergone sorting and eventually — hopefully — found its way to another plane bound for Detroit Metropolitan/Wayne County Airport, from which another ground courier would have run it to DHL’s nearby Romulus, MI facility. Inquiring a bit further about what generally happens to missing packages, I was told that packages arriving at local stations without labels are usually sent back to Wilmington; this would indicate that there may still be some hope of finding the package, although I’m not holding my breath.

Loyal readers, there is a lesson here for you. If you have packages to ship, AVOID DHL AT ALL COST. Barring a miracle, I’m probably out a laptop until I can get Gateway to file a claim with DHL, and God knows how long that will take. The bright side of that is that after such a claim was processed, I would probably be getting a new laptop from Gateway — although I’ll bet DHL would find a way to fuck up the shipping to get that to me too. Use reputable shippers like UPS and FedEx, not fly-by-night (no pun intended) operations that will lose your package like DHL. That’s the moral of the story for today.

The worst part of all of this is that I may end up having to look like an idiot to my dispatcher. After being told that the package was to arrive yesterday, I asked my dispatcher if he could arrange for my next load (after the Bedford, PA-bound one I was then hauling) to head toward Michigan, in order to go pick up my Gateway laptop. Now, unless DHL miraculously gets their explosive diarrhea together and finds my package overnight, I really have no need to go home, especially with a very unproductive load that will give me four days (from 3:00 pm EST today until 9:00 am EST Tuesday, January 9) to go to Grand Rapids, MI. I may end up asking to drop this Michigan-bound load at one of our terminals or drop yards en route, dropping the through-home request, and getting something more productive.

If they don’t find my computer, then my next update may come from the Clinton County, OH jail, after I nuke Wilmington. Of course, at that point, there may not be a Clinton County, OH anymore, so who knows.