Monday, March 4, 2013

Why I love Fed Ex

It was a cold and blustery early March afternoon.  The call came in from the hotel: our customer's flute had arrived.  It was 3:00 PM.

Many of our customers here at Flute Pro Shop are like family to us, and this is one of those with whom we feel particularly close.   She is a doctoral candidate in a prestigious program in the North East.  She had called the day before with a flute emergency: she had a concert on Sunday, and her Eb key on her flute was bent.

The problem?  Dave and I were on the road, on our semi-annual trip to Winchester and Charlottesville, VA.  Thinking quickly, or as quickly as I could, I suggested that she send the flute to my hotel in Charlottesville.  Dave could do the work there, and we could overnight it for Saturday delivery in time for the Sunday concert.

The round trip to pick up the flute, took 30 minutes, going from the Ashcroft Club house in Charlottesville, VA, to the hotel on Route 29, and back.  Dave finished up the repair for a customer who was waiting there for her flute, and we opened the delivered flute.

The bent Eb key repair was a quick and easy process for Dave.  The more difficult problem was that the flute needed extensive work: three split pads, and was overdue for an overhaul.  It was now 4:00.  The last pick up at Fed Ex, I thought, was 6:00 PM.

All was going well, but Dave was not happy with how the flute was coming together.  I could hear him saying, "It just doesn't feel right..."  The clock ticked on.  At 5:30 he was satisfied that the flute was playing well.  We boxed it up and I took off for the closest Fed Ex store, which I had found on Google.

It wasn't there. 

Stunned, I drove around the parking lot.  "What do you mean it isn't here???"

Getting back on Route 250, I called the Fed Ex 800 number, and a very helpful operator answered.  She asked what zip code I was calling from.  Luckily I remembered it-from when I gave the hotel address to our customer-and rattled off 22092.

Route 250, at 5:45 PM on a Friday is  very well traveled road.  Very well.  And, there is no shoulder.  So I had to memorize the address until I could pull over, enter it into the GPS, and take off.  It was now 5:55.

And there was the Fed Ex logo, bright blue and beckoning.  5:58!

I ran into the store.  I am sure I looked just as frazzled as I felt.  I asked the worker there to please hold the truck so this express package could be taken then.  "No problem."  And then the words that set me free: "The Express shipment doesn't go out till 6:30."  Ahhhh.

At 6:16, the worker took the package.  14 minutes to spare.  As I left the store, look what pulled up:

We have since heard from our customer that the flute arrived, and worked well for the concert.


And that is why I love Fed Ex.

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