Tuesday, November 25, 2008

And now I love UPS


For whatever reason, FedEx always seemed more legit, more big-time, more credible to me than UPS.

Maybe it's because I grew up in Louisville, and with its massive hub at our airport, UPS seemed like the local guys. Maybe it's because of the big-time advertising BBDO has made for FedEx over the years. Maybe it's because FedEx is the delivery service that I have used 99% of the time professionally. Maybe I was holding a grudge against UPS for updating the playful logo Paul Rand designed for them in 1961 that I loved.

Anyway, for whatever reason, UPS hasn't been on my radar, but today, I got a sticker on my studio door saying that UPS had missed me for a delivery that required my signature, and that they'd try again tomorrow around the same time, and if I wanted to do something different to call their 800 number.

I did, and a nice robot lady talked me through the options over the phone. (I don't mind a good robot operator. I've always liked Amtrak's Julie.) I chose to pick up the package myself today, and robot lady said, Leave your number and someone will call you back within the hour to work out the details. Yeah okay, I thought.

My phone rings ten minutes later. Hi this is Sue from UPS. You want to pick up your package today? Yeah, it depends, where is your office? North Portland, Swan Island. Oh, that's too far. Are you going to be around this afternoon? Yeah. Let me call you right back. I think he's going to be in your neighborhood, and he could meet you. She sounded excited to help.

Two minutes later. Hey it's Sue from UPS. Kevin will meet you at 3:30 around the corner at the Pendleton Bldg, two blocks away. She seemed happy for me that it was going to work out.

At 3:33, the truck pulls up, and the driver is waving at me. He reaches his hand out, I thought for the receipt I was holding, but realized he wanted to shake my hand.

Were you in the office when I came by? I could hear your music, but nobody answered. He remembered me, and honestly seemed to care about the delivery of my package.
Here you go, he said, and handed me my package. Sorry I kept you waiting.

It was a good package, too. Jonathan Silberberg, a producer at Radical Media/NY whom I'd met recently in Portland, sent me a bunch of great stuff by a couple of directors he works with, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, including Brother's Keeper, Paradise Lost and Metallica: Some Kind of Monster.

Anyway, it gave me an insight on how affecting a personal experience can be in determining how I feel about a company. UPS = a capable, human, dedicated company that cares deeply about doing its job. Sure, the ads might have said the same thing, but today I experienced it, and experiences don't lie.

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