So, my normal practice when listing big, hard-to-package items like this is to hold them back until I find a box that will fit them nicely, in case I have to ship them out right away.
Well, apparently during the Christmas season I forgot this practice for one item. One item! It was enough to create a domino effect, though. I ended up having to steal the box this knitting basket had been sitting in, so I could ship that other thing. That left me without a box for this beauty.
So when I got the notification, I looked around my huge box stash to find one. Mind you, I have a stockpile of giant boxes that hundreds of bored children could lovingly transform into playhouses, box cars, boats, and airplanes. Out of this huge pile, I managed to find one I'd purchased at a local box store, which happened to be called a "mirror box."
For those who have never dealt with those, you should know it's a narrow, vertical box with giant black billboard lettering on the sides that says "Fragile. Glass. This End Up." In my haste, since the post office was closing in 15 minutes, I packed the box and ran out the door without using my trusty sharpie to scratch through these markings.
Now, this haste wouldn't have been necessary if it was any regular sized-box, but this was a huge one. Most post offices have a drop-off bin near the post office boxes that is accessible even when the check out counter is not. However, there is frequently some person who tries to shove a box that is too big into this bin, and jams the door shut. If you've ever used this bin, you may know what I mean. I sure hope you aren't the person who keeps jamming it shut. If you are, please stop.
Anyway, I didn't want to be the drop-bin-jammer-person today, so I had to get it there, fast, and turn it over to the postal workers at the check out counter. So, picture me driving down the road (obeying all the traffic laws, mind you) with a giant "Fragile, Glass" box sitting in the seat next to me like a grouchy passenger, and you know what rush hour traffic was like for me today.
I got to the post office and fumbled my way into the inside office, through two glass doors that are not automatic. Ahead of me in the line was a lady mailing preserved bones, as her double armload of small boxes, and child-sized plastic shipping bin proudly stated. Animal or human? I was afraid to ask. Just another weird tidbit there...
My box already had postage on it, so all I had to do was drop it off.
And....drop it I did!
I bet I gave everyone in the line a minor heart attack. I was reaching to hand my giant box to the clerk, the massive black lettering screaming to everyone, "I'm fragile! Look at me!" when the lower corner caught on the desk and knocked it out of my hands. It fell and bounced several times (by the way, sustaining no damage whatsoever, since I pack with 2 inches of padding around the item on all sides so an elephant can step on it without leaving a dent), and I think I could have heard a pin drop in that crowded room.
"No, it's not glass! NOT FRAGILE. It's okay. That's just something marked on the box," I told the clerk loudly so everyone could hear. After another awkward second, talking resumed again in the line. I walked out of that post office laughing at myself, and decided I should share it with you.
It's rough, shipping these huge packages, huh? I'm sure it isn't rough getting them. I'm confident my customer is going to be happy to receive this brightly-colored beauty in the mail, and that's why I'm in the business.
What's your weirdest post office moment in recent memory? Leave me a comment telling all about it. I'd love to hear from you!