POV: Politics

Shipping services do not deserve holiday anger

Every year around the holidays, legions of people pride themselves on their ability to “last-minute shop” and get the deals that others didn’t because they didn’t wait long enough in the stores. This last-minute shopping may save marginal amounts of money, but it can also cause gifts to not be purchased or delivered by UPS Inc. or FedEx – something these shoppers seem to think is the shipping giants’ faults. It’s not.

Millions of shoppers every year ship packages with UPS Inc., FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service. It should be to no surprise that packages can get lost in what amounts to hundreds of millions of packages handled in large warehouses by overstressed employees that work long hours lifting and sorting billions of pounds of mail. Yet, people continue to complain that the boots they ordered online on Dec. 22 from their home in Covered-in-Snow-and-Ice-Land, Minnesota – that were made in China, packaged in Los Angeles and distributed from a facility likely in another state – did not arrive on Dec. 24, just in time for them to wrap and put under the tree.

On Twitter, users were berating the customer service representative in charge of UPS Inc.‘s Twitter handle with expletives and accusations – like user @flipgearz claiming, “you just ruined my Christmas spirit by losing my package.”

The spirit of Christmas, and just being thankful in general, shouldn’t revolve around material objects, but few of these angry Twitter responders and other complainers seem to realize that. It is almost as if around the holidays, people forget that they’ve ever used a shipping service before and think that because they paid $30, the seven business days they were guaranteed – days that do not include holidays – evaporate into their package arriving when they deem fit.

These shipping and mailing services work incredibly hard, and people need to cut them a break. Personally, I have no pity for the people who order online days or even a week before Christmas; they’re asking for trouble, and they’re going to get it. The employees are people, too, and they shouldn’t be expected to work around the clock and their families for materialistic people who just demand packages that, realistically, are probably not supposed to be delivered for days.

Order responsibly, and behave like adults. The matching Snuggies you ordered for your family to wear on Christmas are not going to kill you when they arrive a day late. So, stop rage-tweeting, and enjoy some family time.