|UPS - Unhelpful Postal Service|
Let's spool back to the beginning of this year when my lovely Day Carer mentioned that it was her hubby's 60th birthday in a few weeks time. They are both incredibly kind to me and Sonshine when Tartarus is away - The hubby comes up and cuts my grass, waters my plants in my absence and has even been known to feed the Nibster and the fish if Sonshine and I are away overnight.
'Wouldn't it be a great idea for you and Ronnie to go and watch the MotoGP in Assen this year? As his 60th birthday present?' I mused idly as we read our respective magazines (me: Red; Tartarus: Evo <- we like a brief title) in bed one night. Think Eric and Ernie, but with less sexual frisson.
Tartarus has long wanted to go to Assen and my suggestion seemed....like a good idea at the time........
Time wore on and all that the two of them could talk about was Going To The MotoGP.
Eventually I decided to tune back into their conversations and was startled to realise that they were no longer thinking about Assen, but heading off to Italy. For 10 days. Flying.
I'm afraid, reader, that at this point my calm and placid nature went into a bit of a meltdown and I pointed out to Tartarus that he and I hadn't been on a holiday abroad for 10 years because he 'didn't like flying' and that our son had never been out the country. Basically, if he was thinking about pissing off to Italy for a holiday with his mate he could a) reconsider the whole option and revert to a weekend in Assen or b) fuck off and don't come back after the Italian sojourn.
And so the tickets for Assen were booked.
And the hotel.
And the ferry.
And the RAC international rescue whathaveyou.
And the shorts purchased.
And the excitement began to mount......
Tartarus checked to see when the MotoGP tickets would actually be posted out. 'Between 7 and 10 days before the event' proclaimed the ticket agency proudly on their website.
It was now less than 7 days to the event.
And no tix.
We phoned them. In Holland. Could the tickets be picked up at the event instead? Could we pick them up at a UPS Customer Service Centre in the UK?
'Too late. The tickets are in the post. But RELAX, it's UPS. And no, you can't uplift them from a UPS Customer Service Centre - there has to be one unsuccessful delivery before you can arrange to pick them up.'
No amount of wheedling, weeping, shouting or offers of cash would make them budge.
Reader, we checked the UPS website so frequently over the next couple of days that we wore the U and the P and the U off the keyboard.
Where were the tix?
By Saturday they were in Glasgow. Tartarus began to relax - he and Day Carer's hubby were leaving on Wednesday, that was PLENTY of time to deliver to the island.
Ah, you would think so, wouldn't you?
On Sunday I checked to see where the tickets were.
Still in Glasgow, but now there was an additional message ' Customer lives in remote area, no daily delivery.'
We do live on an island, that's true. But we're much less remote than many mainland areas of Scotland. You basically drive down the M8, past Glasgow, until the M8 tapers out to a dual carriageway called the A8 and pooter along the side of the river Clyde until you get to Wemyss Bay.
The fecking VIKINGS managed the journey on a regular basis, why couldn't UPS????
I phoned again, begging to be allowed to pick up the tickets as the whole anticipation of the MotoGP event was being ruined.
'Computer says no,' came back the reply.
Tuesday. The day before departure day. I am up at 6am to go to a Spa Day in Glasgow. I log on to UPS. 'Delivery date sheduled for....THURSDAY'
I relay this information to a clearly tense Tartarus lying recumbent in the early morning light and depart hastily to catch the 8am ferry to Civilisation.
The spa treatments come and go. I check my phone for messages for the 10th time. Nothing.
We go to lunch. I look at my phone. It rings.
The tickets have been delivered. The relief in Tartarus's voice is palpable.
It's now Wednesday morning and Tartarus and The Day Carer's hubby are off to Assen.
Here's my message to UPS - get yourselves SORTED OUT!!!!!!
And one final thing, no, Tartarus didn't notice ANY difference after my spa treatments.