Strange UPS Pick-Up Point

My wife ordered something that was to be delivered by UPS. Not surprisingly they attempted to make the delivery when we were out. No problem, they left a sticker indicating where we could pick up the package the next day. There is a UPS Store not far from our place that I assumed was the pick-up point, but I was wrong.

I was going to take a photo, but not being all that brave and sensing this was not the kind of place that cameras would be welcomed, I gave it a miss.

As I strolled along the street toward the UPS Store I checked the sticker and realize that this was not the spot. The Store has a 4100 address while the sticker had 1810 on the same street as the place I wanted. Okay, no problem, it was on my way to where I was going anyway, but I was curious as I could not picture another UPS Store in the area.

Along I meandered in the autumn sun enjoying a beautiful day all the while approaching the address on the sticker. As I was on the correct block I still could not fathom where I was headed and started to re-read the sticker in case I had made a mistake, or had the driver been wrong. Nope, all was clear.

When I arrived at 1810 I had to look long and hard to find the UPS decal on the door of what is essentially a pawn shop. I made my way in and found several people already in the small shop. Two staff were busy with customers buying and/or selling mostly electronic goods. So I waited. It was while I was biding my time that I noticed a handwritten sign that carried the message: UPS customers please wait. If you have any questions about the store please feel free to ask. I was going to take a photo, but not being all that brave and sensing this was not the kind of place that cameras would be welcomed, I gave it a miss.

In other words serving UPS clients, who evidently bring no monetary reward to the store, … is second on the list after dealing with actual paying customers regardless of the order of arrival. 

In other words serving UPS clients, who evidently bring no monetary reward to the store, other than to drag people in, is second on the list after dealing with actual paying customers regardless of the order of arrival. A customer entering this little place after a UPS customer, but interested in buying an iPhone, is given priority.

I have never had any trouble with UPS (I did finally get the package), and I have always thought they have the very best toll-free number with 1-800-PICK-UPS but they really have to give some thought to the kind of place they send their clients to. With so many UPS Stores, why use third-party outlets at all?

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
Advertisements

Hiccups as Torture

Shoulder

The topic of waterboarding was in the news a few years ago. This method of extracting information from suspected terrorists – otherwise known as torture – has its critics. Many see it as cruel and unusual punishment, while others consider it an effective means of saving lives. It is a form of water torture in which water is poured over a cloth covering the face and breathing passages of an immobilized captive, causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning. Ain’t that a joy. Who thinks of these things?

As I see it, should I ever be tortured I figure about 0.0067 seconds into the process I would start spouting classified information …

While I tend to stay on the right side of the law for the most part, and therefore do not fear being tortured to divulge state secrets, I often wonder who long I would be able to hold out. As I see it, should I ever be tortured I figure about 0.0067 seconds into the process I would start spouting classified information, and if I did not know any, I would start making up information.

But what would be just as effective on me as the infamous waterboarding would be – if such a thing exists –  the introduction of hiccups. Yes indeed those diaphragm jarring, ultra infuriating, spasms that, once they set in, make life a misery for their duration. For some folks hiccups or hiccoughs if you prefer, are nothing more than a mere annoyance. For this agent they are exasperating. Many a pleasant evening has been interrupted by the onset of this curse.

… sipping ice water, a bit of sugar or vinegar, and even a quick Google search to see who the patron saint of hiccups is …

Fortunately, I have, over the years, discovered that a yoga shoulder stand with breath held gets rid of them nine out of ten times. I only turn to this as a last resort, not just because it is a bit risky given the possibility of passing-out, but does tend to draw a crowd of onlookers when performed in the men’s room! Like most I go through the steps of holding my breath, (someone told me to apply pressure to the trigeminal nerve under the jawline at the same time), sipping ice water, a bit of sugar or vinegar, and even a quick Google search to see who the patron saint of hiccups is – alas they have not yet deemed the problem needs a saint.

Once all these socially acceptable attempts have been exhausted and I am still convulsing like a fool every seven or eight seconds, and starting to hurt, I hightail it off to the nearest men’s room or bedroom should I be at someone’s home. Down on the floor I get, up go my legs and before you know it I’m breathing naturally once again.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Exceptional Enforcement of Supermarket Rule

If you read this blog regularly you know that I have had my share of supermarket incidents including the BBQ chicken knock down. I am quick to criticise so it behooves me to be equally prompt in praising those who do the correct thing. Yesterday I witnessed an exceptional display of the proper enforcement of supermarket regulations.

On the way home yesterday I stopped by the same supermarket that has been the bane of my shopping experiences. I had four items. I also had to have lottery tickets validated which ruled out all but the customer service cash as this store does not allow cashiers at other check-outs to process tickets.

I am quick to criticise so it behooves me to be equally prompt in praising those who do the correct thing. Yesterday I witnessed an exceptional display of the proper enforcement of supermarket regulations.

At the eight or fewer items service cash the scene was: one woman was finishing the payment process; next was a woman with at least 15 items in her cart; then a woman with just one product and me. There were people behind me but they did not factor into the incident.

As the first woman was completing her transaction and moving off, the next in line began placing her items on the conveyor belt. The one-item woman in front of me caught my eye and drew my attention to the number of products in the cart. I shrugged and chose not to get involved, lest I really make a name for myself in this store.

The lady put exactly eight items on the counter, placed an order separator and proceeded to put more items. Here’s the good part; when the cashier finished with the paying customer, turned and saw how many items were there she pointed out that it was eight or less at this cash. The woman, evidently ready for this said I am shopping for two people. The cashier, God bless her, stood her ground and told the woman she could not do that unless the other person was with her.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an ogre; 9 or ten items at the eight or less cash is no big deal.

Annoyed, the woman left her items on the counter and said, are you going to make me take them off and go to another line? Yes ma’am, said the cashier. Sure enough, the woman swept her items back into her cart and made off for the end of another line, but not before glaring at me for some reason (has my reputation grown to that size?). I merely shrugged but could not contain myself entirely, saying nice try. She mumbled something about it not being a try but an honest attempt. As many kids say these days, whatever.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an ogre; 9 or ten items at the eight or less cash is no big deal. But the deliberate attempt to skip the line was too much. I thanked the cashier for imposing the rules and thereby ensuring the smooth flow of the express cash.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

The More Detours; the More Geniuses on the Roads

BEFORE                                                                                AFTER

On her first day back at school late last August, after meeting with her fellow teachers and going through umpteen administrative chore my wife was driving home when she was involved in one of those chain-reaction accidents. Fortunately the traffic was heavy and therefore not moving too fast. Nonetheless the car behind my wife was unable to stop in time and collided with our car. My wife was shaken, but fine. Others in the multi-car incident were transported to the hospital for treatment. It seems this whole thing was caused by some genius who had decided he or she was not going to wait in the line of slow-moving traffic, but would zip along in the faster lane and then cut in at the last possible moment. This time it caused much damage.

The photo above shows the before and after – the lighting makes the colour look different in the after, but I can assure you it is the same cappuccino as they like to call it at Kia. When I say after I mean after a week in the body shop and over $6000 worth of repairs and replacements. Thank God the insurance company has footed the entire bill, even the deductible, as my wife was not at fault.

My first car, a 1973 Toyota Corona,  cost me $500 in 1978. I once had to nip into a service station, not just a gas emporium like we have today, but a place where they fixed cars as well as pumped gas, to see why billows of thick black smoke were emanating from under the hood of my car. Once the air cleared the mechanic pointed out the problem: a broken hose. He replaced it and charged my the princely sum of $5. Now that may well have been all the money I had, but I was back on my way in about 15 minutes.

How times have changed.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

 

Time to Amend the Second Amendment

I’m not a constitutional expert by any stretch of the imagination. As a lover of words I am fully aware that they can be squeezed, massaged and twisted to mean different things to different people. As the Led Zeppelin classic goes.”’Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.”  But sometimes that process can become downright asinine; no more so than the discussion that ensues in the wake of the all too frequent mass shootings.

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

It does not read:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of a lone, demented, maniacal, homicidal, suicidal, psychopathic, lunatic bent on slaughtering as many innocent people as possible to stockpile and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

No part of ”well regulated” fits the most recent incident in Las Vegas. One cannot deny that something has to be done. Yet even those who dare to criticise the amendment are quick to point out, stating what has become a fashionable pre-amble, “Don’t get me wrong, I fully support the second amendment, but ….” 

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

More Montreal Uber Reaction

Taxi

A few days ago I wrote a witty post about the Uber ride-sharing opting to leave Quebec unless certain regulations were dropped. It seems the government is going to stick to its guns and consider all those taxi drivers who paid a fortune for a license.

imageI have often heard the term entitled used to refer to millennials. I never really understood what was meant until today. In today’s Montreal Gazette there is a letter to the editor that makes it more evident to me. The writer, while not divulging their age, says that the government is more interested in protecting the ‘outdated’ taxi lobby than in welcoming a new entity that young folks like.

Could it be that the government is interested in protecting those citizens who drive taxis and have paid for that right over a group of scofflaws who want to jump the line? Could it be that the letter writer feels entitled to buck the system because he does not like it?

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

Good Riddance to Uber

No_Uber

Yesterday the ride-sharing company Uber announced it will cease operations in Quebec next month unless the government lifts the 35-hour training requirement. For the last year, the company has been operating on a trial basis that expires in October. Obviously, it is no coincidence that the service will call it quits at that time.

When the company first arrived here there was significant backlash from taxi companies and drivers. Quebec is a highly regulated province: from government-controlled liquor sales to restrictions on residential rental units. It has been like this for as long as I can remember.

Taxi licenses here are very expensive. There is a finite number of them and, much like a house, they are sold for whatever the market says is the going price. Like teachers and other professionals, taxi drivers must pass a police background check as well as strict periodic inspections. Uber tried to bypass all this. They tried to jump the line.

Their ‘business model’ does not fit with Quebec‘s regulated taxi system. Having never used Uber I won’t miss them,

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+