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+
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Montreal Mayoralty Candidate With a Twist

It’s municipal election campaign time in Montreal. Along with countless radio interviews and television appearances featuring candidates from all parties, the city is awash with posters. Most streets are festooned with posters attached to posts, poles, and walls.

Not surprisingly these posters, with lovely full-colour photographs of candidates, are often vandalized. Sometimes it is harmless doodles such as eyeglasses or a mustache, sometimes a criticism or the candidate and unfortunately the occasional racist comment.

One candidate, Tyler Lemco, who is seeking the mayor’s chair – well, sort of – has solved the problem by posting signs and encouraging people to deface them. As reported in the Montreal Gazette: It’s his first election campaign, but not his first election-sign campaign. In the 2015 federal election, he put up several posters featuring his name, his face, a city of Montreal logo and his slogan: “Not running for anything, I just wanted a sign.”

I happened to pass one of his signs yesterday and although I did not succumb to the temptation I was amused by one comment in particular about not wanting to be told what to do. A great representation of how you can please some of the people some of the time …….

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+

 

 

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+

 

Montreal’s Glorious Late Summer

 

Summer took its time arriving in Montreal this year but has evidently decided to make up for that by staying late. Again this week, the last of the official summer season, temperatures are expected to rise to the 28º Celsius point (82º Fahrenheit) with the humidity making it feel more like 35º (95ºF).

The light is particularly glorious early in the morning as these photos show. Also, after an absence of sometime the city is now inundated with thousands of Monarch butterflies.

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+

 

Montreal’s Traffic – A Thorny Issue at Best

Bishop
The one lane Bishop Street from GOOGLE EARTH

With the city in the midst of a major multi-year project to redo a large highway exchange, it is an understatement to say traffic, which can be a thorny issue at the best of times, in Montreal is bad. It is horrendous with gusts to devastating. Some recent traffic induced situations have shone a light on human nature.

… it is an understatement to say traffic in Montreal is bad. It is horrendous with gusts to devastating.

Many streets in Montreal’s downtown sector are old and narrow. In many cases, these secondary streets are reduced to one lane of traffic when there is parking on both sides. Twice this summer I have witnessed how this can bring out the worst in drivers.

One day a month or so ago I was on MacKay Street watching a large tractor-trailer as the driver attempted to back it into a lane. This involved blocking the street, almost putting the cab of the rig on the opposite sidewalk and I suspect a few prayers that the whole thing would not jack-knife.

… until a cop strolled by and told him to get out of the way, go around the block. Even then the driver started to argue with the cop about having to make his delivery.

The driver of the truck was not having any luck after several shaky tries. In addition, traffic was backing up for some distance and starting to block an intersection.  However, people were being patient. Until a fire truck, sirens blaring lights flashing started down the street. Horns began to hoot as drivers wanted to get out of the way. I figured the driver would pull out, go around the block letting traffic flow, and try again. But no; just when it looked like he was going to do so this guy opted instead to give it another shot. With traffic building, sirens getting louder he tried to get that trailer into that lane until a cop strolled by and told him to get out of the way, go around the block. Even then the driver started to argue with the cop about having to make his delivery.

Who in their right mind would a) do recycling or garbage pick up at rush hour and, b) have only one person to drive and collect?

Yesterday was recycling day. On the next street over, Bishop, at 5:15 pm the contractor started to collect the recycling put out by the many restaurants, bars, and condos on the street. Yep, at rush hour. To make things worse, the truck had but one person to drive it and pick up the loads of cardboard and other recyclables. He would move up a few feet, get out of the truck, run from one side of the street to the other collecting, toss things into the truck, get back inside and move up a few more feet. All while a line of cars is growing behind him, down the street and causing a tie up on another street as drivers wait to turn. Who in their right mind would a) do recycling or garbage pick up at rush hour and, b) have only one person to drive and collect? It defies logic but probably puts a bit more cash in the contractor’s pocket.

But it wasn’t all bad. Last weekend I was driving west on a main street that intersects a highway exit. While waiting at the red light with my left turn indicator on several cars exiting the highway got stuck in the intersection blocking me from making my turn once the light changed. One fellow was so close to me that I could see he was going to do everything possible not to make eye contact, knowing he was in the wrong by “blocking the box”. But human nature being what it is he eventually looked at me no doubt expecting some rude gesture or comment. But all I did as our gaze met was shrug. A sort of “don’t worry we’ve all been there” shrug. He smiled and shrugged back and it was over.

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+