Thursday, July 25, 2013

Invitations and RSVPs are Done! (Of Course There's a Story)

Good morning!!

Man alive. What a freakin' Wednesday evening I had. As I've mentioned before, we're in full wedding lockdown back at the ranch...I spent a lot of yesterday tweaking the wedding website so it would be ready for public consumption when I send out my invitations a week or two from now, happily checking this item off my mile long to-do list. It dawned on me, as I was resizing vintage clips of Pyrex and dewy-eyed brides from the fifties', that I had put the cart before the horse-- kid, you're gonna have to have invitations to send out before you have a website to which the invitations direct guests. Well! Bust my buttons! So it was! I took a long last look at the invites I showed you guys a couple weeks ago, added some information (uh, I forgot to put what time the ceremony was on the original draft? Because I'm smart, that's why), jump-drive-ified the whole thing, and made plans to head out to the Fed Ex Office in Rivergate, conveniently located next door to my favorite sushi restaurant. Midway through a plate of vegetarian rolls, I was too anxious with excitement to finish-- let's go get this done right now!

A dramatic recreation of what I looked like leaving the store,
except with less cuss words.
Backstory: I'd been to the same Fed Ex Office location earlier this year to have our Save the Dates printed out. A girl about my age moved the files from my flash drive to a PDF document, set the images up properly for printing, printed the postcards four to a page, and used their professional slice-and-dice machine to hand me a finished product of 50 3''x5'' double sided printouts, one side color, one side black and white. The cost of this undertaking was around $35, but I was so pleased with the outcome and the turnaround time that I didn't even think about this being a tad high for what I got. From the time I walked in the door until the time I left with save the dates in hand? Maybe 10 minutes. And she was very nice! I vowed to come back and do my invites and RSVPs at the same place.

Remember my Save the Dates? I love them. And having THOSE printed was a cinch!
When I rambled over from the sushi restaurant last night, almost the same task took forty minutes. I know, you're going...Lisa, forty minutes isn't that bad! Come on, to print the whole thing and have it in your hot little hands the same day? That was the problem, took forty minutes TO MOVE THE ITEMS TO THE COMPUTER, and nothing else. A different Fed Ex employee handled the transaction, and was all about telling me that I could come get a "proof" of the item the next evening at 6, and then they could possibly have the whole thing done maybe that night, or maybe the next day. 
She: It just depends on how quickly you need the items.
Me: I'd like to have a proof or some kind of idea of what it will look like before we do the whole fifty items.
She: Well, yes, but we wouldn't be able to do a proof until the whole print job was set up.
Me: Which would be when?
She: Tomorrow at six. Unless you could come in maybe before work and look at the proof, and then you could come back and pick up your items in the evening.
Me: I don't understand, how long does it take to move the files over to pdf so you can print them?
She: Well, we have to size them so they're the size of the print job like you wanted. And we wouldn't be able to do that until we were ready to print the entire run. You see what I'm saying?
Me: So there's no way I can have even a print out of what it will look like any time today.
She: No, it would have to be tomorrow.
I don't know a lot about working in a copy shop, so I don't know how many orders she had yet to do that night, or how many people were in front of me in terms of getting their print jobs, but....what I DO KNOW is exactly how long, and how non-arduous, the process of doing this exact job was based on my experience with the first Fed Ex employee. From start to finish, the job should have taken about 10 minutes...this woman was quoting me at 24 hours turn around! AFTER standing there in the store for forty minutes, with no consideration/break on the price. My time was not of the least concern to Fed Ex Office or its employees. Oh, oh, and price? $95.63. ALMOST ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS. Including a $20 fee for moving each of the four images, $5/per image, to the computer.

Like the Dave Chapelle sketch "Pop Copy", except almost worse.
I understand why these "rules" are in place for how and when a print job is completed. I understand the extra fee, to make sure someone doesn't come in with 100 pages they need scanned and resized and whatever else. What I don't understand is the employee's insistence that nothing could be done today. My friend, you should have told me that from the very first, BEFORE I spent forty minutes literally standing at a counter watching you gamely complain about the computer's slowness, then, at a molasses like speed, toy with this that and the other minor jobs, and give me some weird doublespeak about for what reason, on God's green earth, a ten minute task had already taken forty, and was nowhere near completion!

Polite but fuming, I left with a "claim check" to see about the proof the next day, and drove across the street to the Office Depot, which had a banner out front touting its "full service copy services" inside. There, inside thirty minutes, including the time I waited for them to help a husband and wife print out baby shower invitations for their soon to be first born, my invitations and rsvps were printed, cut out, and shrink wrapped. Cost? Well, you look and see:

OH MY GOD IT'S HALF. IT'S LESS THAN HALF WHAT IT WAS GOING TO BE AT FED EX. You've got to be kidding me. And that's not to get anything different than what I was going to get at Fed Ex. NOTHING DIFFERENT. As I was still pretty steamed, I had Matthew call and cancel out $95 order at the store across the street. And I'm totally satisfied with the outcome, MINUS the almost hour of my life I spent at Fed Ex getting lied to. Attempted bamboozlement should be a crime!

My question for you guys today: what do you do in this kind of situation? Are you a stomp-and-screamer, or do you stand by consumed by impotent rage as I did, watching your valuable time tick away as someone else is emphatically not doing their job? Have you had an experiences like this where the gulf in price makes you a little uneasy thinking of what else you might be overpaying for out of ignorance? Would you call the customer service line at Fed Ex and let them know your prime mission in life today is to tell every Tom, Dick, and Harry you know how freakin' awful your customer experience was?

I'm through fumin'...I promise to show you the finished (and quite nice!) invitation packet sometime next week or the week after, before I get these puppies in the mail! Hope you're having a great Thursday, and I'll see you back here tomorrow for Photo Friday. Til then!


  1. Ugh, FedEx drives me nuts. I deal with them pretty frequently at work - we get monthly calendar mailouts that they print, and there are hundreds of copies each time. What I don't understand is how I can order, say, 400 copies of a calender... and they somehow only end up printing 375 of them. This happens so much, it's not a ~crazy coincidence~. Like, how do you even manage to not print enough copies?! You are literally just pressing the numbers into the machine and it does the work for you!! ARGH!!!

    Glad you got your printouts sorted out! And through a different company, no less :)

  2. I am a big fan of impotent rage. Growing up my father was always the squeaky wheel and it always embarassed me so much that I generally just felt like I was apologizing for him at all times. I think you did the right thing. The best way to stick it to a company is by taking your business elsewhere, not by throwing a hissy fit! I'm sure they look lovely! I'm proud of you for doing your own invites. I have done invites for the last couple showers I have thrown for friends and spent like $20 for 50 cards...when the "bargain" invites online start at 1.50 an invite. That's crazy to me, but I'm remarkably cheap

  3. Ugh, I hate situations like that! I used to be all about the impotent rage, but then I married the Mister. And dealing with situations where you've been done wrong in a customer service type of way, the kind that make normal people want to cry/yell/stomp their feet... is actually his superpower. He has negotiated so much free stuff for us to compensate for whatever was messed up by the likes of contractors, Home Depot, etc....I really should hire him out.

  4. I'm a stomp-and-screamer. I cannot stand inconsistency within a company. I had some people from Lowes come out and measure our sliding glass door so we could have a screen door installed. It would have to be a custom sized door, but they said it should take about 2 weeks. 2 weeks passed. No door. One month. Two months. Three months. My calls were ignored until I finally got in touch with a regional manager who told me that Lowes doesn't even do custom-sized doors. I got my money back. (Because I had pre-paid for this imaginary custom door and for THREE men to come out and take measurements.)
    Some of my friends think I'm a brat, but I call it getting stuff done.

  5. What a mess. I used to be a silent steamer but these days, I am too awash in grief over how completely crappy customer service is from pillar to post and I just can't take it anymore. Now, I'm a "let me speak with your manager NOW" kind of person. It was an evolution, I suppose. It won't do any good to call Fed-Ex. You'll just get some person who makes nothing and can do nothing about it. In a small drop-in-the-bucket way, you paid them back by making them miss out on your hundred bucks.

  6. p.s. If it makes you feel any better, I have this sneaking suspicion that working around all of that copier equipment is going to make all of the workers sterile, so that slow, liar pants of a worker will get paid back years from now when they want to procreate.

  7. Damn girl! Fed Ex is a scam and half apparently. I'm a big fan of angry Yelp reviews. Really.. TAKE IT TO THE PEOPLE



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