One of the greatest challenges an IT professional in education will ever face is not even a technical problem. There are neither recalcitrant students nor inerudite staff involved in this conundrum, and not even the weather or an Act of God is responsible for this repeated source of stress.

No, you see, the most challenging thing I have to deal with is trying to get couriers to deliver during the holidays.

Failed Delivery

The country's finest transportation services at work.

Some couriers are fine. Others are utter morons who are convinced that all schools are firmly closed for the entire holidays, and will therefore abandon their attempts at delivery at the earliest opportunity.

The worst example of this was a Parcel Force (aka Parcel Farce) delivery about 2 years ago. I was expecting it on a particular day, and when it did not arrive, I checked the online tracking. I was thoroughly irritated to find that it had been marked “DELIVERY ATTEMPTED” and returned to the depot, despite the fact I had left detailed instructions on the front door of reception for anyone to see.

The next day, I was more wary. All day, we kept an eye on the CCTV watching the front door. Meanwhile, I checked the online tracking periodically for any clue as to what time we might expect a big red van to appear following the “OUT FOR DELIVERY” message from about 7.30am.

At about 1pm, it changed to “DELIVERY ATTEMPTED – HOLD AT DEPOT”.

I was furious.

I called the Parcel Farce helpline and asked what they thought they were playing at. The numpty on the other end of the phone insisted that a delivery had indeed been attempted. I explained that we had just reviewed the CCTV footage for the entire morning and that no delivery driver had even got as far as the car park, let alone the front door. After a slightly heated exchange, they begrudgingly agreed to send it out again the next day on the premise that ‘perhaps they went to the wrong address’.

Lo and behold, it arrived.

On the box, written twice, in two different sets of handwriting, were the words “SCHOOL CLOSED – SUMMER HOLIDAYS”.

It quickly became apparent that both previous drivers, lazy reprobates through and through, had simply assumed the school would be shut and not even bothered to check.


About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

2 responses to “Deliveries”

  1. stiggyworld says :

    Don’t get me started with Parcel ‘Farce’. We have eight sites on campus and trying to get them to deliver my IT kit to the right place is like educating pork.

  2. ScottishTech says :

    My most recent experience (today) was with DHHell. It’s partly their fault, partly HP’s. But mostly DHL’s.

    I required a replacement drive for one of our servers. For reasons that I have yet to understand, HP shipped it out with a slightly wrong Postcode – everything else in the address was absolutely correct. School name, road name. Only the last 2 digits of the postcode – which pointed to a street about a mile from the school.

    So – parcel – being delivered to BIG high school in fairly small town. Parcel has school name, street name and town name. Should be easy enough, right?

    Several days of waiting.. It was delivered SOMEWHERE in the town. And I very helpfully received a PDF containing the surname and signature of whoever signed for it. Unfortunately, it only told me it was delivered somewhere within the REGION. Not the street name, or the building. Or even the town.

    I phoned DHL – they wouldn’t tell me, saying that the parcel wasn’t meant for me. Even though it had my name and place of work and full street address on it – just 2 digits wrong on the postcode. Apparently that doesn’t go for anything??

    I was advised to phone HP. Who advised me to phone DHL.

    It was at this point that I stopped making any attempt at being polite or non-hostile. HP are now shipping out a replacement drive within this business day, I may be forced to turn a tiny bit feral.

    So someone, somewhere within a mile or so of this place just won themselves a server hard drive.

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