The Symbolism of the Laundry
A Minute to Myself (189)

I Wish I Knew More about How the World Works

The camp my daughter is going to has a two-year old policy that I am required to abide by this year, and that is that luggage cannot go with them on the camp bus, but must be shipped separately. I was given the okay to not ship with their very expensive shipper and to use another shipper.

Last week I went to a FedEx office where I was told that it would take from four to five days to ship a duffle bag from Northern Virginia to her camp in Pennsylvania. I asked approximately how much it would cost. They asked me the approximate weight and size of the bag. I told them and got an estimate. I did the same thing with UPS, and while the price was pretty much the same, they told me two business days. Okay, we’ll use UPS.

Camp starts on Tuesday and she was with her father until Friday afternoon, so we really had to hustle with the packing. When I went in to ship the stuff on Saturday morning, the price came out to be higher than I expected. I looked at the breakdown of the cost and there was an $11.75 charge for each bag. Oh, said the attendant, that’s because you’re not shipping in boxes but in bags. Everything was already packed and I was all tense about it not getting there on time anyway, so I paid the bill and left, annoyed, of course. Why hadn’t anyone told me: “If you send your things in a box it will be cheaper”? Yes, I know, they get to make money on me that way. But I don’t think that is the issue here, nor is it that they don’t care about customer satisfaction. I think the problem is that people don’t look behind the questions that are asked of them or the step in the process that they are currently doing. They are the form, not people.

Friday, in the mad dash to get all the things she needs for camp, we were in a store about to buy a tank top when the cashier asked if my daughter had tried on jeans. No, we responded. To which she said that if she just tries on a pair of jeans, we get a $10 discount on any purchase. So off darling went to try on a pair of jeans (they were too short on her). I certainly would not have known about that deal if the cashier hadn’t said something to me. I wonder how many other deals I’m missing out because I don’t know to ask for them because I don’t know of their existence. 

If they have the deal, why not let us all in on it? Maybe this is a real instance of discrimination, not white, black, male or female, but those on the inside versus those on the outside. Why can’t we all be on the inside? If the deal is too expensive, then cut it out altogether. If you want to get some business, then tell everyone. How annoying.


Ms. H

I've often wondered the same thing myself. It's so frustrating!


I have also noticed these trends; hidden costs, secret deals. Mostly, I just refuse to pay the extra costs, especially when I have prearranged something like a car rental. I had someone on the phone, asked repeatedly for TOTAL charges so when I show up for my product, I expect to pay what I was quoted - period. It does help to not be in a panic because everything is happening at once and you are late. :) Been there, done that too many times to count!
The secret deals are another weird phenomenon. I'm old enough to remember when stores would put out big banners announcing their specials or have someone handing out coupons.
I guess it's up to us, the consumers, to tell these cheaters NO! I, for one, am going to spend a little extra time scrutinizing my bills and purchases. Thank you for bringing this up - food for thought.


That seems like a very weird policy, shipping the bags. Seems cheaper to take a road trip and drive them over. But then there's the gas prices this summer.


I'm with Pseudo on this one. I'm not familiar with the concept of shipping bags, they usually go on the bus with the kids. How annoying and aggravating.

I had an issue at WalMart the other night using the self checkout lanes (which there are more of now). We were in line, very crowded, and moved up to a front register with a green light. Once we got up there, the attendant informed us it wasn't working. So why the green light? My husband protested that we were now out of line and the worker didn't care. Basically told us we'd have to go to the back of the line. So much for customer service and the customer always being right.

Why are deals hidden? And why, when we went to buy school pants for my son online did they have a sale price if you ordered them online, but when we went to buy the same pants at the store, they were $5 a pair more expensive, even though the ad said "available in store"? The clerk at the store said, "Oh, that just means that they're available in the store." Yeah, right. Remind me to never shop at WalMart again.

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Ms. H, I wish I could think of some benefits of being an outsider, but I can't. Oh well.

rockync, the store cards are another thing. Really, do you have to bribe us with a deal to get information on our purchasing habits? It's disturbing.

Pseudo, the camp claimed that kids took so many things they needed to hire another bus in some places. They also explained that the counselors need to unpack the bags so no substances are brought into camp. That was supposed to make me feel comfortable.

JC, could it be that because people don't feel that the company is behind them, they don't care and won't do an extra ounce of work? WalMart, I never go there. I don't care what they say about how great they are to their workers now, I don't believe them. But really, who is there to believe?

A Free Man

Because it's all about making money, just like everything else!

Don't understand why the camp wouldn't let kids take their luggage?

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

A Free Man, indeed. I remember in my two minutes in business school they told us that everything needs to be framed as a benefit for the customer. Why not actually make it a benefit instead of just making it seem that it is?

Camp shipping. Stupid idea. Another "explanation" from the camp director was that it lets kids get immediately started into activities. So? What would happen if you gave them the ten minutes to throw things into their cubbies and onto their beds like they used to?


Happens every single day of every year to everyone I know. Drives me nuts

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Jessica, I wish there was a curtain to pull back like in the Wizard of Oz.

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