‘Oh? We know nothing about that,’ quoths the good lady. ‘Besides, we can’t do anything until the passport is back in the hands of our brokerage in Newark.’
‘And no, we can't get our brokerage to phone through to CBP to confirm that the passport has been released. You’ll just have to wait till it turns up at the brokerage.’
A day passes; it's now day 6 after the passport's original due date. At last ‘Import Scan’ on the web tracking site has been changed - at 2.03 a.m. - to a long gobbledygook schpiel, the gist of which is: the infamous passport is now back in the infamous clutches of UPS. But it's marked with 'exception,' admitting it is within their system but not saying when it will be delivered.
‘It could be today,’ quoths the good lady to one of my frantic calls. ‘But then again, it also could be tomorrow.’
‘It’ll probably be tomorrow,’ a later frantic call elicits. ‘But then again, it could be today.’
‘It’ll be tomorrow because that's how our system works when an item is released from customs,’ says a third interlocutor.
‘What, even if it should have been delivered at 10.30 a.m. a week ago?’
UPS company slogan: "We run the tightest ship in the shipping business."
I ask to speak to a supervisor. I get the same runaround. I ask to speak to the
Vice-President for Eff-Ups.
‘The Vice-President for what?’
‘The Vice-President for Effing Up!’
They don't get it. Hours more on the phone - and another day bites the dust.