On deadline day I decided to track my parcel, just be certain that my quilt had arrived at the depot, to read that it was 'in the system, prior to delivery'. I rang Royal Mail and eventually got through to a human being after a couple of circuits of speaking clearly and pressing enough key combinations to open many a safe. The human being was pleasant and confirmed what the website has told me, I guessed she was reading from the same web page that I had in front of me. It took a lot of pushing on my part to get her to delve deeper into the system but eventually she told me that my parcel had not left my local post office.
Much gnashing of teeth and exercising of self-restraint to stop myself berating said human being who is paid to answer phones not deliver parcels and off double quick to my post office. No parcel and proof of the fact that it had been collected from them. This was worse than finding it had been lingering in a forgotten corner of the post office because it was now lost in the system. All they could offer me was a claim form.......
E-mails to twisted thread with copies of proof of posting in case the quilt arrived late. But what if it arrived late at the depot, would the company, Expofreight, handle a single left-over parcel? Would it be cost effective for them to forward it on to Twisted Thread? I had no right to expect this of them. E-mails to Expofreight to warn them of potential delay (I'm still doing my best to be optimistic at this point!) then .... nothing but frustration, the situation was beyond my control.
So needing solace I turned to my favourite patience game on the PC (I know, it's sad). A couple of games later the e-mails started to come in - a sympathetic message from Sara at Twisted Thread, a claim form from my local Post Office and a message from Expofreight. I nearly didn't read it - I was expecting an automated reply or an impersonal 'Thank you for your message ...' but it was a lovely personal message, warmly written, telling me that my quilt had been with them since Tuesday. So someone had taken the time out to check my details and cross reference them with their deliveries. Well done them, and well done for sending such a sympathetic e- mail.
At the end of the day, this is not close to being a prize winning quilt. It was a quilt that needed finishing, and entering FoQ seemed to be part of that finishing process, for some reason that I can't explain even to myself. What all this would have felt like if I had a reputation to maintain and depended on my quilts being 'out there' I have no idea!
So to return to the title of this post:
Expofreight 1 - Royal mail 0