A few months back, I bought a handheld vacuum cleaner and being the savvy shopper that I am, I noticed that Amazon had a deal on filters. I decided to use my next paycheck to buy one, and while I was at it, Beautiful Creatures as well. This entire purchase came to $19.32 (big spender, I know). I have the student discounted Amazon Prime, so my package was due to arrive in two days time.
Two days later, I come home from work and ask my roommate if we had gotten any packages. She informed me that we did not. Seeing this as an unusual occurrence because Amazon is always on time with Prime delivery, I check my account. According to Amazon, my package was delivered.
I ask my roommate again. I check the mailbox and the area surrounding the mailbox. I knock on my Super’s door. No leads. So, I call Amazon.
The woman on the other end informs me that sometimes this happens and the delivery people make mistakes. She is confident that the package will be waiting for me tomorrow, and if it isn’t I can call back and get a full refund.
I go to sleep, not at all worried, wake up and go on with my day.
I come home from work and start the process all over again. I ask my roommate. I knock on my Super’s door. I check the mailbox and the area surrounding the mailbox…. which is where I find my package.
I live on the first floor, and normally the mail person or delivery person will either leave the package in front of my apartment door or they will take it back with them and leave me a pink slip requesting that I pick up my parcel.
This day turned out to be a little different. I have no facts and no proof because I do not have a camera in front of my door, nor is there anything resembling security in my building. I can only assume.
My package had in fact been delivered the day before. Someone took my package, opened it, took out the filter, and placed the opened box in front of my mailbox.
Absolutely outraged, I storm into my apartment and begin shouting like a lunatic. This filter belonged to a very specific vacuum, comment number one (thief, I hope you have the same vacuum cleaner otherwise have fun with that piece of junk), comment number two, why did you not take the book? Young adult novels not your thing? And comment number three, why on earth did you think it was ok to take someone’s mail and open it? Did returning it make you feel better?!
Naturally, I turned to the social media world to help me. I was told by numerous people to call the police. By this time, it was late, so I decided to wait until the next day.
After waking up, I immediately started doing some research. I wanted to file a complaint. I called the Postmaster (business hours were Monday through Friday, and it was a Saturday … so that was out). I then called UPS, who told me I had to call Amazon. I called Amazon (who by the way, has an amazing customer service team) and they sent me another filter free of charge. No one would accept my complaint or say anything in regard to me warning them about thieves in my building.
So I called 311, the non emergency police because, like I said, I wanted to file a complaint. I thought perhaps everyone would be equally as outraged by this and we could petition to install a locked package box or a camera….
I explained myself to the woman on the other end.
“Sweetheart, you have to call 911.” (311)
“Oh sorry, I just, I wanted to file a complaint… I can’t do that with you?” (me)
“No, you have to call 911, that is a crime. Hold on, I will connect you.” (311)
“911 what is your emergency?” (911)
“Umm… hi I’m sorry, this really isn’t an emergency or anything…” (me)
“ok… tell me what happened.” (911)
“She was a victim of theft, you need to send the police.” (311 – I had no idea we were on a conference call and that she could jump in at any moment)
“Where do you live? I will send someone over right away.” (911)
“Ok, thank you, but this really isn’t an emergency, they don’t have to rush.” (me)
After giving 911 my address, I realized the police were coming to my apartment and I was in my pjs. I jumped up and started cleaning (I know, OCD, I can’t help it) and put on pants and brushed my teeth. The police arrived in 7 minutes flat. In which not nearly enough cleaning happened nor did I really look all that presentable.
“Hello ma’am, you called the police?” (officer)
“Yes, um yes I did. I am sorry, this really isn’t an emergency I feel bad you guys rushed out here. You probably have more important things to deal with. Are you allergic to cats?” (me)
The officers both kind of looked at each other and started laughing…. now I was embarrassed.
Over the course of the next 45 minutes, I told them what happened, showed them the box, and they asked a bunch of questions and filled out a lot of paperwork. My cat had completely chewed up one of the officer’s shoes and I was acting like I was hosting a party instead of reporting a crime. (Hey, I have never had the police in my home! Maybe they were hungry or wanted some water!)
All in all, it was pretty pointless. I mean, it was only a $9 filter. I was more mad than anything else. I just wanted them to know that this was happening. I asked them if there was anything I could do and they told me to buy a camera or have my packages shipped somewhere else.
After the police left, I went to talk to my super and explained what happened. I asked him if we could do anything about this and he said no. There was nothing we could do.
“Has this happened before?” (me)
“Oh yes. Plenty of time.” (Harry the Super)
“Well wait, can’t we do something?!” (me)
“Those Russians. We have Russians upstairs. They take package.” (Harry the Super)
Well, not to point fingers, but I now have a suspect! Except, everyone in my building is Russian… or Polish… or Middle Eastern… and not really of the English speaking persuasion ….so yeah…. doing detective work and interrogations will be a challenge.