We weren’t even in our new place before packages started showing up on our doorstep. Since we were geniuses and crammed our move into the two weeks between our kids’ birthdays (and only four weeks before Christmas), we did a lot of online ordering to make sure we didn’t screw up and forget to shop for our kids amidst all the moving-in hubbub.
As a result, our mail carrier and UPS man have been frequent visitors to our front stoop. I introduced myself to our new mail carrier – she comes during daylight hours, and her arrival was easy to anticipate. But our UPS guy? The other night, our doorbell rang, and we answered it within 10 seconds. Seriously, it was that quick. There lay a package at our door, with not a man nor a brown truck to be seen. I swear to God, there was no UPS truck or deliveryman anywhere in sight, no tail lights disappearing down the street, no diesel engine gurgling away into the night. It was kind of creepy.
When it came time to leave our holiday tips, the mail carrier was easy. I wrote her a card, slipped some cash in it, and left it with the outgoing mail. But the UPS man? I don’t even know what he looks like. Or when to expect him. Or if I can catch him the next time he comes to our door.
So yesterday, when I saw the brown UPS truck pull into our parking lot, I stole the card I had set aside for the kids’ librarian, scribbled a thank you note, and ran out in my slippers waving the red envelope, “Excuse me! Excuse me!” chasing him as he sprinted from our neighbors’ stoop to his open-doored truck.
“I wasn’t sure if we’d be getting any more packages delivered before Christmas, but I wanted to give you a card. So here you go. Merry Christmas!” Panting as I said it.
He stopped mid trot, looked at me real funny, like “Who the hell are you?” and then his face gentled and he said thank you as he accepted my card.
I realized after his funny look that a) he was here way earlier than we usually get our deliveries, so I don’t even know if he’s our UPS man, and b) since he hopped into the passenger side of the truck, I’m guessing there was a driver with him, whom I did not tip. Sigh. I’ll get it right one of these days.
If you are bewildered by the art of tipping like I am, my husband sent me this excellent guide to tipping. It even includes the percentage rates for hair cuts – I never know how much to tip my stylist! Now to figure out how to catch the garbage men. I don’t know when they come or how many serve our building. But after the sickening volume of waste we generated from our move, you’d better believe I appreciate those guys enough to sit by the window all day Friday to wait for them.