Tuesday, May 16, 2023

The Mini Mystery

 You may recall the case of my lost Kindle, which I wrote about in 2019. I left a Kindle on a plane and tried to track it down at the Atlanta Airport during a 45 minute layover. The end result was I never found it, but Leslie had a new one waiting for me when I got home. Now it's the case of the Mini ceramic salt and pepper shakers that somehow ended up at a Jacksonville, Florida mail distribution center.

Some context. When I was diagnosed I decided I needed to get rid of stuff. Which I did, but kind of haphazardly, and I now miss some things that I got rid of. I stopped the purge for a while. A few years ago, I decided to readdress my downsizing and getting rid of stuff. I made the process more thoughtful. I'd give things that had meaning to me to specific people, friends and family, who I knew would share and understand the meaningfulness. Books, old license plates, sports memorabilia, whatever. 

I have a friend, Ron, who loves Minis, the car. He's had a couple over the years. He got married, had two kids and his vehicle needs changed. Someday he'd like to have a Mini again. Well, I've been sitting on two ceramic salt and pepper shakers that are representations of Mini Coopers. They were my Step Dads. My Mom and Step Dad lived in England for a year, back in the 1980s. They had an O.G. Mini while there. So I'm guessing my Step Dad had an ongoing love of the car. When he died in 2005, I asked my Mom if I could have his Mini salt and pepper shakers. They're very nice and very cool. I've kept them displayed next to my small Minnesota Vikings big rig. 

I've been looking at the shakers more than usual for the past few months. They're on a shelf adjacent to where I sit with my laptop for privacy while on my virtual calls with my therapist. I recently decided I'd send them to Ron. I know he'd like them. 

Last week I boxed them up and took them to the post office. Ron only lives roughly 20 miles from me. I sent them via priority mail, meaning they'd get to him the next day. Well, I checked tracking the next day and it said delivery was delayed a day. I kept checking every day and the message never changed. They were at a distribution center in Los Angeles and delivery was delayed. Yesterday morning I checked the tracking. It'd been 5 days since I sent them. Tracking had changed. They were in Jacksonville, FL distribution center with no specified delivery date. Ummmm...what?!

Leslie called the local office and after some challenges was able to speak to a live person, who said they'd look into it. We went on with my day which was capped off by a visit to my back doctor to discuss surgery. Surgery will be in July and sounds not fun. As an fyi, in June I'm having two surgeries to remove a massive large kidney stone, known as a Staghorn Calculus. Myeloma and many years of treatment and steroids mean any surgery has to be approached with caution. I have weak bones and bleed easily.

We had just gotten home from the back doctor, I was ok with the news, when my phone rang. It was actually the woman from the post office. Apparently the box I used to ship the shakers had a small bar code on the bottom of the box that redirected it to Jacksonville. This despite the fact I had used a large sharpie to write the delivery address on the box and the postage having a bar code with the delivery address on it. The woman at the post office said we'd have to file a complaint plus somehow find someone who could remove the errant bar code. Sure. Simple. I filed the complaint. Well, after everything, it was the post office that managed to break me. That call was too much for me.

I felt so defeated and so personally hurt by the mishandling of the box. I had been very thoughtful in making the decision to send the shakers to a friend. It's now a day later and I still feel defeated and wondering why nothing goes right. As I was writing this post, I checked tracking and the box has now left Jacksonville. It's in transit and delivery is delayed again. But the tracking doesn't say where it is going. Is it on it's way back to Los Angeles? Did a person and not a machine realize the error? Who knows. I guess when I wake up, I'll see what tracking says. 

My life has changed so dramatically over the past 12 years. I feel like little by little, things are out of my control and little by little I am losing independence. Who do I blame? Is it anyone's faults?  Thinking about it gets me nowhere. I know that.  

The funny thing is, I almost sent the package via Fedex. I was in a Fedex office with Leslie the other day. I was about to ship the box and decided that I'd use the Post Office instead to save a few bucks. What a mistake. And now I lie here with a sore back that I am sick of, stewing over that decision and the misdirected box.

UGH's the next day and the package in LA and scheduled for delivery later today. Stay tuned.

Delivered!!!! 6 days late and after a cross country trip.


  1. Matt, hang in there. I do know how you feel about things being out of our control. And no way to stop the freight train that is aging (and myeloma). We can slow down the myeloma, but not the aging. You and I are not old!!! We just feel like it sometimes. I hope it gets better for you.


Berenson Oncology Success Rate

 Some reading about my myeloma specialist's success rate. A press release and an article from Targeted Oncology.