, , ,

For small business owners, the issue of shipping your product has got to be one of the biggest stumbling blocks to success. You have no control over what items cost to ship, or how they are handled when they leave your care. You have no control over the temperature of the delivery vehicles (plane, truck), and no control over the weather where the items are headed. There can be lost shipments, truck breakdowns, delayed flights, misread addresses… a gamut of miscues that can land your precious product in Oz.

You really have no way of guaranteeing your carefully crafted, beautiful pierogi will arrive at its eager new owner’s home in one piece and as delicious as it was intended to be.

It’s enough to drive a control freak insane.

I don’t suggest that I have any real business acumen to speak of, or that this pierogi adventure I’m on is going to amount to anything more than a fun experiment in which my rolling-pin muscles become leaner and better defined, from my arms to my abs. I am literally making this up as I go. I have a great product, but had no idea that I would get order inquiries from at least five different states.

This is a bonafide dilemma.

In case you didn’t know, I don’t like to disappoint and I don’t back away from a challenge. I grab it by, well, whatever I can grab, and I squarely look it over until I have figured out how to solve it. So with this mindset, I set out to research my shipping options.

My trip to the UPS store in town could have been an episode of “Candid Camera.” Sorry that I didn’t get the name of the two comedians behind the counter. For purposes of furthering our story along, I’ll call them Larry and Moe.

Let me set the scene. It is Saturday morning during the Christmas season, and the main drag of my little hometown is crammed with cars – even moreso than usual. I assertively navigate Main Street like a Super Mario Brother and fly into the shopping plaza parking lot, where I abruptly pull into a spot right in front of the UPS store. I am a yogi on a mission.ups

I hustle into the UPS store, where “Larry” sees me coming. He tries to back-peddle to the back of the store. But I am too quick.

“Hi there!” My friendly smile is a bit exaggerated, as I’m thinking this is a pierogi novice who may not understand the infinite value of the delivery problem I am bringing to him. I need to get this guy in my pierogi corner.

“What can I do ya for?” Larry says, not returning my smile but eying me like I’m wearing a fuzzy pink robe and hair curlers.

I look myself over. I am not.

“I need to fast-ship a specialty food item,” I say. “What’s my best option?”

Larry doesn’t miss a beat. “Well that depends. Where are you sending it to? How much does it weigh? How big is it?”

Listen pal, I’ll ask the questions here.

“Oh Larry, such details,” I say to myself. “Here, have a pierogi.”

Larry estimates it will cost me “one million dollars” to have him and Moe correctly package up my Pierogi Yogi™ orders to get them through the Dry Ice Shipping Police and to the far corners of the world in time for Christmas.

“Lighten up, Larry,” I mutter under my breath. If Santa Claus can get it done by Christmas morning, so can I.

I scribble a few notes in my handy notebook, as Moe tells Larry that I’d best be sure to drop off my packages late in the day so they won’t be sitting around the UPS shipping area like a wallflower on prom night.

I walked out of UPS Downer Land, undeterred. I have friends at the Post Office.

Next up: The Why of This

©2017 By Marianne V. Heffernan