I buy everything online. I would rather wear a dress, pantyhose and high heels for the rest of my life than go shopping in the physical world. And let me tell you, I would look like a drag queen in that outfit — it’s not pretty and I’m doing everyone a great service by staying out of stores. Anyway, because I shop online so much, I usually have a consistent stream of packages arriving at my house.
I have lived in my house for almost ten years and have had four dogs for just about the same amount of time. For ten years I have had UPS and FedEx deliver my online orders with no issues. Moreover, both the UPS drivers and FedEx drivers bring treats for the dogs and get out and pet them. The dogs tails wag in everlasting love as they happily soak up the attention — and snacks.
Fast forward to the middle of 2011 and our neighborhood is assigned a new UPS driver. All of a sudden my packages stop being delivered. Instead of packages, I receive a tsunami of paper notifications that cite the packages are undeliverable because the “dogs were out.”
Now let me immerse you into reality of this “dogs were out” situation. My dogs are not like Cujo — the rabies-ridden St. Bernard who unleashes a reign of terror on a family. Two of my dogs are chocolate labs. Have ‘ya ever seen a lab? They are incredibly sweet and the only terror they unleash is if you happen to turn your back on your food — they will swoop in and consume it like a seagull. One of my dogs is a Shiba Inu. She is small and looks like a fox. She wags her tail so crazily she looks like a middle-aged woman doing the chicken dance at a wedding. Our forth dog Indy is a rescue dog. We went to the shelter and told them we wanted the dog that nobody wanted and had been there the longest. We think he is an Australian Sheppard/Spaniel mix. He is definitely a barker, but certainly doesn’t foam at the mouth.
I was finally able to catch the UPS driver one day and asked him why he wouldn’t deliver the packages. He was surprisingly rude and actually barked at me when he responded. He said he was not going to risk his life to deliver my packages. Excuse me? I never recalled reading that a lab had killed a man. Just to be sure, I Googled “lab kills man.” The only lab that ever killed a man was an exploding meth lab, not a dopey chocolate lab.
I went on to tell the driver that we have an electric fence for the dogs, so they couldn’t get on the front walkway or grass. As such, all he needed to do was drive down the driveway and step out his driverside door and directly onto my front walkway. The electric fence means he would never have to be within 10 feet of any of my harmless dogs. He barked at me again and said he refused to do that.
I called the local UPS distribution center and spoke to a supervisor. I was very reasonable and calm while I explained the situation. She informed me that this particular driver had been bit by a dog and now feared them. While I empathized with his situation, I explained that I thought that should be UPS’s issue, not mine. A quick Google search identified that 39% of US households own at least one dog — that’s 44.9 million households who own 78.2 million dogs.
So here’s my question: Should the customer who owns a dog/s suffer the consequences of a UPS driver who has a fear of dogs or should UPS deal with this issue because the driver is incapable of performing his duties? I’m pretty sure if a person was afraid of water (Aquaphobia), they wouldn’t be hired as a lifeguard. Or if someone was afraid of riding in a car (Amaxophobia), they wouldn’t be hired as a limo driver. So if 44.9 million households in the US have dog/s, how can someone with a fear of dogs (Cynophobia) be hired as a UPS driver?
Do you think UPS brand colors should be brown and gold or, perhaps more appropriately, brown and scaredy cat yellow?I