When it Absolutely, Positively will NOT get there on time …

    … or, The Downslide of the Once Great Federal Express

Sorry to say, FedEx is no longer the company we once knew and loved.

Used to be, you could set your watch by the company’s delivery schedule. How every package got delivered exactly between 10:15 am and 10:30 am used to blow my mind. But that is no longer the case.

The company’s falling far short of their once stellar reputation by being highly unreliable, delivering late or not delivering at all. I think their business model is probably becoming obsolete in this instantaneous gratification world in which we live.

The main problem that I see is that every Express package must be sorted through their Memphis facility. This is an enormous time-waster and totally unneeded in certain situations. I had a package delivered from Plattsburgh, NY, going through Newark and it stood there because it couldn’t get to Memphis due to “weather problems.” Now, UPS or the Post Office just takes that package and delivers it via truck to Long Island. FedEx doesn’t do that. When the woman told me this was the case, I called her a liar, because I couldn’t believe how a such a large company could do anything so incredibly stupid. But unlike the USPS and UPS, FedEx’s supposed “ground” service is 100% completely detached from their Express service, because the service was acquired (RPS) and left, as is. This is something FedEx is going to need to address ASAP because for what they charge to get a package delivered via Express service, they are not keeping up their end of the bargain … far more often than ever before. And they are unapologetic, and unlike USPS and UPS, will not make up for lost time and go that extra yard. And we are not amused.

A lot of the reason their corporate model is started to crumble is the increasing use of the Internet for “shopping,” especially at the holidays. People are no longer patient enough to wait 2 days to get their merchandise, and with every website offering free “guaranteed” next and 2-day service at this time of the year, they don’t have to. While it was not mandatory I get my package today, I was pretty peeved that FedEx did not keep their promise. Both UPS and the Post Office did.

Another thing wrong with FedEx is that if you send a package 2-day and it arrives at your local depot a day early, they will not deliver it earlier. This goes for 3-day service as well. Their Ground Service is atrocious, slower than First Class Mail, and 5 times as expensive. They also offer a similar service to the UPS Mail Innovations (where they coop with the Post office) but that service is slower than the Pony Express. Seriously. Try 3 weeks for delivery. It only takes 2 weeks via Pony Express. We won’t even talk about how many packages have gotten stolen via FedEx at hotels and the driver’s who don’t deliver packages because they have no idea where they are going and just leave it on the truck for the next day. Yes, this happens, all the time. As someone who sends packages every day, I can count on First Class Mail and UPS Ground with a higher reliability rate, and for what they charge, FedEx should be ashamed of themselves for their shoddy service record.

UPS does some pretty horrendous things, like driving over packages and leaving packages on your porch, and then shrugging when you can’t find it and saying “but it says “delivered” on your tracking!” As far as the Post Office goes, “yes we, um, shredded your card. Sorry!” Too, there are apparently scores of corrupt people delivering Express Mail who will steal your packages during the holidays. Despite these well-known glitches, UPS’s Express and Ground Services and the USPS First Class and Priority Mail services are far more reliable in a pinch when you need them than FedEx is. And a lot cheaper, too. Because they have to fly back to Mama Memphis to check in every single solitary Express package, this increases the possibility of error and delay 10 fold. Better rethink how you do your business, FedEx, or you’ll soon be “OUT” … of luck and business, not “FOR DELIVERY.”

Not the Font’s Fault

I just read an article in the Wall Street Journal (they have a lot of space now that the stock market is in the toilet) about Comic Sans and everyone’s hatred for it. As an Art & Creative Director who also happens to have to deal with custom work, I can’t say I have a love affair with the font and nothing screams “plebeian” more than Comic Sans. But it is most certainly NOT the font’s fault. Nor the typographer’s, for that matter. Continue reading

Of Tortillas … and Obama

Today, as I watch the swearing in of our 44th President, eating my tuna fish wrapped in a tortilla shell, my attention to this very great moment is diverted from the speech to the tuna sandwich… and how disgusted I am with the large, dry and bland tasting tortilla I am eating. Someone said, “hey, is that a pita?” to which I replied, “I wish.” Now, for those of you who don’t know, my first love, first real boyfriend and first husband was Mexican (yes, all 3 are the same person). So, for me, being able to tell a good tortilla from a bad one is a skill that I have honed over the years. It is very difficult to get me excited about Mexican food, as my ex-mother-in-law, Celia Amato Pina, was a PHENOMENAL cook and she completely and totally ruined me, at the tender age of 17, from ever enjoying Mexican food at any restaurant or anywhere else, except from her kitchen (the “Bell” is dog food). Not just Mexican food, mind you. She could make a bologna sandwich taste like it was a gourmet treat. Fresh cut Boar’s head with a little salsa, cilantro, jalapenos, tomatoes. lettuce, on one of the delicious continental rolls we used to get from Christopher Walken’s parents’ bakery. Yum. I would absolutely KILL for one of her green chile or mole chicken tamales right about now. Continue reading

Those Pretentious Luxury Cars

I have a friend, Heidy Morales, an extremely classy broad and great cook, born and raised in New Orleans, who came up here to live because she fell in love with (God help her!) Tom Ryan, a true friend and drummer in my band at the time. Besides having to deal with the cold weather and whiny Northerners, New York and New Orleans are quite similar (NY is larger and less friendly). She fit in rather well without much ado, other than she couldn’t find a lot of the cooking ingredients she was used to getting in the South … oh yeah, and her Isuzu Tracker (soft top) was a tad better suited for the quasi tropical climate of the Gulf Coast. Continue reading

Invasion from Florida

I’m not exactly sure why it’s not illegal for Floridians over the age of 75 to drive …. at least not without a yearly test proving them capable of operating a motor vehicle and or being able to see the road in front of them. And it’s bad enough that they drive in Florida and cause accidents and kill people down there. Now, they are driving here in NY … “back home”  … in droves … higher numbers than we have ever seen before. And if they are not a capable driver in Florida, I really do not know why they think they can drive on Long Island. Continue reading