I’m not the most organised person. I will willingly admit this. However, when I took it upon myself to ship a maaaaassive suitcase full of my stuff home a two and a half weeks early, I felt proud.
Needless to say, things are not going to plan.
I used my ever-faithful company Unibaggage since they’ve shipped me back and forth between NI and England for many a year now without too much hassle, but I wasn’t bargaining on having to deal with DHL… Basically, I have had to endure an evening of what all language learners dread – talking to someone on the phone who doesn’t speak your language and who can’t see your wild gestures and attempts to be understood. Add in a little bit of stress and an accompanying fall in your level of french and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
Attempt 1: Email Unibaggage to tell them things have not been collected after a ten hour vigil in my apartment. Get speedy reply, only to be told that DHL will only speak to me because I am the in-country contact. Also get told that the driver DID in fact call me, but he did it yesterday and the day before, rather than today as I expected. Fab.
Attempt 2: Call DHL. French phone will not compute pay-per-min number.
Attempt 3: Try to explain situation, get put on hold, I hang up.
Attempt 4: UK phone racks up charges as customer service advisor tells me that my tracking number does not exist. BUT I KNOW IT EXISTS. I repeat tracking number. It still doesn’t exist. Line is dodgy. I understand VERY little of what is going on. She hangs up.
Attempt 5: I hit the speak to an english advisor button. Get put through to someone who says that she speaks english ‘pas du tout’. I realise that I have been giving the wrong tracking number. I fix this. She finds me on the system!! She tells me that I need to call back and speak to someone else – but what number do I call? Exactly the same one. Just not tomorrow because it’s a public holiday, and not Saturday because it’s the weekend and not Sunday because DUH we’re in France.
So I will call on Monday before my exam just so that stress levels can peak accordingly. Up until this point, I had escaped lightly with my french phone communication – just one call to night security on campus when I left my keys in the UK… But now I can leave France with the full knowledge that I have really made the most of the experience.
At least I gave myself time to sort it, I suppose…
Wish me luck,