DHL Frustration

Computer cartoon 1My computer died recently and my nephew Steve found a replacement and sent it by way of DHL. Without a computer I would not be able to post my weekly blogs that form my monthly newsletter. I’ve come to enjoy doing this and did not want to give it up.

DHL is an expense but secure way to send a parcel. Often things sent by regular post disappear reroute. On receiving a message that the computer had arrived at the port of Dar-es-Salaam, I spent a week sitting in the DHL office in Arusha before finally getting the computer. Arusha is the big town five hours away that I go for shopping every seven or eight weeks. During that the week, we had diocesan meetings together with the one-week early mass with the bishop to bless the “holy oils”. The rest of the time was spent sitting in the DHL office. The computer had arrived 300 miles South at the Port of Dar-es-Salaam the previous Monday, but the DHL people showed little enthusiasm expediting the parcels’ release from DHL car and planecustoms. For days I sat in the DHL office making numerous phone calls to Dar-es-Salaam trying to energize people who were mostly not in the office or out for quick three-hour tea breaks. These people were totally unresponsive my pleas for help. Anyway, after four frustrating days I was finally able to talk to the manager of the office in Arusha. He listened to me carefully and said he would immediately take the problem in hand. I was skeptical but went back to sit in my chair in the DHL waiting room that now had my name on it. He came out of his inner sanctum an hour later saying that the package would be on the first plane from Dar to Arusha the following day. I left with a little more hope that I had up to then. The next day, Saturday, I was back in my personal DHL chair bright and early. The manager again emerged to tell me that the box was on the plane and would arrive at the office at 11:00 AM. I went to buy some cooking oil, rice and beans and to have a cup of coffee at nearby shop returning to the office atDHL boxes 11:00. The DHL car arrived from Kilimanjaro airport right on time. I was ecstatic…in moments I would have my new computer in my hands. Ten minutes later the manager came out to tell me they had put the wrong box on the plane. I put aside my temptation to give in to DHL rage and look for a weapon as he promised it would be on the next plane and would arrive in Arusha at 4:00 that afternoon. He told me to be at the office at 3 PM and we would go together to the airport to pick up the box. I was back in the office at 3 and we boarded the DHL van for the hour-long trip to the airport at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. On arriving at the airport we were given tags to pin to our shirts that allowed access to many areas of the airport. It seemed to be overkill to pick up a package but I pinned the badge on to my shirt. Then for the next hour the manager and I went to six different locations on the airport working through the process of getting the package released. Finally, We brought the DHL bag to the car and on opening it and seeing my nephew Steve’s return address on the box I knew that it had finally arrived.

I can hardly believe it. I’m back on line!

3 thoughts on “DHL Frustration”

  1. Thanks Carl and Ned for this blog post. It is helpful for us to have a story of like in a different culture. I read it but probably don’t really get it.

  2. WOW, Ned! You must have the patience of Job to wait that long for a package. Seems to me most people here in the States would have either given up or shot somebody!

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