Posts Tagged ‘Deluxe Penguin Costume’

Penguins Try to Fly to Tasmania

November 6, 2009

With a few days to go before Halloween Penguin Place (which is me) sold out of our ever popular light weight adult penguin costume and according to our distributer there would be no more for the rest of 2009. So, not wanting to be without any adult costumes for the rest of the year I ordered a couple dozen of the deluxe adult penguin costumes. Now what’s the difference between the light weight and adult costume you ask? Simply put, the deluxe has more of everything, more padding for a plumper penguin, better feet, nicer beak, etc. There’s just more penguin. For example, I get a dozen light weight penguin costumes per box from my distributer and only six per box for the deluxe. In the deluxe version you get double the penguin for about double the price. Of course for double the price and with Halloween come and gone I didn’t think I’d be selling too many of these high end penguin costumes, but I thought it’s always good for folks to know that they’re here if they want one. and after all what would Penguin Place be without any adult penguin costumes. But, I was more than pleasantly surprised when I received an e-mail from Narelle Campbell of the Australian Antarctic Division in Tasmania that a group of researchers and support people who are leaving for Antarctica in 10 days wanted 23 of my deluxe penguin costumes for immediate delivery. All we needed to do was a little haggling over the price for the bulk order, figure out the shipping logistics and charges and the costumes would be waddling their way to Tasmania faster than you can say Chilly Willy. By late last night everything was in order, and I logged onto the USPS website to figure out shipping charges and what were the size and weight restrictions for shipping so many penguins to the land down under the land down under (that’s what they call Tasmania). The weight was not a problem, and neither were the penguins, but the size had me running up against a bit of an iceberg. For shipping to Australia the box must not exceed 79 inches when calculating total height, length, width and girth. The girth thing always confuses me, but I measured each of my three boxes of penguins, and it appeared to me that I had made it under the wire by a couple of inches each. So, this morning at 10 am I set off with my trusted assistant Michelle to the main post office in Northampton with my trio of penguin costume boxes, all labeled, addressed and with custom forms and air mail stickers. Little did I know at the time it would not be until 4 1/2 hours later that I would leave the post office. Was there a siege at the post office and I was a hostage? Why and how did 4 1/2 hours pass before I could send out these boxes and leave, and how did I not “go postal” during that time. The answers to those questions may never be fully known, but here’s what happened as best as I can explain it. As I stated earlier I set off for the post office at 10 am. thinking I was totally prepared to mail my boxes, and then head back to “the igloo” for a regular work day at Penguin Place. My assistant Michelle drove me the two blocks to the post office in her jeep as my VW Bug would be too small for the task. When we got to the post office I quickly realized my first mistake was trying to assume what dimensional weight is. By the way my first post office clerk (Charlie) looked at me after he measured I might as well have been guessing the amount of marbles in a jar. I measured girth using a tape measure as the total inches around the box on the shorter side, while the post office measures girth using the long side. I was told by the clerk in no uncertain terms that my box exceeded the legal limit for air mail to Tasmania not by inches or half a foot, but by a whole foot per box foot each. So, I sent Michelle back to the office for a scissor, some tape and another box, I then took a couple of costumes out of each box, cut the original boxes down a bit on each side, re-taped them up and after all that it still turned out that only one of the boxes were under 79 inches, but this time the other three exceeded the limit by a few inches each. I was clearly making progress. Unfortunately, if you’ve ever dealt with the USPS you know there would be no swaying the clerk to let it slide, so again Michelle went back to Penguin Place for yet another box. Again we took a penguin costume out of each box and now started packing up a 5th box of penguin costumes. At this point Michelle and I have been at this for 2 hours and I’m assuming the boxes now meet the size restrictions, so I send Michelle back to the office to try to get some work done, but now the clerk is telling me that sending them international air mail parcel post will take 6-10 business days, which means it will undoubtedly not get to Tasmania by the 15th, so I urgently need upgrade the five boxes
to international express mail, this means I have to fill out new custom forms, and now to top it all off according to a new USPS policy implemented last week by the post office a clerk has to manually input each international custom and express mail shipping form into the USPS data base via index finger keyboard poke typing technique into the USPS computer (each box took about 20 minutes to do). But during this potential tedium in a wonderful gesture of goodwill and humanity my new counter clerk (Brian) actually me to feel free to go get some coffee or a bite to eat during the hour it would take to manually enter all the data for the five boxes into the computer. Shocked, I gave him a startled thanks and walked around the corner for lunch. Upon returning 40 minutes later at around 1:30 pm, I notice that Brian my personal post office clerk for the day did not look to happy. It seems that two of my boxes still exceeded the legal limit and were still an inch to big. A f&*%king inch!! Are you kidding me!! So, I took a deep breath and as calmly as I could I take back the two ‘over sized” boxes, whip out my trusty scissor and tape and begin to trim those boxes like possessed Edward Scissorhands. In twenty minutes the boxes are both 78″ and good to go. Unfortunately, Brian my personal postal clerk for the day had not done any of the custom form data entry (the stuff that takes about 20 minutes per box) while I was at lunch because he claimed he didn’t know if I wanted to send the three “legal” boxes out when two of the boxes were over the legal limit and unable to ship. What this meant was that now that I had trimmed the last two illegal boxes down he now had to begin the hour long process of entering all the info into the USPS computer from scratch. This time however I would not leave my penguin costumes until my mission was accomplished no matter what. I needed to pick up my kids at school by 2:55 pm and I already had invested nearly four hours into seeing that these boxes are sent on their way to Tasmania. By 2:30 pm, 4 1/2 hours after I first set foot in the Post Office with three boxes, my five boxes of penguin costumes had officially begun their 8000 mile journey to Tasmania and hopefully then on to the ice in Antarctica where hopefully they will amuse some scientists and confuse some penguins. According to the USPS website their scheduled delivery date is November 11th. To me it feels like that day has come and gone.

tasmania-map

The Penguin Costumes Final Destination

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Last Light Weight Penguin Costume Sold

October 28, 2009

Congrats to Mr. Tim McCollum who at 9:47 pm tonight purchased our last remaining light weight adult penguin costume of 2009. I did place a rush order for the Deluxe Penguin Costume and they will be here tomorrow morning, but judging by the amount of people who have logged on to penguin place and have not ordered anything I have to think they they are a bit put off by the Deluxe Penguin Costume Price (double the lightwieght version) and are presently waddling around the internet in search of a source for a L/W version.