Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hostage Situation

I finally did it.

I bought my new computer.

That's right. I figured I'd been talking about it for a year, and it was finally time to put words into action. I bought a Mac! Go me!

I bought it a month ago. And I waited impatiently for it to arrive.

The first hint that something was terribly wrong came from Shannon at Cyberbones. Did you know her husband bought her a Kindle for her birthday? Go husband! But it never arrived. After some sleuthing, he discovered that the State Department was no longer allowing any items with lithium batteries (Kindles, computers, cameras...) to be shipped in the pouch. It seems there was some sort of plane crash in which a fire was caused by a lithium battery. So now no one wants to ship them.

I checked with my mail room. No, they told me, there was no policy change. My computer should be arriving shortly.

A few days later, a cable went out worldwide. It went something like this:

STATE 001112

1. The good news is, we have your computer here in our gigantic mail warehouse.
2. However, we regret to inform you that your computer cannot be shipped to post.
3. Write to us at youllneverseeyourcomputeragain@state.gov and we'll try to help you figure out what to do.


The cable might not have been worded exactly like that - I'm paraphrasing here. But you get the idea.

So I wrote to the good folks at youwastedyourmoney@state.gov, and sent them my tracking number. The responded within minutes - minutes! - providing me with a screen shot that showed that my computer is, indeed, being kept in their warehouse.

Thanks so much, I responded, but can you please tell me what the next steps are? Will you be returning my computer to the sender so I can get a refund? Will you readdress it so it comes to me through the DPO? Please advise.

They never answered. So I sent them another message. And another. And another. Still no response from leaveabagofmoneyunderatreeifueverhopetoseeyourcomputeraliveagain@state.gov.

So here I sit. I have no shiny new Apple computer. Yet the money has been spent - my credit card seems to think I have a new computer. Sadly, it is being held captive against its will, and there appears to be nothing I can do except wait for the guys over at wannagoforacoffeebreak@state.gov to tell me what to do.


What a disaster.


Jill said... [Reply]

Donna - if you can figure out a way for me to pick up your computer tomorrow from the warehouse - I can re-send it through the DPO to you.

OR, Matt can fly it back with him and leave it in Kuwait ... if there's someone there who can forward it on...

If there's any way i can help you through this bureaucratic quagmire, let me know! I'll send you my cell number in a private message just in case.

Julie said... [Reply]

I am so very sorry for the holdup of your shiny new computer, but I am still laughing about your blog post. I hope they just return it so at least you'll have your money!

Julie said... [Reply]
This comment has been removed by the author.
Just US said... [Reply]

So sorry to hear your computer is being held hostage! I love all the e-mail address you used! :) Maybe someday soon they will figure out how to return to work and ship your shiny new computer to you! Maybe - I will be sure to keep my fingers crossed.

Linsey said... [Reply]

Call Apple and tell them it never arrived. They might refund your money...maybe. UGH, red tape is the worst, the absolute WORST. I'm sorry I don't have better advice. We're probably coming to Jordan around Christmas time next year, if you haven't solved the hostage crisis by then, I'd be happy to bring your computer with me on the plane.

Stephanie said... [Reply]

Oh, how frustrating! I hope you can at least get your money back some day.

Mike must have known I was planning on getting him a Kindle for Christmas, because that cable is probably the only cable he's ever remembered to pass on to me.

Shannon said... [Reply]

I am sorry your computer is being held hostage but at least it is keeping my kindle company. SIGH!

Becky said... [Reply]

What a pain! I hope they get it figured out for you soon.

Sara said... [Reply]

Donna, you turned a very frustrating situation into a hilarious blog post. howwillweallmatchthis@state.gov

Loved it!

On a side note-I hope they can get it to you eventually!

LeesOnTheGo said... [Reply]

I'm sorry as well to hear about your computer! (and secretly wondering if I should take the Kindle and new ipod off of my Amazon wish list...)

Also think it's great to have Wonder Woman (aka Jill) on your speed dial who so willingly swoops in with an idea that just might save the day.

Hope it all works out for you sooner than later!


Jen said... [Reply]

Argh! What a nightmare! Hope it gets resolved soon...

SassAndSweet said... [Reply]

I *read* that cable you paraphrased - I think you pretty much wrote out it's main points succinctly. Ugh - what a mess. My sympathies... Any solution on the horizon?

Sadie said... [Reply]

I guess I got my Kindle just in time via pouch... So sorry to hear of this hassle; they'll have to figure out the lithium battery fiasco soon, as I believe the FS overseas community may start to riot during the holiday season over this. The good news is, when you finally do get your computer, it'll (almost) have been worth the wait! Macs rock!

Sara said... [Reply]

We had the same problem with our camera. John sent them a pre-paid, addressed envelope to go through DPO because USPS didn't change their policy. I think it came out in a cable as an option. If you need more information let me know.

Please. Write your own stuff.