CMU School of Drama

Friday, April 07, 2017

Ship It: Part 1

Dimmer Beach: Years ago I watched a program about FedEx, and the thing that stuck in my mind was, there are more packages shipping every day than you can imagine and it is amazing that the vast majority of the packages end up where they are supposed to be on time.

6 comments:

Rebecca Meckler said...

I really enjoyed this article. The moral, be nice and calm so that you can sort out your problem may seem obvious, but in the heat of the moment is harder than it sounds. Additionally, I think it's interesting that Mark includes that the shipping company doesn’t understand how theater moves from venue to venue and therefore the companies are not necessarily equipped to be accommodating. Knowing that the other person on the phone is not trying to be malicious, but rather has no idea how to actually, help makes a lot of sense. Though everything in this article seems obvious and makes sense, it probably is helpful to reiterate it and hear it from someone who has been in the same situation before. Still, the article can be really helpful tool to think back to when you get stressed with FedEx. It is also applicable to other aspects of theater when you have to deal with people who might not understand what you are trying to do.

Vanessa Ramon said...

What a unique article that ponders an occurrence I'm sure has crossed all of our minds at some point. There are SO many packages that are delivered everyday, it truly is a miracle or magic that a majority of packages get to where they need to go on time.Something that I hadn't thought of as much was the fact that these mailing companies aren't aware of exactly how we run our business. The article brings up some seemingly simple but very necessary tips that can be helpful when you are in a situation of shipping on tour or in general. My favorite tip he mentions in the article is the fact that even though you might be busy and frustrated, you must be nice when dealing with the shipping people on the phone. Not only are you at the mercy of them, but if you are mean to them they will most likely not try as hard to help your situation.

William N. Lowe said...

I personally don’t actually think that this article said that much. I think that the valuable take aways are to stay pleasant, it’s not the fault of the person you are talking to, and get priority shipping even if it is listed as the same amount of time as ground. I think there was a lot of additional “stuff” put into here which was not as necessary. The two things that surprised me were the priority shipping section and the section about the venue. The venue was especially interesting to me because I realized that some of these shipments being discussed could not necessarily just be left on the curb. The other major point which made sense once it was mentioned but not anticipated was the idea that if the shipment was missed, they would have to re-route the shipment to wherever the tour was going next. A day late was not an option.

nick waddington said...

I am not sure what to take away from this article personally, because i feel like it really wasn't all that profound, however i did think it was cool to hear about the different complications that arise with shipping. overall i think the article was really trying to impress how difficult it can be for the people who have to deal with this job on a day to day basis, when very few people actually understand the effort that goes into it. I was also really interested by the idea of venue, because i have been witness to many occasions where a delivery arrives at a theater or stadium, but there is no one there who can sign for the delivery, and they are forced to take it back/wait until someone arrives. and with a tour, that could get really expensive for both the shipping company and the touring company, because the delivery really has to arrive exactly on time otherwise they could completely miss the touring company or make them late and set back their schedule because they had to wait for this delivery.

Helena Hewitt said...

It is truly amazing the number of things we take for granted. Now that shopping online is, for many of us, the default way we buy things, there are packages crisscrossing the country every second. And of course, when the people need the package delivered are also in motion, it can make the precision needed to come together really incredible if you consider it on a large scale, even for something as seemingly simple as getting a package delivered. I think that the main thing to weigh when you are dealing with a large shipping company is that you are one tiny chess piece on a gigantic board that they are working to keep completely in order and on time. Obviously, these people are not intentionally trying to mess up your performance. Furthermore, not only is keeping the scale of what they do in perspective important, but also maintaining perspective on the work we do. As the saying going “We’re making theatre, not curing cancer.” Therefore, the world will not end if one package misses its delivery date, and it is not worth wasting your energy making someone else’s day worse by yelling at them over the phone.

Sarah Boyle said...

What I got from this article is that I really don’t want to ever have to be the person dealing with shipping on a touring show. I hadn’t considered some of the factors the author pointed out, like that it isn’t helpful if the package arrives the next day when the show is gone, or checking to be sure someone will be at the venue who can receive the package, but I had never really thought about shipping in that way. The points about making sure to be nice and polite, since it makes a big difference whether or not they want to help you and that the person you are talking to was not the person who lost the package, could really apply to any customer service or a lot of business interactions. Being nice to people can go a long way. I am curious what is going to be in Ship It Part 2.