Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Return Of The Saudi Post Chocolate Monster

There is no wrath like the one of a pregnant Finnish woman whose long awaited Finnish mega chocolate bar has been stolen by the Saudi postal guy. AGAIN. 
Don't attempt to steal chocolate from a pregnant woman. Ever.

Speaking of theft, stealing, dishonesty and greed..Check out American Bedu's post about the plagiarism scandal going on in the blogosphere:

So my long awaited package from the online Finnish food store called Suomikauppa arrived today. Husband picked it up from the P.O BOX, since Saudi-Arabia hasn't arranged actual addresses for its citizens yet. Oh well it's only 2012 and such an advancement can't be anticipated for another 20+ years. I mean they don't even let women drive yet so why would they be so advanced to have physical addresses? That's just pure vanity! Is it a coincidence that the Saudi Postal services are responsible for both driving licenses and addresses? Hmm..
Now let me tell you how many times I have ordered from this online store. About like 100 times. Ok. How many times do you think I received the entire order? 0. Don't get me wrong, the customer service in the Suomikauppa is excellent. They know what the word service means. Unlike in Saudi-Arabia where people think service means "sit on your ass all day tapping on your iPhone ignoring anyone who speaks to you and only answer back in a rude tone showing as little interest as possible while maintaining eye contact with the mobile device only." oh and "never, under any circumstances answer the land-line phone".

My package was very much anticipated this time because:
A) it contained a large Finnish chocolate bar which I have been craving for a long time now. This is like the best chocolate in the word, no joke people.
B) it contained my favorite Finnish coffee. I tend to get very grumpy sometimes if I haven't had my caffeine fix. Also I'm pretty darn bored of drinking instant coffee which to me tastes more like boiled old dish water and should rather be called instant diuretic.
C) It was supposed to contain a surprise on behalf of the store rewarding my returning customer-ship.
D) I'm pregnant and craving this specific chocolate.

I had also ordered baby foods (yes I have to order some baby food all the way from Finland because it's healthy and organic and babies love the taste and nothing like it is available here because healthy baby food in Saudi equals chips and nuggets). I also had some special rice and rye oatmeal in there.

I bet Mr. Saudi Post Office Guy aka Mr. Ruthless Thief already recognizes this package when it comes to the office. He probably has his fingers itching to take it into the back room for "inspection". One time he was so thorough doing his inspection that he had sacrificed his safety and taken a bite or two out of the chocolate bar. He dutifully placed it back into the package though.

And what about that time when Mr. Chocolate Monster Maniac had to finish off the entire Fazer Blue chocolate bar, just to make sure no part of it contains liquor or, God forbid a hidden machine gun? His heartfelt dedication is admirable. I am still touched that he left the empty wrappers behind, like as a sign of his hard work and devotion.

This time some pretty committed guy had opened my package and as usual rummaged through it. As I went through the contents it became evident that both my chocolate AND coffee were missing. Un-friggin-believable. Worse yet, it looked like the "surprise" has been taken too since there is nothing extra in the parcel. I am guessing they sent candy of some sort but it wasn't mentioned in the list of contents.
I. Was. Fuming.
Why does he always go for the largest chocolate bar? Can't he for once take the salmiakki, you know the ammonium chloride??
And the healthy foods are all there again. Of course. Why would he consume anything healthy?


Does Saudi postal services employ starving people off the street who are forced to eat whatever edible they can find in the parcels? Are the employees told to actually taste stuff? Are employees indulging in expensive goods sent from around the world, perhaps taking small bits home to share with the wife? Do some of these employees have huge stashes of stolen goods at home? Is there anyone supervising this zoo? Are there surveillance cameras? Do they employ ex-convicts only? What is this place anyways?
Where is that machine gun!?

I wanted to storm into the post office right there and then to find the guilty parties. I would find him even if he was hiding under all the boxes munching on my delicious chocolate. Does he even know how to make filter coffee, huh? I bet not!! This was the last time I was going to just rant about it. Something needed to be done. My husband was not too keen on my idea, knowing that I might need to cool down a "bit" before entering the office. I insisted he take me there but it was already closed (lucky for them) so we have to wait until the next day.

In the meanwhile I went to their website in hopes of finding a way to make a complaint. Not a huge surprise this was not possible. I saw a customer service number, but ignored it, being so accustomed to government offices or any other businesses here who predominantly employ Saudis not picking up the phone. Then something must have clicked in my head (I'll blame it on the pregnancy brain which is lacking intelligent activity and possibly operating on two brain cells at the moment) because I changed my mind and called.

Lo and behold someone picked up after all the press this or that button stuff was over. They spoke English. That's not all folks. He actually tried to find out what happened.
He tracked the parcel and asked me did we sign when picking it up. I told him of course, isn't that the only way to receive it. Turns out if you already signed it, there's nothing they can do for you. Even if they go to the dude that mishandled your parcel, he can always say they took it, not me!

Ok this makes sense in a way. HOWEVER why is the customer not informed of this policy when he picks up the parcel? I have heard stories of everything under the sun (including Victoria's Secret panties) being stolen by Saudi Post officers. So why not have a system in place to try stop these violations? They should warn the customers to open it up at the office before signing just in case something has "disappeared into thin air". And then there should be a system where you can file a complaint of missing goods. And someone should actually follow that up. On top of that there should be consequences for the violators. But this is veeeeryyyyyy complicated and advanced. Can this kind of development be expected to happen in Saudi-Arabia any time soon?

This is what the chairman of the Saudi Post has to say:
"Over the ages of human civilization and history, civilization experts confirm that post has been an important component in attempting to identify the progress and prosperity of nations, as it is one of the engines of sustainable development of human societies in its different stages, and in the moral values of society, the postman is always one that we desire to come to our doors."

What does the Saudi Post tell us about the progress and prosperity of this nation? I don't need a civilization expert to figure that one out.

I would love to have the Saudi postman come to my door with my parcel next time. Oh ya I forgot we have no addresses. Until next time then when I personally open the parcel at the office..Watch out Mr. Chocolate Monster!

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