And then at about ten minutes to 2 p.m., I get a call. From the post office. Chicks are here! Yayyyy! I have to wait for DBS to get home so I can run off, but his running around didn't take very long, so at 2:30 I was at the post office to pick up my peeping, cheeping box.
Except that they didn't have it there. The woman behind the counter said that the back room boys had told her it had gone out for delivery. And I said to myself, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?! (Internet lingo is getting pretty rife AND ripe around here.) She repeated that it had gone out for delivery and would I like to talk to a supervisor? I most certainly would, thankyouverymuch. It's June in the High Desert; it gets hot. The thought of day-old chicks sweltering in the back of a delivery jeep made the hair on the back of my neck raise up and catch fire. The supervisor comes out and I say that someone had called me to tell me that my chicks were here and that I had said that I was coming to get them and yet they had gone out for delivery?? How in the heck had that happened and fergoodness' sake, why? He took my name and address and, once he had determined that I didn't know the name of the gentleman who had called me, got the attitude of "I don't have to help you so I'm not going to be helpful. But I'll go look for the form of the thing." He came back and said that there were no packages waiting for me. I said I wanted to know how the heck this had happened. I told him that I had had live birds shipped to me before through this branch and I had never had them go out to be delivered to my home address, I had always been called to pick them up at the post office. He said, "Live birds? You mean chicks? I thought you said checks," and promptly went back to look again...and he found them this time. ThankyouThankyouThankyou. But the ordeal wasn't quite over, although the rest of it is not quite as dramatic. I told the lady that the supervisor turned me over to that I had to open the package in the office in the presence of a postal employee in case any of the birds were dead. She got it into her head that I would somehow think that dead birds were the post office's fault. No, I said, I need to do it this was so that the breeder has an independent witness to show that I hadn't killed the bird -- that if there's a dead bird on delivery, I needed to fill out a postal form and that way the breeder would know I wasn't trying to pull a fast one. "Well," she said in a fretful, near-snippy tone, "You can't fill out forms here anymore. You have to go home and do that online." Oy. And what if I don't have a computer hooked to the internet? Why in the merry name of the ghost of customer service long-dead do businesses have to make things harder for their customers? I love online service, I really, really do, but some things need to be handled in person -- and not everybody is hooked into the internet.
Still, the chicks are here and they are adorable. I'm still trying to figure out who's who in this melange; the original order was for 1 Chantecler, 1 Cuckoo Maran, 3 Buckeyes, 3 Buff Orpingtons, and 2 random brown egg layers. The modified order was as above, plus 5 Wyandottes, I believe Golden Laced but now I don't have anything saying just which variety. What I got was 1 Buckeye and the Chantecler replaced because they just didn't hatch out to order (but yayy! I got Welsummers for replacments!) and the rest of the order is the same. But the coloration of the five Wyandottes looks to be like Cuckoo Maran, and I have two birds that have the racing stripes of the Wyandottes. I think I've spotted the two Buckeyes and the Buff Orpingtons are unmistakeably blond...does anybody else think I'm going to be up half the night googling chick pics and racing back to the brooding area to see if I can recognize someone? The Welsummers were easy to pick out; they're striped like auburn-headed chipmunks. We'll have a couple of months to get things sorted out; I'm brooding everybody until they're feathered in and can go to their permanent homes. It was always my contention that people could claim they wanted this or that breed, but when the birds got done feathering all bets were off. Except that I know exactly what I want and I've got it: one Welsummer and one Buckeye. This oughta be interesting!
Pics tomorrow, just before I go haring off to build that shelter that was supposed to have been done last week