I work in the call center of Birthday Express, supplier of party paraphernalia including, but not limited to: Disney Princesses plates, Spiderman 2 favor boxes, Finding Nemo mylar balloons, paint-your-own superhero car activity for eight; pin the horn on the unicorn, etc.
We take inquiry calls and orders from the entire United States, continental or not, and I personally have had orders from Puerto Rico, Guam, the UK, and Germany. By far, the worst calls in terms of sheer aggravation come generally from Texas, Louisiana, or New Jersey. I believe these may be the areas of the US wherein reside the last vestiges of the old, comparatively uncivilized population; the folks with good souls but few teeth, the three-hundred-pound Welfare mothers with eight children, those that get by fine without being able to read.
And there is one question that they all ask. One demand they all make. One strange assumption they have about the United States Postal Service, and about our abilities as a mail-order company in general.
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2004 1:36 PM
Subject: A direct quote from my last call.
Hello thanks for calling...Etc
-THE MYRIAD SOUNDS OF SCREECHING RAT-CHILDREN PERMEATE THE NEXT 5 MINUTES-
"Uh. Um. Do you, uh, get a cake wit' dat?"
No. I'm sorry, we can't mail cakes.
"Aww man. Dat cakes look good."
Yeah, you can take the picture to a bakery and they can probably help you out.
"Dat gonna cost money?"
Yes. I'm sure they'll charge you for the cake.
"But I want mah cake wit da package."
"No, I want it in da package cuz I don't wanna pay for it."
...Even if we COULD send you a cake, we certainly wouldn't do it for free.
You'd have to pay for it. You have to pay for everything in the package.
That's why there's a price next to it.
"Uh...uhm. Thanks, I guess. I'll call back when I know what my order goan be."
Yes, we show a cake in the picture of the "Party Package," that's because often we have either cake pans in special, theme-appropriate shapes, or perhaps we're modeling the cake-topper kit we sell with the theme. But please, good people of the east and south, notice the text in the lower left of the photo: "Cake made by a local baker." One cannot mail a cake. One can barely deliver a pizza.