Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

One of my least favorite scams is the one that fast-food restaurants do at drive-thrus to make it look like orders are being made and provided to customers in a timely fashion. You know the one: You order and get to the pay window, only to be told to stay there until they tell you to move forward, or you get to the pickup window and they tell you to pull forward and they’ll bring your food out.

I hate that shit. I don’t even know why. I used to participate in it when I was in high school and worked at a fast-food restaurant. Everybody cooks the books in order to look more efficient than they are in actuality. Nevertheless, I am annoyed nearly every time I pull up to a drive-thru and they hit me with one of the various ways the particular establishment has used to deceive corporate.


Well, apparently, UPS does this, too, when it comes to package delivery and the information it provides through tracking numbers. Wrote a song about it. Like to hear it? Here it go. Also, there will be a diagram.

A few weeks back, I wrote about trying to make a living flipping exclusive shoes if this writing thing didn’t work out. While I’ve yet to truly consider that as a side hustle, I have used one of the sites I mentioned, StockX, to purchase a few pairs of shoes on the resale market. That site and its product-delivery mechanism seem to work pretty fine, but to date (I’ve ordered three pairs of shoes), two of my deliveries through UPS have been total clusterfucks of deceptions and lies.


A few weeks back, I ordered a pair of white Off-White x Nike Air VaporMax. I paid a pretty penny, but I wanted them. Anyway, they went through the StockX process—sent from reseller to StockX, verified for authenticity, shipped to purchaser—all within four days.

This is when the magic happened. I received a notification on a Thursday that my shoes would be delivered on Saturday. I was going to be out of town for a wedding, but we had a family member at our home watching our kids.


According to UPS, my shoes were delivered at roughly 5 p.m. that Saturday, May 5. Except the family member who was there was sitting in my living room with both my and her kids and said that UPS never came to the door or rang the doorbell; nor was there any package outside. According to the UPS system, the package was “left at front door.” That never happened.

We got back to Washington, D.C., on Sunday, and by Monday, I had filed a complaint through PayPal and UPS and they began their investigation, but I never heard back from anybody while my level of pisstivity elevated with each passing day. Again, I didn’t just buy some $49.99 Converse; these shoes cost several hundred dollars.


I called UPS that Thursday, but they had nothing for me. Fast-forward to Mother’s Day, and my family went to spend the day at a cookout with a friend. We got home around 8 p.m., and sitting on my front porch was a box. Now, because I wasn’t expecting to get my shoes ever, I had no idea what it could be. Turns out it was my shoes.

You might say, “Is it possible that a neighbor got the box and put it there?” No. My neighbors and I tend to pay specific attention to when we’re home to deliver packages to one another because I think we’ve all had packages grow legs. This box was just sitting all lonely on my porch at 8 p.m., not even behind a tree that helps to hide things.


UPS, obviously, finally delivered my box an entire week after they had told me they’d delivered it. And because I like to learn lessons the hard way, let’s go on ahead and wash, rinse and repeat this story.

StockX works like an auction site that allows you to bid on shoes. (I have to provide some information that matters later in the story. I have a UPS My Choice account and it’s attached to one email account, while my StockX account is attached to a different email account.) I put in a bid on some shoes a few weeks ago and entirely forgot because I don’t check the email account attached to the StockX site that frequently. So I basically bought some shoes and didn’t even realize it once my bid had been accepted.


Apparently, StockX went through the whole-ass authentication process, and I got an email from UPS telling me I had a package scheduled for delivery Thursday between 10:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.

While I didn’t intend to buy those shoes—I forgot to “unbid”—they are shoes I wanted, and my bid was well below what I thought I’d have to pay to actually get them, so I was excited and decided to call it an early birthday present to myself.


So yesterday (Thursday), I prepared myself to either get my new shoes or, more expectedly, at this point, to go through what I’m writing about.

The four-hour window came and went without any delivery of shoes. I expected that. I checked the UPS website, and the delivery time had changed to “end of day.” A’ight. I was going to be home anyway. Fine.


From roughly 5:30 p.m. until midnight (around the end of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, shouts to J.R. Smith), I was rooted and firmly planted in my living room, which is where my front door is located. Please see below for an artist’s rendering of my living room and shit.

Panama drew this shit.
Photo: Panama Dontavious Jackson Player Presidential Library

Sometimes UPS delivers after 8 p.m., which is pretty late, but whatevs. By 9 p.m., there had been no delivery, so I assumed it wasn’t going to happen that day. But the UPS site still indicated that my package was out for delivery.

At about 10:15 p.m., I decided to check the UPS site one last time, and holy fuck cakes, Batman, it said that my package had been delivered at 9:58 p.m. and left at the front door. UPS even had a “proof of delivery” link, which was basically them saying they delivered it.


It most certainly was not. I checked, my nigga. I was literally sitting my ass on the couch by the door with the main door open and my see-through storm door locked so I could ’pacifically see the UPS person show up. Peep the notifications. They’re out of order, but they’re all there.


Again, I was sitting right by my front door with the door open. Nobody graced my door step or delivered any package. Nada. Zip. Zero.

According to the email account that houses my StockX purchase info, the package had been delivered. But remember that other email account? It turns out that I had received two separate emails from UPS My Choice. One at 10:03 p.m. that said my scheduled delivery date had changed to today, Friday, June 1, 2018, between 10:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. OK.


Except ... at 10:05 p.m. Thursday, I’d received a second email from UPS stating that my package had been delivered at 9:58 p.m. and left at my front door, where it absolutely had not been left.

There is no way that it was placed at my front door and somebody stuck me for it. I was there the whole time. So clearly, UPS uses the fast-food scam where they claim to have delivered products because that’s what shippers are paying for, only to not be able to do so. and then game the system by flagging a package as delivered and dropping shit off the next day or whenever the fuck they can get there.


Those back-to-back, Drake-ass emails are proof to me that they originally meant to click “delivered,” but somebody tagged it as rescheduled, only to realize the mistake and then make up some shit about my package being delivered before 10 p.m., which has to be some kind of cutoff for reasonable delivery hours.

UPS is out here lying and fast-food-drive-thru-scamming customers. Usually I’d be concerned that my package had been stolen, but right now, I feel like UPS has it and will deliver it today, Friday (maybe I’ll get stuck for it then), well after they claimed they did.


Now, if I don’t get that package today, it’s gon’ be trouble, trouble.

But you ain’t got to lie, UPS. Stop scamming and just deliver my shit when you say you’re going to do it. You ain’t gots to lie to kick it.

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.

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