July 7, 2010
...and they are sent...
The process was not as seamless as I expected. Low and behold I got the tape measure lover once more. This time I was almost prepared. I had my printout of the shipping requirements and my calculator.
The over sized cylinder pack was scrutinized with precision but I managed to mime that cylinders were okay and that one passed through. The snow shoes box barely met muster with my dear friend the disgruntled seamstress, but also got carried over the counter to my relief.
The real problems started when it was discovered that my two undersized boxes were each 1.5cm over the allowed volume. I borrowed a box cutter and adeptly cut down the first of the two. It contained a Japanese doll and a lot of wadded up paper. I had success in clearing the volume maximum with no real trouble. By this point a crowd had grown around my antics and a rather cheerful employee helped me tape the box with smiles and several impressed coworkers exclaiming "Oh! Subarashi!" or "Excellent!" I think the whole office was breathing a collective sigh of relief that I wouldn't have to come back another day with more smaller boxes.
The hang up was that the second box that pushed the limit was filled to the brim. The inventive employee grabbed the box cutter and went to town. She trimmed down one side of the box and crushed the corners. I was a bit confused over what help a lopsided box would be, but smiled politely and attempted to help. Once the crushed side was secured with a roll of packing tape her motives became clear. Under the watchful eye of the postal inspector she re-measured the box, using the now crumpled side as her volume calculator. I must have looked a small bit bewildered because she eyed me, held her finger to her lips and said "Shhh, secret" with a wink. And without further ado all of my packages were stamped and paid for. I waved a sweaty goodbye and said a heartfelt "sayonara" to the staff as I left the office for a final time, unburdened and lifted by the ingenuity of Japan.