The situation is that a parcel has been swallowed up in the Parcelfarce network and should have been delivered today, via their guaranteed 24 hour service. I checked their website and it was booked into their Rotherham depot yesterday evening and that's as far as their (public) tracking goes.
I know the phone number for the local (Shrewsbury) depot so at 5.00 pm I phoned them and asked if they could advise me regarding the parcel number I quoted:-
"So is this out for delivery today please?"
"Yes it was, but it won't be delivered."
"Oh? Why not please?"
"Well, there's been nine inches of snow at Wolverhampton today. Nothing's getting delivered. Nobody can get through."
"I see. Is that the whole of Wolverhampton?"
"Oh yes, all over the Black Country in fact."
"Ah, OK, only I'm not the sender, I'm the receiver. I'm sitting here in my house in Wolverhampton where the roads are perfectly clear and I can tell you that we have had no snow at all for the last four days."
A long silence follows, which I break by saying:-
"OK. Can we start again please? Where is my parcel?"
"Erm... that's not helpful. It was sent yesterday and was on your 24 hour service"
"So can you give me any information about my parcel please?"
"It's not at this depot"
"So where is it please?"
"Well, can you check your computer?"
"I'm sorry? what do you mean?"
"It's switched off for the night"
"Well, your public tracking website has it in Rotherham last night"
"So is it still in Rotherham?"
"You're really not giving me much help here"
"OK, so who would know where it is please?"
"Well, it won't just go away. What can be done about it please?"
"Put a f**kin' claim in"
At which point he terminated the call.