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The saga of the traveling credenza

It all began May 13, when I spotted the perfect antique credenza offered for $400 by Quaboag Valley Antiques on Etsy. A real concern should have been that the credenza was in Massachusetts, and we live in Oregon.

“No problem,” I thought. “I’ll have it shipped. Easy-peasy.” Normal shipping was very expensive, however, so I decided to have Dan Braskie box up the credenza and ship it via Greyhound (cost $190). I realized that this was a very slow shipping method, but I had had two antique chairs shipped to me from Delaware a few years ago and they arrived in good condition. What’s more, I was in no hurry to receive my credenza, even asking Mr. Braskie to delay the shipment until mid-June because we were going to be away early that month.

Jump ahead to June 15. Mr. Braskie boxed up the credenza and took it to a Greyhound facility near his shop, notifying me that it was on its way. All went well — tracking-wise — until the box reached the Denver Greyhound facility June 18. There it was shown as “loaded outbound” on that same date. Thereafter, there was never another tracking notation.

Since the original information I had received from Mr. Braskie said the credenza would arrive at the Medford Greyhound station July 2, my husband and I tried calling there on that date — but it appears that normal people cannot find out about package delivery at that phone number, so we drove to the station to inquire.

We met David, a very helpful third-party manager manning the Greyhound desk that day, who did what he could — checking via phone and computer — but he came up empty. Nothing had been heard about my credenza since it was “loaded outbound” in Denver June 18.

Several unsuccessful calls to the Greyhound shipping number added to my frustration. By mid-July, I was convinced that my credenza was probably sitting beautifully in the living room of a Denver Greyhound employee or his family member. With no hope of ever seeing the credenza, I filed a “lost property” claim online July 21, requesting reimbursement for my $590 loss.

Not surprisingly, I heard nothing from Greyhound. So on Aug. 2, I called their “loss & claims” phone number to check on my claim, only to hear “This line has been disconnected. Goodbye.”

Shaking my head, I tried the regular customer service line for Greyhound, where I actually got to speak with a real person. I told him my sad story, and he said he would check for me. As I waited on hold (not even any music … just dead air) for over 15 minutes — with frustration increasing by the minute — I expected one of two outcomes: The customer service rep would never return to the line, or, if he returned, he would tell me that my credenza had been “loaded outbound” in Denver June 18.

Imagine my shock when he returned and told me that the Denver warehouse staff had found my credenza — it had not been “loaded outbound” after all — and they had put it on a bus that very day, with expected delivery at the Medford station Aug. 9 or 10. I was ecstatic. I made plans to pick it up the next week.

The next morning, I was filing away the Greyhound shipping papers when the phone rang. It was David at the Medford Greyhound station.

“Guess what!” he said. “Your package arrived here last night.” What?!

I have no idea how Greyhound got my credenza from Denver to Medford in less than a day … but I do not care. We picked it up yesterday, loading it into our Subaru Baja with David’s help. Now, after a months-long saga, I can finally say, “My antique walnut credenza is here, it’s perfect and I love it.”

Bonnie Goldfein lives in Medford.

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