Earlier in the day I was talking with Craig Cmehil saying that my SAP Mentor bag had arrived. Finally. As it’s a gift from the SAP community I really shouldn’t complain but the journey it took was little short of…incredible. Or rather the difficulty in getting it the 45 km from Jaen to my home.
It all started when I received a letter from DHL telling me there was a hold up in delivering and that I needed to get in touch. I call them up. They give me a case number and tell me they’ll call back. When they returned the call this is how the conversation went (with a little poetic license)
“We have this package for you and we need to know what’s inside it.”
“Who’s it from?”
“Someone called SAP. Do you know what’s inside?”
“I’ve no idea.”
“Hang on…it says something about a bag.”
“Right. So what do you need to call me for?”
“We need your NIE number.”
“It’s something to do with customs. Do you know what’s in the bag?”
“I’ve no idea – but here’s my NIE number.”
“OK – we’ll deliver it shortly. By the way, here’s a reference number you need should you want to call us.”
“I’ve got a different reference number on the letter.”
“Please use the number I just gave you.”
Several days pass and I get another call:
“You know that NIE number? It’s no good because your a foreigner and it says you don’t pay Spanish taxes. Can you fax over your passport?”
“Uh? Are you kidding me? Why do you need my passport?”
“Something to do with customs. By the way, do you work for SAP?”
“Errr…no, SAP isn’t my employer. I don’t have an employer.”
So I then take a JPEG of the passport and send a fax via my computer to the person concerned. Days pass and I get another call:
“Did you fax over the passport?”
“Yes, and I got a note saying you received it.”
“Oh, hang on.”
A few minutes pass and the caller returns.
“We don’t have it. Did you put the case number on the fax?”
“Yes, I used the number you gave me”
“Which number was that?”
…and I then reel off the number.
“That’s the wrong number. We probably didn’t recognize it so it’s probably in the bin. We get a lot of fexes.”
“Well which number do you want me to use?”
…and I am given the original reference number that was on the letter.
“Can I email this to you instead as it seems your fax handling system isn’t that great.”
…and I duly email according to the instructions. Time passes and I forget about the bag. This morning I received a call telling me that DHL would be coming to deliver a package and could I confirm the address (which they had wrong.) Asked when the package would arrive, I was told later in the morning.
It arrived at 5.30pm or thereabouts, some 20 days after I received the original letter. DHL? I think they may have some process and control issues. My friend Vinnie Mirchandani calls processes that go wrong in this way as in need of process angioplasty. Hopefully BPX’ers will have some good suggestions.
Craig asked if that’s ‘normal’ behavior in Spain. I’m afraid it is all too common although I have to say that Spanish folk are nearly always quick off the mark when it comes to fiestas.
PS – The SAP Mentor bag plus the goodies it contains is well worth the effort of posting into the forums, blogs, wiki etc and taking that extra little bit of time to stand by fellow community people when they need help. I shall see about road testing it on my forthcoming trip to TechEd.