This arrived in my inbox this morning, it sums up my life at work perfectly:
The life of a freight forwarder
THANK YOU FOR CALLING FORWARD LOGISTICS GROUP.
Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed.
If you MUST submit a proposal to your client within 20 minutes but have neglected to obtain a transportation rate, even though this has been on your desk for six months, please press one
If your shipment required an inside, two man delivery to the eighth floor of an office building which had no freight elevator, and you do not understand why you were billed extra for this service, please press two.
If you would like us to contact US. Customs on your behalf and tell them they do not have the right to impede your business by examining your freight, please press three.
If you work at Dunkin Donuts and would like to explore the possibility of importing crap from China that you can in turn sell on eBay, please press four.
If you require a quotation, please have your pieces, weight, dimensions, commodity, origin and destination available before speaking with a representative. Please be more specific than “Europe” or “Asia” when referring to origins and destinations.
Please note that a “bunch” of “parts” does not constitute quantities and commodities.
If you are exporting more than half a million dollars worth of merchandise to your client in Germany, and have never heard of a “commercial invoice” please press five.
If you have been advised by our export personnel that your shipment of hand grenades is not only hazardous material, but also requires an export license, and you would like to speak to a manager about the fact that in ten years of shipping hand grenades (otherwise known as a “bunch” of “parts”) you’ve never had to have that before, please press six.
To question the legitimacy of “dimensional weight,” please press seven.
If you would like to know the Customs regulations for every port in the world, please press eight.
If you can tell us absolutely nothing about your commodity and would like us to properly classify it because ‘that’s what you hired US for,” please press nine.
If you’ve hired your South American customer’s cousin in Miami to ship your goods, and would like us to call him and offer free advise on how to do this, please press ten.
If your letter of credit expires at noon tomorrow and you’re still waiting for some of the product to arrive at your office, please press eleven.
To claim that another forwarder can ship your product for half what we quoted and try to get us to lower our price because you really want to use us, please press twelve.
If you wish to scream and curse at our personnel because a carrier bumped your freight, please press thirteen to curse at import personnel, or fourteen to curse at export personnel.
If you ship 50 to 75 kilos of freight with us per year and you’d like us to DROP EVERYTHING to give your shipment top priority, please press fifteen.
If you told us your shipment weighs 150 lbs. and would like to dispute the reweigh of your 12 pallets of hammers, please press sixteen.
If your shipment was damaged and you refused insurance prior to departure, please press seventeen to declare that you’re going to sue us.
If Customs has had your shipment on hold for two weeks and you’d like to go “talk some sense into them,” please press eighteen for directions to their facility.
If you’re a truck driver seeking directions to our facility, and you have already called three times for directions, hang up and go buy a map!
If you’re just in a foul mood and need to yell at SOMEBODY, please press zero for the receptionist, and ask her to connect you to Jose.
Thank you again for calling Forward Logistics Group, and have a pleasant day.