The One With the Shopping Bag

Work ended on a sour note the other day. I learned, only after several emails and phone calls, that a supplier was going to be late making a delivery—four or five days late. The supplier feigned an apology in the same backhanded way Shia LeBeouf apologizes to his fans. “I’m sorry if you misunderstood my intentions.” In essence: maybe you should lighten up.

I would love to lighten up. Believe me. But I couldn’t. I had several internal departments breathing down my neck to find out about this delivery and, then, to find out why I hadn’t done something about this sooner. Why did I let this become a problem, they wanted to know. What they’re really asking is why I’d let this become their problem. Because, really, no one cares until it becomes an issue on their desk.

I ranted and raved at the supplier via email. I felt my blood pressure rising. “Why should my company have to pay extra for this expedited delivery? This is your fault.”

Ah, the blame game. I suppose every office has a version of this. But here was the rub: I had no one to hand this off to, no one to pass the buck to. It was my responsibility to figure out a solution and fast.

I took my barely contained anger to the phone. The supplier’s customer service person answered in a sing-song tone. In the first ten minutes, he treated me to a rundown of every sales cliche in the book. “Jackie, I’m sure if we put our heads together, Jackie, we can come up with a win-win solution” and “Jackie, let’s get granular here” and “Okay, Jackie, let me take this offline and run the idea up the flagpole.”

I am not ashamed (well, a little) to tell you that I said, “Say something that means anything! And if you don’t stop using my name every five seconds, I will get granular on your ass.”


I have no idea why I was this annoyed. I hadn’t made any egregious mistakes. No one’s life was on the line. No one was about to lose their livelihood over this delivery. Regardless, I was going to write to this person’s supervisor and the owner of the company if I had to. I thought at the very least he should be reprimanded and removed from our account.

I commuted home still seething. It’s a good thing that I ride the subway rather than drive, with road rage being what it is these days, but the subway has its own form of irritations. I was standing in the middle of the car when a woman with purple hair squeezed in next to me. A seat opened up and she gestured that I could take it. I did and I opened my book, but I just read the same sentence over and over.

As the train swayed, her bag kept hitting me on the knee. Great, I thought, I get a seat only to be thwacked repeatedly by this woman’s bag. She was in her own world, oblivious to her out-of-control bag. Then I looked closer. It was a cloth shopping bag. On it was a single word printed three times, one underneath the next:




Sometimes the universe gives you a nudge in the form of a shopping bag.

karma bag


Have you received a karmic nudge? 

Have a great weekend, everyone! 




  1. All.The.Time. Some days I feel like I’m living a scene from Bruce Almighty.

    “Let me run it up the flag pole” is such a dangerous cliche. Every time someone says that to me, I am tempted to tell them what they can really run it up.

    I hope the expedited delivery made it to you expeditiously.


  2. This is so good. I have to say I’ve never been quite so obviously nudged by Karma… but yes, it seems to happen frequently to me as well. One recent evening I spent 30 minutes trying to track a package that I was told had been delivered to my house early that morning (no package had been delivered), and I got a bit heated under the collar when the person basically accused me of not admitting it; then she offered to resend if I paid for a re-delivery fee. The conversation did not end well. Not two minutes after I hung up, my 90+ year old neighbor called to tell me a package had accidentally been delivered to her early that morning…and had been sitting in her house until evening so she knew I was home. Of course I called the package place back and apologized, but I felt pretty dumb. But what could I do? Yell at my 90+ year old neighbor?

    Anyway, I hope you got the expedited order without being charged (that’s absurd).


    1. Ugh, situations like the one you described just sit in the pit of your stomach, don’t they? I find it hard to let it go — rehashing it in my mind for hours afterward.

      It was so nice of you to call back to apologize. A testament to your good karma. 🙂


  3. Hi Jackie. Oh yes, this has happened to me too. And I do love what you said to the customer service agent. Just this week, I had a major software crash and was on the phone for many hours over several days with tech support people, which has greatly tested my patience and raised my blood pressure significantly! I am trying not to overreact and feel wronged and annoyed, but it’s so hard. And I am still trying to get my software problems sorted out days later! Ugh. This is my karma this week!


    1. That sounds painful, Patti. I can relate to that feeling of trying not to overreact or trying to put it into perspective and still being incredibly frustrated. I hope it gets sorted out very soon.


    1. Time and patience — two things I often feel are in such short supply. It’s all about perspective. I imagine people who are patient feel they have an abundance of time.

      Thanks for stopping by.


  4. I really hate to complain. Ha! But I do. I’m weak sometimes and forget just how lucky I am. Healthy (sort of), semi retired, (but I stll work every day), self employed (the boss is sometimes grumpy but generally OK), and able to spend the winter in a warm place so my aching bones don’t ache quite so much.

    But what really cranks my handle (they attach one when you reach that certain age) is other drivers. Sheeesh, get moving already. Don’t you know I’m in a hurry to get to the Outback before 4:30? Morty and Helen Seinfeld are holding a table for us. Theer’s that car up ahead that is in the left lane going 15 miles under the speed limit with the left blinker going. GET THE FIDDLE OUT OF MY WAY! When I finally shot an opening and moved around the old guy in the blinking Buick I got an angry honk, hooooooonk from a Porsche on my rear bumper. That’s when it finally hit me that I’m actually driving a Buick and the last time I looked in the bathroom mirror some old guy was there looking back.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is terrific. It made me laugh out loud. Let’s get granular. Never heard that expresssion but I’ll try it out on someone soon. And how I hate it when they overuse your name.
    Up to that point it was already a great story but the bag is making this truly amazing. What a coincidence.


  6. I don’t even know what ‘let’s get granular’ means! But I’ve been out of the bullshitty game for a few years now 🙂 Quite the obvious nudge from karma! Brilliant!


  7. Of course, I LOVED this: “Say something that means anything! And if you don’t stop using my name every five seconds, I will get granular on your ass.”

    Whenever I have days like that, I think of a philosophy spewed by a former colleague at Another Grind (as opposed to The Grind): “Sometimes you’re the roach and sometimes you’re the roach motel.” And somehow, I think this applies to your lousy karma this week.

    Hey, at least Reggie always remembers that you’re a rock star.


    1. You bet. Coming home to see Reggie’s wagging tail is the best part of my day. He’s always happy to see me, no matter what. Of course he’d probably be happy to see anyone who was about to fee him. 🙂


  8. This was a good post for me to read right before my work weekend. I’ve done something to my neck but am going to have to abstain from all the drugs the doc prescribed for me while I work so I’m sure I’m going to be in a lovely benevolent state of mind.

    And what does granular mean? I use it to describe certain cellular artifacts in hematology and urinalysis but I’m having a hard time grasping how you would use it in another context. By granular, did she mean “Let’s get down to the nitty gritty?” Hmmm. I think I’m going to use it when I have to try and placate a grumpy ER doctor. “Hey, I know the cardiac enzymes you ordered are two hours old and still not resulted, but let’s get granular, David, I mean, we already know he’s having a heart attack, don’t we? Why don’t we all just take a deep breath and-

    And on second thought maybe I should just stay home with my Flexeril. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “I’m sorry if you misunderstood my intentions.” What?? Oh, that would have really got me going. On time means ON TIME. And “let’s get granular”? That’s a new one for me too.
    What a great ending, though…. 🙂


  10. I stopped by and commented a couple of days ago using my stupid, stupid phone, and apparently my pearls of wisdom were scattered to the blogosphere. Can’t remember what it was, but it was brilliant – simply brilliant.


  11. Granular on your ass. I love it. I might have to use that at some point. I’m not good with these sales types of situations and I’ve been banned from talking to some companies. I don’t mind people making mistakes. That happens. I mind people dancing around a mistake and not solving a problem.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. “Say something that means anything…” Loved that you said that because we have all been where you have been and it completely sucks. But I gotta say the karma bag was crazy, what a trip. Karma finds little ways of reminding me when I get close to crossing the line, but sometimes I wish she’d work faster for those that disregard the line completely. I need me one of those bags!


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