Me: Is it reasonable to spend $27 on shipping for $50 worth of salsa?
Jeremy: Is it reasonable to spend $50 on salsa?
Good point. Probably not.
Last summer when I was out in St. Louis my cousin, Mark, gave me a few jars of salsa. He has a new business with his girlfriend, Debbie, and they specialize in pickles and salsa. I don't really like pickles. I offered to pay Mark for the initial jars, but he wouldn’t accept my money. I recognize that buying salsa from someone 2000 miles away is not the most practical idea. However, I wanted to support the family business, the salsa was great, and I like salsa.
I e-mailed Debbie and found out the salsa came in mild, medium, hot, atomic, and “the bomb.” This is Missouri so I wasn’t sure any of it was going to be really hot. However, I had a feeling “the bomb” may be a little much for me, but I still wanted to try it.
I e-mailed in my order, “Okay, I'll take no mild, 4 medium, 3 hot, 2 atomic, and 1 Bomb.”
Debbie handled the business side of things so all my communication was with her. (This was probably good for the business, because Mark probably would have continued to give me free salsa.) I told her that I was going to be out of the country for a couple weeks so there was no rush on my order.
Like a young boy on Christmas morning I excitedly opened the boxes sent from Troy, Missouri. Also like a young boy on Christmas morning I was surprised by what was inside. I received three jars of “the bomb,” some jars labeled “extra hot,” (which I didn’t even know was a choice), no jars of medium (which was my largest request), and two jars of sweet fire relish (not sure why). Also, one jar of the “extra hot” broke in the shipping. I couldn’t figure it out. The only thing that was consistent with my order was that there was indeed ten jars.
I called my sister for advice on the situation. She noted that I was paying for it like a regular customer, so I should have the same expectations I would from any other business. I should expect certain things-- like receiving what I ordered. Good point.
It seemed she remembered that I liked hot salsa and just put together a box for me. She added that she thought I would enjoy the "sweet fire" and it was one of her top sellers. Apparently, order specifics are not necessarily the priority.
For compensation I asked her that she send me four jars of the medium salsa. She writes back, “how about I send you four jars of the medium and one hot?”
Um... okay. I ended up with enough salsa to last me a while (a while ended about two months ago).
So it was time for me to order more. I e-mailed Debbie again and put in a new order for ten more jars. It took me a while to send her the check. So when I finally did I e-mailed her to ask if she still had my order.
She responded, “I keep all my e-mails so I have you order.”
I waited a while and no salsa arrived. I checked each day. Still no salsa. Then one day I get a voicemail from my mom in San Jose with a perplexed tone in her voice, “Kevin, you just got a large box sent here from Troy, Missouri. It is really heavy.”
She sent my salsa to my mom? How does that even happen? She has already sent me two shipments here in Sacramento. And I just ate tacos all weekend with Pace Picante. It will be another month until I’m in San Jose. I wonder if the e-mail I sent her last summer with my address was one of “all the e-mails” that she kept.
So let me know if you want a jar from my next order. It is $8 a jar, and it will be here-- eventually.
By the way… The “sweet fire” was excellent.