Dan Rattiner's Stories

Breakfast: USPS Races to the Finish Line in East Hampton

At 2:35 a.m. last Tuesday, the night of the supposed blizzard out here, I received a silent email message from Amazon that the delivery of my order of three boxes of 10 packets of McCann’s Instant Irish Oatmeal Maple & Brown Sugar had been delayed “due to weather or natural disaster.” Of course, I had no idea I had gotten this message. I was asleep at that time.

Like many people, my wife and I have fallen into the habit of eating a particular breakfast every morning. With her it is orange juice, berries, yogurt and granola cereal. With me it is orange juice, berries, yogurt and then a packet, with hot milk, of McCann’s Instant Irish Oatmeal Maple & Brown Sugar.

The fact was that two days earlier, I found I had only one packet left. So immediately I ordered more from Amazon. It would be arriving at 8 a.m. on Tuesday for breakfast. I wouldn’t be without. Well, that was the plan.

McCann’s Instant Irish Oatmeal Maple & Brown Sugar is made from oats grown in a field in County Meath in Ireland. The oats are taken to the Sallins mill in County Kildare, steel ground at that mill and put into packets, boxed and then sent off by freighter to countries around the world. This I know from their website.

Reading this delayed message at 7 a.m., when I woke up, I ran downstairs to look out the front door. No snow, but also no McCann’s Instant Irish Oatmeal Maple & Brown Sugar. What could I do? Back inside, I took out my phone. Click for MORE DETAILS it said. I clicked.

The freighter bearing my shipment of McCann’s Instant Irish Oatmeal Maple & Brown Sugar had sailed across the Atlantic to the St. Lawrence Seaway to Lake Huron, where it was unloaded at a pier in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and trucked to a warehouse owned by Sturm Foods in Manawa, Wisconsin. It was then shipped across the country to the Amazon warehouse in Ontario, California—the wrong way—a distance of over 2,000 miles.

After arriving in California, the shipment left Ontario in the middle of Monday night at 1:30 a.m. and arrived at another Amazon warehouse in Avenel, New Jersey, just at breakfast time on Monday—back across the country—at 8:13 a.m. This had to have been done by airplane. It left Avenel at 8:59 p.m. Monday on a truck, headed for East Hampton for Tuesday morning, but that morning at 2:35 a.m. Amazon issued the alert that I had read when I woke up. Delay.

After brushing my teeth, I checked my phone for further news about my McCann’s Instant Irish Oatmeal Maple & Brown Sugar. No news, but now there was a 23-digit tracking number. I clicked on that. At 5:38 a.m. the package had been transferred to the U.S. Postal Service on Gay Lane in East Hampton. The USPS would take it from there.

The truck had gone out for delivery from the East Hampton Post Office at 6:38 a.m. Had they made my delivery first, I might have had my McCann’s Instant Irish Oatmeal Maple & Brown Sugar for breakfast. But they hadn’t, obviously. Thus the delay. And so, sadly, around 7:45 a.m. my wife and I came downstairs and silently set up breakfast in the kitchen. Orange juice, berries, granola, yogurt. Instead of oatmeal, I would have to settle for a muffin. I took it out of the breadbox and cut it up.

At 7:50 a.m., we turned on the news on the radio over the sink and heard more about why we dodged this big blizzard the night before.

Suddenly, as we were drinking our orange juice, I heard sirens far down Three Mile Harbor Road from town. As whatever it was came closer, the sirens got louder and louder. Then stopped. Was this it? Now the front door bell rang and I heard a vehicle drive off. I looked at my watch—7:58 a.m.! Two minutes early. They had made up the time!

I ran to the front door. And there, on the welcome mat were the three boxes containing the 30 packets of McCann’s Instant Irish Oatmeal Maple & Brown Sugar.

The muffin wouldn’t be happening. Wow! Congrats to all!

Facebook Comments

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *