declared value: sentimental



Let me take time out from my vacation to tell Fedex that they SUCK. Unable to fit everything into the car, we shipped some stuff from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, and one such box had our souped-up TiVo (that I spent a week upgrading), a $300 microphone, an expensive USB audio input, and two pillows. But it doesn’t stop there: wrapped around the whole thing was THE ONLY GOOD SUIT I’VE EVER OWNED, an Armani that we put on our credit card in the immediate aftermath of Tessa’s dad’s death, so that I’d have something to wear to the funeral.

Most importantly – to me, anyway – was that I accidentally left a mix tape of all the songs I’d written since 1986 inside a Walkman that was also in the box. Unless my family can come up with a copy, it’s the only one in existence. I feel like my heart has been ripped out of my throat.

This package was tracked to Pomona, California, where it was STOLEN by Fedex employees, or by someone else due to their unbelievably lax security. I’m so beside myself with rage I can hardly see straight.

Yes, I screwed up. I under-insured it so that we’re out thousands of dollars. The box was also the original TiVo box, making it look enticing for whatever motherfuckers were unloading the truck. But Fedex doesn’t care. That is the last time I entrust anything valuable to them, and I encourage all of you to do the same.

0 thoughts on “declared value: sentimental

  1. Kmeelyon

    Hey Ian, I’m up in the middle of the night with a terrible cold and I wandered over to your site and read your post. All I can say is fuck, fuck, and an even bigger FUCK. When I finished reading your post, I had a huge pit in my stomach. That totally sucks and I feel terrible for you.
    I tend to be someone who is extremely attached to things, and not only the physical items, but all of the meanings that become embedded in them for me. So when I have lost/broken/had stolen something even small, like a book, it has haunted me for years. It may seem crazy to some people, but for me, it’s not enough to replace the object, because I want the *actual* object back. I want “the exact book that so-and-so bought me, the very one I held in my hands that absorbed all of the emotions I felt when I read it.” I want to touch it and know that it is the same one I have held in my hands over and over.
    Other people are less specifically attached to things than I am, but there is a place in my heart that is like the emotional graveyard for all the things I’ve lent and not gotten back, things that have been stolen/destroyed by others, and objects that I’ve accidentally broken or lost myself. I still think of the art projects that I shipped out here in 1995 which were “lost” by the movers. I am mad about the irreplaceable ten mix-tapes that I left on the plane when I returned from England in 1988. And I even still get angry over a styrofoam and construction paper art project that two girls on the schoolbus ripped up when I was five years old. I’d wanted so desperately to show it to my mom and it was all over the bus floor by the time the bus pulled up to my stop.
    Other people reading this may think I’m a total freak, but etting go of objects (and their attached meanings) is really difficult for me. So your loss: the $ value, the actual items, and then some of those irreplaceable things like your songs….ugh, it’s just overwhelming to imagine. So I wanted to say that I totally understand your rage and sense of violation and your anger at FedEx for not protecting your package. It completely sucks ass. You have my sympathy.
    Now, I’d better get back to sleep.

  2. Alan

    Keep at them. If their employee stole or they allowed circumstances to be such that theft was possible, it does not matter that you under-insured. The first is an intentional wrong not negligence. They will have insurance to cover that. Don’t take “no”. Also, your household insurance may cover the losses as well. Check your policies.

  3. Ian

    K- that was a great post. Maybe we need to work on our Buddhism (all things are impermanent) but I, too, have had school projects destroyed by bullies and it still makes me want to find those bastards and key their cars.
    A- We’re still trying to find out what our options are. For now, Fedex is telling us to screw off. Homeowners insurance might help, but, you know…

  4. Alan

    That is the funny thing about being aware of importance. You have described the loss of transitory things. When I moved here I realized the 800 bucks I spent in my last hometown on restoration of a chest of drawers was pretty much stolen as soon as I watched the supposed work unravel over a few weeks. But I would not wrote or sue. I would not really even complain about the service because I think the agro from being a complainer is worse than the complaint.
    I have lost many things in life and one day I myself will join that list. Maybe it is better that we lose certain things to strangers. Stay gold…or at least gold-ish.

  5. chris

    Dec 19th a firm in Bangkok dispatched a USD15,000 package of cut gems from their office to mine in Namibia. One Service in Bangkok would only provide 5000 cover. It went into Fedex’s secure customs bonded lock-up in Joberg RSA and got stolen, since then fedex will not acknowledge that it was stolen and through their attorneys told me that they refuse to accept that I sent the box with the contents that I claim. I am hammering these fuckers every place I can, every on-line forum, print media, tv venue discussion group everything. I quote their own code of conduct. I can proove they were grossly neglegent. If anybody wants to join forces against these hearltess bastards please contact me at


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