Watching “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” with your 12-year-old son is a great way to share some guilty belly laughs and prurient giggles. But the 1994 comedy film starring Jim Carrey also offers a secret benefit to anyone following the fields of parcel delivery and last-mile logistics—it could serve as a reverse training video for customer service.
The movie opens with a scene of Carrey impersonating a delivery driver for a well-known, Atlanta-based transportation and logistics firm whose name is a three-letter acronym. Dressed in the familiar brown uniform and ball cap of UPS Inc.—sorry, Carrey’s version is called “HDS”—the actor carries a cardboard box as a ruse for his secret mission to rescue a kidnapped shih tzu dog.
In real life, UPS is renowned for providing meticulous training for every parcel carrier and truck driver about the most efficient way to carry the company’s packages. Seasoned delivery drivers know the rules for every task from stepping off the bed of a truck to wheeling a dolly stacked with boxes.
However, the “Ace Ventura” character submits his faux-package to a series of abuses and tortures that would make any delivery professional flinch. By the time he walks a full city block, Carrey has tossed a box marked “Glass, Handle with Care” down a flight of stairs, drop-kicked it over a railing, and used it as a pommel-horse for a cartwheel routine. All that takes place before he deliberately gets it stuck in a set of elevator doors. And the goofs continue when “Ace” requests a customer signature as proof of delivery, before whisking the receipt away from the enraged recipient before he can file for damages.
In a market where parcel delivery is increasingly crowd-sourced to amateur drivers and where carriers hire thousands of part-time laborers every holiday peak season, perhaps the silly film could serve as a training video that highlights the worst infractions a courier could commit. Hey, we all need some humor to break up our stressful days.
And in case you’re worried about the missing shih tzu, have no fear, “Ace” carries that particular package with exemplary care.