I went to the office to pick them up when a man named Brad insisted that they weren't any packages for my apartment. I asserted that I had spoken to Noel a while ago and my Amazon tracking shows someone called Brad signed it in. Then I noticed his name tag: Oh, it's you!
He went inside again and came back with the packages, apologizing for his mistake- 'It's all over the place! Nothing is where it should be!'
I said, 'No problem! ' and walked out calmly.
This could have gone wrong at various levels. Firstly, I understood his mistake was genuine, and several boxes were waiting for their rightful owner. Maintaining inventory could be overwhelming. Secondly, I didn't know this guy. He has no reason to have any personal grudges against me and deprive me of my organic cold-pressed castor oil or cosplay costume.
Most service encounters go wrong when both the customer and the representative are not willing to share responsibility. It is very easy to push the blame onto someone else and make it someone's else problem. (In case of Brad, it was 'Nothing is where it should be!')
He has just one job: to keep track of resident packages. He can either look for a few more extra seconds or come back with an excuse.