former UPS worker speaking caption 'like did your kid make this or something' (l) former UPS worker with shocked expression and UPS logo above head (c) former UPS worker speaking caption 'this is a 300 year old painting that a slave made' (r)

@hunterkaimi/TikTok Unknown author/Wikimedia Commons

‘It looked like an old finger painting her kid made’: Former UPS worker says customer once mailed a 300-year-old painting that a ‘slave made’

'Why was this white woman in possession of a painting made by a slave?'

 

Jack Alban

IRL

Posted on Nov 26, 2022

TikToker Hunter Kaimi (@hunterkaimi) went viral after sharing a story from his days working for UPS in Seattle when he mistakenly asked a customer if the priceless painting made by an enslaved person they were shipping was a child’s finger painting.

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In the clip, Kaimi explains how he once had a customer call and ask for a quote on the shipment of a painting. After Kaimi gave her an estimate based on the painting’s size, the lady then visited the store with the item.

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“The best way I can describe the painting was…3 by 5 canvas and it looked like an old finger painting her kid made like 20 years ago,” Kaimi shares. “It was in like decent condition but the paint was kinda chipping and it literally just looked like thumbprints and handprints whatever.”

“I knew it was gonna be at least a couple hundred dollars to pack and ship this painting just based off the size,” Kaimi continues. “And just based off the quality of art I was really kinda surprised she was willing to spend that much money.”

He describes how he began to ring up the woman and as he went into processing the transaction, he learned he was dealing with an alleged priceless work of art that packed a tremendous amount of American historical significance.

“Then ask the key question. I said, ‘what’s the value of the painting?” Kaimi says he asked the woman.

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“It’s priceless,” the customer allegedly answered.

“Oh yeah no totally,” Kaimi says he responded. “Is it, like, sentimental? Like did your kid make this or something?”

He says the lady responded, “This is a 300-year-old painting that a slave made.”

The TikToker then looks into the camera with a shocked expression before going on, “Now I majored in communication I was a public speaking coach throughout college I’m pretty good with my words. I like to think that in an awkward situation I can kind of back my way out of it or make a light-hearted joke and when I tell you there is not a word in the English fucking language that I could have said that could have made this interaction less uncomfortable.

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He continues, “Upon further reflection why this white woman was in possession of a painting made by a slave? Who’s to say.”

@hunterkaimi

lemme know if you want more UPS stories

♬ original sound – Hunter Kaimi
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His story sparked a litany of different responses from other TikTok users who had some stories of their own from when they used to work for the parcel service. Others wanted to know why the woman was in possession of a priceless slave painting in the first place.

“As soon as I heard ‘it looked like a kid drew it’ I knew it was going to be some insanely valuable piece,” a viewer wrote.

“One time I was asked to pack and ship a whole couch and I wept in the storage room,” another said.

“I asked an older lady what was the value of her package and she said ‘ummm idk it’s my husbands ashes so a lot?to me at least’ ma’am what?” one user said.

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One user simply stated, “Seattle is an odd place.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Kaimi and UPS via email for further comment.

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*First Published: Nov 26, 2022, 9:49 am CST