Dear Delivery Driver,
When I clicked “Buy Now” I set in to motion a process of military precision within an Amazon Fulfilment Centre.
At a time chosen and offset in order to correspond with your arrival at the depot, a picker diligently located the serial number for my purchase, scanned the product and put it in a special orange box to denote its purpose.
The box then travelled on an automated conveyer belt to the packing area. Here, it was expertly wrapped, scanned and marked for size, then aligned with a suitable Amazon box to eliminate wasted space before being packed for shipping.
Another conveyor belt journey completed and the package had its barcode scanned and my home address stamped on it (remember this bit). The package was then weighed to, once again, maintain accuracy and confirm its contents.
Yet another conveyor belt ride, this time directing the package to a location specific to my address and the courier used (that’s you my friend), before heading down a chute at the precise moment your truck pulled up and opened its doors.
No doubt there was then some sophisticated logistical mapping of your route, enabling you to reach each destination in the most efficient way possible (I know this because I voyeuristically tracked your every move online).
Your little, battered, handheld whatsamy-dooda then gave a cheerful chirp as you jumped out of the van outside my house and located the correct parcel, once again by way of barcode and automatically stamped address label.
You crossed the street, dutifully fulfilling the final steps in a process of finely-tuned, calculated and cutting-edge parcel delivery, and reached the threshold of the ultimate goal all this seamless scheduling and pinpoint planning had led you to.
An email… my parcel had been posted through my letterbox.
With a single click, my purchase had transformed from binary 1s and 0s to a wrapped gift in my hallway within 12 hours.
Except the parcel wasn’t in my hallway.
No, Mr Driver, you, the cherry garnishing this cake of connected consumerism, the gleaming beacon atop a lighthouse of logistical legend, fell at the final hurdle.
Despite all the checks, the weighing, the address stamping, barcode scanning and scheduling, when presented with two doors, Number 86 and Number 88, you opted for the one that was NOT printed on the box. This isn’t a game of Deal Or No Deal, there’s no Russian roulette gamble when it comes to picking which path to take. The clues are all there, right in the palm of your hand.
I checked the tracking again. I checked my front porch. I even looked in the area behind the bins that you sometimes feel is a suitable location for an item susceptible to damp and dirt. I found nothing.
Instead, actions from a time before computers and people bereft of pride in their work were forced into practice.
My neighbour, upon returning home, did what you failed to do:
He picked up the box, read the address label, confirmed the correct location and posted the parcel through MY door.
He even did it with a smile.
So the next time you simultaneously ring my bell, flap the letterbox AND bang on my door with an urgency that can only suggest that the apocalypse is upon us, or passive aggressively suggest I should sit expectantly on the door mat throughout my designated delivery day in order to avoid your arrival coinciding with the call of nature, remember this story.
Speed is only a single part of this equation. Accuracy plays just as important a role.
Ben Harvell, Online Shopper
"Research" for this post was shamelessly stolen from Pocket-Lint