Along with the joy and excitement of on-line shopping, has come the lesser joy and excitement of awaiting delivery. We can order anything from everywhere, whether its Scottish jelly, Za’atar from Israel, or jewelry from Asia or Africa. Ordering? Piece of cake.

Then, there’s delivery. Mostly, if you are an Amazon Prime member, they promise you automatic two-day delivery and at least 75% of the time, that’s what you get. It was a bit rocky when the program began, but after a year and some, they got it nailed. Mostly. Depending.

Depending on whether or not they use UPS which almost always gets the package here, to our door, in 48 hours. FedEx, who get the package somewhere in 48 hours, but not necessarily here. The neighbors are the not infrequent recipients. Or, the post office, which may or may not ever deliver the package.

I have no idea what becomes of packages sent by Amazon’s version of snail mail which starts out as UPS, but then is delivered to a local post office somewhere. Typically, they drop the package in Sudbury, about 10 miles north of here. From Sudbury, they send it to Lexington, Kentucky. From there, it travels aimlessly to Seattle, then Los Angeles. During these wanderings, I get messages from Amazon.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

“Your package has been sent to the wrong delivery address,” it says. They’ve taken my package from a local post office here in Massachusetts and shipped it to the west coast. “But we’re correcting it right now,” and it includes a happy face so I know that I should not get upset about it. With each subsequent wandering delivery attempt, I get another chirpy letter. Sometimes, weeks later, the package arrives. Sometimes only a part of the package arrives. In the course of sending each package twice around the world, the box gets a bit damaged. It was probably the monsoons along the coast of India. Nothing like ten inches of rain to soften up a cardboard box. Occasionally, it looks like they put it on a ramp and drove the truck over it. Twice.

And then there are times when I never see it, but I’m pretty sure someone is enjoying it. Somewhere.

About a year ago, Amazon thought they could lower their delivery costs by starting their own delivery service. I’m not sure exactly what they were intending, but I know that none of the package sent by Amazon’s own personal service ever got to my house. They assured me it was impossible because the electronic thingies in the trucks would only beep when they were within a few hundred yards of my house. I explained that they may be beeping with rage and fury, but the package wasn’t getting to my house. Once, we tracked it to a neighbor’s house and he begrudgingly gave it back. The rest of the times? Refund and me giving up. I finally told them that if the choice was between not ordering an item or getting it through Amazon’s special delivery service?

Just say no. It would save us all a lot of agony.

When the snow melts in the spring, I find things. Items long-buried under snow appear, a lot the worse for wear. I don’t know what they used to be, but they aren’t that any more. There are packages deep in the woods and in piles of sand along the road. Usually, they are so disgusting, I don’t want to know what they were.

I should mention that normal snail mail packages get here in the usual way of our local post office. For example, a letter mailed from the other end of Uxbridge can take two weeks to get to us, but a letter mailed from Boston will get here in a single day.

It’s part of the excitement of the world-wide web and it’s “anything you want from anywhere in the world” shopping mall. Delivery in 2 days, guaranteed!

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

29 thoughts on “THE WAITING GAME”

  1. Our Swiss post service is perfect for anything that I order in Switzerland. However Amazon has not yet discovered where Switzerland is and everyhing I order from them has to be ordered with the address on the computer (Germany). I can upload books no problem. But order a dress? Forget it, because they do not deliver to Switzerland for some unknown reason, they do not even have a company in Switzerland. It all has to do with the EU and copyrights, or something like that. I have discovered a web address for Switzerland where I can order Amazon stuff through them to no extra charge, so might try it. Otherwise forget Amazon if you happen to live in Switzerland. I can order stuff easier over Amazon GB, although it costs more. One day I will find the solution. It is not that they do not find our house, they do not find our country.


    1. They actually have a lot of trouble right here in Massachusetts because we don’t live in a city or even a suburb or a large town. They have a good grip on heavily populated American areas, but in the country? UPS is pretty good, if their regular drivers are working, but otherwise? They have no idea where we are. The country is another world to the drivers. It’s also hard for them to see the house numbers, in our case, impossible. The post office can find us, but they don’t bother.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s aggravating, especially if it’s something expensive — or something you really need. Now. But there’s not much point in getting really angry, especially since amazon is very good about fixing problems, whatever they are.


  2. Wow look at that, they changed the spelling to incorrect spelling, that’s new! LMAO oh well, what can I say, it’s wordpress. argh! We have experienced the same. My son is still awaiting the arrival of parts for his computer, it’s a month overdue and no one knows where it is. My daughter is awaiting special made curtains for the front room, 2 months overdue…where they went, who got them, unknown at this point. We await with baited breath. Not! lol


    1. It’s not just us, you know. Anyone who doesn’t live on “the beaten path” for deliveries? And if you live in a snow climate? I do the best I can and I have truly learned PATIENCE. It’s patience or getting crazy each time they send my package to Portland, Oregon.


      1. LMAO yes, I know. We ordered a pair of “highland shoes” in silver for my grand daughter’s bday. We tracked it’s progress haha. It was supposed to take a direct route but instead, went to Rhode Island, New York, Toronto, New Hampshire, Portland, Vancouver and finally to us. It was amusing on one hand, but annoying. Fortunately it got to us before her bday phew.


  3. Wow, we are really spoiled living in a city. I almost never have these kind of problems and you don’t have the option of running to a nearby big box store like we do. However, I see you use Olympus equipment, as I do. I ordered a second battery and remote cable for my new camera last Saturday. The lithium ion battery has to ship separately and it is finally on its way a week later. The order says “shipped” but the cable hasn’t, although it is “in stock”. So I need to call on Monday a.m. and find out how my cable go lost in the shuffle.


    1. We used to live in Boston. It was a different world. But some stuff, like cameras, were always a problem because they won’t leave that stuff without a signature, at least not in Boston. And being home when they delivered when we were both working was nearly impossible, so we were always having to find time to get to the store and pick stuff up.

      I often find small things were packed in paper or something, so go back and make sure you didn’t miss it. I have missed that kind of thing often. I find it embarrassing when I’ve already complained.


      1. No, it was specifically noted in my order that lithium batteries need to be shipped separately. UPS now has a nice option; I could arrange for my camera and lens to be dropped at our local UPS store which is very close to my house because I knew nobody would be home to sign for the package.


  4. Living in a major city (albeit one on the other side of the world to the US) i find delivery not that much of a problem, particularly with private delivery companies like Fed Ex – they deliver on the day they say (may be 2 weeks after purchase date) you just never know what time they might arrive. Curiously parcel delivery with our national service is another matter. I have lost count of the time i have been home all day, had no-one knock on my door and found a ‘we tried to deliver a parcel today’ note stuck in my letterbox telling me i have to go to the post office to pick it up ‘after 4 pm’. This might be from an 11 am delivery!

    My issue is with UPS charges. it would not be atypical for me to find an item for say $15 only to find it would cost $65 to send it to Australia! The exact same item might be sent post free from China or for say $20 from the UK or Europe.

    Apparently each country has a predetermined rate per kilo (or pound) for overseas postal charges and the US has had to accept one of the highest levels in the world – yet another reason it is not as competitive internationally.

    If i send an item to the US i would pay a fraction of the cost to our Australia Post service that the US would charge to send me the exact same item through UPS.



    1. Shipping internationally is insanely expensive for us. There are some lower rate companies, a bit dubious in quality. The Chinese have their own special post which is slow, but cheap — and it’s the only way you can ship in or out of China. I get medications for my dogs from Australia and you are one of the least expensive places. England is ridiculously high. Our postal rates are not set by the government, by the way. We outsourced our postal services to private companies decades ago. We pay what they decide to charge us and all the companies are private. Prices vary. INSIDE the country, mail is privatized company but has standard rates set nationally.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am still awaiting the arrival of two surprise packages from Stratford, CT which were sent to me just before Columbus Day weekend 2009. Funny thing is, they were from two different people I knew online and were created and mailed independently of each other. I had no idea something was up until each of them kept prying about whether I had gotten a surprise in the mail recently or not. So the USPS not only lost one package meant for me, but TWO…. at the same time from the same place! Neither ponied up for delivery confirmation, so there was no way to determine exactly what happened and where they might be. Or maybe they got taken off my doorstep at the same time by someone who would be disappointed to find out they only contained a squirrel quilt and an antique canister of Bon Ami…


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