On a scale of 1 to 10, asked the survey, how do you feel about our delivery service?
I have been a patron of Amazon for quite a few years. Maybe eight or nine at this point? They have always been easy to work with. They’ve had their issues, of course, and there have been bumps in the road, too. I’ve gone with them over the bumps to the smoother paving down the road and I really thought we had worked it out.
Then, they decided to add their own delivery service because … well … money and all of that. Amazon Logistics was going to be their own special delivery service. This would be the one who could get you your package in 24 hours, even on Sunday or a national holiday. Good idea. Unfortunate location.
It was a perfectly reasonable theory, but they didn’t understand there are places in this world where the standard GPS doesn’t have a real grip on location. It thinks all the roads are driveable. Maybe if you are in a jeep and very careful about the swamps through which you are passing and you never stray off the narrow road, you might get here. If not, the mud will joyfully suck your car all the way to your door frame.
The Blackstone Valley is that kind of place.
We get deliveries. We get deliveries almost daily in non-snow months. I do a lot of my shopping online. We are both getting older. Not hauling heavy boxes and having them delivered make life easier. UPS, FedEx, and the USPS are daily visitors. They have no problem finding our house or getting our packages to the table by the rear garage door. But their drivers know the area and they know to not take the back roads.
No one goes on those back roads unless they are afoot and looking for interesting photos … or their dog really loves that swampy smell.
Logistics, on the other hand, has yet to find us. Ever. They sometimes deliver our packages to other towns. Our neighbors. The middle of the woods. A number of them have simply disappeared, never to be seen again. Moreover, they have set up this cool delivery service so you can see the truck on which they have loaded your package and follow its movements as it advances towards your house. In theory.
Yesterday, I had a package coming. Free 24 hour delivery — so what could possibly go wrong?
I watched the truck from when it was up in North Uxbridge. They said there were six more stops before us. We are always the final stop.
I watched the truck as it left its delivery point and
supposedly head for our house. It was about 2 miles away. All the driver had to do was turn around, get back onto Route 146A, drive one mile. Make a right. Go one more mile and voilà, there we are. You can see the house and the driveway on Google. It’s a little harder in the summer with all the leaves on the trees, but we aren’t hidden behind a fence or a hill.
And, as I already mentioned, UPS, FedEx, and the post office have no problem finding us. Apparently, neither does Google.
Our delivery woman headed — not towards the main road but via our most twisting, tiny roads which wander through woods and swamp. They will, if you know how to do it, eventually– after crossing the Misty Meadows Golf Course — get you here. It’s not the shortest or easiest easy way to get anywhere in this valley, but if you make manage to make it to the other side of the golf course, go straight ahead on Chocolog Road. You’ll be in our driveway chick-chack. We are a blink away from the golf course. You can walk there from here. Even I can walk there from here.
She didn’t go straight ahead onto Chocolog road. Obviously hopelessly lost, she made a left back onto West Street and headed for Milford. Into the “delivery instructions” box I typed “YOU’RE GOING THE WRONG WAY! TURN AROUND!”
She didn’t turn around and the truck trundled on towards Milford.
“No, no,” I cried into my computer. Then I got myself on the phone to Amazon. For once, it didn’t take me an hour to find their number and I very quickly explained that the truck had gone in the wrong direction and was leaving my town and heading who knew where. I wanted her to come back. Now. Before my package vanished, never to be seen again.
Eventually, I realized that by some kind of magic, the truck had landed in my driveway. I was still ON the phone with Amazon. I then realized she wasn’t getting out of the car to deliver the package. I took the phone and the Amazon lady with me. Barefoot down the steps and up the gravelly driveway to the vehicle.
“Give me my package,” I said. It was late, almost seven. I was hungry. I’d been awaiting the package all day.
“I can’t give you the package,” she explained, her voice sensual with her lovely West Indian accent. “I need your access code.”
Access code? What access code?
“Is the package addressed to this location?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said.
“Is it addressed to Marilyn Armstrong?” I questioned.
“Yes,” she said, “But you need an access code.”
What access code? I’ve never needed an access code for Amazon or any other delivery service. Not even when Apple was delivering two computers.
By then, Garry had arrived. I could see that blood was going to be spilled in my driveway that warm summer evening.
“Give me my package, ” I said, gritting my teeth. “Give it to me. Now. You are at the right address and I am the designated recipient. You are NOT leaving here without giving me the package.”
“Let me speak to her,” said the Amazon Lady.
An argument ensued. Eventually, I got the box, which was labeled “oversized” even though the item inside it was a small, still camera. I guess they ran out of normal-size boxes. I let it pass. “Just give me the box, please. Now.”
She handed me the package, worried that she had not gotten whatever code she thought I should have. She had already noticed there wasn’t any code on the box, so I’m not sure exactly how she would know if I had a code or not.
As I trundled back up the stairs — my feet felt sandy and stuck with little pebbles — the Amazon Lady said she was going to try to make them never send Logistics to my house again. I said that seemed like a fine approach and I was very sure it would be a good solution.
On a scale of 1 to 10 — what would you give this delivery? 10 for the helpfulness of the lady on the phone? Or minus two for whoever designed the GPS for the driver.