Let me just start this by saying I love Amazon.com almost more than my own kids. I get hives just thinking about driving past the mall, let alone actually trying to park and go in, so Amazon is a Godsend. Plus, I like to shop in my underwear, and they kick you out very unceremoniously when you try to do that at the mall.
I especially love Amazon when it comes to Christmas shopping. I can get everything I need from the comfort of my own underwear, and the Amazon website never makes snide comments about my mental health or tells me to join a gym.
I love that about them, and apparently, quite a few other people feel the same way, because this time of year the UPS drivers come in pairs – one seasoned employee to drive the truck while sipping a pumpkin spice latte, and one poor sweaty bastard from a temp agency to run up and down approximately ten million driveways every twelve-hour shift.
Despite all my love and devotion to Amazon, I do have to take issue with something I’m seeing as the holiday delivery season ramps up. I’m not sure if UPS and FedEx just can’t handle the whole load, or if Amazon just thought Uber was a cool idea, but they are now hiring private individuals to deliver some of the packages.
That’s great and everything, but it’s becoming glaringly obvious that these folks haven’t completed the same rigorous package delivery training courses that the UPS and FedEx drivers are required to take. And if they have, it seems some of them were absent for theft deterrent day.
Porch piracy is a big problem these days, prompting millions of Americans to install cameras in their doorbells, so they can use their mobile device to actually watch their packages being stolen from their porches in real time while they’re at work. They are then able to post an out-of-focus video to the internet, asking if anyone has seen this blurry thief, possibly either male or female, between the age of thirteen and seventy-two, who may or may not have been wearing clothes.
Besides amazing camera technology and complaining on the internet, one big deterrent of porch piracy is simply keeping the packages out of view from the street. Our porch, for example, has a few good-sized nooks and crannies, and one large post that could hide a new refrigerator fairly well. That’s why I was more than a little surprised by the package delivery location my amateur Uber-esque delivery guy chose the other day.
Our Blu-ray player can still play DVDs just fine, but it decided to stop playing Blu-ray disks. Go figure. So, in my rich tradition of combining things we need with my wife’s birthday and Christmas gifts, I got her a new Sony Blu-ray player from Amazon.
The skilled delivery guy pulled up in his Nissan Sentra and, scanning the porch area and all its good hiding spots, decided the best thing to do would be to PROP THE BOX UP ON THE FRONT DOOR THRESHOLD, so as to be as visible as possible from the street. Maybe he likes to admire his deliveries one last time as he drives away? I’m not sure.
What an idiot, you might be saying to yourself. But wait, it gets better. In another turn of events that I guess constitutes one more thing I need to chastise Amazon about, the box of Sony thief candy was not packaged inside an Amazon box. It was just delivered unwrapped, in its store display Sony box, that said SONY in big letters. And to be extra helpful to the thieves that might be experiencing some degree of illiteracy, the box artwork included nice color pictures of the expensive contents.
So Captain Delivers-A-Lot basically put a poster on the bottom of my front door advertising “Free Blu-ray players! This porch only! Supplies are limited! Act fast!”
I mean, he may as well have just left it in the street.
Speaking of leaving things in the street, I guess it could have been worse. When I came home, at least I would have wanted to pick up my new Blu-ray player out of the gutter. While my guy skipped anti-theft day at delivery school, at least one contract delivery driver extraordinaire right here in the greater Sacramento area missed the all-important “don’t poop on the street in front of the customer’s house” seminar.
I’m not making that up. Some guy in Sacramento has blurry, but-good-enough-to-see-what-you-really-didn’t-want-to-see video footage of a lady in a U-Haul van, squatting in front of his driveway and leaving him one Christmas delivery that you just can’t buy on Amazon.
I guess there’s a minuscule chance that she was trying to help. She may just be an outside-the-box thinker when it comes to theft deterrent methods, and she was setting a trap for any would-be porch pirates, but something makes me doubt that as a possible motive. I think she’s just a crappy delivery driver. (Get it?)
Seriously, Amazon, I love you, but what kind of fly-by night, poop-by-day operations are you hiring to bring us our boxes? Do us and yourselves a favor and put a few more people in the Delivery Driver Qualifications and Standards Department. You don’t want any more customers having to say, “Hey, I didn’t order this crap!” (Last one, I promise.)
Oh, and U-Haul – you guys might not want that van back. There didn’t seem to be any wiping happening on the video.
See you soon,
Copyright © 2017 Marc Schmatjen
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