“Sometime between 8 AM and 5 PM.”
That is the commitment you get to repair your broken washing machine, usually far enough out to guarantee you won’t be wearing clean underwear when Mr. Maytag saunters up your driveway, or swap your cable/internet/phone from one provider to another trying to take advantage of that reduced price with the two year lock in, not realizing the effort and frustration that will be required to reprogram your TIVO for the new channel lineup, or, lastly, you are expecting deliveries to your door from UPS or FedEx based on the expected “tease” delivery date posted on their tracking site. Not for the last time, I’ve just about had it. For now, I’ll just focus on delivery anxiety.
This year internet shopping saved my Christmas sanity, or so I thought. Fulfilling the wishes of my family’s material desires dressed in the clothing I slept in the night before made life seem so much simpler than years past, avoiding the problems of road-rage, parking-paranoia, and mall-madness. Over several nights of Christmas shopping my Santa suit consisted of no more than white (blotched caramel to be honest) briefs and t-shirt occasionally covered with a seldom laundered bathrobe, the addition of the bathrobe determined by the number of sleepover guests my kids had that night, never thinking I would have anyone sitting on my lap and expressing irrational wishes.
I’m sure many of you have felt the satisfaction of completing your Christmas shopping after entering your credit card information and pressing the ‘Submit’ button to complete your purchase. Yes, I understand the paranoia that drives you to check your email for confirmation of your purchase immediately after the vendor site claims the transaction is complete and then copying the order # with your mouse so as to check the order status by pasting the order # in the transaction lookup field at the vendor website, wondering why the order was not yet in process, hell why hadn’t it shipped yet! It it so easy to feel an aggressive impatience when not immersed in a crowd of hundreds of impatient shoppers, many of whom could and would kick the crap out of you (or pepper spray you) if you presented any deviation from their OCD mall shopping plan.
All is good. I’ve finished my Christmas shopping. Now all that is left is to wrap and label the gifts as they arrive. My simple mind assumes that the committed delivery times will match expectations based on past experience. Then (sh)it hits the fan!
Corollary to Murphy’s Law: The larger the time window committed by a service or delivery company, the more likely they will call at the end of the window to reschedule after making you wait by the door with phone in hand so as not to miss their call to announce they are running late.
– or the alternative –
Corollary to Murphy’s Law: The larger the time window committed by a service or delivery company, the more likely they will be to arrive at the start of the window, when you have chosen to run a quick errand, thinking they won’t arrive until much later based on experience from the first corollary.