October 22nd, 2010

Friday’s Four Cents: Deliverance

Why is it that whenever I get something delivered, I spend all day waiting for the delivery guys to show up and then get a knock at the door at the very last second of the “delivery window,” as if I didn’t have anything better to do? Look, I get that moving big boxes or furniture is an inexact science. Believe me, I’ve done more moving than I want to in my lifetime already, so I’m sympathetic to the job. Long hours lifting heavy objects for a bunch of douchers while not making the bills like Steve Jobs, yeah, it’s not my cup of tea either.

While I’m amazed at their precision in always arriving at the last possible second, my problem isn’t so much with the guys who deliver the stuff as it with the “delivery windows” that call centers in India dole out. “You must be home between the hours of 8 am and Midnight.” Uh, okay. Glad I don’t have anything planned today. Nothing says we appreciate you as a customer and value your time like telling someone they have to be at home to take delivery of goods anywhere from 9 to 5. You know, someone else tells me the same thing: my boss. Of course, he pays me to sit and wait for things.  It’s not the other way around.

Look, they obviously have an estimated number of deliveries that they expect each crew to make. If you promise someone that you’ll deliver their goods on a certain day, you can’t call them and say, “Oh, we got backed up and won’t be able to make the delivery today, please be home tomorrow from 8 am to midnight.” So why not use that information to narrow down the time frame. How many deliveries do you schedule in a day?  And the average time per delivery must be what, an hour or two?  That should whittle down the time frame into a more manageable block, no? At least that way I wouldn’t have to take an entire vacation day just to get a TV delivered.

Can you imagine if I enacted these time frames in my daily life?
“Hello, Thank you for calling RDG.”
“Yeah, I’d like to make a reservation for dinner tonight.”
“Yes sir. What time?”
“I’ll arrive between 8 pm and Midnight.”

I don’t think that would go over quite as well.

“Where’s the column you promised?”
“It will be ready sometime between 8 am and Midnight. Please be home during those hours to take delivery. If you aren’t at home, you will have to reschedule delivery of said column.”

Hmm. On second, thought, maybe there is something to this delivery window stuff.

— Marc

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