Friday, March 28, 2014

The Incredible Timing of Delivery Services

I arrived home from a business meeting at a time of day when the neighborhood was quiet. Although our neighborhood has plenty of kids, it's not like it was back in the early days when we first moved into our newly built home that was in a development chock-full of young families living in recently built houses. Back then there were no mature trees, but the place veritably swarmed with roving gangs of noisy toddlers and pre-teens on foot, roller blades, skateboards, Big Wheels, scooters, and bicycles.

Our neighborhood is more mature nowadays. There are plenty of well seasoned trees. Homes are occupied by a fairly even distribution of young families, families with older kids, and empty nesters. Fences and hedges prevent the flow of traffic through backyards. In the middle of any school- and workday, the place can be pretty calm.

After closing the garage door and getting inside the house, I realized that I was the only one home. The silence of the neighborhood and the house settled around me as I walked to the master bedroom. Not that it was completely silent. You never realize how much white noise continually permeates your house until you have a power outage. But it was quiet enough.

Being the only one at home and expecting no visitors, I didn't bother closing the bedroom door as I doffed my business suit, released the pressure of the necktie girding my collar, and unbuttoned my shirt.

By the way, why does more formal male attire in our society demand the wearing of a necktie? What logical purpose does this piece of cloth throttling the neck serve? Is it simply decoration? If so, isn't there some way we could hold a vote of men around the world and get this silly bit of apparel banned? Despite the ridiculousness of the necktie, it seems to have incredible endurance in conservative fashion. What's up with that?

Anyway, I was standing in front of my open closet in nothing but my undergarments as I prepared to put my suit on its hanger, having put the coat and slacks on the bed after removing them.

Speaking of closets, I have often wondered how I ended up with the least closet space among my family members. I'm not really complaining, mind you. I have this "if you build it, they will come" theory about closets ("it") and clothes + other junk ("they"). The expansion of "it" invites the proliferation of the "they." I already have plenty of clothes. Too many clothes, in fact. Some I've had since I was 21 years old. (And, yes they fit.) My wife occasionally cajoles me to get rid of old clothes, despite how comfortable they seem.

My wife's closet is no bigger than mine. But she has clothes stored in two other closets in the house too. Two of the kids have walk-in closets that came with the bedrooms we added onto the house a few years ago. But somehow that doesn't stop their clothes from being hung on chairs and bedposts, as well as being piled on any horizontal surface in the room. Go figure.

Oh yeah. There I was standing in my skivvies when the doorbell rang. I moved to where I could see out front and spied a FedEx truck, as well as a female FedEx driver standing at the door with a package that required a signature.

Since my closet was open, I was able to quickly pull on pants and a T-shirt, and then run to the door in time to sign for the package. That was fortunate, at least. I could have arrived a few seconds later to find a note saying that they had tried to deliver the package but had found no one home. Trying to arrange for the delivery of such a package can be nightmarish. The whole exercise was enough to get my heart beating at an anaerobic rate. Hey, workout done for the day!

How is it, I wondered to myself, that you can waste hours sitting around the house waiting for the delivery of an important package or for a service person to arrive, while other deliveries or service people come at the exact moment that you are indisposed. Do delivery and service people have some kind of sixth sense or a secret calculation that lets them know how to achieve maximum inconvenience?

Anybody in the delivery or service business care to venture an answer?

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