Republished here with Laura Anderson (Author) blessings. We just thought this was a fun story of package delivery or... lack thereof.
I live in a modest ranch-style home. We have three bedrooms, one and a half baths, a living room, dining room, kitchen, garage and a finished basement. Oh, and did I mention that apparently we also have a mailroom?
At least according to Amazon.com.
If you’re an Amazon Prime member, like me, you probably enjoy having all kinds of things shipped directly to your door. What’s better than ordering something you desire—maybe that perfect Christmas present for your mom, or that new bestseller everyone’s raving about—clicking on two-day free shipping, and having it delivered to your door?
Or in my case, the mailroom.
See there’s the rub. Nine times out of 10, when I order something from Amazon, I arrive home to find it sitting on my front steps, packaged in that signature box with the smile underneath the A - Z. But the 10th time? The package somehow enters a portal to another dimension because, despite Amazon’s insistence that it has been delivered, it’s basically a no-show.
You’ve probably had an Amazon package (or two) go missing. You get that text message on your phone that says “You’re Amazon package of ‘Incredibly lifelike pigeon mask’ has been delivered!” You rush home expecting to see that box on your steps. But the steps are empty. You check the mailbox. Empty. You check under the bushes, around your back porch, your next door neighbor’s steps. Zip, zilch, nada. With a sigh you fire up your computer, log into your Amazon account and check the delivery status only to learn that, “Order was delivered to the mailroom.”
As I’ve already mentioned, my house is pretty small. I think I would know if there was a bustling nerve center of activity, complete with pneumatic pipes, where dozens of eager young men and women sort mail and packages and route them to their proper destinations. It’s not the kind of room you can overlook.
“Delivered to the mailroom” is just one of several euphemisms Amazon has used when describing that black hole that seems to absorb my packages. Another favorite is “package was left in a secure location.” Apparently the location is so secure even I don’t know where it is. Unless Amazon is referring to that doomsday bunker we just installed in our back yard. Hmmm, I’ll need to go back and check again.
Then there was the time my package was nowhere to be seen and Amazon said, “Your package was delivered. It was handed directly to the resident”. This blew my mind, as I was not home at the time, nor was my younger son. I called Amazon and railed at them, only to discover that my older son was home (unbeknownst to me) and had, in fact, accepted the package and left it under some laundry. My bad, Amazon. This time.
I also like the phrase, “Please look in your mailbox or wherever you typically get mail”, so as to include those people who eschew traditional mailboxes and are collecting their mail in a giant paint bucket or Styrofoam cooler or a decorative woven basket.
And then there’s the no nonsense “Your package was delivered”. Simple yet ambiguous. No elaborate explanation, simply a Joe-Friday-just-the-facts-ma’am kind of statement. The unspoken message is, of course, “Your package was delivered. YOU figure out where. You’re welcome.”
While these missing Amazon packages are frustrating, they do have their benefits. Usually I call or chat online with an Amazon representative who listens patiently to my tale of woe, makes all the appropriate commiserating noises and then offers me a free month of Prime for my trouble. In one such instance the friendly Amazon rep called the delivery service who swore they delivered the package (they didn’t), and then added a free month of Prime and refunded my money since the item was from a third party seller and Amazon was unable to ship me another one. Several hours later, the package magically appeared on my doorstep. I called Amazon to ask them to reverse the refund. They thanked me for my honesty and told me it was too complicated to undo, and to use the credit for something else. Ineptitude and honesty pays off!
Of course none of this actually deters me from ordering from Amazon. Though I do still shop at brick and mortar stores, it’s hard to beat the convenience of Amazon.com. And so when I get that next text alert telling me my package has been delivered, I’ll take it with a grain of salt before I check my mailbox or my front steps.
Who knows, it might just be in the mailroom. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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