Impersonal Delivery

Why does Amazon ask for “packaging feedback”?  Do they really want my opinion on a plain brown box?  Yesterday I came home to an Amazon delivery on my front door step.  But that’s already not true.  The box was dropped into a plastic bag and suspended from my mailbox (“front door step” just sounded better).  My packaging feedback to Amazon: lackluster.

40 - jejune

Let’s chat about delivery as it used to be.  My fondest childhood memories include the noisy, colorful, “old-fashioned” delivery trucks that made their way into the neighborhood regularly.  No kid from that era will ever forget the bakery, dairy, and ice cream trucks, and the allure of fresh-made bread and other goodies – temptations limited only by Mom’s permission or the amount of change in your pants pocket.

Growing up in Los Angeles, the Helms Bakery had a fleet of hundreds of bright yellow delivery trucks.  The drivers dressed in smart uniforms and used a distinctive “toot-toot” horn to announce their arrival.  The neighborhood gathering at the truck was as much social as it was for baked goods.  At the end of grade-school field trips through the Helms factory, each kid received a coupon for something free from the delivery truck.  It was like a golden ticket to a candy store, where you walk in and the owner spreads his arms and says “pick one”.

The dairy truck came from Edgemar Farms, not that we ever knew (or cared) where the farm was.  Edgemar delivered milk in glass bottles with foil caps.  The “milkman” would walk into the kitchen like he was family.  He’d take the order from Mom and return with his wire basket full of milk, eggs, and butter.  Then he’d unload everything right into the refrigerator, tip his cap with a cheery “good morning” and be on his way.  Now that’s anything but lackluster delivery.

Ice cream (Good Humor or some other brand) appeared in our neighborhood on summer nights – the very best truck of them all.  I can still hear the beckoning jingle from the roof-mounted loudspeakers.  The neighborhood kids would flock – I mean flock – to the truck’s side window, where the all-in-white ice-cream man would lean out and wait too patiently while we made up our minds.  Bomb pops.  Push-ups.  Ice cream sandwiches.  Heaven on earth delivered right into your hands.

Okay – end of time-gone-by chat – back to today’s delivery by Amazon.  Boring brown box.  Got it?  So how did my box get to me?  What did the truck look like (was it even a truck)?  Did the delivery person wear a uniform? Did he or she come to the front door?

Lack of delivery details equals lackluster delivery.  And it’s only going to get worse.  Amazon Prime Air is described as “a future delivery system designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using small unmanned aerial vehicles”.  So now my brown boxes are going to arrive by parachute.  In my packaging feedback, I’m going to request a beckoning jingle from the drones to announce their arrival – er, landing?


Author: Dave

Three hundred posts would suggest I have something to say… This blog was born from a desire to elevate the English language, highlighting eloquent words from days gone by. The stories I share are snippets of life itself, and each comes with a bonus: a dusted-off word I hope you’ll go on to use more often. Read “Deutschland-ish Improvements” to learn about my backyard European wish list. Try “Slush Fun” for the throwback years of the 7-Eleven convenience store. Or drink in "Iced Coffee" to discover the plight of the rural French cafe. On the lighter side, read "Late Night Racquet Sports" for my adventures with our latest moth invasion. As Walt Whitman said, “That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.” Here then, my verse. Welcome to Life In A Word.

3 thoughts on “Impersonal Delivery”

  1. Oh, that’s awesome – wish that were still the case. My wife would be the one collecting the fruits and vegetables, just to spend a few moments with the horse.


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