Monday, February 23, 2015

the frustration of deliveries

My buddy Tom persuaded me to download not just the WMP shopping app but also an app that tracks the status of your deliveries. The WMP app tells you how many of your orders are being handled and shipped; the second app tracks your orders' shipping status with a "clock" icon—a circular progress bar that fills in bit by bit as your packages go from one shipping point to another, ever closer to your domicile. Sometimes progress happens at a crawl; sometimes your package arrives in record time. I've experienced WMP deliveries twice, and I've had both extremes. Right now, though, something strange is happening: the shipping app tells me that I have a package on the way, but my WMP app says that no items are currently ready for shipping. Which app to believe?

Also frustrating is the idea that I have to remain home all day, waiting for these damn items to be delivered. I suppose I could text the delivery guys my building's entry code and my own door's entry code, but that would be highly inadvisable, even to people who aren't paranoid. I don't know what the procedure will be if the delivery guy happens to arrive at my studio when I'm away; does he come back the next day? Is the order simply canceled and a refund issued? Is the item crassly dropped off in front of the building? There doesn't seem to be a clear-cut way to deal with packages that get dropped off when you're not home. Back in the States, my apartment buildings both had rental offices, and any packages would be dropped off there during business hours, and I'd be notified of my package's arrival. In Hayang, I saw that a somewhat similar system was in place: if I happened to be away when a package came, the delivery guy would leave a sticky tag on my mailbox's metal cover, with a cell-phone number to text him so that he could come by the following day.

I've got to leave the house today and tomorrow, but I'm very worried about what that might entail. If the delivery guy calls me while I'm out, I suppose I could verbally give him the entry codes, but that would still be risky. Perhaps the best approach is simply the most honest one: just tell the driver that I'm out and can't receive the package, then let him tell me what the procedure is. No matter how you slice it, though, this is a frustrating situation.

UPDATE: I texted Tom, and he offered some commonsense solutions like, "Tell your landlady that the package is coming, and have her kid open the door for the delivery guy so he can place the package in front of your door. Or tell the delivery guy you're home only during such-and-such hours." That second suggestion is one I'll use during the semester, as I'll be away in class at certain times, and away all day on Fridays.


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