Deliveries Happen Late


I can’t move out of earshot of the front door this morning. I’m waiting for a package to be delivered. I don’t know when it will arrive. I don’t even know if it will arrive today, but I’ll be the only person in the house and if I miss the delivery I will be plunged into the recursive hell of the “Sorry you were out…” card through the letterbox.

The package is a delivery for Mrs R. Not my usual delivery of very good value printer cartridges from Yemen. Last Friday she logged on to the sophisticated online tracking mechanism to get an up-to-the-minute report on the status of her parcel. The system stated clearly that the delivery driver had attempted to deliver it just five minutes earlier, but there was no one at home and so he had left a card.

Which was strange because for the last 30 minutes Mrs R had been not more than four metres away from the front door and there had been no sign of a delivery driver and there was still no sign of a card on the doormat.

The yellow and red clad delivery driver must have been lying when he clicked the box on his wireless terminal. Perhaps he was parked up in a sunny lay-by eating his sandwiches and scrolling through his afternoon schedule, removing the addresses which did not lie directly on the shortest route back to the depot.

Fortunately the very sophisticated online tracking mechanism allows you to respond instantly. One click takes you to a screen where you can input your package details and suggest a more appropriate time for delivery. Unfortunately that screen asks you to input the reference number from the card that was not left on your doormat by the mendacious driver.

Without the card, there is no reference number. Without the reference number there is no meaningful interaction with the courier.

Consequently the whole family has to work together as a team, carefully matching diaries and errands to ensure that there is always someone within sprinting distance of the front door 24 hours a day. This morning it is my shift.


11 Responses to “Deliveries Happen Late”

  1. I hate those “sorry you were out cards” made even more annoying by the fact that my collection place closes at midday *grumble grumble*

  2. I don’t mind the red and white cards, i can pick them up on my way to work, but the yellow ones mean a 70 mile round trip to the depot.
    Still, that’s better than the green ones, that’s a 90 mile round trip that also means leaving work before 4pm.
    Surely there’s an opening for a company that will, for a small premium, deliver after 6pm and at weekends?

    • Drew – Are you unhappy to pay the £5 delivery charge and then drive 70 miles to collect the package? There should be a rebate.

      • Previously i may have been unhappy, i’m now downright miserable. Today i have driven a mere 7 miles to the depot but managed to turn my car over into a ditch on the way home. This is probably my most expensive collection to date…
        And it turns out the package has a problem too.

      • Drew – Blimey! Glad you are ok (or at least still able to type) – hope no one was hurt. I guess this shows that the parcel delivery drivers are more skilled than we thought.

  3. 7 Andy, at Aviva Perth

    See “Royal Mail launches evening delivery trial in M25 area” at

    • “The six-month pilot will apply to anyone living within the M25 motorway who shops with House of Fraser or beauty chain L’Occitane”.

      Oh. Good. I shall move house and adjust my shopping habits accordingly. 🙂

  4. 9 Mike S

    Alex – how much longer are you going to leave us on tenterhooks? Has the package arrived yet? We need to know!

  5. Yes indeed, it would appear i have been underestimating them!
    Fortunately it was only me in the car and it was a cheap car. I escaped without a scratch. I am now convinced i am indestructible and will shortly set out to fight crime.

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