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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Deliveries: Bane or Boon?

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There are some others according to a reliable source, who tell you upfront they cannot take your call at certain times because they are waiting for a delivery. Even a boss is put on silent or call hold, all for the sake of a smooth delivery of a biryani by Swiggy 

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If we have given our mind and brains into the hands of social media that tells us what to eat and shop, we have given our time and personal space to another species these days. And these are the delivery boys from Swiggy, Amazon, Dunzo, Zepto, DTDC, and Blue Dart couriers among others. Most of us are literally nervous wrecks when we are expecting a delivery, especially those that demand an OTP. I have left important meetings to scroll and look for the OTP (that’s on a mail or a message) so that Blue Dart delivers my
precious clothes ordered online (ordered incidentally on a whim because it popped up on my Insta, dazzling me with offers). As it is we have become a tremulous and nervous people, and these deliveries only add to the overall anxiety we live with. Because, if don’t as much as pick up the call of the delivery boy, we next see a message saying, ‘delivery attempted, addressee not found’. A message like this would give the best of us existential anxiety, added to which we have to trace the courier guy now, who like Omar Khayyam’s moving finger having written, moves on. The delivery boy will not take our call subsequently, even if you are the President of India; he will call us only once and woe betide if we don’t take his call. Which is why we have to spend the day looking forward to
his call and delivery. This is a major reason I pick up every unknown number, and return calls from unknown numbers.

The delivery boy is the most important caller for most of us these days, and we’ve had friends hang up on us, or put us on hold (I myself have put conversations with several dear friends on hold because a delivery boy was asking directions to my house for the nth time). There are some others according to a reliable source, who tell you upfront they cannot take your call at certain times because they are waiting for a delivery. Even a boss is put on silent or call hold, all for the sake of a smooth delivery of a biryani by Swiggy!
We don’t have to track our deliveries fortunately because there is a minute-to- minute update on the Whatsapp, mail, and messaging services on the status of the order. Of course, that they add to the bulk of our junk mail is another matter. And wherever we are in the country, we know our packet has been delivered, because we get a proud message from Zepto or Swiggy, that the order has been
delivered, with pride and triumph that even mountaineers may not experience on climbing Mt. Everest!

The only catch is, if we don’t get these daily updates on the status of our order, it adds to our anxieties (as I said, this is the age of anxiety) because it will now befall our sinful lives to call customer services. Unless I can allot two hours of my day (besides being satiated after a full meal as my energy takes a nose dive, while calling), I don’t attempt customer services of any delivery, as by the time I get through bots who give me several options of one, two, three, and four and get to a human voice who will listen to me, I wonder whether so much effort is even necessary to trace a worthless chilli sauce or cleaning supplies I have ordered on
Amazon on a lazy morning. Even then, Amazon customer services are better than most, as you can chat with them when a call center voice will mysteriously appear and talk to you with an American accent (when the problem is totally Indian) and be of some help. 
You can never feel lonely in today’s world. That is, provided you are into ordering something or the other online. These guys (why are there no girls recruited as yet?) will constantly call you through the day to tell you where they are. When you think they are round the corner, they’ll say, ‘no madam we are starting from our facility in Malakpet’. When you ask when they expect to deliver, they will say
vaguely by evening or night. And when they do, why do they have to call you and say that either they are waiting at the gate, or have delivered it to the watchman.
I know safety of delivery is of prime importance, but still, this many calls for the delivery of kothmir? There’s a joke going around about how the Amazon delivery boy inquires if all is well in a particular house as there have been no deliveries since two days. 
Especially with all the Prime sales going on, and that we are addicted to (confess please how many of you to a store to buy clothes, even socks) deliveries will be the convenience we pay for, and in many ways the bane of our everyday existence.

In the meanwhile, can we be kind to the delivery guys who deliver rain or shine, and tip them heavily for the festive season? They are only doing their jobs and that too with super efficiency. 

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