|'Is it 5 to 1 already?' a phrase much heard by delivery men.|
Sunday, 11 March 2012
Squealing About Deliverance
When we have something delivered to our home, we are promised its delivery between 8 and 1 on the basis that we take the time off work and wait in for it. Then it arrives at 5 to 1. The cynical will say why don’t we go about our work and just make sure we’re in to receive in that five minute window between 5 to 1, and 1 o’clock, because that’s when delivery men turn up in reality? But the fact is, the delivery companies don’t because they hate to feel that they have wasted your time. By delivering at the far end of the spectrum, they can say it really was worth staying in that last five minutes of the five hour possibility, because if you’d waited and gone out at 5 to 1, they would have come, you would be out and you would have waited in all that time for nothing.
It could be suggested to the delivery man that he could feasibly make more than one delivery per day. Say, one at 8, one at 9, one at 10 and so on. A pattern emerges. But, that concept simply misses the point. ‘If I were to do that, only one person would receive their delivery between 5 to 1 and 1 o’clock’, what is expected, yay, demanded,’ the deliverer will reason. ‘And I can’t be in two places at once.’
In all of this we shouldn’t be so self-centred. We should try to understand the world of the delivery man. A useful insight can be gained if we record him reserving a restaurant table:
‘’Ello, mate. Can I book a table… for two, lunchtime?’ he asks on the phone.
‘Certainly. What time would sir prefer?’
‘Between 8 and 1 o’clock.’
‘Uh, sir, you want me to reserve a table from 8 in the morning…? That is for five hours.’
‘What planet do you live on mate?’ says the delivery man, slightly irate. ‘We’ll be there at 5 to bloody 1.’