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Life at Robinsend

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Amazon Rant


bradl

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As someone who as been using Amazon for nearly 20 years it did not escape my notice that Amazon no longer limits itself to UPS and FedEx deliveries and now applies a broad spectrum of delivery modalities, from USPS to a dozen logistics providers to what appear to be privateers in personal vehicles.

In the autumn of my life I find myself in the position of having to find some sort of work to keep me afloat and busy until such time as retirement is more than just a scrabble word. I enjoy driving, I enjoy being helpful. Perhaps this might be the life for me?

Before applying I knew the first step was to perform a task analysis and skill inventory for the role so that I could do a frank self-assessment. Am I genuinely qualified? Is the role aligned with my natural sensibilities?

To help others who may find themselves considering a life of freelance or professional package delivery for Amazon, let me share a scenario-based screening test I devised using my home as a laboratory. In a matter of moments you will know if Amazon delivery is for you!

Scenario

  • You are working for a logistics subcontractor to Amazon and you are NOT working for the USPS.
  • You have a package in hand marked with an address and delivery date.
  • You are on-time and have located the address using your trusty GPS navigation device.
  • It is daylight in clear, temperate weather. As you approach the destination you verify the house number. All Systems Go! 
  • Immediately adjacent to the house number is a mailbox.

Question 1. Do you put the package in the mailbox?

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Answer 1

Spoiler

If you answered NO, congratulations!  Mailboxes are for the use of USPS and should not be used for mail that is not postmarked by the USPS.

Quote

The U.S. Postal Service would like to warn people that only authorized U.S. Postal Service delivery personnel are allowed to place items in a mailbox.  By law, a mailbox is intended only for receipt of postage-paid U.S. Mail.

As you consider the mailbox, you may notice an engraved plastic sign.

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Following the arrow you notice a box to the right.

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The box is several feet away. You look down at your feet and consider the doormat. There are some weird markings.

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You are not a hobo so you ignore the unfamiliar hobo sign.

There appear to be markings on the door sill as well but it looks like advertising and the sign in the window says "no soliciting" so you are pretty sure this is not relevant.

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Your moment of truth has arrived. It's time to leave your packages.  

Question 2. Choose the image the best represents your selection.

Answer 2

Spoiler

 

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CONGRATULATIONS! Both answers are correct! You are qualified to be a logistics driver for Amazon!

Bonus points to the driver who placed the package literally ON the STOP-don't-leave-package-here sign. Inspiring work! 

However the bad news is that apparently all available positions are currently filled with well-qualified candidates and openings are limited at this time.  

Update: I have recently noticed a decline in service and received two deliveries where the packages were left accidentally (I'll give them the benefit of the doubt) in the wooden box on the porch.

To ensure that only the most qualified candidates are hired in the future I recently implemented a more difficult screening test.

Based on the latest results I am pleased to report that service excellence is once again the order of the day.

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Great job Amazon!

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7 Comments


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Today's driver also passes: tucked behind the hose-reel successfully avoids homeowner's vague request.

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A leaf blower blew away my doorsill sign so I hastily printed some labels. "NOT HERE. Please put packages that fit in the box. THANK YOU"

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Test a nicely print or stenciled "Packages" on a strip of duct tape placed above the "box" label?  Clarify, as there seems to be a disconnect between logic and logistics, regarding which 'box', to some. 🙄

[Of course, if that's a video doorbell and has sound capabilities, I might observe until they bend down to place the pkg, then exclaim "oh, he!! no, Inside the brown/wooden box". 😈]

Perhaps resort to simple signage of "ALL packages go IN package box", with an arrow pointing that direction.  So, maybe a fairly large "Thank You' inside the lid of the box. 

 

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The drivers don't care. They're not puzzling out what is meant by the signage, they are ignoring it. I've watched them come and go. I've chased a couple down to ask that they use the wood box in future. They just want to be on their way. 

UPS (and FedEx) have used the box since day one, without any hints at all. The UPS guy laughed out loud the day I put down a continuous strip of blue painters tape arrows leading from the doormat to the box. "If that doesn't work I'm pretty sure nothing will."

My absolute favorite is the packages sitting on top of the box. I'd buy that driver a coffee. My kind of literalism :P 

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