Ping-Ko Chiu

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Software Engineer,
Location Technologies @ Apple
pingkochiu [at] gmail.com
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13 November 2018

Delivery

by Ping-Ko Chiu

I ordered some holiday gifts for my family. Two days ago I get a call from the delivery dude saying he is in front of my door. I was still at work at that time so he agreed to leave it with my neighbor apt 311. I live at 309. So he put my neighbor on the phone. This nice Indian lady that said i can come by anytime that night. Ok so i rushed home and knocked on their door at 7pm. No answer. Peep hole was pitch black. Knocked again at 8. Again at 9. Again at 10. And again at 11pm. No answer… weird. Peep hole was pitch black still. Seems no one is home. I knock again the next morning and there is still no answer. I think to myself: “Hmm maybe they are asleep. Ok ill come again at night.” Later in the day, I get a call with India’s country code. This lady said “hey im **** your neighbor, i have your package. Im heading to the temple now and i will be back at 9pm” i thanked her and said i will go to their apt at 9pm. I come home and i knock on their door at 9pm. No answer. 9:30. No answer. WTF? Then I tried again at 10pm and again at 11pm. No answer. Is this a fraud?? Am i being fooled? But I just couldnt figure why anyone would bother to call me and leave me texts though. Unless they are pure evil and want to toy with me. I call and text back to no avail. I see the swastikas on the door of apt 311. Lady said she was going to the temple. There are swastikas on the door. Ok story checks out. Fine. I go to bed, planning to try agin tomorrow. I fall asleep and i get woken up by a call. A dude this time. He was like “hey i got your package you wanna come over?” I was like yeah ill be right over. I jumped out of bed. Put on some clothes and headed next door. The peep hole is pitch black. I knock, no one answers. I knock more and still no sound and no lights. Wtf? I called the dude and i asked him “erm… do you live at olivewood?” And he was like “uhhh i live at cedarwood”. The package was in another building this whole time… The delivery guy delivered to the wrong building. So i hiked across the apartment complex to the other side which is a 5 min walk away. Finally met this lady and her son and received the package and gifted them some homemade sourdough in exchange.

These new logistics companies are trying to get into the logistic industry by hiring contracters that drive their own cars to send packages. But these contractors dont know the area and cant find their way in apartment complexes. Fedex, USPS, UPS have dedicated delivery teams for each neighborhood or route. But I read that these delivery contractors get little training and are assigned arbitrary routes everyday. So they dont learn the buildings and the neighborhood. They also rely on consumer navigation applications that cannot resolve addresses correctly all the time. I got a call from a delivery guy for a separate delivery last week. He said “there are so many buildings I cant find where you live. I have to return the package and try again tomorrow”. The dude just gave up! I have never encountered deliveries not being able to find the location and having to resort to calling people to ask for help.

tags: Life - Stories