December 28th, 2006

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  • dajagr

Close: It counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and FedEx

A couple of days before Christmas, I came home from work to find a FedEx truck parked halfway across my driveway. The driver was standing in front of the gate outside our duplex (there's a fence stretching from the edge of the garage to the neighbors' fence; the front door and porch are on the other side of that fence, with a double-wide gate to allow access). I wasn't sure whether I could pull in around the truck, so I put on my turn signal and waited. He stood there and looked back at me. After about three minutes of Mexican standoff, he gestured me in toward the driveway. I managed to squeeze my way around him and park...well, sort of straight. I got out of the car and headed toward the gate. The driver was apparently getting off the phone with my housemate, who had come down to the gate to open it for him. Apparently, he wasn't able to figure out that the fishing line with the cap hung at its end that came through the hole in the gate was attached to a latch on the other side that would open the gate if you pulled on the line. (What won't they think of next?)

Anyway, Zippy the Wonder FedEx Driver made a point of having my housemate sign for a package that he'd received. He then looked at a second package and verified that it was for me. A third, larger package was underneath both of them. He left all three boxes with us and proceeded to leave. We dragged the packages inside and took a look at them. One (the one we signed for) was some server software that my housemate had ordered. Mine was a set of games I'd ordered off a website. And the third...well, the third was from Apple. My housemate and I disagree on our memories of the size, but it was either a 23" Cinema HD display or a 30" Cinema HD display. The cheaper of the two is a $1000 device; the other one is twice that. We wondered if perhaps the other housemate had ordered it, so we looked at the tag. It was addressed to someone else entirely, at a house number that differed from ours by 13, on the next street south of us.

I threw my coat back on and hauled the monitor to its intended destination. Fortunately, the intended recipients were actually home. They were flabbergasted when I said that the FedEx driver had left it at our place. Apparently, FedEx had left them a message saying that they were unable to deliver the package (for whatever reason) and that they would have to go to the distribution center to pick it up. They were in the process of cleaning up the kitchen before they left to get it, in fact.

So, apparently, if you can get a $1–2000 device within a block and 13 house numbers of the address on the package, that's good enough for FedEx. Maybe soon they'll hire a driver who knows how to open a gate.

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