Monday, January 17, 2011

...The worst feeling in the world is...

Broken bones? A papercut? Getting dumped? Being stressed out before a big test? Well yes while all those things do suck, quite frankly I think the worst feeling in the world is....

...Waiting for a package to arrive.

In this day and age, with wonderful things like Ebay and Amazon, I'm sure you've all ordered something off of that wonderful maze of tubes we call the internet (and if not....are you here by accident?) Everything is cheaper on the intarwebs and beyond that, you don't have to pay tax, and oftentimes you don't have to pay shipping. So all in all, this is a wonderful system...or at least that's what you think.

Say you've bought something from Amazon and you've saved maybe 10 bucks on whatever it is you wanted to buy, and the shipping is free and you didn't have to pay taxes for it so it ends up being far cheaper than you expected (even though you had to buy some various useless macguffins to reach the $25 limit to qualify for free shipping). What you don't realize though, is that Amazon, the tricky bitches that they are, are making up the difference with YOUR SANITY! (DUM DUM DUUUUUUUMMMM!!!!)

First they send you an email thanking you for your purchase. At this point, you're still feeling pretty smug and happy, as if you've somehow beaten the Man and found your product for less AND you didn't have to put pants on to do it! Then Amazon sends you another email telling you your package has been shipped. The excitement mounts, you know your desired item is on the way (along with it's typical macguffin padding) and that soon you will be able to bask in the glory of your new purchase. Inevitably in that email, they've included a long string of exactly five thousand, eight hundred and thirty seven characters that all need to be typed into a website exactly (caps and symbols included) so that you can track your package. By now, the thoughts going through your head are of how wonderful this is and how super convenient it is for you to be able to see where your package is at all times!

And that's it, you've lost, Amazon has you in it's grasps. You may think you have won, but the only thing that awaits is the dizzying spiral descent into the black pit of madness.

It all starts when you log on to the UPS website, and navigate it's menus to try and get to the package tracking page. Giddy with excitement at the prospect of owning your new garlic press, seven speed toilet plunger, do-it-yourself enema kit or whatever you've bought, you copy and paste all 5837 characters and numbers into the box. Your finger, trembling with anticipation, clicks the TRACK button. This next page loads slower than any page you have ever visited on the internet. You consider leaving, going and doing something else while the page loads, surely there are chores that need taking care of. The browser flickers, your attention immediately snaps back to your monitor. Still nothing. Finally the page loads. The package is still in Tonkawa, Oklahoma...."That's ok!" you think to yourself, "at least it's on it's way!" Still smug with your ability to outsmart the local mall, you leave to go do something else.

When you get back a few minutes later, the monitor stares at you, it's call pulls you in. You just have to see where your package is right now. It must have moved! You went away and did something else for an ENTIRE several minutes. UPS is fast, they've gotta have more information. You refresh the page, it's still in Tonkawa. "Ok no problem" you try and chuckle, "It'll take a while anyway right?" This cycle repeats as you check back on the package every few hours, forcing yourself to allow the UPS people more time to work. Finally, the first update. Angels sing and a warm aura surrounds your desk. The package has left Tonkawa and is "In Transit" The website gives you a vague and non--committal "estimated delivery date" as if only to give you the hope that your package MIGHT get there earlier than they expect. I mean what do they know? They're delivery people, YOU have beaten the entirety of the retail establishment!

Over the next day or two, you fall back into a pattern of refreshing that tracking page every few hours to see if there has been any progress made. But alas, no word. You begin to forsake basic needs like food, water and personal hygiene to try and track this son of a bitch. After all, you never know when a new update to this thing's location will come!

Then, another day later, a glimmer of hope. It might be the hunger induced delirium or the lack of sleep making you hallucinate, but you could swear that your computer is saying that the package is in YOUR STATE! At this point, the only thing keeping you from dancing around the house in a fashion that would embarrass your entire linage is the complete lack of strength in your muscles from the past several days of utter neglect. But nothing can stop you now. You become a page refreshing maniac. You hit that little refresh button as often as you refresh your facebook hoping one of your friends have said something nice about you (often to just as little result). You begin to feel desperation, as if UPS is purposely lying to you about your package. It's in your state already, and it's not like your state is THAT big and it's not like we don't have AIRPLANES and HELICOPTERS. Why can't your package be here NOW?! You become angry as you furiously pound the keyboard trying to follow every single FOOT that your package moves. It's taking too long! What if they got you address wrong! What if they're sending you the wrong items! Worries consume your brain as you refresh more and more. It has to be here soon damnit. It has to be! The world fades to black...

You awake on the floor and sit up unsteadily, your hands and face soaked in dried blood and there's no sign of your lovable pet Mr. Snuggles anywhere. You shakily reach for your keyboard, but being unable to stand, you resort to simply dragging your keyboard down to the floor with you. You hit F5 and stare up at your monitor. The page loads two glorious words that you never thought you would live to see. "Delivery Confirmed" Mustering up all the excitement you can given your state of health, you drag your paralyzed lower body towards the door and fight it open. There it is, that small brown box of glory. You rip the box open with your teeth, trying to get at the contents inside the way a hyena tears apart a zebra carcass. Finally, reaching the item inside, you are filled with a feeling of contentment as your hands shakily holds your DIY Enema kit over your head.

And then you DIE.

That's what ordering things on Amazon is like...

...And that's what I learned today.


  1. Brilliant! Reminded me a bit of this comic... and why I have amazon prime...

  2. But the satisfaction of its arrival is fantastic!!!


  3. Nice to see you've made your way over to the dark side of the blogosphere Mark :)