First World Problems

After nearly getting my fingers squashed by the trunk lid on my car, I decided I need new lift supports. I’m a DIYer, and I’ve BTDT a few times in the past, so I checked my local preferred auto parts store and found they cost $30. Each. I need two. Ouch. I do prefer to Shop Locally, but really, is Advance Auto or Auto Zone or NAPA, or even our Midwest everything discount department chain store Meijer really “local”? I think not. So I went to everybody’s usual fallback option, Amazon, and found I can buy a pair for less than $25 ($30 with shipping). Good deal. I placed an order on Saturday and started tracking it. Come Wednesday they hadn’t even been shipped yet. Still sitting in the warehouse? What the hey?

The first time I ever ordered anything online was quite literally ages ago. I’m guessing sometime around or even before 1990. This was in the days of dial-up modems and 128kbs connection speeds. The World Wide Web was shiny and new, with pictures and everything. A far cry better than the text-based web surfing I started out doing with a Lynx “browser”. I recall one night sitting at the dining room table when I managed to log into a web server at Trinity College in Cambridge, England, to have a look around, and it blew my mind. My first real graphical Web experience was on the social network Prodigy. Amazon didn’t exist then, but Prodigy had a store. I ordered something, a new modem, I think, and was shocked! shocked, I tell you! to find it sitting on my doorstep the very next day! I was spoiled.

I’m reminded of a couple years ago when my wife ordered some promotional materials for her workplace. They were very slow in arriving, a total no show after a long period of time, so she called the company. “They have to come all the way from California!” the breathless rep explained. To Michigan. Curious. It’s like we were back in the 1950s and the telephone rings and everyone gets excited because it’s a long distance call! From halfway across the state! I ordered a Moto G cell phone from Motorola a couple years ago. I got an email that they’d received my order but there would be a slight delay because demand was so great. Then I got an email that my phone was being built. Next day I got an email that it had been shipped. Two days later I had the phone in my hand. It came from China, halfway around the world… but not as distant as California, apparently.

So realizing that my trunk lifts were apparently not getting out of the warehouse in a timely manner, I cancelled the order and place another with another company. We’ll see how they do. I know, I know, I’m impatient, but in this day and age when sales competition is a dog-eat-dog universe, some dogs do get eaten. That was yesterday morning. My struts shipped last night. How hard is it to put something in a box and stick it in the mail anyway? Not very hard.


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