Saturday, December 21, 2019
Little bits of wonder
Yesterday while I was reviewing video and writing I decided I needed a new camera for making the videos. So after a very brief review of possibilities I ordered one from the place where everyone orders everything, pretty much.
For some reason the camera was eligible for free one-day shipping. That wasn't a deal breaker for me, but it is kinda cool.
As I write this I don't know that the thing will arrive today. I'm way out here in the sticks, and the company's vaunted drone service can't reach this far.
However, the tracking info tells me this. I clicked on the order button at 6:59 a.m. Then this happened.
If I bring my cognition, experience, and imagination together I can make up a story about my ordering experience which is probably very close to the reality of what happened.
It looks to me like the company has a big warehouse/shipping center in Aurora, Colorado. For those playing along at home and not living in this AO, Aurora is basically Denver, which is about 2.5 hours away by motorized over-the-road conveyance. Except the traffic in and around Aurora is a nightmare, so you have to add an hour for the 10 urban miles. Traffic details aside, I must now throw in an Ah-Ha! That's why the free one day shipping! The camera was in stock and nearby! During the 13 hours and 18 minutes between my mouse click and the "Package has shipped" notification, my electronic request worked its way through the warehouse system where workers fetched it from a shelf, packaged it up, stuck on a label, and tossed it in a shipping bin. Six hours later it was out the door in a USPS truck and heading for Kimball, where it arrived four hours later, which was 24 hours and 19 minutes after my mouse click. At the moment it's "out for delivery" on the local mail truck, and when the blonde-haired mailgirl reaches my shack as she executes her route the thing will be delivered.
It's not magic, but it is a little bit of wonder. Very importantly, at least in my mind, it's a little bit of wonder because America.
Duluth Trading Post. Dad always gave us kids gift cards to Duluth for Christmas. Well, always means he always did it since the first time he discovered them on the old-fashioned interwebz 20 plus years ago.
This year Mom wanted to carry on the tradition in memory of Dad, who left us on August 29. Little tear there. So she ordered them on December 11, and had them shipped to her house at the ranch so she could include them in the Christmas cards she intended to mail. Duluth's confirmation email said the order had been received and a follow-up email would be sent when the cards shipped. Expected delivery was 5-7 business days.
So as of this morning the cards had not arrived and no shipping email had been received. Mom felt really bad because it looked like her plan had fallen through. Also, she didn't know what to do. She'd spent $*** on the gift cards. Would she be able to get her money back? Would she have to wait for months and months for the gift cards to maybe show up? She didn't feel like she could call customer service because she has such a hard time hearing on the phone, and she was pretty sure she couldn't figure out how to email the right people and get a resolution. So for Mom, it looked like an insurmountable problem.
I called Duluth customer service this morning and was easily able to resolve the situation. As it turns out, at least according to Sue at Duluth and I have no reason to doubt what she said, they only have one person doing all the gift cards! Yikes! Anyway, their records showed that the cards had been mailed Priority Mail on December 12. They should have arrived by now, but they have not. So to fix the problem, they just emailed Mom the card numbers and pin numbers. It was then easy for me to format emails for Mom to send to each of us kids, with the specific card info included. As long as we each have the info, we can use it online or even in a Duluth store -- wherever such stores may be.
Once again, not magic, but indeed a little bit of wonder. Duluth is not the other, BIG online place. They don't have the ability to do the free next day delivery thing. That's okay. It's just different than the other place. And the difference turns out to be good in this case because it's much easier to deal with customer service at a smaller place than the big place. Sue was so very nice on the phone and resolved the whole thing in moments. So yes, a little bit of wonder because America.
Ever put fuel in your mechanized over-the-road conveyance?
Once again, again, it's not magic, but it is a little bit of wonder because America.
Here's a bit of ride along video from today.
From town to ranch, no commentary (until the very end), total waste of your time.
Checkin' cows. Ever eat food in a restaurant or purchase food from a grocery store? It's not (you guessed it) magic, but it is a little bit of wonder. Way out here in the sticks I steward the land we own, which allows us to raise cattle which produce beef for human consumption. We even produce eggs for human consumption, and even though we don't sell the eggs we share them with others. But we can only do that because of everyone else in the country. We buy our food at the store too. And we buy stuff from the BIG place and many small places. We put fuel in the mechanized over-the-road conveyances. We heat and light the house. We can do this because people buy our stuff, just as we buy their stuff. There are roads and railroads and airplanes and middlemen and law enforcement and fire and rescue and the military and many, many government agencies and we all work together and stuff works. None of it perfect. Some of it is awful. Some of it is so very fantastically good that it's impossible to wrap our meager minds around. Everywhere we look we find not magic, but countless little bits of wonder because America.
My new camera arrived!
Thanksgiving is a month behind us, and Christmas arrives in less than four days time. We are all so very blessed. Despite living an imperfect life filled with seemingly endless hard challenges and even outright misery, the list of my blessings is so massive it takes my breath away. I can't even come close to enumerating the list of things I have to be thankful for.
My holiday wish for all of you kind readers is that you have the opportunity to cherish the season and bask in the glow of little bits of wonder because America.
Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.