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You’re Only Getting Gravel For Christmas

, , , , , , | Working | December 24, 2019

My parents live in a very rural area, with gravel roads and long distances between houses. The advent of online ordering has been a godsend for them as they get older, as having items delivered is much easier than making the trip all the way into town.

However, shortly before Christmas last year, their deliveries from a specific delivery company stopped arriving. They had three different packages which were all marked as delivered, but never actually arrived. They called around to the company, and they got assurance that the boxes had been left on their porch, and the suggestion was made that maybe someone walked off with them. Not helpful.

Then, the next day, a man drove up with a pickup truck and knocked on the door. He introduced himself as the son of the couple who used to live at the house at the end of the gravel road leading up to my parent’s place, and he had all three packages with him. 

It turns out, he had been stopping by their house to get it cleaned up to sell after his parents moved in with him, and he had found a massive pile of boxes stacked up on the porch of the house, several of them with damage from the snow that had fallen. They were for addresses all down the road, and so he was going down to drop them off.

My parents were more confused than angry, but they called into the delivery company to let them know what had happened. The person on the other end was very rude, accusing them of prank calling, as apparently, several other families had phoned in, as well. Dad got angry at that and got in his truck to drive to the location in the nearest city to give them a piece of his mind. In a frankly magical coincidence, he got to the end of the street right as a delivery driver from that company was walking up to the house at the end of the street, with an armful of packages. He quickly pulled over and got out of the truck, calling out to the driver.

The delivery driver looked over at him and ran forward, dropping a couple of boxes into the snow, before dumping the entire stack onto the porch. My dad hurried forward, but the delivery driver dodged around him, ran back to his truck, and pulled out down the main street. My dad was dumbfounded at that point and ended up heading into the city as he’d planned.

It turns out that a couple of the other neighbors had the same idea, as he ran into them in the lobby of the delivery company. The person behind the counter apparently looked pretty intimidated from all of them pressing for answers. Eventually, a manager was called, and then a higher manager, before they got the whole story.

It turns out, the delivery driver my dad had seen was new, and apparently was “nervous” about driving on gravel roads. Rather than getting a different job or requesting a different route, he decided to just dump all of the packages on the first house of each gravel road. When the higher manager called him to get his side of the story, his excuse was apparently that they’d all know each other anyway, so they could handle handing the packages out.

My parents and I assume he got fired after that, as package deliveries resumed normally after that, and they’ve never had a problem since then with packages being dumped at someone else’s house.

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