Posted in Life

Acceptable condition

As the delivery truck pulled away, the alert sounded and a yellow Echo circle announced one new notification. A package has arrived.

When I opened the front door, a thick FedEx envelope fell across the threshold. A familiar sight, yet today very different. The envelope was wrapped in yards of packing tape. Beneath the tape I saw the envelope was ripped, torn, trampled, and water-stained.

But the package was not for me. My wife opened it when she returned home. Although she had purchased a used book, she did not expect to find it this used. The pages were wet, puckered, and compressed into a pulpy mess. When she showed it to me, I observed, “It looks like someone ran over it with a truck!”

So what happened? At what point did someone drive across the package, mummy it up with tape and send it on its way? I came up with a few scenarios.

Maybe the sender had set it on top of their car when heading off to the shipping place. As they pulled out of their driveway, they caught a glimpse of it in the mirror as it slid off the roof. They felt the bump as they drove over it. “Oh no!” “Well, we listed it in ‘acceptable condition. Don’t worry about it.”

Or maybe a huge pile of outgoing FedEx packages at the QuickShip place slipped off as the driver loaded up the hand truck on a rainy afternoon. No one noticed it until he felt the bump under the wheel. Glancing back, he saw the package on the asphalt. He jumped out, tossed it back into the truck, and drove off.

The book looked bad enough that it may have laid out in someone’s yard through a thunderstorm before they noticed it. Waterlogged and soggy, someone may have warned, “You can’t send it like that.” “You’re right.” So they microwaved it to dry it out a little, spun some wide tape around it, and sent it off.

It could be that someone else had purchased this book and it arrived in this condition at their house. They couldn’t return it. But they could resell it. Hey, if you don’t like it, just resell it. Buyer beware, right?

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