A Clear Sign

This blog post will consist of nothing but me complaining. I’m talking full-on First World Problems ranting. If that’s not your cup of tea, I apologize. May I suggest catching up on some old posts about Disney princesses?

Okay… The rant begins now.

I’m not sure if I’ve expressed my recent displeasure with the grocery delivery service known as Instacart on this blog before. I know I’ve taken to the Twitter in the past. So if this is a repeat rant, I apologize again. Just know that I’m building a case.

During the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown that we all experienced in 2020, I became accustomed to the idea of having groceries and meals delivered right to my door. And I don’t just mean the door to my apartment building. I mean directly to my apartment door on the third floor of my building. The delivery driver would arrive and call from the security call box outside and I would buzz them in. Then they would either take the stairs or ride the elevator up to floor three and deposit my goods right in front of my door. All I had to do is open the door and pull everything in. Simple enough.

I don’t know what has happened to the hard working delivery drivers hired by the likes of Instacart and DoorDash, but they are no longer living up to the adjective of “hard working.”

Like I said… I grew accustomed to the convenience of having these things delivered. I’m not saying I’m incapable of doing my own grocery shopping. I’m simply saying that I don’t like to. If nothing else, COVID taught me how to have anxiety when faced with interacting with people or finding myself in a crowd. I never particularly liked grocery shopping in the first place. Too many inconvenient opportunities to run into someone I might know and might want to avoid. So I began working the additional cost of grocery delivery into my monthly grocery budget. It was working for me, try not to judge.

But the last couple of times I’ve attempted to have my groceries delivered have only served to show I need to suck it up and return to shopping for myself. Or, at the very least, go back to utilizing Kroger’s Clicklist service, where store employees do my shopping for me and I just drive over and pick everything up.

Here’s why… In the first of the final two deliveries, I was contacted by the Instacart shopper who had already been able to gain access to my building. Because I buzzed him in. But then he called me from the lobby and said he couldn’t find my apartment. Taken aback, I really wanted to ask, have you tried? Because I literally just buzzed him into the building 15 seconds prior to his call. Because he was unwilling to even attempt to find my specific apartment, he told me he was leaving my bags in the lobby near the mailboxes. “I think this is secure enough.” He then hung up and left.

Yeah… I went downstairs and I got my groceries. And I’m glad I was capable of doing so. Because some people who have their groceries delivered are doing so because they are incapable of physically going and getting their groceries on their own. What if that had been me? What if I had been quarantined at the time? When if I was stuck in my apartment with two broken legs? The point is, I paid for a service. That service was only to be completed once my groceries were delivered to my door.

Go back with me to the second of those final two deliveries. Imagine the same thing happening. Except this time, once I buzzed the shopper into my building, I was never contacted. In the past, when I have had responsible shoppers, I have buzzed them in and my groceries just appear at my door a few minutes later. In this case, a few minutes passed and there was nothing. I allowed 10 minutes to go by before deciding to go downstairs to see if I could track down this shopper. I got to the lobby to find bags of groceries but no shopper. Oh… and when I took inventory of what was delivered, several of my items were missing. Items that were shown to have been paid for on my receipt. Yeah, I paid for several things that I never got. Not only did they not get delivered to my door, several things just didn’t get delivered at all.

All that to say… I’ve stopped having my groceries delivered because apparently Instacart is no longer in the habit of hiring competent shoppers in my local area who are capable of following simple instructions. But I thought DoorDash was still different. I thought the good people at DoorDash could still be counted on.

I’ll admit, there have been a number of meals delivered to the wrong apartment. I tend to let that slide because it happens so rarely. But, when it does happen, it can sometimes be understandable. See, my building can be a little confusing. It all looks like one ginormous apartment building. But really… there are two separate addresses. And if someone isn’t paying attention, they could very easily go to the wrong front door. And since there is an apartment in the other building with the exact same number as mine, well, mistakes can be made.

Still, I try to spell out the delivery instructions as simply as I can by having the delivery driver come to the door nearest the brewery and dial my apartment number to be buzzed in. Not at all that complicated, right? Or am I expecting too much? Please, tell me, I genuinely want to know.

I’ve allowed a lot of small mistakes to slide when it comes to the DoorDash deliveries. Mostly because, in the moment, I’m freakin’ hungry and I’d rather just deal with the mistake and get my food than try to complain about whatever the deliverer did wrong. But last night was the proverbial straw that broke the proverbial camel’s proverbial back.

I ordered some pasta from a local Italian place. I did so because I was having a craving and the last time I got this stuff it was insanely good. I could see from the DoorDash app that my driver was getting close. In fact, I could see that he was right in front of my building. This generally means that, any second now, my phone should ring so I can let the driver into the lobby. Well, my phone rang, all right… but it wasn’t from the call box at the front door. It was an unknown number from Massachusetts.

“Yeah, I’m here with your delivery,” he said.

I rolled my eyes so hard he could probably hear it through the phone. I verbally explained to him the same instructions that are spelled out for drivers on the app. I double-checked to make sure the directions were actually there. But for some reason, he was unable to get the call box to get through on my phone. I made an excuse that it probably wasn’t working correctly (though it was most likely user error) and offered to come down and meet him at the door.

I threw on my flip flops and made my way down the stairs. But when I got to the lobby there was no one there. I opened the door to the outside world and there was no delivery person with food waiting for me.

So now I’m thinking that someone let this guy in and he went back to the elevator while I was taking the stairs down. We were like ships passing in the night… right? I took the stairs back up to the third floor expecting to find someone standing outside my apartment with my pasta. But no… There was no one. There was no food.

I went back downstairs for a second time, just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Maybe he was let in and he left the food somewhere in the lobby before just taking off. But no… There was no one. There was no food.

When I got back up to my apartment, I decided to call this guy back. Unknown number from Massachusetts? That’s the one… Of course it went to voice mail. “Hey man, is this the DoorDash guy? I came downstairs to meet you but you weren’t there and I kind of just want to know where my food is.”

He called me back. “Hey, someone did come down and took the food. So you should have it.”

That wasn’t me, moron. This is why you’re supposed to deliver it directly to my door! So you know who you’re delivering it to! Some rando happens to come into the lobby at the same time you’re expecting me to meet you to get my food and you just hand it to him? Why? Because you have no idea who I am or what I look like! Someone in my building got a free meal on me.

Amazon… look out. You start screwing up your deliveries, I’ll be done with having ANYTHING delivered ever again. I’ll go back to making my own meals. I’ll go back to shopping for my own groceries. I’ll go back to shopping in mom and pop brick and mortar stores.


2 thoughts on “A Clear Sign

  1. WOW this is just so frustrating!!! Ive had deliveries go to people in the same house but they at least were responsible enough to bring it to my room. Now I just make sure to go outside to meet anything I have delivered. But I dont do delivery anymore since I have my car

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As someone who has been to your apartment… no, it’s not difficult to find your apartment; you just have to put in the slightest bit of effort compared to a freestanding building. I’m sorry; that all sounds so infuriating. I’m of the mind ‘no one does it better than I do’ so I do all my own shopping and retrieving of food. At lease if there’s a mistake I know who to blame and there is hardly a chance I will not end up with what I wanted.

    Liked by 1 person

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