Other than being extremely delinquent with my blog (watch for my updates on Divorce is Not for the Weak) I meant to post a 2017 Holiday post a bit sooner, so while y’all were shoveling turkey down your gullets with one hand while searching on your smartphones for the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals with the other I took a much need break away from the kitchen and my job. Yes, I have a JOB. It keeps me busy while I try to figure out if I am going to throw all care to the wind, change my name and move to a tropical island and live off my writing talent , otherwise known as 365 Ways to Lose Weight Effortlessly or find a real meaningful career at almost 50, cause being the Good Wife didn’t pay much.
So this gig is Amazon Flex, and I deliver your Amazon Prime orders to your door in the Hampton Roads area. I thought I would help you the Amazon Customer, and us the Flex drivers have a smoother holiday season, by sharing some tips for your Amazon Prime orders, to cover before you check out and hit that button. You will get your packages faster and drivers will be able to complete their blocks of delivery efficiently. This is a total Win-Win for everyone. If you are a 1-Click person, check your account for these details. I will assist by posting visual aids as I go along.
Answer your 206 area code cell phone calls!!! Amazon HQ is in SEATTLE, Area Code 206 (see my hat?). When a Driver can’t deliver a package, we hit a button on our app that says “Call Customer” and Amazon uses their phone exchange in the magic app, to call you, only you don’t answer. So we call again. No answer. We call Amazon Support, and ask them to call you, they will even search in your account for previous access codes or delivery preferences for the PRIME customer. They even call YOU for us, again, and if we can’t make the delivery, the package has to be returned to the FC.
Make sure your account is updated. Example, you’ve moved from the garage apartment to a beach side condo with access codes. Double check and make sure in the notes for your delivery, you have put the access code to your new crib. If the new crib has a gate code AND building code, you need to put both codes in, just putting the numbers in 1234, doesn’t help, not all access boxes are the same, some are *1234, some are 1234# and others are #1234*. Be exact. Delivery drivers do not want to take your package back to the Fulfillment Center for access code issues. We want to deliver everything, because driving back to the FC, takes extra time and we are paid for a block of time, nor more or less. It also can cause a very late delivery for you the customer.
Amazon Delivers on the weekends and at night. By 6pm, it’s completely dark outside in the winter. The only people I know who are experts at delivering in the dark, deliver your local newspaper. I had this job once about 20 years ago and finding 102 Maple Ave, when it has no visible house numbers, on the house, on the mailbox, or at the curb, is excruciating, when you have a time limit. We know how to count, by ones, twos and fours to deduct an address, but sometimes it is not that easy. Example I live in a historical district of my city. My street starts at 601, 605, 609, 611, counting by fours, so my house should be three more houses down at 621, but it’s not, it is the next house. WHAT? And the next house is 701! Yep. Don’t ask me I didn’t number the houses, I just live here. Even Google doesn’t have my street correct in their mapping system. Play a game, drive through your neighborhood and try to find your neighbor’s house numbers, then do it after dark…it’s not as easy as you think.
Amazon uses their own GPS delivery mapping system. Yes, our app tells us we have arrived at our destination, however if you have zero property lines, or a house set way back off the road, or you bought the house, behind another house, it’s difficult to find you. The GPS is not always accurate to the inch, sometimes not even to the foot, or yard. If you live in new construction development, chances are your street isn’t even in the GPS yet. Drivers follow the GPS because, we don’t know where you live. We don’t get the same block routes everyday, and deliver in unknown neighborhoods to us. We double check the delivery with GPS, the address on the package, and good old fashion “do the house numbers match the package.” Some days playing the “find the house” game is not fun. Apps aren’t perfect. They assist. We rely on visual confirmation we have arrived at the correct delivery point.
Worst house numbering systems, apartment/condo complexes, old neighborhoods (like mine). If you know you have a funky address, in the note section on your Amazon account for your order, you can give a little direction. And you KNOW if you have a funky address, if you have to give your visitors extra details to find your holiday party, it’s funky. “Okay, so Sue…stay to the left when you enter the street, don’t follow your GPS, the place is numbered weird. Yes…I know it is 3305, but you will see 3360, then 3340…park between the two buildings, follow the path all the way around to the back, then up the stairs, I have the garden apartment…with a view!” A little help goes a long way for your friends, it would assist us greatly as well. Add a note.
Oh yes, and you are reading this, saying to yourself well, my house numbers hang right under my mailbox, yes you, with the lovely garden, with all those beautiful flowers that vine up your mailbox, and posts on your porch, you are guilty as well. I had no idea where the house numbers were on this delivery….somewhere there I’m sure…somewhere
“Leave at Leasing Office” or the classic “Buzz Everyone, leave at apartment door” doesn’t always work, because it’s Christmas, packages are going out as fast as they come in, and Leasing Offices aren’t open after 5pm, or weekends, and the day I “buzzed everyone” at your apartment section, to gain access because I don’t have a KEY to the hall door, and no one buzzed me in, then upon asking a gentleman in the parking lot if there was a leasing office for the complex, I was told it was downtown miles away from the customer’s front door. Well, this package couldn’t be delivered at all and I took it back to the FC. Buzz everyone isn’t access. Neither are leasing offices, some leasing offices out right reject our deliveries and WILL NOT accept them. My suggestion is an Amazon Locker delivery close to your home. You have 3 days to pick up your package, it’s safe, secure, and you can retrieve it at your convenience. If you live in a large complex, suggest to the Leasing Office obtaining an Amazon Locker system. It’s a WIN-WIN for everyone.
Amazon Flex Delivery Drivers want you to GET your package. I delivered the Sunday before Halloween, I took a block of time to deliver, loaded my car, got two miles down the road and got sick, thought, okay this has passed, and only made it two more blocks before having to make a mad dash to a 7-11. My delivery neighborhood was four cities away from where I was located, and it was pouring rain. I took the ramp onto the interstate only to encounter a traffic jam due an accident and managed to find a cut through in the highway to head the other direction. This took me through a toll tunnel (cha ching), and I was desperately in need of a bathroom again. I scooted through the tunnel took the first exit, found the first drug store with a bathroom, bought medicine, and waited a solid hour for the meds to kick in before I could drive the 15 miles to my delivery neighborhood. I made it through 90% of my deliveries then my app crashed, I had 9 more packages to deliver and no app to direct/confirm deliveries. I delivered the last 9 packages via the address on the package using Google Maps, and calling Amazon Customer Service for each delivery to make sure it was marked as delivered. It took extra time but seeing as I live 45 miles from the Fulfillment Center, and this neighborhood was closer to my house than the center. I was delivering it the rest of the packages and going home to bed. I probably made $5 an hour that day, but you know what, I drove home smiling, miserable sick, but smiling, because I delivered a package to a home where the Dad answered the door with an astonished smile (it was Sunday), then called his son downstairs, to receive, what I could guess what his Halloween costume. That made my day…that and a hot toddy in a warm bed.
I love this job, no job on earth let’s you view all these beautiful places. You’d never see them in your ordinary travels in your city. As my BFF’s granddaughter says “you get to deliver Christmas packages all year long.” And we do. We are Independent Contractors, not employees. We don’t get medical benefits, 401Ks, no guarantee of hours, and no tips. All we ask is for a little more info from the Amazon Customer, so we get your package to you in time for the big reveal day.
Peace and Love to All, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah from our home to yours.
Here’s some images from my travels around Hampton Roads so far this year. I hope you enjoy them. (Yes I took pictures of your gardens, cars, and animals.) 🙂