Banter with the delivery guy


Search results delivered to your door. That’s not creepy.

I have nothing to say right now. For example, take this post. WordPress told me it’s been in the Drafts folder since October 14, 2009. You can interpret that as an omen that decidedly does not portend well:

Warning: Excellent content ahead.

Why else would I work on it for such a long time? Obviously I refused to be rushed.

The thought crosses my mind, though, that with nothing to say, I probably wouldn’t be a good candidate to be a delivery driver. Think about it. Can you imagine spending your days going into small business offices and engaging in the same inane banter over and over again? The same boring chitter chatter? Day after day? Unimaginable. Unless you have a job. That’s pretty much also the definition of “work.”

“What? A package? Who’s it from?”

Oh, no. Here we go again. If I had that job I’d probably quit by lunchtime.

At my last job the people I worked with were extremely rude. The delivery guy would come in the office and stand there with his little package (not a euphemism) and loiter around hoping against hope he’d be noticed and get the required signature so he could make his escape. They’d just ignore him because the fate of the civilized world was hanging in the balance as they pretended to concentrate on their meaningless “work.” Yeah, right.

As the computer programer along the back wall it fell to me, obviously, to try to establish a protocol so the poor guy could be dealt with and continue on with his day. I said, “Why not let me sign for all incoming packages? I’m attentive to the fact that other humans exist on this planet.”

“Grumble, grumble. Naw, we don’t think that’s a good idea. Meh, who knows? What? Was that your juice in the fridge? I drank it. Whatever floats your boat. No bonuses.”

Thus, the new protocol was that when the delivery guy walked in the door, I’d get up and head in his direction. That’s when the boss and cow orker would suddenly become hyper-aware, leap from their seats and rudely cut me off. Note: This procedure only worked if I got up. If I remained sitting they would, too. It all felt very deliberate and spiteful.

“What is this?” the idiots would ask.

The delivery guy was so cool. “I dunno. Maybe someone sent you a package?” They were too much of the dumb to get the insult. I’d share a secret, knowing wink with the delivery guy. He had a little twinkle in his eye that his subtle dig had floated high above their heads.

Then they’d say something really interesting to the guy as he still patiently stood around waiting for a signature, “Ah, these must be the widgets we ordered.”

“Who gives a shit?” the delivery guy would silently emote. I’d be in the corner, watching it all, and trying to capture the evil of the moment in a carefully-worded tweet.

Sometimes, out of the blue, the cow orkers would notice the existence of the delivery guy and engage him in rapid, frothy conversation. It was all based on their mood, of course. Not his. Suddenly they were the most wordy bastards in the universe. It was fun reading his body language and watching him slowly inch backwards to the door.

Yes, you are not worthy of a signature when you need one. But you are suitable for basking in our wordy magnificence. Bask, we say!

I think in self-defense the delivery guy developed a proactive mechanism for dealing with assholes like these. He’d loudly work the front door. BOOM! There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that someone had just arrived. He made an entrance. He made his presence known. Then, whether they ignored him or not, he’d bust out with a quick stand up routine, forcefully, in a loud voice with a strong delivery. (Meh.) “Do you know why they kid threw ice cubes in his dad’s bed?” He’d wait with the proper comedic timing during the painfully silent beat, then deliver the punchline with flair: “Because he wanted cold pop.” Or maybe he bust out with something about Elvis liking jelly donuts.

I empathized with his plight as I imagined him trudging from office to office repeating the same jokes, over and over again, to the same kinds of assholes. It had to be driving him mad.

Then, with no reaction from anyone in the room except eye contact from me, he’d step over to cow orker’s desk and hold his little tablet six inches from her face. She’d sigh, shrug, and then say something genius like, “Oh, I guess you need this signed. Now what was I working on?”

No shit, Sherlock. Just like the 2,047 days before where this exact same thing happened. What are the odds? Could you be any more rude? The dude only wants one little thing from you and then he’ll be gone. Why can’t he have that?

Sometimes I’d initiate conversations with the guy. As someone who actually talked with him, I got a feel for the things he liked to discuss. “Did you hear about Boehner on the floor of the House with a pair of panties on his head?” I’d ask. Whatever happened to be the interesting news of the day. If you brought up the right topic the delivery guy could really go off. Of course, that’s when the boss and the cow orker would suddenly take notice and interrupt with their own bullshit and bulldoze us both completely out of the conversation. The conversation that I started by being nice to someone. When I was the only person to express any damn interest in the guy at all. But after they took over it was all about them. Suddenly they had lots of stories to tell and lots of things to say.

On the off chance an actual conversation could take place (maybe I was the only one in the office) you’d learn that the delivery guy had some pretty strong opinions. Over time I think he pretty much insulted every demographic I was in without knowing he was doing it. He didn’t like Obama, democrats, girly men, computer nerds and believed in the space aliens. Luckily I didn’t hold that against him. I just think it’s a bit odd to insult everything in sight without knowing the opinion of your audience.

One time a substitute driver came in. I had known him eight years earlier when working somewhere else. I didn’t recognize him but he remembered me. Amazing what a little sincere human interaction can do, eh?

I’m sorry I decided to deliver this post. It should have stayed a draft. Oh well. Please sign here. I’ll wait.

2 responses

  1. But if you see delivery guy in a bar, would you buy him a beer?


    1. This was back when I lived in a small town. I bumped into him at a restaurant once and we had a brief chat. I didn’t buy him a beer, though, so I guess that’s a no. πŸ™‚


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