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Opinion: Learning patience from busy delivery workers and repairmen
Postal carrier Gary Dover works fast dropping off mailed items at boxes along Thompson Bridge Road.

Like most people, I wondered for a long time why service and delivery professionals couldn’t be more specific about when they would arrive at my home. My impatient thoughts probably reflected yours:

“Aren’t they inconsiderate by telling me they will be at my house between 2 and 5 and I’ll have to wait that long? Don’t they realize I’ve got other things to do?”

“Isn’t this working backward? Shouldn’t they ask me what specific time I want them there?”

“They must be building in extra time for lunches and snacks at their favorite spots.”

Recent incidents, though, changed my mind. The two men who delivered my new refrigerator told me, “you are one of 11 customers on our delivery list today.” Another day the cable company repairman, who had arrived at 2 p.m. — though scheduled for 11 a.m. — let me know I was his seventh house to visit already. Days later, the plumbers who showed up around noon said this was their fourth appointment so far.

These incidents prompted me to remember my teen years, when a co-worker and I delivered, installed and repaired appliances in south Mississippi, long before we had GPS or similar devices to track down a farmhouse on a gravel road that twisted and turned for miles after we left the main two-lane highway. You can imagine how unpredictable our ETA (estimated time of arrival, as the airlines say) was.

So next time a scheduler tells me the installation or repair crew will show up within a three-hour span, I’ll know why. And I’ll greet them gratefully, not grudgingly.

Bill Lampton