Monday, May 20, 2013

Delivery guy and the man in a wheelchair

It always takes me some time to roll up to the door. It happened in the past that by the time I got there a person who was waiting for me to open already got tired of it and walked away. Sometimes, 20, 30 seconds after the last knock I get to the door and franticly open, yelling "Hold On!", nobody is there. If it's the postman with a package, I then need to call the postal service and arrange a different day to try it again. There is no way for them to get in touch with him and turn him around. If it's the courier, he's probably left in at my apartment complex' leasing office. It'd be quite hard and time consuming for me to wheel around back and forth balancing a heavy box on my lap, although I did manage to bring my 17 inch laptop home in the box all by myself once. There's never a good way to position it on me and there is always a risk I will drop something. Luckily, I managed to have the maintenance workers bring it up to my door when that happens. If it's food, I've decided the safest way to go is to just wait closely by the door. It's usually 15, 30 minutes, always under an hour. I can spare that.

The problem with FedEx, UPS and USPS is that they deliver throughout the day. I know it's different in some parts of the world, but here they don't even give you a time window. All it typically says when you try to track it online is "by end of the day" which means anything from 9 am to 5 pm. Living in this apartment for as long as I have now, I was able to narrow it down a bit. I would guess that the mail is delivered around 12:30-1, while the couriers come sometime between 1:30-3:30. Those are the times that, if I'm expecting something to arrive I'm trying to be somewhere in my living room. I avoid being in the restroom or my bedrooms typically, because rescheduling US Mail particularly is a pain that I'm trying to avoid at all cost. It helps to know people who deliver your packages. I'm on the first name basis with my UPS guy. He knows I'm in a wheelchair, he'll bang on the door and call me loudly for a bit to make sure he doesn't miss me. It has happened in the past that he was able to wake me up when I was taking a nap. For that reason alone, UPS is my service of choice. I've had some issues with FedEx. I don't know if he was in the hurry or just didn't want to deal with me, but I know that a few times while I was inside and wating nobody bothered to knock on my door, yet a package was delivered straight to the office. I didn't even get as much as a door tag telling me that it's here and where to look for it. My coffee orders come through Fedex, every few weeks I get a supply of enerrgy drinks and recently I discovered that I can just order basic household and grocery items from online pharmacy stores, so I get them quite often. Recently both Fedex and UPS have teamed up with the postal service and while I wait for a smaller package to arrive at my door, often taking time away from other things, it ends up in my mailbox. There were times that I had things arrive unexpectedly and then days when I waited in vain.

Regardless, my own experiences got me to think how nobody ever expects a person with mobility issues on the side of the door. The more stressed I am, the more tense I get and it actually takes longer. Perhaps it would be a good policy to extend that courtesy. That extra knock... That extra minute at the door, because you never know, somebody like me might really need it.


  1. The Great American Know-How could solve your problem. I see that you can currently get a Radio Shack three-channel wireless home intercom system on eBay for under $10.00:

    At that price, what is there to lose by trying it. I would.

    If you want to look at new ones, then I see that Gainsville has three Radio Shacks where I am sure that the geeks will prove very helpful:



  2. I stumbled upon your blog and found this post really well done, would love to connect more do you live in Mississauga, Ontario? If you would like to chat sometime I'm looking to connect with other people with disabilities in my area to get out more and keep in shape! Drop me a line if you: