2008-12-23

Amazon, you're a large part of my Christmas Depression

I used to think quite highly of Amazon, after all, they are pretty much the poster face of pioneering online shopping. However, this year, I feel they've let me down a lot.
You see, on the 9th December, I decided to get my "and you're done", done. I basically went online to get all the Christmas presents that I could remember. I spent a good time online, populating my shopping cart. I made extra special sure that a) the items I picked were sold by Amazon and not one of their affiliates, I also made superduper mega extra sure that b) all the items I picked were in stock. That was very important.
As I bought quite a few items, I was eligible for the "Super Saver delivery", basically free, but with a much longer delivery time. Five to seven days, I seem to recall. But I didn't choose this cheapskate option, because I figured that 5-7 days from the 9th December would be cutting it too close to Christmas.
The reason is that some of these presents were for my family in Sweden. This mean that I needed the items quite in advance before Christmas, which, by the way, is on the 24th in Sweden (and Finland). I needed the items delivered, then I needed some time to wrap them, write some pressie-poetry, put ribbons on them, labels etc. To stick them back in a box, and then to march off to a post office filled with other Christmas-posters. I anticipated congestion, delays, everything going wrong (how wrong I was! - Read on!).
This negative attitude (or is it realistic!?) meant that I stuck my hands in my virtual debit card pocket and paid the measely £8 extra for a "First Class" delivery (not "Express Delivery"). This had a lead time of 1-3 business days. On the 9th, that would have meant that, since all items being in stock, I might even have the parcel from Amazon on Saturday 13th. Giving me the weekend to do the wrapping etc. Even if the parcel arrived on Monday, I would have ample time to repackage and send the Christmas pressies off.
But time passed...
... And yet more time passed...
... My attention was focused on other Christmas things...
... and still more time passed by...
And suddenlty it was the 17th, Wednesday and I hadn't heard a peep from Amazon. This is where I got really depressed, because I knew that I'd have virtually no chance of doing this properly. Caz noticed this and offered to give Amazon a call. She got through but wasn't really able to hurry things up without a) paying £18 extra (!!! for an already delayed delivery!) or b) starting to be "very annoyed customer". To cut a very annoying story shorter, part of the goods arrived Friday 19th. I dropped everything, wrapped things up, badly, and stuck them back in the same box they arrived in, and rushed to the local post office. To my surprise I was 2nd in line when I arrived. Awesome. Which in turn is a totally different feeling to what I felt when I was told that the parcel would cost me just a tad below £40 to reach Sweden within time for the evening efforts of the merry guy in red and white. Yes, fourty squidderinos, four-zero... forty!! That's a huge percentage of the value of the goods within the box. Annoyingly I could have gone cheaper, should I have placed the items in a smaller box. Which would have take time. Time that I had given away to Amazon.co.uk. Time I couldn't get back.
Top this off by the fact that I'm sitting here, increasingly annoyed by the fact that it is, today the 23rd of December. It's now some 30 odd hours away from St. Nick to knock on the doors of the Swedish homes to deliver presents to the anticipating children and children-in-adults-disguises. I still have not recieved the other part of my order. There's no f**king way I will be able to get all my presents to Sweden before "the event". Thanks so f**king much, Arsemazon! If you would have kept me informed, I would have been able to cancel the order, go to a real friggin shop with real items and real people in it and buy things with real money - which brings me to the next point. Part of me doing this on the 9th was so that I'd get to spend all my money whilst I actually had them in my account. But, you see, dear readers, when you order with Amazon they only screw over your debit card once they have the items shipped/picked or something. Not when you order it. Which does make sense in one way, but in this case it now meant that my account has been hit by the Amazon fees (and the Post Office fees), when I have "already spent" my money. Friend of order will point out that I should keep better eye on my finances, which is true to an extent. I would however like to point out that I'm, by profession, not a banker or accountant. Keeping an eye on my money isn't my primary concern in life. I have therefore arranged to be served with regular text messages and I have an overdraft so I don't have to play accountant all the time. My point is, if things would have gone the way I wanted, I wouldn't be overdrawn at the moment. Friggin annoying!

Top this all of by the fact that I really don't want to have Christmas, I'm merely stepping into the character because I'm more or less demanded to do so by the society. Top this off by my feeling of being poor, because I should spend my money, say, fixing my (french!) car, paying off my credit cards, saving money for doing, the downstairs toilet, garage flat roof, and the front garden.

Oh, and this'll be the first Christmas when my Father isn't with us. That's scarred by my 80 year old grandmother telling how, last Christmas, he was adamant about preparing the Christmas meal for both of them, but being in such bad shape that he had trouble eating the food he had cooked. Something nobody told me, until after he had passed away, which would be about 2 months after last Christmas.

So, you know what, Amazon, you've partially screwed up my Christmas - and potentially the Christmas of those who aren't receiving their presents - but frankly, you didn't have much of a chance to make it into a good one anyway.
I sincerely hope that, whoever reads this, will have a really nice warm and cozy Christmas. And finally, Caz, I'm sorry for being such a sh*t about this all.
.... And I'm done....

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