Sunday, December 8, 2013

Amazon's Drone Delivery Arrives in Italy

Of course, this title is not true. But when the airwaves were abuzz with the sounds of Drones landing like Hitchcock's The Birds on your doorstep, well...I started fantasizing about what that might just look like in Bell'Italia:

First off, packages might be getting some lift-off in China, where I imagine if you're caught stealing the box outright you will find your head on a post in the piazza by noon the next day.  I even suppose this might work in the U.S. suburbs or rural areas where, should a box be landing on your doorstep, it's not a bad thing (that is, until another UnaBomber decides it's a pretty nifty way to deliver all sorts of evil without passing thru U.S. post offices and their darn stamp machines...).

But, clearly, boastful Bezos & his crew haven't quite conceived of the urban setting or else they never would have bragged about this service on 60 minutes and in markets where most have packages delivered round-the-clock.
The view from your window

Easy as 1-2-3

So, for starters, let's all just relish Amazon's vision for a few moments.  After all, there's not a person in all of Italy who wouldn't want to see mail being delivered to them - at all - drones or not.  [Okay, excepting the mail carriers who don't seem to want to deliver the mail even when they have to - as also featured in my book, in the chapter, The Postman Never Rings Even Once].  In this momentary blissful vision we see the Italian economy jump 6 points because people start ordering things online, rest assured they'll actually be delivered.  Heck - Amazon could even start a new service...Note to Amazon: Check to make sure the thing you ordered hadn't been swiftly substituted with a box of kleenex instead.

But then, bureaucracy rears its ugly head.  After all, who would sign for the package?  Those blips on the economy upswing would be merely temporary as companies far & wide go belly-up due to millions of belly-aching claims to the contrary:  I never rec'd my package.  Please resend or refund [okay, I know the refund is sheer fantasy but we are dreaming, right?) Note to Amazon: Add CCTV camera footage to assure the drop.]  Italian businesses still operate on the stay-at-home-wife for everything; including package delivery and trips to the post office [well, she's not so stay-at-home -- busying herself at the market stalls and passing her formative years in lines at the Post Office]. Packages cannot be left without someone's 'signature' (and I use the term loosely - as loosely as an unintelligible scribble since that's what signatures look like here).

The package gets dropped. Once, while loading up my car in front of my doorman building in my swanky Milanese neighborhood, I set down a huge bag of clothes (within the entryway and just beyond eyeshot of my usually vigilant doorman).  By the time I came downstairs again, the bag and most of its contents had vanished.  I found remnants of my articles strewn down the street; my familiar family of gypsies making off like, well, bandits.  To this day, I still can't decide if I was more upset from getting my clothes stolen, or discovering that some of my prized pieces actually went rejected by the wandering gypsies who took them in the first place.
So, yes, Amazon -- Drone Delivery would be a definite improvement in people's lives.  The hordes of gypsies currently plunging head first into humongous garbage containers like Santa picking out the perfect present -- could set their sticks aside - for good.  They would only have to gaze up in the sky to find their proverbial pennies from heaven dropped at their feet.  Before long, their Flea Markets (in the true sense of the words) would become Amazon outposts -- you could go to the Train Station or around the Vatican and shop to your heart's delight - at bargain prices.  And everything, in spanking new condition.

Imagine that-Amazon's Drone Delivery would actually put the bricks & mortar shops they've so roundly razed back in business.  It might not be a bad thing, after all.


Post a Comment