WWYD: The Abandoned Package
In this installment of “What Would You Do?,” Shannon considers what her time is worth.
I ordered an ethernet cable from Newegg because my computer is 4.5 years old and refuses to connect to the Internet unless I am directly next to the modem (which is in the living room). The cost of this was $14 total, including shipping.
It was apparently shipped by a company called Purolator (a Quebec thing? I don’t know), and I was out when it arrived, so it went to the shipping warehouse, which is roughly 60 minutes away from campus via public transit (or 40 minutes from my apartment, but this close to exams and I was studying, and campus = apartment for intents and purposes).
My WWYD is: Do I decide that it’s worth my time to travel two hours roundtrip to pick up the cable? Or do I abandon it?
I decided that my time was worth more. I can pick up a cable at Staples for about $20, but I could pick it up downtown, which would take maybe 20 minutes, including standing in line at the cash register and everything.
Of course, it feels incredibly wasteful to just order something and then leave it for dead, and I’ll definitely check the delivery method twice the next time I order something. I don’t mind a longish bus ride, even to fetch something monetarily insignificant, if I have the time, and a good audiobook.
The shipment ended up going back to the manufacturer/warehouse/wherever it came from, and I was refunded fully, including the cost of shipping. This makes me feel slightly guilty, but not too guilty.
Here’s what I would have done: Like, Shannon, I value my time a lot, so I would have called the warehouse to see if they could have the package redelivered, and asked if the delivery person could leave the package at my door if I wasn’t home. If the warehouse told me that I had to pick up the package, well, I’d go pick up the package and make sure I had something substantial to read on the way there and back. Fourteen dollars isn’t a substantial sum, but I’d rather have it than cross my fingers and hope that the money will be refunded to me. Plus, I would have calculated the cost of having to buy another cable ($20 + the $14 cable I abandoned), and would have been bothered by the idea of spending $34 on an ethernet cable.