Unintended

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we do some things. This was brought home to me when I looked out my front door Saturday morning to check snowfall accumulation and saw a pizza box sitting on my front porch.

Obviously the delivery person had knocked on the door, then placed the pizza, and a bag of dipping sauces, on the front steps so I could pick them up. That has been the routine for three years now.

The pandemic, with restaurants closed to in-person dining, led to a surge in delivery services. Door Dash, Skip The Dishes, Uber Eats and a host of others have all done really well. We have become a take-out and delivery culture.

It kept restaurant workers employed, at least some of them, when business was down. I’m not sure how many people have returned to in-person dining – in many ways it is more convenient to eat at home, and there is an appeal for some people in not having to cook.

One of the changes is in the way food (and other things) are delivered. No longer does the delivery person knock on the door or ring the bell, wait for you to answer, and then get your payment or signature. No contact is the rule – less chance of spreading the virus that way. The drawback is that the delivery person doesn’t always get the address right.

Which explains the pizza at my doorstep when I woke up Saturday morning. I hadn’t heard the knock on Friday night. And I wasn’t expecting a pizza. Or any other food – I had leftovers for dinner on Friday evening. (Actually, looking closely at the pictures, the footprints would indicate that maybe there was no knock.)

The pizza sitting on my front step was frozen, not surprising given that it was -12 overnight. When I thawed and heated it, it was very tasty. At 6:30 a.m. the pizzeria wasn’t open, so it isn’t as if I could have called to tell them an error had been made, something I could have done if I had heard the knock and spoken to the driver.

My thanks to the hungry person who was waiting for a pizza that never arrived Friday night. I don’t think I had ever had a double pepperoni pizza before, and I really enjoyed it. I hope you called and complained and eventually got a replacement pie.

I’m left wondering how often this happens. I imagine the cost of mis-delivery is built into the price we pay when we order something online. I’m curious as to how much it is.

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