It was the day before Christmas (aka “Friday”). The Old Hill resident looked out at the surprise snowfall. He was even more surprised to find many large boxes and crates, all over his front steps.
He looked closely. Instacart had delivered 30 rolls of toilet paper, 24 rolls of paper towels, 2 gallons of apple juice, 72 Eggo waffles, 10 pounds of potatoes, 200 kitchen trash bags, a gallon of dish soap, 21 sponges, 2 liters of olive oil, 3 pounds of salt, 1 liter of balsamic vinegar, 12 apples, 2 pounds of onions, 2 pounds of string beans, and 2 pounds of asparagus.
He was all set for the holidays! (And The End Time, if it came to that.)
There was just one problem: He had not ordered any of it.
So he did what any normal, moral person would do (especially the day before Christmas): He called Instacart, to tell them they’d delivered to the wrong house.
Oops! said the delivery service.
When can you pick it up, and deliver it to the right address? he asked.
Never! they said.
Turns out, Instacart has no way of tracking a delivery, once it’s been delivered. Whether it’s the right address, or the wrong one.
Instacart is clearly not Amazon, which can tell you within a centimeter exactly where your package of basil or boxers is, at any particular moment in time.
Instacart is not even the Girl Scouts, who deliver a bazillion Thin Mints every spring, and manage not to mess up any orders, even though they are only 10 years old.
So, the Old Hill resident asked, what am I supposed to do with 30 rolls of toilet paper, 72 Eggo waffles, 2 pounds of asparagus, and much more?
Whatever you want! Instacart said. If someone complains, we’ll send a new delivery. But right now: congratulations! It’s yours!
The Old Hill man did not want 21 sponges, 200 kitchen trash bags and 10 pounds of potatoes — especially not the day before Christmas.
So he picked up his phone. He called Homes with Hope. And in an instant (ho ho) he delivered all that — 3 pounds of salt, 2 pounds of onions, 24 rolls of paper towels (and more!) — to the Gillespie Center.
The men’s shelter was thrilled. The Old Hill resident was pleased, if still a bit gobsmacked.
As for whoever ordered 2 liters of olive oil, 1 liter of balsamic vinegar, 12 apples — and much, much more — and is (presumably) still waiting: Call Instacart.
They’ll send over a new delivery, pronto.
Hopefully, this time, to the right house.