Archive for delivery

Lucky Courier

Posted in Lucerne Village, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2012 by javedbabar

“Damn!” said Sophie to herself and then thought, I hate it when that happens. She picked up the phone and dialled a number. “Hello, it’s Sophie here from Lucerne Village Hall. I seem to have missed a delivery. I was here all morning; how did that happen?”

“Hello Sophie. This is Daphne from the Customer Services Team. I am sorry about your delivery. We’ve had a few problems this morning. Shall I reschedule it for this afternoon?”

“That would be great. If I’m not in my office, the courier can leave it at the reception desk in the other building. That’s always manned.”

She had considered saying, wo-manned but that would sound stupid.

The courier came again two hours later. There was a single fingernail tap on her window, and then a happy face, brown, but more golden in hue than his uniform. She motioned for him to enter, and he bounded in with a small, heavy parcel. She hadn’t been expecting anything. Was it a present from someone? Sophie liked surprises.

“Good afternoon, Miss Walker. I am sorry about before. I am new to this area and didn’t know that other building was related to yours. How many of these buildings are village offices? Oh, all of them around the garden? This must be a nice place to work. How long have you worked here? You seem well settled in…”

So much talking, thought Sophie, does he get many deliveries done? Maybe it’s because he’s new and wants to build customer relationships. Mr Chatty. She should ask him something too. “Where were you before this? In a different territory?”

“I am originally from Salistan,” he said.

Uh-oh, thought Sophie. He thinks I’m asking where he’s from. Why do immigrants always assume that’s the question? “I mean your delivery territory.”

“Oh sorry. Before I was working in the New City, but now I am in Lucerne.”

“That must be a big change for you.”

“Oh yes, but I like it. I don’t care about having a big house or big car. I just want a simple life, where I can hold my head up without people pointing. I want to make my family proud.”

Sophie was about to ask if they were still in Salistan, but he continued.

“I almost became rich, you know. At the horse races I said as a joke to someone to bet on a thousand-to-one horse. The woman put a hundred dollars on it, but the bookie closed before I could put my bet on. That horse won! That woman won one hundred thousand dollars! I saw her dancing. I was going to go up and congratulate her but there were so many people crowding around her that I left it. I was happy for her.”

Sophie started saying, “Did you…” but he was off again.

“At the casino once, I did become rich. You know that gambling is forbidden by my religion, but those machines are irresistible. It is only one coin and you never know what may happen. Lady Luck may be on your side. I won the hundred thousand dollar jackpot! It was like the Gambling God gave me what he owed. The bells were ringing, lights were flashing, and coins flooded out. They told me later that was all for show. The real prize was a big cheque for the money. I was married then, and my wife couldn’t stop laughing and laughing. In the car on the way home, we talked about all the things we would do together, but then I saw the look on her face. It said that she didn’t want to do them with me.”

Sophie didn’t know what to say.

He continued, “That’s why I am here in Lucerne working as a courier. Would you please sign for your parcel? I have a good feeling about it, why don’t you see what it contains.”

Sophie’s eyes flashed like lights on a pinball machine. There was a card saying she had won everything she had ever dreamed of. She just had to call a special number, which she did later that day. Immediately her mortgage increased by a hundred thousand dollars, which was transferred to an account in Salistan.


Efficient Delivery

Posted in Conceptual Art, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2012 by javedbabar

“Where are you?” said Sami. “You were supposed to be here by five p.m.”

“I can’t find the place,” said the driver. “I’ve been going around for half an hour.” His voice faded, there was a grinding noise, and Sami heard him say, “Why not? It’s just there. Can’t you just let me through?” His voice returned. “There are cops everywhere, blocking all the exits. What’s going on here today?”

“It’s the global launch of the film HUMANITY. It’s a big event so there’s extra security, plus detours. It took me an hour to get in this afternoon, and I am running the show!”

This local project manager contract had come up suddenly. Sami’s usual job was as personal assistant to Guru Baba, a retired holy man, but he was away on pilgrimage for a month so Sami had time available.

“Look, where are you exactly? Near the community centre? The old one or the new one? Okay, just keep going straight for a hundred metres, turn left, left again, and there is a delivery entrance on the left. I will wait for you there.”

Sami called him ten minutes later. “Where are you?”

“Sorry I missed the exit and have to go around again.”

Sami called him after another ten minutes.

“I couldn’t get back on the road near the community centre. Listen, I’ll figure it out. I’ll call you when I get there.”

Half an hour later, Sami saw the truck approaching the delivery entrance. He pushed a button to open the swing doors, and the truck pulled in.

The driver was sweating. He said, “I’m sorry about that. I thought it would be a regular delivery. I’ve been to this village before, I remember the white mountain towering above it, and the black one at the far end of the valley. It was so annoying going round and around, like an ant lost in the jungle. Anyway, enough of that, where do you want the chairs?”

Sami indicated a corner. “There should be two kinds, ordinary chairs and VIP chairs, a hundred of each.”

The driver raised his eyebrows and nodded. He rolled stacks of chairs out using a dolly. The VIP chairs were in pristine condition, their golden frames covered in red velvet. The ordinary chairs were of battered grey metal.

Sami checked them over and said, “This one looks busted. Okay not busted, but in poor condition. Can you change it please? This one too.”

The driver swapped them for better ones.

“Where are the VIP ropes and poles, and the red carpet?”

“They are on the other trucks.”

“Other trucks?”

“Yes, the ropes are on one truck, the poles on another, and the carpet on a third. We use the CORE delivery system – Customer Order Response Expedition. Every order is managed individually.”

Sami was astounded. “What does that achieve?”

“Efficient delivery.”

Is he kidding? thought Sami. That is the most inefficient delivery system I have ever heard of. Putting things together is efficient, not pulling them apart.

“When are the other trucks coming?”

“They are on their way.”

Sami asked the crew to carry stacks of chairs to the seating areas, set them up, and test them individually. He didn’t want crashes during the film. Curiously, the VIP chairs were more cushioned but less comfortable. Maybe they would suit the people who sat on them, who were often the least comfortable with themselves. Comfort was not related to wealth, it was related to life experience.

Sami picked out a grey metal chair for himself.