Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Why I Love Amazon, Chapter One

Okay, I'll grant that my politics and those of Mr. Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, don't mesh. But fortunately, he's built a wonderful organization - ironically, one which appears to operate quite at odds with what little I know of his political beliefs. The man is an entrepreneur extraordinaire so it’s okay by me if he chooses to be a mugwump – i.e., his mug being on one side of the fence while his wump is on the other. I don’t care because the company he founded – Amazon - has benefitted my life immensely.

Whether the working conditions in his shipping warehouses are the best is a subject for another post and one I’m certainly willing to address when I have better information.

In the meantime, my paean to Amazon…

I call Amazon "the Wal-Mart for Shut-Ins" and so it is – that and much more. In addition to the obstacle of my physical infirmities – they make long drives difficult - we live a right good distance from “real” stores – things like Target or the Pottery Barn or Starbucks. It’s twenty-one miles to the nearest latte, but that's progress; in the old days it was a forty-mile haul.

Before fibromyalgia claimed me for its own, I commuted sixty-five miles (or more) round trip every day of the work week for many years, not to mention traveling back there to see a movie or eat at one of the Indian restaurants…or theatre occasionally, or concerts. Not to mention the variety of stores where I could get whatever I needed, from garden supplies to toiletries to the herbs and spices I couldn’t get back in our third world county. Zipping through store aisles wasn’t a problem, either. While I was never much of a shopper – walk in with a list and get out a.s.a.p. – those kinds of errands weren’t a hardship back then.

In fact, some of my work hours were spent shopping for those higher up on the income chain than I, people who had more to do than one person could possibly accomplish. As is often the case in life, we traded: my time and energy and shopping skills for their money; both parties were happy with the arrangement. So I would be the one to buy children’s school clothing, family groceries, party supplies – even taking children for their routine well-checks at the doctor on occasion. In other words, whatever my customers needed but were too pressed for time to do…and speaking of pressing, that included dropping off items at the dry cleaners with special instructions as to how they were to be treated.

In a world where both partners (and both parents) work, all too often the minutiae of quotidian tasks falls between the cracks, making life more fraught and frantic than it has to be. What drops into the oubliette of nagging “shoulda” can be picked up by enterprising gleaners…like me.

For many years I thought I wanted to save the world by doing crisis intervention. What I discovered though was the immense pleasures to be had in cleaning out my customers’ closets and organizing them in creative ways they’d never had the time to consider. I grew to enjoy hearing, “Oh my, you’re a genius!” when all I’d done was make the most out of a small space. At one point, I considered going into partnership with a good carpenter. We’d have created order and beauty; what could be more satisfying than that?? Building cathedrals? Maybe, but then you’re not going to live long enough to see your work finished and in our present cultural environment the ecology dictators would rob you of much of the pleasure of the process. Petty tyrants abound in our political institutions. Such a shameful waste of human energy.

But I digress…as I often do. It is the privilege of those of us with the vapors. Our wandering minds can be the bane of those around us. Oh well.

I was speaking of my great enthusiasm for Amazon. Today, after a long absence from this neighborhood, I was finally moved to come here to talk about the ways in which Amazon has improved my life. And as I move through other chapters devoted to Amazin’, I’ll be sharing the particulars of Amazon that have helped me.

Today I’ll begin with something I wanted, but wasn’t sure existed. I needed a lightweight, easy-to-drag-across-the-yard water hose. The ones we have I can no longer easily maneuver and I am sooo tired of having to ask the Baron to do these things. It’s not any one task I require, but the sum of them in a given day. Hose-dragging is just one of many…

So I went looking on Amazon, drilling down from the “Patio, Home & Garden” and restricting it to Amazon prime. In no time, I found just what I was looking for:

Water Right PSH-050-EP-4PKRS 50-Foot x 1/2-Inch Polyurethane Lead Safe Ultra Light Slim Garden Hose - Eggplant

The image is over on the side bar.

I got the eggplant color because that's what was available. Is it pricey? Yes. Enough so that I visited that page for a few weeks before I took the plunge and ordered it. It’s hard to get one’s mind around to accepting the hidden costs of being disabled. But that’s just the way it is: the things I need to make life doable cost more.

To go with it, I bought a present for the Baron:

Gilmour 528T Solid Brass Twist Nozzle

I haven’t included a picture for that but you can see it at the link.

By the way, I didn’t see this one immediately. It wasn’t on the presenting page. But when I pulled up the page of a brass nozzle that wasn’t covered by Amazon Prime’s free shipping, this one was on the side bar. I don’t understand why things sort like that but I’ve found it worth my while to click on second best, non-Prime, to see if what I really want is in some other category further down the page – e.g., the listings of what other people bought after viewing an item.

The Baron has been complaining for years about the cheap nozzles we’ve had. Can’t say I blame him, either. Back when physical pain wasn’t an issue, I didn’t mind my hands getting tired holding it open, or the bother of the little dingus you had to push against to make it stay open, or the fact that they always leaked all over me. With this nozzle, though, I can simply twist it open or closed. No fiddling with the parts. It doesn’t leak.

And my dear heart is very happy to have a heavy-weight nozzle again – “the kind my Daddy had” is how he describes it.

Of course, I always look at the reviews. They may be the best part of shopping on Amazon…

Bottom line: I love this purple water hose.

So does the man who came to fix our heat pump. He raved about it, wanted to know where I got it, and said that as soon as he got off work he was going to “get me one of them”. I hope he likes his as much as I like mine. Funny thing was he didn’t mind the purple color.

“Kinda looks like one of them harmless snakes in the grass, don’t it?” I looked at it bit harder, then unfocused my eyes a little. He was right. My purple snake hose.

Now there's a bonus for you: any herpetologists you know are bound to love this thing.


Post a Comment

<< Home