Where is my stuff, Canada Post?
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
On the weekend I ordered 4 books from Amazon.ca. I have ordered from them before, and the whole transaction is painless: I pay, I receive my order. In most occasions (every time so far), I use their free shipping option, as Canada Post is very efficient now a days and any ordered items are in my mailbox one or two days later--this is very good, as I pay nothing and get next day service.
Today, however, there is a problem: Canada Post's tracking system indicates that my books are already delivered, but I didn't receive anything, which leads me to believe that my package was delivered to the wrong address, or their tracking system is broken.
I don't know if a mistake has been made or not, as Canada Post's customer service is already closed (8:30 AM to 6:00 PM). I can, as their voice message indicates, check their web site and automated phone tracking service for the status of my items: the problem is that my items are marked as delivered and I can't get any more information.
I have to wait until tomorrow to track my books.
If you are curious, one of the books is The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
. I just completed a graduate statistics course on forecasting, and I'm writing a research paper on Technology Forecasting and Technology Foresight so I have developed a taste for the predictability of events. Of course, predicting the future on past data is very inaccurate if not impossible, unless there are clear trends or predictable seasonality patters. Whether any forecasting methodology works or not is up for debate, but in the mean time, forecasting is a booming industry: someone has to predict interest rates, the weather, and equity prices.
I mention this particular book, out of the four, because of the irony: how likely is it for these books to get lost in transit?
The probability is high considering all the possible fail points, but it's likely improbable because of all the checks and bounds of where and how this package is traveling. In other words, if I can't track the location of these books, it will be an outlying point on Canada Post's delivery record (if it isn't, it should be).
I'm sure the books will appear somewhere, or at least I hope they do. Otherwise, someone will be having a ball with the writings of Taleb