The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Is It There Yet? 

For years as a child you asked "Are We There Yet?" The phrase feared and hated by parents, and repeated over and over by children over the world. In four simple words, it expresses so much. Joy, Optimism, Excitement, Aniticipation, and maybe even Fear of the unknown. What we as adults learn to supress and internalize over the years, children repeat with unabaited glee.

Or do we supress it? As I've mentioned several times before, I'm participating in a triathlon on Sunday at Lake Mills. It's my second. I've been preparing and training for quite some time now. I went out and bought a new bike, and thanks to my sister and brother-in-law in California, I've gotten a brand new slick wet suit... I think. You see I haven't seen it yet. My sister shipped the wet suit (over night), and also sent me an email with a Tracking Number.

Oh the Tracking Number. The adult equivolent of "Are We There Yet?" So of course I immediately go to the UPS web site and enter the number... only to see that its not yet in their tracking database. I'm suddenly filled with fear... did she give me the wrong number? Did it get lost somewhere? Later that night I checked again only to be greeted with the same message. Dear God! Then this morning I checked yet again. There it was like a message sent from a burning bush. The wet suit was "Out for Delivery". Suddenly I can't help myself. Is it there yet? Is it there yet? What's strange is that no matter how early it gets to its destination... I'm at work. Whether its delivered at 9:30 am (which it was), or 4:30 pm... it doesn't matter. I won't be home til after 5:00 pm. Yet there is still this certain glee that over takes you when you know that it will be waiting for you when you arrive home.

I remember when the whole Tracking Number thing first started. It was touted as a way for business men to make sure there packages got to their destinations, that there jobs would be secure. It was a way to know who signed for a package so it wouldn't get lost. In reality some brilliant person at UPS realized that it was a way for adults to bring back a little piece of childhood and be able to say (without your parents sniping back at you), Is It There Yet?

Note to UPS. The only thing that could possibly make this better is to incorporate GPS location. Here's my thinking: Put GPS locators on all your trucks, planes, boats, the whole shooting match. That way we can go to the UPS site to track a package, we can see a map of the US, and see a little blinking red dot go across.

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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.


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