Post #34 Dispatch from Florida

Lee Weiner reports:

I have to pick up meds that CVS won't deliver — which doesn't make me happy; a staff member at the Publix supermarket near me tested positive (not at the store I went to for my scallions, which seems like weeks ago) and freaked me out a bit; the unemployment numbers are worse by more than a million from my worst case estimate; and I woke up at 3, and finally just read a book until 5 before going back to sleep to weird dreams. So I'm definitely not expecting to have a good day - I think the consequences of this thing are going to be exponentially worse than what the already chilling "worst case" health and long-term economic estimates suggest. And the possible political consequences include a range of very, very bad outcomes.

So let's put aside discussing Amazon and its workers for a moment (and the meta-consequences on physical world retail stores after all this is at least partially done). But it's now clear that Amazon is modifying/updating what it's giving priority delivery to very, very regularly. And I find it almost unreal.

I'm discounting the fact that they without question know my age (though I'm fairly sure that has to figure into the algorithm somewhere), but over the past two weeks or so I've ordered Palmolive dish soap, dishwasher soap, Tide and decaf dark roast coffee (all of which I'm certainly going to run out of before it's reasonable to shop again at a supermarket, and none of which is worth risking my life for at a supermarket in the near-term).

Originally, as I suspected, all the deliveries were scheduled no earlier than mid-April, and most in very late April. Good enough I figured, and if none of it ultimately shows up I won't be terribly surprised and will make do.

And the first sequence of follow-up emails did say the delivery dates might change, and might not be able to be completed, and "would I like to cancel my order?" I declined to cancel the orders — though the Tide was canceled by them, but I was offered the chance to re-order, which I did.

And this week, a sudden flurry of emails about changing delivery dates — all moved up to the first week or so in April and my dishwasher soap has already been delivered.

The remnant professional data freak in me would love to have a peek under the hood.


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