The Tracking Disease (crazy rant)

It all started when two major American carriers implemented a tracking function to their websites. For those not familiar with this, here is a brief explanation. For those who are, skip the next paragraph.

Let’s say you ship a package via UPS or FEDEX. When you give them the package, they will assign it a unique code (composed of letters and numbers) which is called tracking number and give it to you so you can check on the status of the shipment.

This is not new. People have been Calling carriers and asking them what the hell was going on with the package they shipped to granma since the dawn of times. To do so, you had to give a certain number or code (usually printed on your receipt) to a phone operator and wait until they gave you the usual unsatisfactory reply: It’s on it’s way.

However, a few years ago, those carriers started pasting barcodes on those packages and scanning them with their little portable gizmos at every step of the shipping process. They will scan the package when you give it to them, when they put it in a truck or an airplane, when they take it out, etc. That allowed them to save time and limit paperwork in a significant way.

Then, some smart ass suggested that they hooked their terminals to their webpage to allow any joe blow with an internet connection to check the last know location of his package and where was the next stop. Here is how the result on his screen looks like:

**DAY_______TIME_______LOCATION_________STATUS

Aug 16__10:49 P.M.______CACH, IL, US ARRIVAL SCAN
________8:08 P.M.____SPENCER, IA, US DEPARTURE SCAN
________7:51 P.M.__DAVENPORT, IA, US DEPARTURE SCAN
________6:47 P.M.__DAVENPORT, IA, US ARRIVAL SCAN
________3:17 P.M.__DES MOINES, IA, US DEPARTURE SCAN**

I can hear some of you thinking: This is nice. Technology put to good use. Let us worship these enlightened people.

YOU are SADLY mistaken!!! This is a typical case of tecnologia frustrata (not real latin…the stupid english-latin online translators are all crap. this is subject to a future rant)

Trackers Anonymous Volunteer:
Let me present you one of the victims of the tracking disease:

Gozu:
Hi, My name is Gozu and I’m addicted to tracking.

TAV:
Hi Gozu! Tell us your story.

Gozu:
Last week, i ordered several computer parts from three different resellers. This was a significant upgrade I had waited for since immemorial times. After placing each order and waiting for excruciatingly long periods ranging from 24 to 72 hours, I received tracking numbers for each package. The first thing I did was going to each carrier’s website and check the status and location of my packages.

TAV:
That’s a normal thing to do. What happened next?

Gozu:
Well, I checked again a couple of hours later. And I have been checking and rechecking at very short intervals since then.

TAV:
Oh, this is indeed a little excessive. How much time usually transcurrs between the intervals you cited?

Gozu:
Anywhere between 20 minutes and 8 hours (because I have to sleep). I also check religiously during the weekend even though I know nothing can happen then.

TAV:
You freak! Get away from me!

Gozu:
Sorry mr Fedex employee…but please tell me where my package is! I know it is somewhere in Illinois but WHERE EXACTLY? Is the driver a speeder? Do you think it’ll arrive before schedule? ANSWER ME FOR THE SAKE OF GOD!

TAV:
I’m not a fedex employee! Arghh! Let me gooo, let me goo! Stop biting me you crazy maniac! Someone shoot him!

BANG

Gozu’s ghost:

My rant is as follows. If you’re going to use technology, do it right damnit!!! Include gps transmitters in your trucks! In your employees watches! create a virtual map on your website with little dots moving on the map! Update the speed the package is moving at every 50 ms! Give us the option to give electric shocks to the employees through their watches so they don’t slack at work! HOW HARD IS IT YOU CHEAP MOTHERFUCKERS???

Holy shit! 20 minutes passed already! I must leave you and go track my packages. I’ll be back later.

I just want to say that I think the word “transcurr” should be immediately adopted into the English language, and that we should all start using it on a daily basis.

Oh, and good rant. Funny stuff. Please don’t let too much time transcurr before your next one.:smiley:

Ah…shame on me. I currently speak 4 languages (not by choice) and sometimes mix them up. This one comes from spanish:

transcurrir can be translated into the English “to elapse” or “to pass”

Thanks for the tip Ferrous. I will try to be more careful from now on.

No, really, I like it! I thought it was a deliberate invention.

Spanish, eh? Well, I still think we should adopt it. I will not be satisfied until this transcurrs.

I hear you friend. I built my own computer a few weeks back and ordered the parts from three different online companies. I checked the tracking numberds several times a day and on the weekends. I much better now though. I’ve received my components and haven’t had the urge to check anymore tracking numbers. Of course I did just order a new cell phone from Verizon yesterday and it has been a whole 24 hours since it was shipped… hmmmmmmmm…be right back…

If your ideas had been in effect a couple of years ago, Tom Hanks could’ve been located using GPS, and he and Helen Hunt could’ve kept their wedding date.

I was tracking an order from Amazon a couple of weeks ago. Much to my chagrin, I found out that it took 25 hours to go from Mesquite TX to Plano TX. Even in the worst traffic jam on 635 with the worst weather conditons possible, it should only be 3 hours. In ideal conditions, 45 minutes, max.

Come to think of it, the DVD may have been missing the shring wrap…

Funny post, Gozu. I find the tracking process to be dull, at best.

When I FedEx something, I’m usually selecting the overnight option. The last time I sent a package and tracked it, there was only one line:

Delivered…RESTON VA…<date and time>.

How disappointing!

Overnight? ouch! I wish I could but it’s waaaaay too expensive for me. I usually stick with Ups ground or fedex express saver.

I can imagine the evil people in charge of my package chatting:

Employee 1: You have anything to deliver today?
Employee 2: Let me check…Ah, nope. Just an express saver. The destinatary is 5 miles away. Bah, I’ll do it next week.

I agree, and I also think we should adopt “goo”, as in “Aargh! Let me goo! Let me goo!” Ah yes, I shall let you goo my friend, before another moment transcurrs!

damn nitpickers! leave me alone!

gozu goes to a corner and cries

Destinatary? Hey, nice word. Which language is that from?:smiley:

:::: Decides Atlantic is wide enough to be safe and hits “Submit Reply”. ::::

Well, it could be worse, Mister (Madam?) Gozu. They could provide such information, and then drive you on to even GREATER extremes of micro-wonderment.

Think about it. In Ye Olden Golden Days, all we knew was “when it’s sent” and “when it arrives” (if it arrives). Now, the bastards tempt us on with minor hints - “It’s in Indiana.” “It’s in Utah.” “It’s in the toilet, be back in five minutes.” - that drive us to wonder such absurdities as “But WHERE in Indiana/Utah/etc.?!?” If they were to get specific, we’d then be cursed with, “But how does it feel?!? Does it have a heavy package on top of it?!? Does it need to go to the bathroom?!? I NEED TO KNOW!”

Of course, this level of neurotic curiosity would quickly drive us to jump off buildings. Obviously, this is a plot by the numerous carriers of the world to kill us all.

You man you poor bastards still believe the status reports?

I’m sure they could generate a ranodm lat/long as easily as generating a random state.

:slight_smile:

Transcurr: to curr from A to B
Concurr: To curr simultaneously
Recurr: To curr two or more times
Ocurr: To curr or not to curr
Incurr: to curr inside
Outcurr: To curr outside
Subcurr: To curr underneath
Precurr: to curr before
Postcurr: to curr after
etc

There, there. pats Gozu on the head

I swear I was not nitpicking! I honestly thought it was a word you had made up for comic effect. A hybrid of “occur” and “transpire”. (Although I guess then you’d have to spell it “transcur”, with only one terminal “r”.)

And I still want it for my language! (Really!)

So there’s some advantage to being monolingual.

Now THAT would be really fucking cool. I would like that option immediately. Thank you!

Gozu, people embracing a word that you use isn’t nitpicking, it’s a compliment. People coming in with their virtual “red Sharpie” (marker) and marking up your post IS nitpicking and rude. Happily, the latter doesn’t happen very often lately, it seems. We likes ya. And I, too, like the word “transcurr”. I shall begin using it immediately.

Zette

I hear ya brother. I used to check frequently also. This last time I managed to restrain myself and several days transcurred before checking. The package was late and I’d gotten home early, so I logged on and checked. The package took a very circuitous route, but when got to the last line, it said “delivered!”
I checked the date and it was that day. Now I’d been home for a while (awhile?) and there’d been nothing there when I got home. I was about to call the company when I checked the time and it said 4:42 (it was 5ish) and a note saying it was left at the door. So I walked out and there it was! Talk about up to date tracking.

PC

I was just playing around when I said all that stuff about nitpicking. My huge ego can absorb hundreds of times that amount of criticism without flinching.

By the way, I received the last package I ordered today. The two others are still stuck in Illinois and Texas (I live in florida).

It’s even worse now. I have a brand new CPU (Central Processing Unit a.k.a ‘Processor’) and Stick of Ram {Random Access Memory} but I am missing the motherboard and the PSU (Power Supply Unit) that I need to use them…

They are so beautiful…yet so useless…

Welcome to Stage 2 of tracking torture!