Today, when one orders stuff, purchases come immediately. Customer-service experts are hustling to find ways to get us our stuff faster and faster. The race is on to achieve next-day delivery. Same-day delivery. Even same-hour delivery.
Like most people, I enjoy instant gratification. I love to receive a pizza while it is still hot from the oven. But I think Amazon and other retailers are missing out on a big opportunity. Sloth Service.
Back in the last century, we had to wait for almost everything. We’d write our order on a piece of paper and mail it in. Weeks would drift by before a package showed up at our door. And that was wonderful.
Why? Because it gave a perfect excuse for procrastination.
She: “Honey. When are you going to paint the bedroom?”
Me: “I’m still waiting for the special paint brush I ordered. It won’t arrive for at least two more weeks.”
She: “Should we invite the Atkins over for dinner?”
Me: “No. Not yet. I’m waiting for the fondue pot I ordered.”
She: “When are you going to clean up your work room?”
Me: “Can’t get to it. Waiting for the storage bins I ordered.”
Today, the damn paint brush might arrive moments after I submit my order. I have no excuse not to start the project. None.
The solution: I’d be willing to pay a slight premium for Sloth Service—a significant slow down in the delivery process. An extra two weeks for many products would help. And for especially ugly projects like plumbing, yard work, and fancy dinner parties, it would help to be able to select a two-month shipping delay...or more.
Pittsburgh, June 28, 2018