Posted on

Where do you Draw the line on Delivery?

CookieText Delivery Car

Having a delivery business is a bit of a challenge. Where do we draw the lines? Are they set in stone?

Our Southside delivery doesn’t always make sense to people. That’s because the website had to be set up by zip code. Either the zip code was in or out. For instance there’s a zip code in Chesapeake that stretches from near the Monitor Merrimac Bridge Tunnel all the way to the North Carolina border, so that’s one of them that got the boot.

That’s why I often tell people that before they accept no as an answer, email us the exact address, we will take a peek at the map, and then let them know if we can make it happen.

The Ask.

On Friday someone sent a message asking about delivering to Portsmouth.

I sent back the cookietext.com delivery zone link for them to check via their zip code if we cover that area.

They soon responded that according to the website we don’t deliver there, but they’d really like a CookieText for their spouse’s birthday.

Mind you these messages were happening during prime cookie decorating time, so forgive me, but as I actively considered my Saturday agenda and wrote at the same time, my email response was this:

Would you please provide the actual physical address so I can peek at it? Heck. Never mind. Just put it through. I’ll run it over personally.  ~Jeanne

I applied the work-around to get the site to accept the order, and they placed it right away. I was delighted to see it was a larger order, so that made going the distance a little sweeter.

The Task.

On Saturday morning, off I went to make the delivery. As I got further and further and saw it wasn’t a case of a huge zip code, this place was really far away. As I finally pulled off 664, I saw two of my favorite signs: 7-11 and Speedway. Both fantastic places to stop for a giant fountain soda on the ride home, it would be my karmic reward for going that far.

The location wasn’t far off the highway, I wound through a neighborhood of one-story homes and found theirs on a cul-de-sac. House numbers are funny, so I was thrilled that the initial on the garden flag matched the first initial of the last name on the order.

The Delivery.

I knocked on the storm door and could see a bed set up in the living room: someone was sick, maybe they are taking care of a grandparent?

The sender answered the door, smiled and said a thank you. What I heard his eyes say was, “I know you went out of your way, I appreciate it.”

As they turned to go in the house,  I noticed the pajama pants. I saw signs of past medical procedures. I knew in that moment that the sender was the sick one.

It occurred to me that this person likely could not have driven to pick up a birthday dessert for their spouse. It kind of looked like there was a chance they might not be around to celebrate many more family birthdays. Little do I know for sure, but that was certainly the impression that I got.

I walked back to my car and my eyes welled a bit. What if I had stuck to the webite’s determination that the delivery location was too far? What if I’d said no? I felt so relieved that I had said yes, that I would deliver it myself.

The Why.

At CookieText.com, we can’t always say yes to going out of the structure of the business. We do try to remember that we are servicing people and needs vary, so we bend the rules if we are able. We also follow our instincts. In the midst of Friday morning mayhem, I oddly agreed to spend part of my Saturday delivering to an unknown destination. I had the time, and it just felt right.

It seems that we always reap some sort of reward for our yes’s. This one was absolutely the case. Though my eyes had welled up, I felt good as I climbed in my car. I felt good about my business, good about my product, and good that I’d gone out of my way for a customer who clearly could benefit from a yes, from something being easy and stress free. It was incredibly rewarding.

But don’t get carried away, I still stopped and got that giant fountain soda for the ride home;)