I’m not typically a paranoid person. I like to believe there are decent people in this world who are not always out to get or make a buck off of me. But recently, a company I’ve grown to cherish is creeping me out.
It started two months ago, when Amazon revealed its plan for a drone delivery program. Yes, Star Wars-looking flying arachnids would deliver your package in 30 minutes or less, or your pizza is free. I made that last part up, but the drone plan sounds as real as the fear instilled in me by this sci-fi film gone live.
Amazon’s mini helicopters, complete with GPS systems, would pick up your package from a distribution site and gently deposit it on your front porch. Apparently, they could do so without killing flocks of birds or your cat waiting to come in for dinner.
Of course, these drones haven’t been sanctioned by the Federal Aviation Administration. But in an interview on 60 Minutes, Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s Drone Master, says it’s only time before it’s approved.
Well, beam me up, Bezos!
So for the next couple of months, I tried to erase this picture from my memory and attempted to remove the droning of the Jetson’s theme song, which was stuck on repeat.
Just when my dark daydreams returned to bunnies and unicorns, my parents called one Sunday afternoon. They jokingly asked for me by my maiden name.
“That’s odd,” I briefly judged.
Since they are getting older, I gave them a mulligan, but then inquired why they were using the speaker phone to talk to me. My folks have more than one phone in their home, but apparently this new fangled speaker thingy is fantastic for group conversations.
They proceeded to tell me of an email they received from Amazon. It was titled, “What Stacey (my maiden name) would like for her upcoming birthday.”
My confused parents asked why they would receive email from this company that knew their daughter’s birthday. How did a mega-company know who my parents were and my maiden name? Perhaps we were in the middle of some espionage scandal!
My father started reading their suggestions for gifts, items that Amazon thought I’d enjoy based on my prior purchases from their website.
Holy cow! I’m glad I hadn’t bought x-rated items prior to that email.
“To the parents of Stacey…
“On your daughter’s birthday, have you considered she might like a copy of ‘50 Shades of Something’ and a pair of golden handcuffs?”
I’m sure a computer generated these choices instead of Mr. Bezos’ Aunt Bea jotting down a few recommendations for all Amazon customers, but truly this method could be disastrous.
What if another family had been estranged, violent, or under federal protection? Good thing Amazon could bring them back together for a birthday.
“Surprise! Here’s a present and aren’t you glad to see me?”
On top of this, the items suggested to my parents were gifts I had put on my wish list before Christmas. Other people in the family had already purchased them for me, but the items remained on the list. Oops.
So my older parents, who might not remember what they gave me for Christmas, might send me a repeat gift thinking, “Oh, I know she would love a new coffee pot. I can just picture how she would adore it!” How many coffee pots does this gal need?
After solving the problem with my parents, and adding an extravagant amount of expensive items onto my Amazon wish list, I asked my hubby if he received a similar email.
He said, “Yeah, but I deleted it.”
This year’s present should be a winner. I’m all a tingle with anticipation!