Excitement, guilt, atonement: the reluctant consumer.

After finally settling on a new tool for my digital endeavors, I placed the order online, and carefully bookmarked the order status page.

Several weeks I would wait for my Lenovo Thinkpad T420s to be manufactured, tentatively checking the order status daily. It was excruciating. Rarely do I indulge in such purchases, but I had, over about 6 months, rationalized the need for a new laptop and the excitement post-decision was becoming unbearable. I was almost afraid of my own reaction to seeing that single word pop up.


I thought to myself on that fine Monday in May, “settle down now Heather, it will be at least a week, maybe two before you get it. It’s coming from China.”

And then, in addition to excitement, surprise. In just 3 short days, my prized package traveled around the world to land in my home town’s UPS shop. And when I say “around the world”, I freaking mean it.



Its as if it was hesitant to get to me. Leaving its birthplace, travelling overseas, and returning before wandering into the middle of a new continent… then fighting the jet stream, finally settling on a home with me …

Or, there was a big mess up on the original shipping order. Or UPS is highly inefficient. Or I don’t know anything about shipping and this is how it’s done all the time.

I suppose, at the end of the day, I should just be happy that I got my new toy, quicker than expected, and in one piece. But seeing the paper trail of its travels gave me a strong sense of the resources it took for me to have it. I felt guilty.

I’m typing to you on it right now, you know. It feels really good. Keys like butter.

Anyway, I suppose there was a bit of Karma involved. Today, my bike tire was flat. I found out 2 minutes before I needed to leave the house and figured, “must be a slow leak”. It held on the way to work, but not so much later on.

I had a small window of opportunity to pick up my Thinkpad from UPS after work before heading to another appointment… I pumped the flat again at the office, and raced across town, pumping it up another 2 times within 15 minutes before arriving at the depot, and another time before getting home.

Karma’s not a bitch, she’s a bootcamp instructor.

My bicycle carrying a precious package

I know cycling despite the inconvenience doesn’t atone for all my carbon spewing, consumerist sins. If Lenovo had given me the option at time of purchase, I would have paid the extra bit to make the shipment carbon neutral. Then, at least, the CO2 would be managed to zero somewhere it is possible to do so.

So yes, I rode my bike. Next, to type up a consumer satisfaction survey upon these buttery, smooth keys to Lenovo, requesting the carbon neutral option.



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