Keeping our homes safe and burglar-proof is a priority for most of us. So, each time we go out, we make sure all doors are locked properly and the keys are kept in a safe place. We are careful about whom we give duplicate keys to as the thought of the wrong people gaining entry into our private domain makes us shudder.
However, going out when we expect a courier or parcel from Amazon or even the gas cylinder delivery man can pose a problem. That is because one never knows when they will turn up. There is no use asking for a specific time or even day as no one will commit to anything. I have ended up waiting at home for a whole day just because I was told that the delivery would be made that particular day. Needless to say, as soon as you decide you cannot possibly play the waiting game and step out on some errands, you are informed by the watchman that the gas cylinder arrived, but had to be taken back because you weren’t there. You are made to feel guilty for not being at home.
Then I read about a service being launched by Amazon called Amazon Key that will allow your door to be unlocked when you are not there so that packages can be left inside. Concerns have been raised regarding safety as well as delivery employees being trustworthy but Amazon claims the drivers would be well-vetted. The in-home delivery programme falls in line with Amazon’s strategy of trying to make shopping as convenient as possible. The option requires a specific camera that it sells.
Somehow, I am not enamoured by the idea. Perhaps I am suspicious by nature and cannot bring myself to trust strangers. Letting someone I do not know enter my house when I am not there is something I cannot bring myself to do. What if the person concerned is curious by nature and decides to have a look around? I have never been a fan of Goldilocks and feel she should not have got away so lightly. Not only did she walk into a house, she took the liberty of eating and sleeping without so much as permission from the unsuspecting owners. Of course they did leave the door unlocked, but was that enough excuse to treat that as an open invitation?
If I were to bring myself to opt for this service, I would spend a considerable amount of time looking for telltale signs of unwarranted intrusion when I return home. Beds would have to be checked as well as food portions. Why would I go for something that would require so much effort and completely nullify any joy over the parcel I have been waiting for?
You see, I am the type of person who, on locking a door, immediately has doubts about whether I have secured the premises properly. So, I retrace my steps to make sure I did actually turn the key in the lock. Call me compulsive-obsessive or whatever, but this way I can reduce stress and anxiety levels.
I am not the only one filled with doubt. I have often seen people lock their cars using the remote and then walking back to try the door handles just to make sure. Better to be safe than sorry is a maxim I live by.
I don’t think this is a problem as compulsive checking does no harm to anyone. The worst you can say about this habit is that it is annoying to others who are with you.
I have read about the traumatising effects that a burglary can have and I shall do everything I can to avoid such a thing happening to me.
Vanaja Rao is a freelance writer based in Hyderabad, India.