I own a house. This house has a front door. Just to the right of the door there is a button. If you were to come to the front door of my house and push the button a magical thing occurs: inside the house, a bell rings and lets everyone inside know that the button next to the front door has been pushed, indicating that a person standing at that front door would like to speak with someone inside the house.
If you were to approach that same door and instead of ringing the bell you were to just knock on the door, due to the nature of acoustics and the properties of sound waves, if there is not a person standing in the foyer or in the living room, the possibility is quite high that they will not hear the knock. This is the purpose of the bell. This electronic device, this button, is connected to speakers in a couple of places in the house, arranged in just such a way that a person anywhere in the house will hear it.
So, when I order a pizza, I expect the pizza delivery person to come to the door and push the button. He has my pizza, and I’m fairly certain he would like money in exchange for it, and the best way to facilitate that transaction would be to push the button and notify someone inside the house that he has arrived. And yet, every single pizza delivery person from every single pizza place that will deliver here approaches the door with pizza in hand… and knocks. Being that I spend so little time in the foyer and the living room, and instead can often be found watching TV in the media room, or on the computer, or possibly even in the room with the workout equipment, I cannot hear the knock. Now this, in and of itself, wouldn’t be too remarkable. He knocks, he waits, perhaps he knocks again, he waits, then perhaps he gets impatient and rings the bell. Not the optimum path, but acceptable. However, this is not what happens. Instead, he knocks, he waits, he knocks again, he waits… then he gets out his cell phone and calls the phone number associated with the order.
The package delivery men are worse. They simply knock, drop the package on the doorstep and run away. So, not only have they not notified me of their presense, they have also left potentially expensive goods unattended at my front door. My house, in addition to having a front door and a door bell, has a garage. I park there, and being as my car is there, when I come and go from the house it is very rarely through the front door. Due to this, packages have sometimes sat on my doorstep for a day or two, especially when said package comes through the USPS and I was not given a tracking number by which to follow the progress of the shipment online.
At first, I thought this might be because people could not see the button. But I checked, it lights up. Even in the darkest night, the button is visible. But perhaps its harder to see during the day. No. I checked that too, and the button is raised and clearly distinguishable from the surroundings. Perhaps I need to place a sign on my door that says, “Please ring the bell.” But part of me worries that a sign like really says, “I absolutely cannot hear people making noise at my front door, so please, break in.” Not that I’m horribly worried about people breaking in. We live in a nice neighborhood, and I don’t have a whole lot worth stealing. No cash, no jewels. Just electronics, and most of those are heavy or locked down in some way, and I just don’t envision a thief hauling my whole desk out the front door just to get my PC.
All in all, I just don’t understand why people do not ring the bell. It exists for that purpose. If I didn’t want people to push the button and ring the bell, I’d remove the button.