I recently noticed a pattern when I order something online. Once the order is complete, I leave that tab in my browser open until I’ve made sure that a copy of the receipt is in my email.

I’ve been doing this for awhile now, not sure exactly when it started, but I definitely have a reason for it. Once an order is complete, they display the receipt details. I want to keep those details, but really don’t want to have to manually copy them down some where. Instead I wait for the receipt email to show up, make sure it has the details I want ( so far they always have ), then close the tab.

This pattern of behavior has made me sensitive to the amount of time it takes for a receipt email to show up. If it takes more than five minutes for a receipt email to show up, then I start getting that nagging feeling that it might never come. Fortunately most show up long before my five minute threshold.

It is easy to take email for granted, but only as long as it continues to work within our expectations. For me, that has become “receipt emails that take longer than five minutes to show up are broken some how”.