I bet that's it, some fool in dispatch put a FRAGILE label on the box, couriers seem to put all the fragile items in a special location just handy for the office vs drivers kick about!
All this about AFMA, this is a global adjustment for the lens, so if you move the AFMA point 2 units to the front, you move ALL the future focus hits 2 points to the front, not just the misses. I guess it is possible that AFMA could improve the ability of the camera to resolve the focus points and reduce the miss rate, but it is most unlikely.
The most important thing here is the lens sample pool of 1, impossible to have a representative test on 1 item, hand picked or otherwise.
With respect to the idea of a hand picked lens, from reading Roger Cicala's blog at Lens Rentals I doubt most lens manufacturers could pick a best of the best given that they can't fix the lenses he sends back as poor quality!
Maybe the UPS guy played soccer with the box before it got to his front door.