Saturday, February 21, 2015

Good intentions: Bad results

There are times when I have to step back and shake my head in dismay. Thinking I've covered all of the contingencies, I'll move forward with a plan and put it into action. And then I'm rudely reminded of the old adage: "Man plans and God laughs!"  l want to attribute this to the comic genius Mel Brooks, because I'm sure he could see the humor in my efforts.


Here's the deal.  Last year, we were crippled with what was called the Polar Vortex, or as many locals referred to it: Snow-mageddon.  When the snow and the wind combined to create drifts over five feet tall, I broke down and bought a larger snow blower to battle the elements. It worked well. But I still ran into a snag.  Whenever the city came through to plow the streets, not only was the base of my driveway buried, but my street side mailbox became unreachable. No amount of shoveling would free it up. I managed to get the local post office to hold my mail for a couple of weeks. The clerks were getting surly because so many others were doing the same thing.  My darling wife even went so far as to create a mail box extension our of some tubing and strapped it to the box. It worked, but there was no way to keep the snow from blowing into it.\

So this year, knowing we had travel plans and the weather folks were predicting another arctic blast, I decided to bite the bullet and rent a PO box for the winter.  Should be easy, right?  The carrier would get a note, saying pass the mail to the box and we'd be done. Yeah, right!

Turns out all the mail gets rerouted to the gigantic clearing house in Detroit. There it sits for a few days and collects dust before someone slaps a label on it and sends it right back to the local PO. Then, probably the same guy who handled it a week ago puts it in the little box. Efficiency at its finest!

I could live with that. It's only for a couple more months.  So when I ordered print copies of "Fleeing Beauty" I thought it was a done deal. Ship the goodies and let UPS drop them at my door. No sweat. 


What I didn't know is the agreement UPS and FEDEX have with the post office.  Apparently those two carriers will bring small packages to the PO for residential delivery of "The Last Mile".  (Hey, that might be a title for a book!)

The books shipped on 2/9, got dropped to the PO on 2/11 and proceeded to go visit Motown for over a week before finally appearing back at the PO on 2/21.  And to rub salt into the wound, I got hit with postage due!

Yes, man plan and God laughs.  Thanks for that reminder. But bottom line, I finally got the print copies in hand.  And that's a feeling every author cherishes.

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