It is nice that I am sufficiently familiar with the printing and book delivery process that I don’t panic anymore. I remember spending an entire week eagerly anticipating the arrival of a truck full of books and fretting that somehow all the books would be broken or wrong. It was terrifying to be holding pre-order money and not have the merchandise in hand to send. It is still tense. I always feel something unclench inside me when I crack open the first box on the first pallet of books to see that all is as expected. Each shipment has had its own little adventures. Our first book, Under New Management, arrived a week late so we’d arranged a shipping party and had nothing to ship. Howard ended up renting a truck and driving to Salt Lake to fetch the books. I think it was Tub of Happiness that was delivered in several feet of snow. Teraport Wars was the book where the lift gate on the truck threatened to tip the pallets over as it creakily lowered them to the ground. Emperor Pius Dei gave us a brief fright because all the boxes were stamped with Emperor Plus Dei and we were suddenly terrified that all the books had been misprinted, even though we’d already seen advance copies. These stabs of terror are not rational and reason has trouble banishing them.
Today’s adventure was receiving an email from our printing company to congratulate us on receiving our books yesterday, which we hadn’t. I did not panic, because it is very common for there to be confusion and miscommunication about book delivery. Shipping over seas on a freighter is inexact. The time spent clearing customs varies. So until the books arrive in Salt Lake City, no one is able to give us an exact delivery day. Reason told me that our books had arrived in Salt Lake yesterday and that was what the email meant. But I couldn’t sit still, because What If… I called our printer to tell them that we did not have our books yet. She said she would call the shipping company right away. Then I proceeded to pace while trying to pretend I was not pacing. What if the books had been accidentally delivered to someone else? What if there were no books?
Fortunately about fifteen minutes into my pacing I wandered past the front window and saw a truck in our cul de sac. He had four pallets of books for me.
It turns out that he’d attempted to deliver yesterday, but someone with a forklift had stacked the pallets on top of each other and they were too heavy to move that way. So he’d hauled the pallets back to Salt Lake to have them unstacked. An automatic system notified our printer of the first delivery and confusion was explained. This is our 13th time receiving shipments of books. There is always something unexpected.
Now I can begin to nail down the shipping schedule in earnest.