Saturday, July 26, 2014

The missing package

Earlier this month, I ordered 4 copies of one of my new poetry books. Two of them were to go to the person who edited the book and the person who designed the cover, and one was to go to my son. My kids each get a free copy of every one of their mom’s books. The fourth one was for me. Well, I knew that choosing standard shipping meant it would take FOREVER for the books to get here, but because Createspace has expensive shipping, I could not afford a faster rate. So I ordered the books with standard shipping and pretty much prepared to wait days to get them.

Meanwhile, I went about my business and took care of other things.

But I ended up waiting. And waiting. AND WAITING!!

The new books for me to review for Night Owl Reviews arrived.

The movies I ordered from the Disney Movie Club over a month ago FINALLY arrived.

But these four books never arrived. At all.

I started to get suspicious. I knew shipping was slow, but not this slow! So I tracked the shipment and it said on the UPS site that the shipment had been delivered.

Uh, no, it had not!

But I remembered that once, when I ordered something from Amazon and the 2-day shipping I get for free meant that it would be at the POST OFFICE and not my house in 2 days, it could mean that the package had been delivered at the post office but not brought to my house just yet. So I waited a couple of days to see if that was the case. That was NOT the case! Two days later, still no books.

So I went to the post office to ask about it. Since this had been a UPS shipment, they sent me to the UPS store. I went to the UPS store and the clerk there called it in. He was told the UPS carrier had given the shipment to the post office. After that, it was out of their hands. So I went back to the post office to tell them what I had learned. The clerk there was confused and went into the back to try searching for the package. He also looked it up in their system. The package WAS in their system, with a new tracking number, but it was not listed as delivered or anything else. More confusion!

So I talked to the manager at the post office. I explained to him what happens when packages are delivered – how they’re either put into the mailbox if it fits or at my door behind the screen if it’s too big. I have ordered books from CreateSpace before and usually when it’s just a few, the package is not large and does fit into the mailbox. But I was unsure this time. So were they. The manager said he would keep looking for it and contact me through email if it turned up.

There was no email, though. And, the next day, the mailman came to our door with our mail and told us they could not find the package anywhere. He assured us he would have put it in the mailbox or at the door. We considered the possibility it could have been lost or even stolen. (People in our neighborhood have had problems of strangers getting into their mailboxes and/or stealing packages.) The mail carrier was clueless about what happened to it and apologized. He also said they would keep looking.

At this point, I started to seriously consider the package to be lost. I was upset it might’ve been stolen, but also upset that if it had, the thief might try to sell the books on eBay, or something. (Just in case, I checked online retailers and my book was not listed on there. I have been keeping track of sales of this book so I had a better idea of just how many copies of this book could be floating around out there.)

So, I counted it as a loss, and I also decided that I’ll just have to order the books again next month. Yes, it meant waiting longer to get a copy of this book to the people I had to get it to, but I only have so much available in my budget for this kinda thing.

Then something very interesting happened today.

Today, while I was giving Jesse a bath, he informed me there was someone at the door. I asked my husband to keep an eye on Jesse while I went to see who it was. There was a lady standing on my porch and she was holding a box in her hands. A rectangular sized box. When I opened the door, I asked her what it was she wanted, thinking maybe she was trying to sell something. But then I noticed that the box had a label on it similar to those used for shipping purposes. She said hello then pointed at the name on the label and asked, “Are you Dawn?”

I said yes and she further asked if this was me, noting the name on the label. Sure enough, it was my name! And it looked strangely similar to a package specifically for shipping purposes, with the same label used from CreateSpace.

She explained that she had found this box in her front yard. I asked her where she lived and she indicated she was practically across town!

I was excited about this turn of events, thinking this was my lost package, but I was also confused. How the heck did my package end up in someone’s front yard all the way across town?? Good grief!

She handed me the package and I thanked her profusely for bringing it to me. What a wonderful thing to do!! I am SO GLAD this person, this honest and decent and friendly person, found this package in her yard and took it to the rightful owner. We sure were lucky with that one!

So, my lost package was now in my hands. Hooray!! I was SO HAPPY and very excited to finally have this package. How nice for this mystery to be solved!

My family and I still can’t understand how my package ended up where it did but I am just glad to have it now.

So, here is my package:

And here are my books! 

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