Pub Rants

A Very Nice Literary Agent Indulges in Polite Rants About Queries, Writers, and the Publishing Industry

Mail, Mail, Where Can You Be?

STATUS: TGIF! I concluded a negotiation today which always feels good. The author is, of course, thrilled.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? AIN’T NOBODY BUT ME by Supertramp

This isn’t a publishing rant per se but it’s rather indirectly related. On Monday, the office lobby floor was retiled. In order to do that, the workers moved our mailbox center.

Let’s just say it was resting sideways on the stairs when I came in on Tuesday morning. I thought it a little odd but I certainly wasn’t able to move it so there it stayed. Well, Tuesday afternoon, the mail person comes to deliver the mail (and with MLK in there, more than the usual stack). He was in a huff because he had to come to each office instead of putting mail in the box like normal. Just to clarify, my office building isn’t large. On the second floor, there are only 8 suites—several of which are currently empty and awaiting new tenants. I understand that it was an inconvenience and outside of what a mail person would normally have to do to deliver the mail but it wasn’t a big deal either and probably took all of 8 minutes to do.

But I guess it was because since then, I haven’t received another piece of mail all week—even though the mailbox center was put back.

Now, I know we do everything electronically here but seriously, not a day goes by where we don’t get a piece of mail. And we are expecting royalty statements and checks.

We had to call today and find out why mail hasn’t been delivered. I guess I’ll have to tell my clients that it was circumstances beyond my control on why their monies are late!

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24 Responses

  1. Catherine said:

    Our mailman is angry because our neighbor drove into our mailbox and it is now a pile of bricks and pieces of car with a box sitting on top. He leaves us nasty notes, but still delivers our mail.

  2. Southern Writer said:

    Catherine is correct. Same thing happened to mine. First, the drunk guy across the street backed into it, and a couple weeks later, a different drunk mowed it over. The very next day(s), I received a notice from the mail carrier that no mail would be delivered until it was fixed. No rain or gloom nor stormy night will stop them from making their appointed rounds, but your mailbox had better not be crooked.

  3. Kate said:

    I live in a very small town and have had mail (a check, actually) sent from WITHIN THE SAME TOWN take 2 weeks to get to me. With footprints on the envelope.

  4. Usman said:

    I give gifts to my mailman, every Eid [ equivalent of Christmas.]
    Never had a problem for years. He is faster than UPS once he gets a letter with my name in his hand.

  5. Deb said:

    Your postman is in a snit. I believe, I think not delivering your mail is illegal. Someone wanna verify on this?

  6. bran fan said:

    We call our postal carrier “Newman” after the guy in Seinfield. He’s just about as responsible. Problem is, I live outside the city limits so the post office has contracted with a private carrier to deliver. Which he does. When he feels like it.

  7. Heather said:

    I generally like my postal carrier… until a certified letter comes through.

    Keep in mind, I’m sitting about 30 feet from my mailbox at any given time… 40 if I’m at the computer. I can hear the truck coming a couple of doors down (distinctive engine tone), so I KNOW when the mail arrives every day.

    Twice now, have I walked out, not five minutes after the mail carrier has driven down the road (and I can still see the truck), I find a “sorry we missed you” letter for the certified letter. Because she’s too lazy to HONK. If she honked, I would hear, and be out in the time it takes to throw on a pair of flip flops to sign for it.

    And she NEVER HAS.

  8. Ryan Field said:

    Sometimes it’s best to just call the post office and have them hold the mail there for you so you can pick it up yourself. It’s a pain, and not much fun, but at least you know where things are going.

  9. Southern Writer said:

    Your postman is in a snit. I believe, I think not delivering your mail is illegal. Someone wanna verify on this?

    Of course, it is. But I’ll bet Kristin recalls how the postmaster in Avon, CO failed to deliver the mail to Gorsuch (a high end retail store in Vail) unless they gave him some free clothing. Tsk. I wish I could recall if he went to jail for that or not.

  10. Amie Stuart said:

    Sometimes I do wonder! It took us complaining to the PM General to get them to STOP delivering on Saturdays at work. We have the weirdest mailman ever!

  11. karen wester newton said:

    Wow, cutting off an agent’s mail is bad! Although it’s probably not as bad for Kristin because she’s so 21st Century about electronic communications, unlike most of the book biz.

  12. Chessie said:

    Okay, with all this mail ire going around, I’ve got to give a shout out to our postlady. We live WAY out in the country, and she is responsible for all the rag tag small horse ranches and such out here. In fact, she drives a Jeep so she can offroad to the mailboxes when she needs to.

    If we have a package that doesn’t fit in our mailbox, she walks down our 80 ft. driveway and hand delivers it to our doorstep.

    She rocks! Here’s to RESPONSIBLE and very kind postal employees. And thanks for reminding me how lucky I am that I’ve got one of the good ones.

  13. A Novel Woman said:

    Hey, we had the same thing happen in our building. The mail carrier had a major snit over our new mail box which requires him to LIFT A LATCH and drop the mail through the slot. We didn’t get mail for a week, too. We asked the building manager to investigate and sure enough, he held our mail back. He can’t get fired, though. Here in Quebec, you must get three warnings first. Even when you know what you’re doing is wrong, you have to be TOLD it’s wrong, THREE times, before you can get fired. And then you can take your employer to court for wrongful dismissal and your lawyer is paid for by the government while your employer has to pay for his/hers. Ah, yes. What a province…

  14. Music Critic said:

    Supetramp! Love it. Some songs are better than this one, but this is a calssic, too. The others would get a higher ranking, but Ain’t Nobody but me gets a #4

  15. Tommy said:

    We don’t have this problem in the UK – no mailboxes, you see. All letters are posted through a slot in the front door; they’re likely to be stolen otherwise!

  16. Chumplet said:

    In our newer neighbourhoods, the mail is delivered to a communal mailbox and residents have to walk a couple of blocks to get their mail. Through rain or snow or dark of night…

    We have issues with our rural mail routes. Routes are closed if mail carriers think it’s unsafe or if a dog barks at them. Sheesh.

    Meanwhile, our newspaper carriers are subject to danger every time they deliver, and they have to insert all the flyers themselves. No wonder they quit in droves.

  17. Lorra said:

    Ah yes, the joy of civil service employees. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of “naughty” recipients being punished by a vengeful mailperson. And best of luck trying to get any satisfaction from the boss.

    Fortunately, I have a gem of a mailman. When he brings packages to the door — yes, some of them do that — he always brings a doggie treat. And at Christmas, he wears a Santa hat on his rounds. I’m guessing he enjoys his job more than some of his lazy, mean-spirited cohorts.

  18. Kelley said:

    One of the more entertaining weeks of my life (sure, I need to get out more)was when my neighbor’s mailbox was knocked off the post by a plow. They refused to replace it. I mean, hey, why should they? They didn’t do it. *snort* Anyway, the mail lady would pick it up off the ground, put the mail in, and then throw it back on the ground. They’d come out, get the mail, and throw the box back on the ground. For days and days, they did this until the Postmaster had a fit. So they fixed it. And then a plow came and, oops, it all started over again.

  19. Pam Halter said:

    I delivered mail for 6 years. It’s a hard, sweaty, freezing, bug-infested, potential dog biting, thankless job. We got blamed for everything that went wrong in the PO, even though we were on the road doing our job when it happened.

    I was a good mail carrier. I carried dog treats and wore a Santa hat at Christmas. I checked on my senior customers and knew most of the kid’s names on my route.

    I knew when people were away and got invested in their lives.

    I was always in trouble with my supervisor because my job was to deliver the mail, not make friends with customers. I can’t relate to bad mail carriers. But you do have recourse by contacting the postmaster.

    I can also atest to the extra 8 minutes your mail carrier had to spend delivering the mail separately. Our routes were timed. Some days, the mail volume was so heavy, you needed every minute alotted and often had to skip your 10 minute break to get it all done in time. If you went over time, you could be penalized. Perhaps that’s happening with your mail carrier.

    Oh, and when the price of stamps went up, we never got a raise. So, don’t complain to your mail carrier about the cost of postage. It really has nothing to do with them.

    I hope you get your mail problem cleared up soon. There’s nothing worse than not getting your mail.

  20. Travis Erwin said:

    Dang Postal Workers.

    All I can say is if you think dealing with them on occasion is bad you should try putting in forty hours a week at the joint.

    It ain’t easy, but I’ll endure until that magnanimous book contract comes through. Any day now, I’m sure. 🙂

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