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Giveaway Winners! And Why I Am A Completely Ineffectual Adult

April 9, 2011 at 4:35 pm

The giveaway for The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, volume 5 has ended.  I'm happy to say that two copies of the book went into the mail yesterday.  The lucky winners are:

From Goodreads:  James Culshaw

From this blog: Dawn Sabados

Congratulations to James and Dawn!  I hope you enjoy the anthology.

Mailing those books became a vivid reminder as to why I'm so hilariously inept at being, you know, an adult.

It's a thick anthology, so I knew I didn't have any mailers at home sufficient for the task.  So I stopped at Office Depot en route to the post office and bought new bubblewrap mailers.  (I'm lucky both stops are in the same mall.  Otherwise, as you'll see, it would have been a far less entertaining day.)  And not just any bubblewrap mailers.  I tell ya, when I run a contest, I do things in style.  I bought the fancy waterproof kind, just in case the packages are forced to sit on a doorstep for a day or two.

Then I went to the post office, and stood in line for 15 minutes.  When I got to the front, I asked the clerk what I needed to do to send a book internationally.  (I figured it was just easier to ask this time around.  Because I always do it wrong when I try to do it myself.  I'm special that way.)   He gave me the proper address form, and I went off to start packaging the books.

Only to discover there wasn't a single pen anywhere in the post office.  So I went back to Office Depot to buy a pen.  The checkout lady recognized me.  Probably because I was carrying around a bulky plastic bag filled with science fiction anthologies, and two sizes of mailer, and postal slips, and (now) marker pens.  I probably looked like some kind of nomad who lived by scavenging office supplies.

Back to the post office I went. 

Only to discover that the pens I bought couldn't write on the mailers' waterproof coating.

So it was back to Office Depot yet again.  And this time, as I bought a packet of mailing labels, the checkout person did ask why I kept coming in to buy one thing at a time.  "Because I have nothing better to do on a Friday morning," I said. 

Back to the post office I went.

I filled out mailing labels, slapped them on the packages, and filled out the slip for international mail.  And stood in line for another 15 minutes.  Only to discover that yes, indeed, I'd filled out the slip incorrectly.  (How do I mess these things up?  It's not like they're tax forms.  They're so simple.  And yet...)

The clerk gave me another slip.  I went to the back of the line (which, of course, had grown in the meantime) and started over again.

Somehow I managed to get everything mailed on the next pass.  It only took me three trips to the office supply store and three trips through the post office line! 

And this is why I'm a completely ineffectual adult.  For a while there, it felt like I'd become trapped in an Emo Philips joke.


Melinda April 10, 2011 at 10:03 am
But hey, you got a great and hilarious story out of it. You didn't tell me about the woman at Office Depot asking why you bought one thing at a time. That's what puts it right into high comedy. :)
Tengland April 10, 2011 at 3:24 pm
Next time, send 'em an e-book. Also, I have a hunch which mall you were going around in circles in. If you're going to go around in circles, DvM isn't a bad place to do it. Next time, though, y'might want to go right after leaving Office Depot instead of left, that way you'll end up at 31 Flavors where you can get a couple dollops of tasty ice cream to take the edge off your frustration (just don't get any on the address labels).
Steve Halter April 11, 2011 at 8:23 am
He got material and he got the job done. Sounds like even better than a 'serious' effectual adult would have done.
Ian April 11, 2011 at 11:27 am
Next time, though, y'might want to go right after leaving Office Depot instead of left, that way you'll end up at 31 Flavors where you can get a couple dollops of tasty ice cream to take the edge off your frustration That's MUCH better than taking a more immediate left and buying a gun...
Ian April 11, 2011 at 11:28 am
When you put it like that, it makes me sound like James Bond.
DMS April 12, 2011 at 8:47 am
I've just assumed that the Post Office is designed to make me feel like an idiot. If I show up with something completely packaged, it's inevitably wrong, and I have to start over. If I show up with something only partially packaged, whatever key supply would be required to finish it (even if it's just tape) isn't available. No pens may be a new low. Thank you again for the book. I'll let you know when it arrives.
Ian April 12, 2011 at 9:25 am
I'm so glad I'm not the only person who has this problem! No matter what I do with a package, I always have it wrong.
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