Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Out of the frying pan....

... into the fire.

Today was not a good day. The air conditioner works -- that's great. I got eight hours of sleep last night *and* I awoke before noon -- that's faboo. I got a *great* package from my sister with garlic-stuffed olives, a t-shirt, postcards, a book, *and* the most darling DVD of her dog Leon -- and that rocked.

Other than that, I had a few really icky things happening.

Several, *several* weeks ago, I decided to host an ATC swap. ATC's are Artist Trading Cards. They're cool. I made a post about it a while ago. Fourteen participants signed up, and I think I gave everyone five or six weeks to make their cards and send them to me.

Ohhhhhh, silly me. I didn't make lots of rules and regulations, and I don't think I communicated enough with my participants. There were a number of hiccups. Most of the problems were ironed out in a fairly timely fashion, except for one: I haven't received two packets of cards.

I'm beside myself. I don't know what to do. It's horrifying on so many levels, I can't even begin to express it or fix it. The idea that an artist spent hours making artwork, spent money on postage, and shipped these things off to me for sorting -- and they didn't *get* here -- is just horrifying. Weeks have passed since the date I was supposed to re-send these cards to everyone, and all the participants are being *extraordinarily* patient and forgiving.

*I*, in the meantime, am just dying of embarrassment and worry. I'm embarrassed because I must be the worst swap hostess in the history of swapping. And I'm worried because... this is *art* we're talking about. People don't just crank out ATC's like penny candy. Where, oh, *where* can those cards *be*????

For one of the missing packets, I've emailed the artist to let her know that I need her snail mail address and I want to reimburse her for the postage costs. I haven't heard back from her. I'm afraid she's furious with me. As for the other artist, she may not even be aware that her package is missing. I emailed her, too, hoping against hope that she didn't, in fact, get the cards in the mail yet. Fingers crossed. Knock on wood. Throwing salt over my shoulder, rubbing a rabbit's foot, and planning to buy some lucky crystals and sacrifice a goat to cover all the bases.

I would rather some cards arrive late, than not arrive at all. But even late is driving me crazy. I feel so badly about this. Ugh. My stomach hurts from the stress.

The other really, *really* icky thing is that an article I wrote has erroneous information in it. My editor called me today to let me know, and to ask about my research and sources for the information. Thank heaven I keep detailed records of this stuff!!!!

It turns out the manufacturer of one of the tools (which were featured in the July issue of the magazine) never did supply me with basic information or the product which was being reviewed. Their website didn't even offer the information at press time. I tried to contact them; I *begged* for an actual tool to see with my own eyes; the manufacturer basically ignored my very existence, and now he's all bent out of shape because of some factual errors. (I had the wrong price, wrong number of tips included, and the wrong size thingamabobs with which it would work.) Hey, man, I could only get that info off an online store's website, and they weren't even shipping the tool yet; they were selling pre-orders! Not only did I check the source, I double- and triple-checked it.

Thank heaven, the magazine and my editor are standing behind me and the information we had at press time. And at least I know I did the best job I could do with the complete lack of cooperation I received from the manufacturer. I can guarantee you, though, that I will not be running out to buy that particular tool. I'm considering contacting his competition and offering my services as an endorsing artist.

And the final really icky thing? My beloved monthly free crop at the Maple Grove Inn is on hold for this weekend. Alison has a family emergency and needs to go see her parents in Erwin. Mary Beth can't make it if we postpone the crop until *next* weekend. I don't know what to do. I'm stuck in the middle. All I wanna do is crop and drink and eat a snack!!!!!!!!

After a day like this, there's nothing to be done except to pop some popcorn, get some chocolate chip cookies, and watch a movie. So don't expect any more blog posts from me until, oh, September. This could take a while!!

4 Comments:

At 22/7/05 1:02 AM, Blogger Ally said...

Bay, I'm embarrassed to say that I hosted a cj and it fell apart in the first round. Half the women didn't ever get their journals back. I am a bad bad hostess. You are not alone.

 
At 22/7/05 7:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, sweetie ... pep talk time ......

Obviously, your acting role as swap hostess has not been tarnished with the next round of swappers ready to roll. Stuff happens with the mail, unfortunately. Delivery confirmation is 50 cents ... not a bad investment for anyone who trades/swaps, etc.

So .... there is no fault to be had on your end. Feeling bad that it's not there ... of course!!! You wouldn't want anyone to be left out! But, this is something you have no control over and cannot change. So ... in my nicest words ... move on!

Get the swap wrapped up. Contact the others involved to see if they mind having a set sent to the one(s) who have said they mailed, but you never received. Then, send a little package of cards to them and be done.

Quit beating yourself up!!!!

As for the crop .... that's time you've already designated for yourself ... just change the location. Escape with your scrappy supplies and your glass of wine to a designated room at Chateau Bay. Use that time to energize yourself ... remember, you've got the CS retreat coming up and you don't want to be the one there with the long face!

Hang tight .... this, too, shall pass!

 
At 23/7/05 11:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yup! what jill said!!!!!

 
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