Wednesday, October 05, 2016

There are two...no three ways to view this

1. I'm so famous even the post office knows where I am
OR
2. I spend entirely too much time at the office




Or maybe a third:

3. The mail carrier recognizes the New Leaf name and knows where NL is, not just me.

No matter which,  I'm still agog that the mail carrier didn't just send this back with "what the HECK! Have you sent a package before today??"


(for the record, I think it's #3, but it was hilarioius thinking it was #1!)

53 comments:

Kae Ridwyn said...

Love it! For the record, I'd go with #1.
And I doubt I'm the only one who thinks this...

nightsmusic said...

Yup, #1 for the win! And did it occur to you that not only are you famous, but maybe the mail carrier posts here? Just sayin'...

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

#4
The person dressed up like your postal carrier is stalking you.

Kae Ridwyn said...

LOL 2N's! :D

Theresa said...

Mail carrier reads Query Shark.

Megan V said...

#5 Mail carrier uses Google.

But that's not as fun nor as cool!

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Maybe the postal character has his or her own novel that he or she really hopes QOTKU will have a look at....

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Obviously, this wasn't something you ordered.

2Ns: Ha! Trying to put our queen in the midst of her own thriller? Will Jack Reacher be able to outrun and outwit the stalker, before Janet is whisked off to Carkoon? (waitwait, that's mixing genres, or tropes, or something equally bad)

E.M. Goldsmith said...

#1 and as 2Ns said, you possibly have a stalker (or ten).

Sharpen your fangs just in case.

luciakaku said...

Regardless of which number, mail carrier is definitely going above and beyond. Would definitely be way easier to send it back with a screenshot of "Let me Google that for you" and "how to mail packages" typed in the search bar.

Colin Smith said...

I kinda suspect the truth is they know where New Leaf is, or at least they could look it up easily enough. That they went to the bother of actually trying to deliver the package speaks well of the NY postal service, though.

Of course, why wouldn't they know Janet? I suspect she gets a ton of mail from people who got their query advice from Stephen King... ;)

Susan said...

I sent a package out once without the city/state line. When I got to the post office to mail it, the clerk stared at it like she was trying to figure whether or not it was really there, she just wasn't seeing it. In hindsight, I should have played along with that.

I've also forgotten to address envelopes and put stamps on. I'm surprised I'm not blacklisted from using the postal service.

I'm voting for #1 here--with a dash of the postal worker being a Reider because it's fun to imagine people pursuing their dreams regardless of whatever else they do.

MA Hudson said...

My grandmother never put 'Australia' on the letters she sent us from Chile, and she never spelled Sydney correctly (Sidney), but we always got them. I think.

JulieWeathers said...

I love it. It's probably all of the above.

Mail carriers are awesome. Though I loved the people at the post office when I was doing prison ministry. I'd usually have two-four mail totes of mail going out to prisoners each week. Prison rules are fairly strict about a lot of things, so even the fun stickers we put on lessons for a little extra atta boy, got banned in some areas. To help make up for it I bought fun stamps instead of metering the mail and turned the students into stamp collectors. The clerks got familiar with me and would always mention when interesting new stamps came out so I could stock up.

My favorite postman is still the one who does battle with the cat who swats the mail back at him.

Anyway, I expect Janet will be getting an interesting query soon.

Dear Ms. Reid,

Jack Fletcher was a real straight arrow. His associates at the CIA all said so. It had started out as a pun on his name, it was the gospel truth. His father had weaned him on stories about William Marshal and he wanted to be just like him when he grew up. Unfortunately, there wasn't much call for knights in 2010, greatest who ever lived or not, so he did the next best thing and became a SEAL and then a CIA agent.

The CIA and all the other alphabets needed a knight, though. Good people were being purged for trumped up charges and people who had no business being dog catcher, let alone having any access to classified information, were replacing them.

Jack did what any honorable man would do. He became a mail carrier.

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds," and all that.

He was professional. There were never any witnesses and even if there were, no one notices a mailman. Someone noticed. Now the good guys are dying and a few shaken witnesses described a mailman.

Today he received a letter with a familiar address inside. "Now, that I have your attention, I need your skills for an important job on October 27." That was the international summit and his mother would never leave his dying father's side even to save her life.

I'm a mailman and my best friend is a CIA agent, so I the details of the story The Postman Shoots Once are accurate. By the way, I'm the one who completed your address for you recently.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Yes, I know, no backstory and all the other things that are wrong with my faux query, but it amuses me to think the mail person who filled in the address might be an aspiring author.



JulieWeathers said...

Kae,

I noticed that also. Is it wrong that I gave the first one a whirl in my head? $290,000 is a lot of money. Then I reminded myself my kidneys crashed a while back and I spent nearly three weeks in the hospital with one system after another playing tag on which one was going to crash next. I might need both kidneys just in case.




Janet Reid said...

Yanno, it's just pure agent torment to post a fictional query for a book I'd actually want to read.

Mister Furkles said...

#6 Your mail carrier has nearly finished typing his 240,000 word memoir, "Carrying on the Streets of New York", which he will dump on you next week. Naturally, he knows where you work and where you live. And your cat's name.

And if you want your mail afterward, you'd better get it published.

He looks a lot like Wayne Knight and his name is Newman.

Dena Pawling said...


A friend of mine is a mail carrier. She says that as long as the zip code is accurate, a mis-addressed piece of mail has about a 95% chance of being delivered to the correct address, altho it will take an extra day or two to get there. With a wrong or missing zip code, the percentage goes down quite a bit, unless like Janet says you're famous [SoCal post offices get mail addressed simply to “Disneyland” all the time].

There will always be those public servants who just do the bare minimum to keep from getting fired, but most postal workers do try to deliver the mail to the right place.

But the burning question is – what was in the package? Was it worth all that angst?

Kitty said...

I grew up in a village with a 3-digit population. One of my friends lived in an even smaller locale which isn't even on most maps. We were learning how to write letters in school (elementary school) and I wanted to send one to her. I didn't know her address, and I didn't want to ask because I wanted the letter to be a surprise. So, I wrote the name of the hamlet where she lived and a short description of her house on the envelope. And, of course, she got my letter, because everyone knows everyone there, although the Post Office probably got a chuckle out of it.

Fast forward a couple of decades... I sent something to a friend in a modest-sized city in California, and the Post Office returned it to me with "no such address" stamped on the envelope. I had unwittingly transposed two numbers in the street address. So I called the Post Office out there and actually spoke with the postman.
He: There's no such address as 71 on that street.
Me: I realize that now. I meant to write 17 and transposed the numbers.
He: I knew that, but it was addressed to 71, not 17.
Me: You've delivered to that person at 17 before, right?
He: Oh, yeah, for years now.
Me: So why didn't you just cross out 71, write in 17, and deliver it?
He: Because it was addressed to 71.

Colin Smith said...

*Hi-fives Julie* Way to go with Agent Torment! :) Seriously, I don't know why Janet doesn't just go ahead and send you a contract. You're already working on the rodeo girls book, and now this. If I was a certain Shark, I'd be afraid someone else would get to you first... and I don't mean that in the malevolent mail-carrier sense. ;)

Bethany Joy said...

Haha I love that the envelope inspired thriller plotlines! It’s a fun hook for multiple genres/categories.

Cozy Mystery: Everyone with the initials JR in NYC receives a similar envelope today containing a different clue.

Fantasy: Letter reaches its destination through magical intervention, possibly in the form of a talking squirrel.

SciFi: Aliens don’t understand how Earth addresses work. Letter is first hint of coming invasion and extraterrestrial publishing ambitions.

Women’s fiction: Letter sent by quirky old friend who trusts her heart that the message will be received.

Are there others?

JulieWeathers said...

Miss Janet,

"Yanno, it's just pure agent torment to post a fictional query for a book I'd actually want to read."

Oops. Sorry. Maybe someone out there in Reider land will write it with my blessings.

Colin

"Seriously, I don't know why Janet doesn't just go ahead and send you a contract. You're already working on the rodeo girls book, and now this."

"Its the writing, the writing, the writing."

I might think I'm a world champion pole vaulter, but my lying body says elsewise. Execution is everything. I have every book I could find on the old girls. Most of them are so bad they keep apologizing when I pick them up to read.

DLM said...

It is my misfortune to live in the ZIP code including what has been rated for years as one of the worst postal branches in the United States. Most of the time I'm lucky and do receive my mail. But when I don't, it's a nightmare. Our route is apparently always a substitute route; we do not have a consistent carrier, I don't think we have in the 15+ years I've lived here.

Recently, a packet sent Certified from the UK required one of those redelivery notices. I signed and requested redelivery, but it was not forthcoming. I left a handwritten note several times (since my redelivery notice was TAKEN, if not heeded) requesting redelivery or information. No response but the CRUMPLED notes I wrote, thrown right back into my mailbox. I had to take time out of the office to go pick up the package personally; thank heavens it had not been sent back to England.

I used to have a green swath between the sidewalk and street in front of my home, but about seven years ago the mail truck decided this was a good spot to park. I now have a great long dusty gouge there instead. It used to look so nice. I am resigned that it never will again. Hooray for my property values.

This doesn't prejudice me against mail carriers in general (my mom's is WONDERFUL!). But in specific, our neighborhood is far less fortunate than the many of you seem to receive. You have much to be grateful for!

Cheryl said...

Horror: The 8 written by whoever provided the correct address is actually a sigil which, when unwittingly written in a particular context, summons the Old Ones.

Elissa M said...

The village where I live doesn't have mail delivery. Everyone gets a free PO Box courtesy of Uncle Sam. The postal workers know just about everyone. They're not supposed to hand out your mail if you forget your key, but they will. Letters with my street address and no PO box number end up in my box anyway.

There's also a community bulletin board in the lobby with flyers about eggs and sheep for sale, piano lessons, lost dogs, missing llamas, and the upcoming rodeo. The new post master cleared it off when she first arrived because it apparently was against regulations. Only "official" notices could be posted (such as the latest news about the nearby wildfire). The outcry was loud, so a few weeks later a second board was put up for the community stuff.

I love small towns.

Michael Seese said...

It's kind of like I told my co-workers when I left for my honeymoon, many moons ago.

"Leave a number so we can get in touch if we need you."

"Just call Paris. They'll find me."

Jenny Chou said...

This is the joy of old-fashioned mail delivered by a real person. Does Yahoo ever go to the trouble of finding the right address if I type someone's email incorrectly? Of course not. I just get a long, mostly incoherent message explaining that my email could not be delivered.

And as The New York Times learned last week, there is power in snail mail.

Craig F said...

I live in Florida. Florida is a test case for many things. Maybe it is because almost no one from here lives here. We have such a diverse population that all of the accents cancel out.

For the Postal Service I think the test is to see how incompetent they can make themselves. For a while we had a pretty good delivery man. Then he was transferred somewhere else and we had another who was not quite as good.

Now it seems that are rotated through some strangely archaic or maybe completely random posting.

Maybe it is an attempt to get us to know our neighbors because it is more likely that our mail goes into someone else's box. We get a different person's and they get someone else's. We meet in the street and sort it out.

Sometimes it is not until the next day because the time of delivery is different almost every day and has already covered almost a twelve hour span.

JulieWeathers said...

Elissa,

My dad's town was like that. I was having flowers delivered to him and couldn't remember his street address, 110 main, because we always used the PO box. Odd I remember it now 12 years after he left Lincoln, but my mind blanked that day. I wrote down "the brown house with the wooden porch and a collection of vehicles across from the post office."

The guy said that wouldn't do. I said I ship stuff to him all the time and deliveries come in on the stage coach. The stage coach was an old man in a pickup who get things in Helena to be delivered and bring them on to Lincoln. That's how all flowers got delivered before Gardner's put in a flower shop in their cafe, gift shop, general store. The guy agreed, but took no responsibility. Dad got his flowers. All was well with the world.

I love small towns.

Colin Smith said...

Julie: Okay, yeah, I know. It's the writing. Just because you have a cool concept for a novel, and write a great query for it, doesn't mean the novel is any good. And just because you can write flash fiction, or short stories, doesn't mean you can write a novel. Each of these are different forms. Some writers manage to do well in all three, some master only one. And that's fine. Some Reiders are excellent writers that avoid the writing contests, or who enter but never expect to do well, because they know short-form fiction isn't their forte. So, while we've seen here that you can write, that's no guarantee to us that your novels are as engaging and entertaining as your comments or blog posts.

That said, I strongly suspect they are. :)

Claire Bobrow said...

I'm picturing Click Clack Moo - Cows That Type.

Farmer Brown forgot to teach them the conventions of mailing a letter.

DLM said...

Michael Seese, anybody I work with who believes they have ANY need or right to contact me on my honeymoon needs to **** all the way off, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Beth said...

A friend once accidently addressed a letter:

Grandma
Route 1
City, Nebraska

The mailman knocked on the door, handed the envelope to her grandmother, and said, "Am I good, or what?"

Janet, I suspect the mailman remembers you from delivering all those bookmarks and pens.

JulieWeathers said...

Colin I think I'm a fair to middling writer. I have a quiet confidence I can write a decent novel. My opinion and two dollars will get you a cup of coffee.

As fate has it, and that wench always has her way with me, I ran across an interesting story about SEALs this morning while researching something totally different.

Who's quieter, a SEAL or a ninja?

Mark Ellis said...

The mail carrier is the newphew of Cliff Claven, and he's tracking Janet because he's just polishing up his manuscript, The Postman Always Rings Thrice.

Lennon Faris said...

These are all cracking me up. Whichever the case, I'd say it's nice to have your packages delivered, even if the postman does have ulterior motives, as Mister Furkles (and 2N's! yikes!) suggested.

OT - I'm at the 3 month mark for a full. I'm going to wait a few more weeks at least and then do the ol' polite nudge. It's my only positive response still out, so if this doesn't go anywhere, I might retire the ms for a while. I'm not as sad about that idea as I thought I'd be. It helps that I'm excited what I'm working on now and ideas just keep pouring in. I feel like I have a much better grasp of the craft, too, from the plotting to the details. I credit a good portion of that to Janet & this blog. This is an awesome place to learn & grow. So thanks, everyone!

BJ Muntain said...

Since all postal systems start from the end and go up, it starts with the zip code. All the postal worker had to do was go through the zip code looking for the company name. I wouldn't doubt, these days they could do a boulean search for the zip code plus company name and TADA! There you go.

Unless that's definitely the carrier's writing.

Julie: I think you're the one person who could tormet the Sharque!

Elissa: Yep. That sounds like most of our small towns, too. Ever see Corner Gas? Not only was that filmed near here, but it's the story of nearly every small town on the Canadian prairies... (I've lived in several) and your story about the bulletin board could have been a Corner Gas subplot.

Lennon: For a full, it's probably better to allow 6 months before nudging. Unless their website says differently.

Kitty said...

Elissa, the village where I lived still doesn't have mail delivery within the village. Everyone had a box number, but you didn't need it. Our phone book was two pages. We didn't dial the number because you went through the operator, who worked out of the front room in the house across the street from us. (The little phone company eventually was bought by Ma Bell.) In 1963, our school graduated 20 students. It was the best place to grow up.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

I've gotten mail addressed to Elka, but I guess that was less of a big deal, because the rest of it was intact (number, street, city, state, zip).

Addresses are an interesting thing to me, because, living in the United States, I didn't really think about them very much. Like, the format or whatever. And then I worked for the Cat Fancier's Association, sorting the mail and eventually organizing mailings, sending out breeder referrals, etc. and I realized my enthnocentric ways. There were European addresses! Japanese ones! Canadian! All very interesting.

Stephen Kozeniewski said...

I'd like to know more about this. Can you please e-mail me? My address is: @yahoo.com.

Colin Smith said...

Stephen: Could you cc: me? @gmail. Thanks! :)

Ly Kesse said...

The bit about small villages: they are the grandest of places to live.

I have no doubt that an envelope with only my name and the correct zip code would arrive in my mail box. Because that has happened. Mail sent to the old address arrived in our box. Years after the mail forwarding bit had expired.

All the mail carriers know everyone in the village.

kdjames.com said...

I'm not surprised. After all, back in the 1940s the NYC postal service, deemed a "competent authority," found the recipient of all that mail marked "Santa Claus, North Pole" and delivered it to Kris Kringle, then on trial at a NYC courthouse.

I'll be really impressed if one day soon the NYT runs an editorial headlined, "Yes, Dear Writer, there is a Janet Reid."

And I've got to agree with Cheryl-- that is the oddest rendition of the number 8 I've ever seen. Be wary.

AJ Blythe said...

Julie's query reminded me of that Kevin Costner movie "The Postman" - no-one suspects a postman.

Our postman is very reliable (unlike the actual postal service). He comes through on his postie bike at the same time everyday.

But sending mail is a different story. We moved to Canberra 2 months before Christmas, so I wrote a whole lotta cards that year, all with 'here are our new details' in them and posted them 4 weeks before Christmas. 3 months later people received them.

Brigid said...

I'm enjoying Janet's title — it ties into what I'm currently reading. In Patricia Wrede's Frontier Magic series, one of the repeated phrases is, "That's one way to look at it. Is there another?" Finding new ways to look at things is the foundation of a type of magic in the series, which had amazing worldbuilding (flawed, but impressive). It's a pleasant series to read, but a delightful one to watch and go, "Ohh, I see what you did there!"

I suspect I'll be doing a little escape-reading tonight. I found out today my job has an expiration date. That expiration date is three months before the baby's due. Well, we'll deal, I just don't yet know how.

Karen McCoy said...

It's typed and everything!! Wow!

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Jenny Chou, so, so true. The power of snail mail. May it live forever.

BJ Muntain said...

Brigid: That sucks. That really does. Here's hoping that things work out much better than you expect. (((hugs)))

Lennon Faris said...

Sorry to hear that Brigid. What a thing for them to spring on you :( I know I don't know any details, but maybe look into the legalities of that? There are some laws about pregnancy --an employer can't discriminate against that. That's about all I know though, sorry. I'm also sending some virtual hugs. I've had 2 pregnancies while working and that is def. not what you want to hear!

Brigid said...

Ah, but a very small employer who can't afford to keep their employees can lay them off, pregnant or no. He's being as good to me as he can, lots of notice and flexibility and serving as a reference. Pre-pregnancy I'd been jobhunting, but now...it's tricky to find work with decent pay that is satisfied by just 5 months (before I take a year of unpaid leave).

CynthiaMc said...

Brigid - my job was eliminated while I was on vacation. We saw that one coming because they had gotten rid of the 20-year people, then the fifteen. I was a ten. We had just been to a frantic company meeting where the powers that be looked us straight in the face and said "No, we're not laying anyone off, relax!" but they eliminated most of our jobs (which they eventually had to add back plus some once they figured out most of us had already been doing our jobs plus those of the people they had discarded before us). I was freaked. I hadn't been on an interview in years and had been plucked from my old job (right as my old company was bought out) by these guys (and had survived a couple of takeovers prior to this one).

So I signed up with a temp service my first day of vacation (because something in me said "don't trust these guys, they're liars." and by that afternoon I had three temp offers. Even though at the time I was deathly afraid of hospitals, I figured we would always need hospitals so I went with that one. I'm still there fifteen years later (different job, different hospital but same corporate family). Temps often turn to perm and it's a great way to try each other out. Blessings on your new job.

CynthiaMc said...

Brigid - my job was eliminated while I was on vacation. We saw that one coming because they had gotten rid of the 20-year people, then the fifteen. I was a ten. We had just been to a frantic company meeting where the powers that be looked us straight in the face and said "No, we're not laying anyone off, relax!" but they eliminated most of our jobs (which they eventually had to add back plus some once they figured out most of us had already been doing our jobs plus those of the people they had discarded before us). I was freaked. I hadn't been on an interview in years and had been plucked from my old job (right as my old company was bought out) by these guys (and had survived a couple of takeovers prior to this one).

So I signed up with a temp service my first day of vacation (because something in me said "don't trust these guys, they're liars." and by that afternoon I had three temp offers. Even though at the time I was deathly afraid of hospitals, I figured we would always need hospitals so I went with that one. I'm still there fifteen years later (different job, different hospital but same corporate family). Temps often turn to perm and it's a great way to try each other out. Blessings on your new job.

Janice Grinyer said...

Somewhere I have saved an envelope postmarked from a small town in northern central Wyoming that is addressed to "The Grinyers" . That's it, no address, no zip. We live in SE Montana, a totally different zip code.

But it arrived in time for us to go to a town hall dance we were invited to :)

We really do live in a remote area where everyone knows who lives where within a large radius, due to the fact that there are not many of us!

Oh, and we only get mail three times a week...