I called him on the 9th, to ask if he'd shipped the comics. He said he had that morning. By the 16th, they still hadn't arrived, so I called again. He said he didn't have the receipt with the tracking number with him, could I check in tomorrow. Sure.
The next day, he says he forgot it.
I try again on the 21st, because they still aren't here. I don't like bugging him so much, but hell, there's nothing I can do to fix the problem, and since he doesn't get paid until I get the books, you figure he'd want to know if there was a problem. That's what I tell myself, anyway. He says they were in St. Louis as of the 20th. Neither of us can explain why it took them over a week to travel only 100 miles, though he suggests maybe the box got damaged and set aside temporarily. He says call back on Friday (the 23rd) if they haven't arrived.
By the 23rd, they hadn't arrived, I call again. This time, he has the receipt in his car, and the tracking data says they'll be here the 26th. He says he can give me the tracking number if I'd like, though he seems reluctant.
I ask for the tracking number. When I try to enter it, it doesn't work, until I figure out the sequence of three consecutive 9s was actually 4. It does say the books will arrive on the 26th, but interestingly, it says the package was only received at the post office in Jackson (where he lives) that morning (the 23rd).
It's long been an internal debate of mine whether he's incompetent or lying. I suppose we still can't rule out incompetent, but lying was confirmed. The books did arrive today. Well, some of them. He missed more than a few from November, (plus Squirrel Girl's first issue) so that's going to make the remainder of this week a little awkward.
The thing is, I haven't sent him any of my orders for anything after January. I was waiting for the next shipment to send them back with the payment. I'm not on the hook for anything. Since he can't seem to remember to ship the books without me reminding him 5 times, I'm going to leave it in his hands. If he actually remembers to send them along in a month or so like we had agreed upon, swell. If not, OK then. There are other places that sell comics.
It isn't as though Jack, the guy he bought the store from, had a great track record of shipping on schedule. But when I would call Jack to ask if the books were on the way, he'd cop to it, and ship them out as soon as possible. I don't see the percentage in bullshitting me for a solid two weeks while he tries to get his act together. How the fuck long does it take to get a box of comics to the damn post office? Now I feel bad because I was thinking disparaging thoughts about the Postal Service, when it wasn't their fault.
2014 Comics Year In Review starts tomorrow.