Or rather, don't actually meet Andy, since I have no pictures of him to post online. Andy is my mailman. As most of you are aware, I work out of my home office, and so all of my mail, both business and personal, comes to the same place. My boyfriend and I also live in a cute little townhouse, which doesn't possess a large private mailbox of its own. Instead, we are #9 in the metal structure at the corner of the street. We have a tiny little compartment, wherein all our mail gets stuffed.
Now, this leads me to inform you of the following things:
1. Andy seems to think that partial manuscripts can happily be stuffed inside our little metal compartment. This is only possible by bending the envelope and the material inside it sideways. So if you are sending me anything less than a full manuscript, please be aware that it most likely will get bent. This isn't really a problem for me, since the pages are always in readable condition. But if you expect the return of your manuscript, it will most likely not return to you in the condition you sent it. For this reason, I highly advocate considering all the material you send to me as disposable. It makes my life and your life much easier.
2. For those pieces of mail that are too large to fit inside the metal compartment or on those days when I receive more mail than can fit inside the compartment, Andy is a kind soul. He parks his mail truck at the metal mail structure and then walks down the street to hand-deliver my extraneous pieces of mail. He and I have a system set up, whereby he opens the attractive, weatherproof Rubbermaid bin that lives outside my front door, and deposits inside my mail. Then, he can happily get back into the truck and drive away. He doesn't have to do this, but he is nice enough to save me having to make an extra trip to the post office to pick up my mail. Andy will be receiving some form of Christmas present.
3. This leads me to my third and final point regarding my mail delivery system. I have but one hard and fast rule: DO NOT SEND ME ANYTHING THAT REQUIRES A SIGNATURE FOR DELIVERY. There are two reasons for this; one, because I do not have a doorbell and if either Andy or a UPS/Fed Ex/DHL guy is knocking on my door for me to sign something, I usually will not hear it, being upstairs; two, I actually have a life. I am not home all the time. I go out to do errands--I go to get photocopies of manuscripts made or to the post office or to the supermarket; I also go and visit my mother and the dog quite often. And there are usually several days a week when I am in NYC, meeting with editors or with Lori, and so I am simply not home. So if you send me something that requires a signature, I will most likely NOT GET IT.
Are we all on the same page now? =)
This is the first of several informational posts about how I operate as an agent, and I figured it would be best to start with explaining the quirks of my mail delivery system, since I have been receiving some items of mail requiring a signature for delivery--it is a royal pain in the ass. Later today: The Number Game.