October 5, 2007
My Tastes Are Either Too Mainstream or Too Obscure
Starting at Katsucon in February, I've been buying one volume a month of some mangas I like. Well, that's the theory anyway: The store I go to for my manga fix tends to not have some of the comics I'm looking for.
This used to mean I'd just buy two volumes of some of the comics that were there, which is why I'm on volume 3 of PhD: Phantasy Degree but have finished Chrono Crusade and am several volumes "ahead" on Rurouni Kenshin, Negima and Cromartie High School.
Last month I realized that I was just rewarding them for not having what I wanted. Especially after I added Full Metal Alchemist and Bleach to the list at Otakon, only to never find FMA and only one copy of Bleach since.
Frustrated, I went online to get the comics I'd missed that month: FMA and PhD. I also threw in a volume of Negima to catch it up to Kenshin and Cromartie. I placed that order on September 9th. None of these are rare -- and the site (Anime Wild) said each of the three was "in stock".
On September 25th (16 days later) the status of my order changed to "shipped". On the 27th the tracking number they provided me (US Mail) became active and told me the package was in Bell, CA. As of the 1st of October (22 days after the order was placed) it's still "in transit". Which could mean it gets delivered tomorrow, or that it fell behind a machine out in California.
Given that the USPS only provides updates "if available ... every evening" I doubt I'll learn anything until it shows up at my door. Which might actually happen before I make my next manga run. So much for the power of Teh Internets to pick up the slack when the brick-and-mortar outfits lay down on the job...
Update, 4 Oct 6:58 AM: Randomly checked when I woke up this morning, and it took five days (3 Oct) to get to Capitol Heights, MD. Taking a look at their site I see that the comics were shipped "USPS Standard", which only ought to take 5 days anyway. They also say that "[a]ll items that are in stock are shipped within 1-3 business days after an order is made." Unless they're shipped 18 days after.
Update, 6 Oct 11:25 AM: The mailman just delivered today's mail, and still no manga. Not even a "we tried to deliver but it wouldn't fit the mailbox" note. Someone could have walked here from Capitol Heights faster -- ZIP code to ZIP code is about 46 miles. Even the Pony Express was faster than this. In contrast, my electric bill made it here from Richmond in less than 48 hours.
Update, 7 Oct 1:14 PM: Well, that's interesting. Now it says it left Capitol Heights on the 6th. I wonder if that means they "tried" to deliver by leaving it at the 20121 post office and giving me the card, not even bothering to knock on my door, then neglecting to leave the card. It wouldn't surprise me since my dipshit mailman is in the habit of returning mail to the sender if my apartment number is missing, even though I'm pretty sure my spelling of my last name is unique in the county, never mind this building. But that's another rant and also involves people who don't add your apartment into their database even when you provide it for them.