Thursday, January 20, 2011


As you may have guessed from the title this post is not about yarn or knitting. If that is why you are here then you might want to come back later. However, this is a fairly entertaining story so you might just want to stick around.

About 3 months ago I started graduate school through an online university. In order to pay for this school I took out some hefty loans. As part of my loan package each quarter I get a book allowance that comes in advance of my actual tuition. There are, however, some stipulations to this. You have to have x amount over and above your tuition and it comes at this time or that and what have you. Well, for my first quarter and half (because I started mid-quarter for one my classes) I had the book allowance but it kind of came later than I expected. No big deal but I had to be mindful of this. Fast forward to the current quarter.

I spent most of Christmas break waiting for my book allowance to come but I wasn't sweating it too much because I knew it would probably come the week before classes. Well, the Thursday before classes came and I still didn't have my book allowance. I went to the school website and read over some of the fine print and realized that I wasn't going to get the allowance this quarter for one reason or another (I suspect that it's because I signed up for an extra class this quarter and will not have enough over the cost of tuition to get the extra money for the books). The reasoning doesn't really matter but now it's Thursday, classes start Sunday/Monday and I need my books. Well, I had to do some personal finances arranging but I was able to get the money into my account by Monday morning so I could get my books. A little late but before the end of the first week.

I placed the order for my books on Tuesday of last week and ordered 2 day air mail which meant they would be here by Thursday. Plenty of time to get done with my postings for the week. Well, last week was the week of the Snow-Storm-That-Lasted-A-Lifetime so this threw off the entire UPS delivery schedule. There is nothing I can do at this point so I grin and bear it and stalk the UPS site for several days waiting for my package to ship.

Monday of this week I see that my books are on a truck to be delivered by the end of the day. Hooray! I was in Athens for much of the day at a gymnastics meet (watching, not participating) but I was expecting to get the box when I got home. When I pulled up at 9:00 or so there was nothing at my door. No box, no note, nothing. I check the UPS site and there is now a note that says "Due to circumstances out of UPS' control your package will not be delivered today." What the what?!?! Despite almost losing it I take a deep breath and pull myself together. It will be here tomorrow for sure.

Tuesday comes and I have to go back to my regular 8-4 job :( When I come home I begin monitoring the parking lot for the UPS truck. I had a book study meeting with my friends at 7 so I was hoping to get the package before I had to leave. At 5:30 or so the UPS man arrives! Hooray! I sign off on the box (after he has an equipment malfunction with his scanner thingy) and decide to open the box before I head to dinner. This is what was inside.
That would be a soldering station. A temperature controlled soldering station at that. I had a serious "what the hell" moment. I even opened the box in case my two, 5 lb. textbooks were hiding inside.
Nope, just a soldering station. At this point I begin to flip the frack out. My classes have been in session for over a week and I still do not have my books. I have two discussion posting due the next night that were based solely off the texts. I. must. have. these. books. NOW!

I send an email to the bookstore and check my invoice (for the record, I definitely ordered textbooks). I wait about 30 seconds before I get impatient and jump on the bookstore's live chat (because of course there's no phone number listed). I explain to the lady what's happened. She can't believe it (welcome to my world, sister). She says she can overnight the books to me. They will be here on Thursday (because they won't ship until the next day, Wednesday). This is unacceptable to me. I ask for a refund and get put on "hold" for 20 minutes. During this time I have a meltdown, try to put on makeup, and attempt to get ready for dinner with friends. Finally she comes back. She has refunded my money so I can get the ebook versions instead. I thank her, order the books, leave, and meet my friends. After I got home I (praise the Lord) had no problems getting the ebooks to work. But I'm still not thrilled. I love the feel of books and being able to whip them off the shelf for reference whenever I need to. I like being able to flip back and forth between chapters quickly and easily. But this will do. Last night I was able to finish my discussion postings and at least now I won't fail because I don't have the books (if I fail it will be for other reasons but certainly not the books).

So, there you have it. The saga of the grad school books. I'll be ordering my textbooks for spring quarter next week.

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