I wanted to put up a quick note on the shipment status of recent orders and subscriptions. Over the last month or so Uncivilized Books has gone through one of the most difficult times of our existence. All activity at the company pretty much slowed to a crawl or ground to a halt. There are a few reasons for that. I’m here to let you know what’s going on, and that we’re finally catching up on everything.
First, many of you probably don’t know that for the most part, Uncivilized Books is a one-man operation. It’s run by me, Tom Kaczynski. During normal times, I have help from interns and occasional freelancers to make sure I get everything done. Due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, we’ve had to isolate, our revenue dropped precipitously, and interns can only help with a limited set of tasks. Basically, we’re back to the where we started, Uncivilized Books is now just me, with some much needed help from Az Sperry (check out her cool personal work), our publishing assistant intern, who works limited hours remotely.
Second, about a month ago I started getting sick with what was at first an innocuous cough. It eventually developed into a full blown illness, with bloody coughing fits and the works. I slowly started to work a little less, to give myself some rest, thinking it was a simple cold, or at worst a flu. But symptoms kept intensifying and getting worse. Eventually, things got so bad, I had to stop working for a while and consult a doctor (remotely) who diagnosed a bad case of pneumonia, but also recommended a COVID-19 test, just in case. After a 10-day course of antibiotics, and a (thankfully) negative COVID test, I was ready to rejoin the world of the working.
At the beginning of last week I took the last antibiotics, started answering emails, and began to get our online orders moving… when protests broke out over the tragic death of George Floyd– (protests that I fully support). We happen to be located in Precinct 3, the very precinct that was that was responsible for the outrage. As you all know by now, the peaceful protests escalated (due to a variety of reasons, from police escalation and violent groups mixing with protesters) into full-blown multi-day riots. My office is only 3 blocks from the epicenter — from Precinct 3 — which burned down. Several other buildings in the neighborhood burned down as well, including two of our nearest and most used Post Offices. Due to toxic air caused by the fires, I evacuated the area for a couple of days. When I returned, the neighborhood, and indeed the whole city, were still under strict curfew, and frightened by the possibility of violence spreading to residential areas. I joined the neighborhood night patrols for a few days, as we tried to protect ourselves from a rash of unmarked cars cruising the streets looking for trouble. (If you’d like to see pictures of what my neighborhood looks like after the riots click here.)
Logistics Logistics Logistics
During all this time, and since the beginning of the year, we’ve been slowly transferring our online orders to a fulfilment company. The COVID pandemic and the events mentioned above slowed this process quite a bit. Some of the orders are still fulfilled by me directly, and some can go to our partner. We’re to the point when it can be close to automated, with much faster turn around. All the above events, and this logistics process, slowed everything down.
Return to Normal
I apologize for the delays, and lack of communication. At every point it seemed that we could finally get back on track, when another disaster struck. But we weather what comes, and Uncivilized is finally returning to something that can be called “normal”. We’re making a big push to get all the backed-up orders and subscriptions sent by the end of next week at the absolute latest. Look for a shipment email with tracking numbers from us. If you don’t receive a shipping notification by Friday next week (see update below), or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email us:
We’ve almost caught up with all orders. We encountered an unexpected communication glitch with our fulfillment partner that delayed some or portions of shipments somewhat. They assure us that the remaining orders should go out by EOD Monday. If you don’t receive a shipping notification by 6.16.20 let us know. Ginseng Roots subscribers: we’re still working through the issue #5 backlog. We expect to have it cleared by 6.23.20 at the latest. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email us:
Thank you for ordering our books and for your patience. Solidarity, and stay safe everyone!