I heard the cart wheel into my classroom. “The books are here!”
Looking up from my computer, I watched as my assistant teacher stood next to two much-anticipated brown boxes. The distinctive black Amazon tape brought relief to my entire being. Somehow, 12 copies of Sarah Weeks’ Save Me a Seat and 25 copies of Sharon Draper’s Out of My Mind had not gotten ordered, and our sixth grade teacher was about to launch a sixth grade Social Issues Book Club unit for the very first time. And the books were not here.
Realizing this the week prior, I had nervously approached our wonderful school office manager, Sue, on Friday. Was there any possible way we might be able to procure the books by next week? I had tentatively asked. “Yes,” she’d confidently responded. “Let’s see what we can do here.” Then she added, “We have Amazon.” While silently realizing that Amazon is deeply problematic in several invisible ways, I will admit to breathing a sigh of relief in that moment. I looked on eagerly as Sue began to work her clerical magic.
A few minutes later, the marvelous words arrived: “The books will be here Monday,” Sue informed me. “I’m out of school all of next week, but you should be all set.” All set, I thought. For only $14.07 rush shipping, we were all set.
Approaching the cart now stationed in my room Monday afternoon, I felt what might be described as mild exhiliration. What a world of technology and convenience we live in! I thought. This ordering oversight would now never have to be known- the books had arrived!
“Be careful, this one’s kinda heavy,” I heard my assistant teacher say, as she pointed to the larger of the two boxes. Having thrown my back out recently, I bent down cautiously to lift the two boxes up to a rickety table positioned near the back of my room. Yes, one definitely felt heavier. I decided to open the lighter box first. Nestled inside, like a dozen brilliant jewels, lay 12 copies of Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks. Fantastic. I shook my head in what felt like ecstatic disbelief, as a grin crossed my face.
Now to the second box. Tearing at the black Amazon tape, I pulled upward, revealing what appeared to be a white shrink-wrapped box hidden within the brown cardboard. “That’s odd,” I thought to myself. “I’ve never seen shrink-wrapped books before.” Clearly the box lay upside down, so carefully, I flipped it over.
There, now resting before me on the old brown table, lay 30 16-ounce cans of Zero Calorie Monster Energy drinks. No Out of My Mind. Energy Drinks.
Time to call Amazon customer service. And no Sue here. Yikes.