Last Saturday I participated at Lange Publisher’s author day at Avesta library. There were four authors who presented our books and before this day Lilith had sent me a book box. During the week between two different book events, I was at my sister’s near Västerås, which is why the package would also be delivered there.

On Friday morning we learned that the package had been delivered to Bring’s terminal in the said city already on Wednesday, but I had not received any notice of this. It had not been forwarded to the postman either. I then called Bring to try to find out what happened and if my package was on its way. After half an hour on the phone line, I finally got through and got to speak to a woman who informed me that “the package was stuck in the terminal”. I said I have to get my package today! She replied that she could not promise anything.

I then asked if I could personally come to the terminal and pick up the package myself. Then everything would be solved. But no, you can’t do that! Why, I don’t know. I rated Bring a zero in the follow-up customer survey on the phone and waited impatiently for a text message to ring on the phone, but it remained silent for the rest of the day. No package arrived.

Luckily, I already had the titles included in the package with me and the sales were modest, so it wasn’t a disaster. Our audience in Avesta was nice and listened to all four of us with interest. Overall, I think it was a very good day at Avesta library, an impression that improved when we were also offered sandwich cake during the break by the nice librarians.

Back home, I now learn that Bring does not in any way take responsibility for the packages that “get stuck” in their own terminal(!). Apparently, they put all the blame on the customer, i.e. Lange Publisher and me, which is convenient for them. But I wasn’t allowed to come and pick up the package. What does Bring think we should have done to fulfil our customer responsibility? Maybe I should have walked around the terminal and humbled myself before them until the walls fell? This is a question I leave to the modern mystics who understand today’s social system.

Because mystics have existed in all cultures and it is them people turned to when they did not understand the will of the gods or all the mysteries of existence. And packages that can get “stuck” in the terminal are a mystery to me. I am now thinking about whether my package will ever leave Bring’s terminal in Västerås. After all, its walls and its systems are intact. Is the book package stuck there for all time and eternity? Perhaps in the future, someone will unearth it in the depths of the terminal’s winding corridors and crypts. One will then ask why it never got off the ground. A whispering voice, like a restless wind, will then be heard among the dusty warehouse shelves. It is the evil ghost of the communications department who whispers: “Customer responsibility”.

Mattias is an author, editor and illustrator