Friday, March 10, 2006
Adventures in Shipping
Sweet Corn, 2005, Oil on Panel, 16x16
I have two group shows coming up and usually I prefer to deliver the work in person. This gives me a chance to spend some time at the gallery, chat with the directors and discuss the work in the show. Unfortunately, I have scheduling conflicts this weekend and I can't take 5 hours (that is how long a round trip to anywhere is from here) to go to either gallery. So I have to ship the art this time.
Normally when we need to ship a package from up here in Hooterville - that is our nickname for where we live, referencing the Green Acres TV show from the sixties, for all you youngsters out there - we go to The Copy Shop. Like most businesses here it is multi faceted, besides shipping for UPS and Fed Ex, it does printing, faxing and sells greeting cards. In Hooterville, if I want to buy a book, I go to the bookstore that also sells fine jewelry and can fix my watch, or if I want to buy plants for the garden I go to the nursery, where I can also have a hamburger and ice cream if I'm hungry after. If I need a pair of shoes I can also pick up a nice serving dish or a cruet set at the same time. So when I went to The Copy Shop to ship the packages, I was a bit flustered to find out that they were closed until mid-March for remodeling. Where would I find a UPS drop? Should I visit the toy store? The video store, maybe the hair salon? I asked Mary Jo, who lives in the small town about 20 miles north of our house. She said the Ace Hardware on Main street. Of course! I can't believe I hadn't thought of the hardware store.
I went to the hardware store yesterday to ship my packages. I went in and asked the cashier, Debbie, If they had UPS pick up. She looked at me with surprise and then directed me to the service counter at the back of the store. I went down the aisle with the rubber boots and racks of farm clothing and waited at the counter for help. After a few minutes, Debbie came to do the paperwork. I was instantly reminded of the old Scooby-Doo episode at the amusement park where the old guy does everything at the park, takes the tickets, sells food, runs the rides. Anyway, Debbie was a pro, did the label and the forms efficiently. She asked if I had ever shipped anything by UPS (who hasn't at this point!?), and even though I said yes she very considerately explained the insurance procedures. When I told her I needed $1200 worth of insurance, she said "Must be an expensive portrait!" I wanted to say, ha, it should be way more but it's not because I am just starting out, no one knows me yet, I am a female artist and men almost always command higher prices, but I just laughed and said yes. She also very helpfully circled the tracking number in case I wasn't able to read: TRACKING#.
Debbie told me that I had to pay up at the cashier. I went and stood next to one of these while I waited for Debbie to come and ring up the total. The men next to me were discussing drill bits and hay seed and I wanted to laugh (I didn't-no need for Debbie to think I was crazy, heh) about standing in a farm/hardware/UPS store with my dyed red hair, black turtleneck and nose ring.
Yes, folks, that's right, the glamorous and exciting life and times of a NY artist.