Our “factory” is a tiny sewing shop owned and run by a mother-daughter team. The daughter, Thao, runs the shop and is younger than me, incredibly on top of things, and has a great sense of humor and optimism. We communicate during crazy times mostly by text. This week was one of those crazy times — it’s always stressful the week before a photo shoot because something always goes unexpectedly wrong. Without fail.

This time everything was going great until Wednesday, the date our entire new spring sample collection was supposed to be shipped to me for the photo shoot on Saturday. Wed I got a call that it wouldn’t all get done. Eh, I figured, so we’ll have to overnight them on Thurs so they arrive Fri. We’re doing 3 photo shoots in different cities, and that’s 3 overnight mails, but during crunch times that happens.

Thurs at 3pm I got a call that the snaps still hadn’t arrived. What?!! They were supposed to have arrived on Monday. I tracked them — delivered Monday, but apparently not to her. She went on a hunt around her building to see who else might have them, but came up with nothing. I verified that if the packages went out Fri, Express Mail overnight would get them there Saturday morning for each of our locations, scheduled my shoot for 1:30, and hoped for the best.

Fri afternoon Thao called — she found the snaps! Hooray! She was working at top speed, but everything would get done. I breathed a sigh of relief and went prop shopping. Everything would be okay. At 5:02pm I got this text:

Thao: I missed them. Gah! By one minute. I kinda wanna cry right now.

There followed a crazy exchange where we tried to figure out what to do — who else is open later that could get the packages there before noon the next day? Is there another post office open later? Thao decided to drive to 30th Street — they’re open until 6. This is in downtown Philadelphia at rush hour. I waited full of suspense. At 5:52pm we had this final exchange:

Thao: Ok it’s sent! I feel like I was on the amazing race today

Me: Oh wow. I’m so sorry you had to do that, but HUGE thanks.

Thao: That’s all right. But let’s not do that again

Thao: Or I’m gonna get high blood pressure

Me: Me too! I got really sweaty.

Thao: Lol.

Thao: We could never be secret agents



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