Secret quonsar 2011 roundup December 29, 2011 6:11 AM   Subscribe

It's Secret quonsar Roundup Time! We're trying to make sure everyone gets their gift this year. Please check your email and respond if you have an email from us. If you have any questions talk to us Meanwhile, we thought we'd share some fun statistics and next steps.

  • We know that 225 people have received their gifts.
  • We know that USPS claims that 3 more people have received their gifts. Those recipients haven't answered our "Have you gotten your gift?" query, so we're taking the word of the USPS.
  • We know 31 gifts are definitely in transit right now.
  • There are 3 presents I think are good candidates for Lost in the Mail or Stolen.
  • We know that 8 gifts have probably arrived, but their recipients aren't home yet to verify it.
  • We know that 5 people are chronic non-repliers to their email provided, which puts them in danger of being banned next year if their gifts don't arrive real soon now.
  • We know that more than 50 people have not responded to emails sent since December 15 asking for status (Have you gotten your gift? or Your recipient indicated he hasn't gotten a gift. Help us figure out why!) We are giving some leeway due to the holidays and holiday travel but we need to hear from these people by next Wednesday.
We will begin re-assigning folks to our fabulous band of 20+ second chancers next week if we don't hear from senders, or can't work something out with senders. (If we've already arranged something with a sender and recipient with a delayed gift, that arrangement has primacy.)

If you haven't gotten a gift (and haven't told us already via email or metatalk) or are worried that your gift hasn't arrived (and have not heard from us or your secret quonsee), drop us a note at the secretquonsarswap gmail address. We'll try and track down some answers for you.

If you haven't sent your gift yet, please contact us.

Finally, the Thank You thread is still open.
posted by julen to MetaFilter-Related at 6:11 AM (49 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

While I've got the floor, these are the things I learned this year (so far):
  • People are generally kind, generous, and awesome. OR non-responsive. But mostly the other.
  • We need to emphasize the sending deadline and the budget better next year. It was easy to miss that key info in the announcement.
  • Always make many backups.
  • Encourage senders to reach out earlier if they are super-delayed or running late.
  • People get busy around Thanksgiving. A mailing list to be notified when secret quonsar signups are open would be a useful tool (done!)
  • I need to fix the mailing list signup verbiage so it uses ALL parts of generally acceptable grammar.
  • I would like to find a good predictive shipping estimator for folks - especially for folks who do international shipping at the holidays. Some mail folks in some regions are a lot less helpful than other folks in other regions, and it's a lot nicer to be able to say to a recipient, "Your gift will probably be there in three weeks" than to let them sit and wonder if they've been stiffed.
  • Crunchland and Phunniemee are awesome. (I knew it before, but now I have definitive proof. Their contributions to running this thing have made the swap inestimably better).
  • I would like to find a way to make it easier to track who has gotten gifts, without it being a pain in the neck for participants.
Moving to a gmail-based platform for doing this has been pretty easy, especially with Phunniemee pitching in during the early phase and Crunchland during the current phase. Between mail merges and scripting in the spreadsheet, we've managed to automate what we want and be direct and personal when we need to. I think this is a good model for the future.
posted by julen at 6:16 AM on December 29, 2011

Fascinating, and a great round-up! Congrats on a well-run program! Interested parties might want a peek at your spreadsheet and scripts and gmail setup, if you're amenable. ;)
posted by carsonb at 6:29 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Uninterested parties, on the other hand, will gleefully ignore it, regardless of your amenability.

Seriously, awesome job with Secret Quonsar! I'm still keeping an eager eye out for my late gift. The thoroughness and followthrough of the team is fantastic.

amenability ... that means being able to finish a prayer, right?
posted by owtytrof at 6:42 AM on December 29, 2011

All I know is that when my secret plan to take over the world comes to fruition (any day now), I'm getting julen & co. to run the show.
posted by taz (staff) at 6:43 AM on December 29, 2011 [3 favorites]

I was pretty excited to receive my gift until I opened the beautifully wrapped box to find a pile of dog shit inside. Does the spreadsheet say if my secret quonsar was joannemullen?
posted by gman at 6:44 AM on December 29, 2011

Great job guys! I love my diamond-studded iPad.

wait this isn't the Sharper Image forum
posted by griphus at 6:57 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

gman: " I opened the beautifully wrapped box to find a pile of dog shit inside."

Hey, I'll have you know that my prized, award-winning greyhounds processed that for you using only the finest cuts of organic meat! Plus I couldn't figure out how to set it on fire remotely when you opened it without pissing off the Department of Homeland Security.

Right about now I'm really hoping you're joking....
posted by zarq at 7:45 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

People are generally kind, generous, and awesome.

This times a bazillion. Just about everyone that I interacted with was excited and happy and wonderful. Reading and responding to the anonymizer emails was a lot of fun. You folks all rock. :)

Julen and Crunchland are doing the heavy lifting right now, dealing with potential scofflaws, so please email them back! Let them reap the giddy Quonsmas glee that I did at the beginning of the swap!
posted by phunniemee at 7:46 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Many thanks to julen and phunniemee and crunchland!

How about a Half Past Secret Quonsar in June?
Mostly joking. Mostly.
posted by Glinn at 7:54 AM on December 29, 2011

So impressed with your organizational job. I was really getting anxious about whether my SQ gift got there, but unlike the internet outfit through which I sent it, SQ organizers were back to me lickety split with the confirmation info plus some (alleged) happy SQ recipient remarks.

I do wish my SQ gift would arrive (assuming it is not beautifully digested organic greyhound poop) but that's sure not the fault of the organizers.
posted by bearwife at 9:15 AM on December 29, 2011

Thanks so much for putting this all together folks. Seeing the little ping ping ping of presents sent and received was a neat little thing to do over December.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:48 AM on December 29, 2011

Echoing the thanks to julen, phunniemee and crunchland - it's a lot of work to create this much fun for so many people, and I for one, am truly appreciative that you go to the trouble. Thank you.
posted by faineant at 9:56 AM on December 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

Okay, I'm really glad that I checked first and learned that Joannemullen was gone before I got all, "uh, you sure you wanna talk smack about her?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:31 AM on December 29, 2011

Echoing the thanks to julen, phunniemee and crunchland

Yup...chiming in here too with a big thumbs up.

Job very well done.
posted by lampshade at 11:00 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Just because someone's account is closed doesn't mean we should talk shit about them. This is a public place after all.
posted by shelleycat at 11:22 AM on December 29, 2011

Seriously. If people hadn't already replied to that comment, we would have axed it. Don't drag other users into threads where they're not participating, especially to talk smack about them. Thanks.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:31 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks so much for putting this together! Best Quansmas ever!
posted by JoanArkham at 11:35 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I got mine...(AWESOME!!) and sent mine out several weeks ago. I haven't heard anything...I don't need a public thanks but I do want to be sure they got it and don't feel forgotten. This is my first time, do I memail them? What is the etiquette here to be sure it arrived?
posted by pearlybob at 11:35 AM on December 29, 2011

Super impressed by how responsive and organized julen, phunniemee, and chrunchland have been throughout Quonsar season. THANK YOU for all you hard work in facilitating this event -- it's been so fun to read the thank you thread.
posted by mochapickle at 11:35 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

It all worked out well for me, got my gift promptly, and then received a nice memail from obloquy when she got my package.

Thanks for organising this, I'm looking forward to next year already.
posted by knapah at 11:50 AM on December 29, 2011

taz: "All I know is that when my secret plan to take over the world comes to fruition (any day now), I'm getting julen & co. to run the show."

I hope everyone likes kale.

Glinn: "How about a Half Past Secret Quonsar in June?"

Bite your tongue.

pearlybob: " What is the etiquette here to be sure it arrived?"

We're happy to ask on your behalf. Or you can go ahead and contact them directly. It's totally up to you. If you do contact him and he didn't get it and need some help from us, we'll do what we can.
posted by julen at 11:56 AM on December 29, 2011

I got a lovely sewing box from I don't know who! Thanks SQ! Thanks organizers!

(Did the "Have you gotten your gift?" query go out to everyone? I don't think I ever got it...)
posted by mollymayhem at 12:02 PM on December 29, 2011

I didn't get a confirmation email to reply to, but I both sent and received my quonsars.
posted by cmoj at 12:11 PM on December 29, 2011

New "Fun" Fact: There have been 5 packages returned to their senders for a 5 different reasons unless you count the general package service buttheadism as an all encompassing reason.

mollymayhem: "
(Did the "Have you gotten your gift?" query go out to everyone? I don't think I ever got it...)

It only went out to people whose status we didn't know. So if you posted in metatalk, told us in email, or posted it on twitter, we had already marked you as a yes in our received column.

So far I have found two mistakes we made in the Received column (marking 1 person as a yes and 1 person as a No, when we shouldn't have).

So if you didn't get a spiffy little email from us, but still didn't get a gift, drop us a line and tell us that you are stuck in a state of expectant quosarcisity, and we will do what we can to advance you in to gleeful quonsitude. (Good god, somebody stop me. Please. )

cmoj: "I didn't get a confirmation email to reply to, but I both sent and received my quonsars."

Your recipient is one of the 35 people left who has yet to respond to our "Did you get it?" email. So we don't know if it arrived, but we've added the fact that you sent it to the status column.
posted by julen at 12:31 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I, too, want to thank you guys. You were so responsive and wonderful it was really terrific. My gratitude for giving us this opportunity; it's another facet to this wonderful community.
posted by smoke at 2:16 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Were you supposed to confirm reception somehow? I indeed received mine, and it's going to turn me into a happy little secret alcoholic, but I didn't tell anyone besides the sender.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:16 PM on December 29, 2011

Actually you told me in memail, too. I believe I was bugging you about something or another.

That's why we didn't bother to pass you the spiffy "Did you get it? Did you get it? Did you get? Circle Yes or No!" note.
posted by julen at 5:25 PM on December 29, 2011

Hi, yeah, I'm pretty sure that I'm lost in your system somewhere. You are, I think, aware of the issues we had in getting my match to me. I have never gotten any emails from you, only communication through metatalk or Mefi mail seems to work for some reason. I did send my gift - I wasn't aware I was supposed to confirm it somewhere - but I never got anything (likely because I'm pretty sure I'm in some weird black hole in your database and was likely never matched).

I have to confess that I've been pretty disappointed with the whole process - what with all the communication difficulties. I probably won't play again (especially since I never got anything). I'm not quite sure what the issue was but I'm hoping I'm the only person that it happened to.

Sorry to be a downer in this celebration of coolness.
posted by anastasiav at 5:39 PM on December 29, 2011

Urgh. You were matched, and I'm going to find out what is going on with your gift. I'm sorry this has been so lousy an experience. In my mind we had fixed it, but apparently not! I'm so sorry.

Maybe your email address got corrupted in our db? I'll find out and send you a memail and mark your entry to use memail in the future. I can understand not wanting to do this again after your experience, though. So very frustrating. I should have been more on the ball. I am so sorry.
posted by julen at 5:48 PM on December 29, 2011

The Quonsar Organising Committee have done an outstanding job. Looking forward to my SQ gift arriving even if it is late (China Post, I'm looking at you), and was so happy to see the gift I sent prompted a delighted squee from my SQ.
posted by arcticseal at 5:52 PM on December 29, 2011

julen, no worries - if it helps, I sort of do what you're doing professionally, and I know how these things can go .... there are always one or two people who just end up with weirdness, despite all best efforts. I think you're doing a great job, if that matters at all.
posted by anastasiav at 5:56 PM on December 29, 2011

Great and very interesting round up, thanks! Also, it's been said, but I need to add my THANK YOU to julen, phunniemee, and crunchland for all of your hard work! Fantastic job!
posted by wiskunde at 6:01 PM on December 29, 2011

You guys rock at organizing this!

For the check mark of people who did or didn't send/receive gifts: How about another google docs survey?

Something like:

What is your Mefi Handle?
What is your Email Address?
Did you send your Giftee their Gift? Y/N
Have you received your gift from your SQ? Y/N

Then you wouldn't have to juggle a bajillion emails. Could just send out one mass email or post a thread here or both!

Also, my SQ whoever you are: I hope things are working out! Sorry to hear you've had a stressful December. :(
posted by royalsong at 6:56 PM on December 29, 2011

Thank you julen and crunchland and phunnimee for being SO AWESOME.

I will ply phunniemee with cookies (and appetizers and other foods!) this weekend in gratitude for everyone.

And I am already excited for next year.
posted by bibliogrrl at 7:25 PM on December 29, 2011

Thanks Julen, Phunnimee and Crunchland. Everything went swimmingly for this first timer. I appreciate all your efforts and look forward to next year.
posted by Cuke at 8:03 PM on December 29, 2011

Thank you guys for everything. It went very smoothly on my end!!
posted by cabingirl at 8:07 PM on December 29, 2011

I have to say, the google docs process kicks Elfster's butt. For me, this was an entirely delightful quonsmas.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:15 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I must thank julen's efforts and responsiveness (and the sheer enthusiasm of the emails which always puts a smile on my face) as I go through the postal service's equivalent of the Google nym wars - apparently they wanted a legitimate name and returned my gift to sender


*coughs, looks up and turns red at outburst*
posted by infini at 6:28 AM on December 30, 2011

More kudos to julen, phunnimee and crunchland!! Looking forward to Quonsmas 2012.
posted by angiep at 7:35 AM on December 30, 2011

oh, i am glad it came--honey was not over everything?
posted by PinkMoose at 3:23 PM on January 1, 2012

Since the thank you thread hit the 30 day threshold, feel free to post thank yous here!

We're still tracking folks down. Please check your email or memail for a note from us if you haven't heard that your recipient got their gift (or are paranoid). We'll be marking some folks as scofflaws on Thursday (you are in danger if there is a memail in your mailbox from me from about 15 minutes ago), which means those folks can't participate next year.
posted by julen at 7:32 AM on January 3, 2012

Thank you Katemonster! Quonsmas really is the most wondeful time of the year!
posted by Ghidorah at 7:04 PM on January 4, 2012

For the sake of the delivery timeframe/estimation thing, I received my gift here in Australia 10 days after the postmark indicates it was sent from New York. And because we're a day ahead, that might mean 9 days or 11 days, the whole time difference confuses the hell outta me. I think it's 9 days, because it's still the 5th there while it's the 6th there. I think. Yeah, that seems logical. I'm sticking with 9 days.

That's still a little quicker than normal - if I buy US products online, it usually takes about a fortnight for them to be delivered to me.

And the alphabet cards are so cute, I'm plotting a way to display them en masse, whoever-you-are. Thank you!

Now I'll go back to to biting my nails, waiting to hear if my giftee has received theirs.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 11:53 PM on January 5, 2012

Thank you, geneva uswazi! The cookies and keychains were perfect, and I am looking forward to trying the cake recipe.
posted by monopas at 2:36 PM on January 6, 2012

malibustacey9999, you can stop biting - I got it in the mail yesterday, and did a little squee when i figured out it was my SQ

I just sent you a memail before i saw this thread, it as absolutely spot on!
posted by darsh at 8:17 AM on January 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Your memail made my day, Darsh. Insert big smiley face here.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 12:40 AM on January 8, 2012

Coming in way late to show off the ridiculously witty gift sent by bondcliff.

Thanks so much! The label is fated to become a binder cover. The bin has already been put to good use. The batmonkey has had to spend some time divested of costume for the amusement of my Lil Sparkle, but that kind of made it even better - hard to find gifts that can be shared between us like that.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
posted by batmonkey at 5:52 PM on January 10, 2012

YAY YAY YAY! My mystery SQ's gift was sent on time but delayed by postal madness and finally arrived yesterday! I got a shiny sparkly bracelet that is absolutely THE MOST PERFECT color, a funny little animal pin that i immediately attached to the nearest scarf, a saucy kitchen magnet that I immediately attached to the nearest refrigerator, two sweet little notebooks in pink and coral, a neat little holographic pony ruler (they run! when you tilt it! yes!), and a darling recipe book for making cocktails. I love everything. I wish I knew who you are! THANK YOU!
posted by mochapickle at 10:39 PM on January 10, 2012

Will I get to be the last thank-you-sayer? The package was sent long before Christmas, but the mail was slow and I finally received it today! The box was a bit squashed - perhaps it was stuck under a conveyor belt for a few weeks - but everything made it, barring some buckling of the Liberty chocolate coin. Fodder for a poem that, the distorted-when-exported American ideal. My recent move left me without a teapot, and the one I got is really very cute! I'm sure the Vegas shot glass will come in handy as well. Thanks a lot readery!
posted by springload at 5:24 AM on January 13, 2012

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