I submitted a brief report (2,000 words) to a high-indexed journal and after some five days sent an email stating that a preprint for the manuscript had been uploaded. A journal assistant replied he was to get back to me on the preprint as soon as they heard from the assigned editor (I thought: Whatever, it’s just a preprint notification.) However, after 20 days, there was no reply, and after a month, the manuscript was still at the With Editor stage.
I sent a short email to check whether an editor had been assigned and received the following reply: “Dear XY, Th editor has mailed to patience that he is working on the same. Best, XY” After the email, the status of the manuscript changed to "In Review". How would you interpret this?