I was in a store this past weekend, buying contact lens solution, and got trapped in a claustrophobic situation. I was trying to crab-walk my way down the appropriate aisle, as two old women with a pronounced sense of entitlement blocked everything and carried on a lengthy conversation.
For a few seconds I was frozen, unable to move in either direction, and I noticed another conversation taking place a few feet to my left. Hello! A little circulating wouldn’t hurt. I’ve got my gut wedged into the Visine over here!! This second chit-chat session was between two employees of the store, and they were talking earnestly about some disagreement they’d had with a superior.
I began to eavesdrop, as I was stuck in this eye care department limbo-state, and they were acting as if their problem was a matter of national security.
“I told him we’re going to need to bring in risers, but he wants to go without them. I’ve been through these kinds of reconfiguration projects before, and this is his first time. But he knows more about it than everybody else. You know how he is. You can mark my words, though: we’re going to miss the deadline, AND we’ll be using risers. Just like I told him. Risers are the only solution to the problem. I’ve seen it TOO many times…”
He was speaking like he was in charge of protecting the president, but I’m pretty sure he was just helping to move shelving around in a retail store.
It’s easy to mock a person like that, but I sometimes catch myself doing it, too. I can get wrapped up in things that don’t mean jack shit, and start pontificating as if it’s an issue of grave importance. But I keep it to a minimum, and my jags are usually short-lived, because I can see the absurdity in it all. It usually doesn’t take long before I achieve a sense of perspective: This is some minor problem, inside a distribution center in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The sun isn’t fixin’ to explode.
But the thing is… those two guys very likely don’t see it the way I do. They probably don’t believe their conversation was absurd at all. I bet if I tracked them down right now, they’d start giving the speech, all over again, about “risers” and how they know how to manage a reconfiguration better than that college boy know-nothing. And they’d repeatedly remind me about their vast experience and expertise.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to do a good job. And I can certainly understand being irritated by some cocky jackass. But those guys weren’t making fun of him and calling him names (the preferred course of action), they were discussing it like the future of the human race was hanging in the balance.
I try not to live inside that tiny, tiny world. I’m not completely immune, but I make an effort. Unfortunately, I’m often surrounded by people who don’t subscribe to my way of thinking. Four nights a week, to be exact… But I’d better leave it at that. Ahem.
Please note: It’s a completely different thing to get irritated about people who can’t order correctly at a fast food restaurant, or the ones who back into parking spaces, or the idiots who start half their sentences with the word “So.” Those are universal affronts, that affect humanity at large. It’s apples and oranges…
The book is slowly becoming available at Barnes & Noble, and Amazon’s Kindle Store. There’s a gestation period where it appears at the sites, but is not yet being included in search results. That’s where we are right now. Information is still populating, and I’m sure it’ll be complete by this evening.
Yesterday I received a message from Amazon saying the production files for the physical book — the trade paperback — are good, and I ordered a proof copy. As soon as I have it, and give ’em a jittery thumbs-up, they’ll make it available for sale.
I’ll discuss this further, here or at the other site, but I’ve chosen a price of $3.99 for the e-book version, and $13.95 for the real book. Plenty of thought went into this, and I’ll explain it. Not today, but some other day.
Oh, and Apple has not replied to my application to be a vendor in their iBooks store. Again, I’ll hold my tongue. I love Apple products, but their “we’re different” attitude irritates me. It’s great to be different during the product development phase, and also while marketing. But sometimes it’s wise to just adopt the proven practices of other successful companies. Ya know?
The past two days have been chaos, and I’m going to post this update now, even though I’m not real happy with it. I need thirty more minutes, dammit!
I’ll see you guys again tomorrow.
Have a great day!