Sometimes I blurt things out without thinking about what I’m saying. Then when the moment has passed and I’m alone, I think, “Oh, hell.”
Yesterday, I had a bout of Turrets in response to this guy: “So, have you published anything? And where can I find you?”
“I don’t give my information out.”
“Come’n, Amazon? Do you have anything on Amazon?”
“God! I hope not.”
“What?” **blink, blink ** with blank look of confusion on his face.
“I mean, I hope I never do.”
“Because I don’t believe in what they do, or that they benefit authors. Their sales and distribution, not to mention the copyright issues…***mumble, mumble***”
The guy walks away, unimpressed. And I feel like I’ve won, for there was no personal information forfeited. The guy also probably thinks I’m an asshole without any tact, but that’s okay considering I’d rather remain true to who I am, than paint an inaccurate picture of what they want to see.
Ever since I ordered a copy of Jack London’s Martin Eden online, and received a digital reprint riddled with grammatical errors, I have not given Amazon anymore of my business. Instead, I go downtown to my local bookstores, Longfellow and YES!, and see what they have in stock. If they don’t happen to carry what I’m looking for, I then order it through their distributor. It is quick, easy and I know the product I’m getting is what I want. Also, by doing this, I maintain relationships with the staff who work at these establishments and gain recommendations in the process.
The metaphor that can be used here, is this: I need a hammer to hang a picture. I don’t own a hammer, so I decide to seek one out. Instead of buying a brand new one at a Sears or Lowes that I’ll use for that one job, I borrow one from the neighbors. And in turn, a level of trust is established. They know I will return the tool and will be considerate of their things in the future.
Loyalty is a wonderful achievement. But it takes multiple parties to be on board with the exchange. It is not a one-sided agreement, built on convenience. It is having your expectations met time and time again, and being satisfied with the results.
Too bad that guy didn’t give me a fair chance to state my case. I bet I could’ve turned him on his head, seeing the jungle as well as the trees.