Okay, I get it. I’ve been slacking. I haven’t written a walking blog in eighteen days. I will admit I am glad to see the finish line up ahead. It’s time to move on to something new.
Monday I had full intentions of writing a blog, but I was having a day. You all know the kind of day I’m talking about. You have a list of things to do, just the usual shit of living in the 21st century. At the top of my list was: “Get License Plate at DMV.”
I had been to the registry a month ago to switch my expired New Hampshire registration to Florida but I didn’t have the title to my car. I was one payment away from owning it. I should have planned ahead and paid it off before my NH plates expired but I never have extra cash. Even after selling everything you own and downsizing, the bills just keep coming.
I also had to get blood work done for my annual physical. That required fasting. I can’t start the day very well without a cup of coffee, so I went there first. My promotion for Amazon’s Kindle Countdown was beginning at eight a.m. At the crack of eight, from the doctor’s waiting room, I started to Tweet, Facebook, and Instagram the promotion. Then it dawned on me. Better check the book’s page and make sure everything is copacetic. I’m dealing with a large corporation. Sure enough, the book was still $4.99 not 99 cents. And here I was advertising the sale to one and all.
To make matters worse, on Saturday I was at the Key Lime House in Lantana, selling books and handing out lots of cards, telling everyone about my Mother’s Day Sale on Amazon. I imagined thousands of people getting on the webpage at the crack of eight to buy the Kindle book for 99 cents. (Yes, I am delusional.)
Change of plans. I needed to get home and call Amazon.
Book Sale at the Key Lime House Lantana, FL
Two hours later, I still had no satisfaction. You can’t speak to someone live at KDP, Kindle Direct Publishing, but I managed to get through to a lovely girl at Amazon.com who deals with customer service on the buying books end of things. She felt bad for me. We wondered how many sales I was losing as we spoke. She forwarded my problem to KDP and said I would hear from them within 24 hours. I almost burst into tears. In 24 hours the book would be $1.99. Yes I realize that is a countup not a countdown, but I didn’t name the silly promotion.
I left the house and headed to the registry where the line was out the door, snaking down the sidewalk. Under my breath, I muttered “Fuck this” and left. My temporary plate was expiring the next day. I had to work in Pompano, a thirty minute drive from home, but didn’t really give a shit. I figured if I got stopped by a cop I’d just pull the old burst into tears thing. Besides, cops in Florida are way too busy with more important things like homicides.
Then something amazing happened. On the drive home from the registry, my friend Shana at Amazon called me back! She felt so bad for me, she went above and beyond the call of duty and got someone over at KDP to fix the price. It was now 99 cents. But, what about the sales I lost in the last three hours? Would someone following a link on Twitter check back in?
Or should I be asking, does anyone buy a book from a Tweet?
I stopped to get gas. A drunk couple at the pump in front of me couldn’t get their debit card to work. The disheveled wife screamed at the gas station employee sitting at the cash register behind a window in the convenience store.
“Get your ass out here and help us you m’f’***n a’hole.”
Her husband kicked the gas pump.
I decided I didn’t really need a full tank to get to Pompano tomorrow. Someone was waiting behind me so I carefully pulled my car around the irate drunk couple, then hit the accelerator for fear they’d end up pulling a gun and I’d be caught in the line of fire. Not that this was that kind of neighborhood. It’s a nice neighborhood, I was at the closest gas station to my apartment. I booted it out of there because this is the world we live in. A majority of people in America are packing heat, it is legal in Florida to stand your ground, and this is the new normal.
I decided it was time to go home, lock the door, and stay there until the day was over because this was clearly one of those days. But I had books to deliver to the Old Key Lime House. The owner read Take Me Home and liked it so much he asked me to sell my books in the gift shop. Yes! One book at a time! It was too busy on Saturday with the fishing derby going on, so he told to come back on Monday.
When I arrived, a hostess at the front desk told me the owner doesn’t work on Mondays. I turned around and went home, locked the door, put some music on, and spent the rest of the afternoon writing my third novel.
KDP finally sent me an email at three and said, “We are sorry to hear about your problem with the promotion but we just checked the price and it is set at 99 cents.” Yah, now it is! But it wasn’t this morning when the promotion began!
I wrote a letter explaining the three hour delay and my concern for the possible loss of sales. Around ten p.m. I received this, “I understand you have concerns…blah, blah, blah….It appears that network latency delayed the start of your promotion…blah, blah, blah….In cases of latency we are unable to do anything…..”
WTF? If anyone knows anything about network latency please let me know. It sounds bogus to me but I guess It Is What It is.
That is an expression Rich absolutely hates. “It Is What It Is.” He believes it is a lame excuse describing an individual’s defeatist attitude when dealing with something difficult. But, in the world we now live in “It Is What It Is” often comes out of my mouth because it covers an awful lot of bases. From dealing with Comcast to insurance companies to signing up for Affordable Healthcare to trying to get my tax return downloaded to the FAFSA form for the 7th time, rarely are there actual humans who help you. That is a fact. That Is What It Is.
Today I woke to a new day. I got to the registry when it opened. The line didn’t look promising but I had to get the license plate because I am working again on Thursday. It Is What It Is.
I got my number. G102. Within twenty minutes, I heard the automated voice. “G102, Station 7.” I barely had time to read a few pages of my book. I told the DMV lady I was all set, I’d done all the paperwork a month ago but didn’t have the title. She said “I know, I went outside with you to check the VIN.”
“That’s right. You changed your hair,” I said, remembering her now. “I like it.”
It was Shuntel from four weeks ago! A familiar face with unfamiliar purple hair, friendly service, and a thirty minute trip to the DMV. Things were looking up. Could this be the new It Is What It Is?
I am now back at home, finally writing a blog. A maintenance man is fixing our toilet. I lugged groceries up four flights of stairs because the elevator in our building is broken. My oldest daughter and her boyfriend are visiting. Last night we had a great BBQ at the pool.
We learn to take the good with the bad. I guess that’s the new normal. I also find wine helps.
P.S. TAKE ME HOME IS A $1.99 Until 5 P.M. TODAY MAY 6. CHECK IT OUT. IT’S COUNTING UP UNTIL THURSDAY.