Help Me Help You

April 21, 2018

Over the past few days, I’ve noticed a sheer lack of respect, or even consideration, for other people. I know that can be a pretty broad statement, but several things have really stuck with me and it’s bugging me beyond belief.

At work (yes, I still have a day job unfortunately…) on Wednesday, we had a customer appreciation day. It was busy, and a lot of our regular customers were there. While they were slappin’ high fives and hugging the other employees, they barely brushed my hand instead of shaking it, didn’t look me in the eye, and walked on by. These are the people that ask for specific employees on the phone just to ask if something is in stock, as if I’m so stupid I can’t do it myself.

Did I do something to piss them off? Do they just not adapt to change? I mean, I’ve been there for two years!

So yesterday I took one of these guys’ order. He was patient while I was checking the computer for a specific item that we never sell. I found it, printed out his claim slip, and he made some comment about how I don’t cut him a deal like everyone else. Look, prices are prices, so sorry I don’t break the rules and take money off for a customer we only see once a week, if that.

What do these people expect? I know it’s a competitive market out there, but seriously…I didn’t personally decide to screw you over.

Last night, I’m at a fast food place. The employees clearly don’t want to be there doing their jobs. So a lot of customers were receiving food made incorrectly, waiting way too long, and not even getting the right things they ordered. When someone finally asked to talk to the manager, they had to wait for the lady to come out of her office, grumbling about it, and deal with the problem that never should have happened.

7 PM on a Friday is a busy time at any restaurant. They signed up for this job, and sure, people are allowed to have a bad day. But how hard is it, really? Just to listen, take an order, read it back, and give someone their receipt—none of these things happened!

This week, I won a few ebay auctions. All from the same seller, so I paid right away and eagerly awaited my shipment. It arrived today! I still don’t have positive feedback—why? Oh, that’s right, they’re waiting for my feedback to determine what they say about me. Not how it works, folks, but what do you care? Well guess what else—one of the items is wrong!

I am totally forgiving on this. Of all the auctions that person was running, every item was in the same packaging, and from the same product line (miniatures, of course). But still, were they in that much of a hurry that they couldn’t read a few simple words on the package?

I emailed, and hopefully will get a response today. Not to be cynical, but I highly doubt it. (I also requested positive feedback, so we’ll see how that goes.)

Why do I make mention of this? Well, I’m just sick of people not fulfilling their end of the bargain. I’m sick of people acting like no one else matters but them. What ever happened to working together? What about banding together in face of all the horrible things going on in the world today?

Yep, I’m going to relate this to the struggle of a writer. Behold.

Back in November, I submitted a story to a fairly large publication. They pay well, and have a large readership. More than that, their website is phenomenal. I mean really, how many online magazines have shitty websites? It really detracts from the experience.

But I digress. On January 28th, I received an email from them. My story is being held for the next round of scrutinizing! That’s awesome—it might get published in that magazine! Happy me.

The big thing to remember with this was that it might take up to three months to hear back. 90 days. That would be on or around April 28th, would it not? Sorry, I suck at math, but let’s go with that. And isn’t April 28th a week from today?

I still haven’t heard from them. I honestly don’t think I will.

Their submission guidelines basically say not to contact them unless they have said to do so. If they’re not interested, and they don’t say this directly, but pretty much, they won’t get back to you.

There are a metric ton of publications like this. I’m not kidding—ask any writer.

Rude. Irritating. And a definitely lack of respect for their writers. Look, you made us wait all this time, and you’re not going to give us the common decency to let us know you don’t want our stories? Fine, we’ll just let other people know how you treat hard working writers, and that it might not be worth their time an effort to submit to you.

Petty? Sure. Immature? Of course. But at least I’m helping others. And it’s more than I can say for a lot of these publications. Because I care about more than just myself—I care about helping others, and making sure they know what they’re getting into.

Because if not for others to help, how would we get along in this world? Not very well, and that’s what frightens me the most.

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2 Responses to “Help Me Help You”

  1. Joe said

    As someone who worked for three lit mags, let me just offer that sometimes there isn’t enough time to her back to everyone when they think it’s convenient or appropriate. Two of the mags I worked for had a staff of 3 – 5 people handling hundreds, sometimes thousands, of submissions. No one, none of the editors, reviewers, slush pile readers were paid for our work. We did it in our free time and had other fulltime jobs to attend to.

    I only make this comment because this is a common gripe of yours.

    Have patience. Or if you can be patient, then start your own mag for you and your friends.

    • mykelen said

      I understand that, and thank you for your comment. What bugs me is that a lot of these mags don’t say up front they might not respond. And I have been thinking about starting my own thing, it’s just getting others to want to help out, but that’s a completely different topic of its own…

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