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What I Learned This Week – 12/8/13

This week I learned the hard way to put the customer’s purchase in the bag first, then the freebies we are supposed to give away.

At my retail job, if I were to do it as my boss does, I could easily ask someone 9 questions in a single transaction. NINE! Also, we have items we can give away to our customers. Sometimes these are flyers with the sales going on today or the designated charity info. They might also be free samples.

By the time I did all that, and remembered to check for the appropriate security features on his credit card, I completely forgot to put his purchase in the bag. And he didn’t even realize it til the next day, what with all the freebies in the bag INSTEAD of his purchase. I had his name. I notified other staff members. He got it back the next day.  I still feel terribly guilty about it.

Lazy Hippie Mama is always reminding us how servers/waiters/waitresses in restaurants do so much for us, even if in the end our meal still may come out from the kitchen wrong. I have noticed customers are getting grumpier with me in direct proportion to how soon Christmas Day will arrive.

I am not asking for tips (because that would be against the rules). But if the cashier at your store seems a little frazzled, cut them a little slack. They are not only trying to get your transaction right, but they are also getting slightly sweaty in the armpits as they are watching the line grow behind you. And the clerk is trying to be pleasant to everyone. If you decide that day to go off on the lack of electric scooters available, well, you are just making the clerks day a little bit worse. Ask for a comment card, fill it out, and be on your way.

A little peek at how all the magic happens...

A little peek at how all the magic happens…

This week I also learned that once I am done writing and editing my five book trilogy (Don’t ask, because I won’t explain it to you. Yet.), I do not want to get it traditionally published.

This week my asbestos friend and I went to a free program at the Ann Arbor District Library Traverwood Branch by Dan Johnson on how to revise and get your writing published. I had to take M, my three year old son with me. I was shocked and delighted that he played nicely and stayed quiet for the whole two hour PowerPoint program! When I told him he couldn’t talk because the man up at the front of the room was and a room full of people were listening to him, M would reply, “I want to talk.” But he seemed to understand and would be quiet for the next half hour until he started to make train noises again and I had to remind him why he could not.

Mr. Johnson talked about how you love the book you have created. And the people who might read it someday will love it. But all the people in between, such as agents and publishers, just see your creation as business.

And he recommended joining a writing group, where people could critique your writing and make it better. He said you should re-read your writing hundreds of time. You should cut scenes.

I have a weak soul. I can’t take a lot of criticism. I believe everything that I write is great on the first try (Yes, I realize I am delusional). I also try very hard to add in as much as possible to make my stories as long as possible. Why would I want to go back and cut that out?

Going to the program made me realize my end goal: To have my books out in the world for people to find and read, and to have a hard copy in my hand with my name on it, to feel a sense of accomplishment.

The first can be accomplished with an ebook. The second can be accomplished by ordering one or two boxes of my own self-published books. And it may end up not costing me anymore than an author would have to pay for self-promotion if they got a publishing deal with a small publisher.

I also figured out what the motivation was for my mean character to be mean. So that is good.

After a very depressing two hours, he ended with the statement below. I think maybe he should have started with it.

Write for love…or because you can’t not write.

One response

  1. I will totally be extra kind to the cashiers from now on. Not that I’ve been mean, I assure you, but I feel for you all. I’ll give an extra big smile and offer a stick of deodorant. How’s that sound? 😉

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