Yesterday was one of those days when I felt like the kid in the class with the answer to the teacher’s question but, from the front desk up there, I was invisible. “Me! Me!” Me!” waving my hand frantically, “ME!!! Teacher! ME!!!!” The importance to this analogy ISN’T the teacher or having the answer. It’s the feeling of invisibility.
In a certain sense, you’re invisible when you’re not acknowledged when you should be (or want to be), but silence seems to be the way people deal with things these days. I’ve encountered it more and more often in the past 10 years. I don’t like saying disappointing stuff to people, I don’t like confrontation, but sometimes it’s necessary and very often it’s better to step up and say, “Sorry,” or “No,” or “We messed up.”
Yesterday a local landscaping company was was supposed to drop a ton of dirt in my driveway at 9. They set the date and the time, not me. I just agreed. I figured, given the nature of life here, it would be more like 10. Noon rolled around, no phone call and no dirt. I cancelled. It’s their loss, but…
Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours has STILL maintained silence over what’s going on with my $140. The tour was scheduled to END yesterday, and it hasn’t even started. I first contacted Amy Bruno, the director of this book tour site, last fall. She seemed enthusiastic, communicative, charming and and and set up a tour at the end of October and I paid — promptly.
Nothing happened. Ms. Bruno was unresponsive to every message I sent. Sure, I wanted a blog tour, but if it couldn’t happen, I would be happy with my money back, even if she deducted some for the work she did. $140 isn’t small change to me. I emailed and asked that the thing be cancelled and requested that she send back my money. She responded to that, saying she understood and would refund me ASAP. Two months passed; no refund. I then learned from Teddy Rose (a blog tour coordinator par excellance who works with a wide network of book bloggers and blog tour directors) that Amy had problems in her personal life, and as I believe in offering grace when I can, I told Amy to keep the money and suggested that we could run a tour in spring 2017 when her life got easier. She agreed. She set up a new tour for April 17 – May 5. I was very hopeful that this time it would happen.
It didn’t. I contacted her by email and Twitter to find out what was going on. She “Tweeted” back, “I’m emailing you.” No email, Nothing. Silence. I’m pissed.
The silence is what I’m most pissed at.
Is it so hard to pick up the phone and say, “Hey lady, we don’t have enough trucks to bring your dirt today? How’s next week sometime? We’ll call you when we’re ready.” I’d probably be cool with that — and if I were not then, at least I’d be able to say, “Sorry Dude, I need dirt now. Thanks anyway and I really appreciate your calling me to let me know!” I’d want to do bidness with them in the future. Instead, I was compelled to call, complain and cancel. I don’t like ANY of those activities. They lost money and a customer.
Same with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours! I’d rather hear, “Martha, no one wants to read your book” or “I’m having a hard time getting it going in time. What would you like to do?” than hear NOTHING until finally I’m aggrieved and feel that the only way to reach her is to leave a scathing comment on her webpage, which now I have done. Did I want to? No. But this makes no sense to me. Running blog tours is her livelihood. I don’t want to mess with that, but
Ultimately, I went to a local nursery and paid as much for half as much dirt as I would have paid for the ton, but it’s enough. I got to haul 500 pounds of soil into my back yard using the new wheelbarrow. I set up a wildflower garden half the size I’d planned. I have soil left over for another, for tomatoes and basil (my Caprese kit).
The blog tour is just something I’m going to have to write off, though I’m angry. I HATE being angry. Anger is an awful emotion that erodes happiness almost like no other. At least in sorrow you can find melancholy beauty and write tragical poems, but anger? I guess the only thing for me to do is get out there and move more dirt.