Tag Archives: shopping

Self-promotion for passive-aggressives

Photo credit: Maarten van den Heuvel @ mvdheuvel

Nothing to review today. My reading has slowed in the last couple days, which is not all bad. I’m trying to reduce my book spending, due to the current cutbacks.

Which will be exacerbated by the plumber’s appointment I had today. My kitchen faucet succumbed to the corrosive water we enjoy in Robbinsdale, and had to be replaced. I got the cheapest model they offered, but still… ouch.

Then out into the wide world and chill air, for a breathless visit to the drug store and the grocery store. Had my prescription filled at CVS. Later in the day, a somewhat pathetic e-mail showed up. Would I take a minute to fill out a form for them? Specifically, to indicate on a scale of one to ten how likely I am to recommend their enterprise to friends and family?

I don’t really want to fill it out. Because the truth would be cruel. I am somewhere between zero and one on that scale. Not because I dislike their stores. But because I can’t recall ever discussing drug store choices with any friend or family member. For some reason it just doesn’t come up. Maybe we’re atypical.

And in the back of my mind, the constant nagging voice of my inner publicist whispers: “This is what you should be doing, kid. If a big industry like CVS can send out plaintive appeals for affirmation, you can occasionally bug your fans about plugging your books and posting reviews on Amazon.”

Shut up, Nagging Publicist Voice. In these parts, we consider fishing for compliments a mark of weakness.

Then off to the grocery store. At checkout, the lady in front of me in line noticed I’d bought a Marie Callender Honey-Roasted Turkey meal. “Is that good?” she asked. “My husband and I eat a lot of that kind of meals, but we’re looking for something less bland than what we’ve been having.”

I told her I like it quite a bit, and don’t find it bland at all. (“Of course I’m Norwegian,” I should have added.)

Oddly enough, I had a similar conversation some years ago, at the same store, with a guy who told me how much he enjoyed that very same frozen meal. I agreed with him, and we shared a moment of social harmony, then went our separate ways.

In my world, that’s how promotion ought to be done. Not by intrusive tub-thumping, but by people just recommending things they like to each other, in the natural course of things. Even, unlikely as it seems, drug stores.

So when you plug my books, pretend it’s just natural. Thank you.