No good deed
You’ve heard the phrase, “No good deed goes unpunished.”
Well, I haven’t exactly been punished this week, but I’ve certainly been frustrated, and all from trying to do a good deed.
Here’s the deal. I wrote an article for a magazine’s spring issue. It was kind of a challenge, because I haven’t been feeling all that “spring-ish” lately, what with the temperature at 392 degrees below zero. Anyway, I finally wrote about when I was young, long before the wonders of the Internet, how the first harbingers of spring were the seed catalogs, and I singled out one particular catalog. After I sent it off, my editor responded, wondering if a photo of the seed catalog’s cover would be a good idea. I sent an email off to the seed company, telling them of their good fortune - the chance to get some free advertising in a national magazine - all for only the cost of a seed catalog they’d be sending me anyway.
That was a little over three weeks ago. About one week ago, I heard from my editor again, wondering if I’d seen the catalog. I hadn’t.
Keep in mind, this was not my problem. My assignment was done; I was just trying to do these seed folks a favor. I sent an email to the address they gave for contacting them with problems. A guy called me later that day and when I explained the issue, he said he would hand address a catalog and mail it. He asked what address I wanted used. Since I was sitting in the dentist’s chair at the time, with a hygienist and dentist staring at me, I told him to look up the address himself. It’s a national magazine with a big office building, website, radio program, and Facebook page, so I was pretty sure he could find a mailing address.
A week later I heard again from my editor. No catalog.
I called the company because I’m not a quitter. A guy named Aaron answered. At least I think he said his name was Aaron, but he was speaking Hindi, so I wasn’t completely sure.
Now, I have nothing against catalog companies putting their call centers in other countries. I don’t know much about the trials and tribulations of big business, and I certainly have nothing against people in other countries having jobs. And since I barely speak one language, I shouldn’t mock someone who speaks at least two. Nevertheless, Aaron did not have a complete grasp of my request.
“I’ll send you a catalog,” he said.
“I don’t want a catalog.” I said. “The magazine I write for wants a catalog, to take a picture of the cover. It won’t cost your company anything, and it’ll be a good thing.”
“The new catalog came out just five days ago.”
“I don’t care if it’s the new catalog. I don’t care if it’s last year’s catalog. I don’t care if you send me any catalog of anytime in the past 100 years. I just want something that someone can take a picture of!”