Wrong Answer: Waiting for E-mails

Answers flooded into my pocket all day. Is this the problem with too much connectivity?

Answers arrive at my doorstep, appear in my pocket and deposit themselves at my desk in quantity every day at all hours. Never am I so keenly aware of the tone or vibrate of their arrivals as when I await one in particular and all of the others show up first.
Never was I so keenly aware – like I said, of the tones and vibrates – as on Thursday.

I like two collectible items that have sort of merged lately: Books and gadgets. Whether or not e-readers are “gadgets,” per se, has yet to be decided. I personally don’t think so. Once you get out of the gadget awe that sets in the first few times you turn on your Kindle or nook (It’s lower-cased. Check the marketing documentation.), it becomes a portable library. Your e-reader is your book. Is your book also a gadget? No. And then, when you stop thinking of it as a gadget, the device loses its gadget magic and becomes easier to read. Just like that.

Having talked of the magic of the e-reader much with my Uncle Jeff here in New Smyrna (vacation post forthcoming), he espousing the glories of the Kindle while I defend the wondrous nook, we’ve been able to agree on a great many things, many of which don’t rely on what brand you use. He and I both like being at the beach and being able to buy a book without leaving the house or sandy backyard.

We didn’t touch on the negatives at all. Thursday, I experienced Eleventy-Billion of those negatives. You may have guessed, but, for those of you who haven’t, I’m talking e-mail promotions. From the Borders camp, a camp I don’t subscribe to e-reader-wise but do card promo-wise, they have picked up the promo pace in recent years to an average of several to many each week.

My phone chimes for each incoming e-mail. If it only chimed because I received a Borders promotion, it wouldn’t chime too often.

Due to my nook ownership, it chimes a little more often.

Dan has a nook? asks Barnes & Noble. He must want to know what’s going on in the world of e-readers. Sure I do, but I’d rather only know every other week or so. They think I want to know a little more often than that.

My phone continues to chime.

Gimme a break, bookstores. You won’t fail overnight. Thursday I continued to wait for one specific call or e-mail.

E-mails abound, though. As you well know, I’m looking for employment. Career Builder picked up on that nugget. It’s been years since I used that service, but you never get out completely just like with Facebook. Months after extricating yourself from that mess – a mess I still haven’t grown the balls to leave – friends will still see your picture mixed in with targeted ads to make them help bring you back to the Borg-ish fold.

I feel like this has been covered, though. I’m waiting for one thing but getting another.

My phone chimes ever more, and I jump a little higher at its tone.

My friends and family don’t make matters any better while I wait. E-mails, texts and calls all come in at regular intervals as if they’d gotten together with months or years of studies to plan exactly how long it takes for me to settle back in after being rousted from calm.

It’s been precisely 15 minutes since his last call. Who’s next? It must be Mom’s turn to call. Have you heard anything yet? she asks.

No, not yet.

Ok, ok. Let’s wait 15 minutes and let Megan go next.

Eric came over on Thursday. We hadn’t hung out too much since Meg and I moved back to the Midwest. Traveling about the Loop distracted me sufficiently for a time. He and I grabbed very tasty lunches and returned Meg’s library CDs.

Then he asked. He must have been in on it, too. Eric is go! I repeat, Eric is go! Did you hear anything yet?


When my battery started to beep and die, I only slightly panicked. Android is new to me. Oh, yeah. Hey, I got an Android phone, blog-followers. Hmm, what to say about that? I like it! There’s definitely a technique to managing battery power. Thursday I had not mastered that technique. With all of the calls, texts and e-mails coming in, it never stood a chance.

I plugged the phone in – U.S. Cellular’s only current Android, the Samsung Acclaim – and tried to leave it be. Begin the inevitable hovering.

The phone chimed with low-battery power amid the other communications.

The answers I sought arrived at 4:30 – right near the end of the business day. A resounding rejection, kindly put, in e-mail form.

Emily, and editor at The A.V. Club, told me that she had rooted for me. The cards just don’t fall in your direction sometimes. In my direction.

That’s OK, I reassured myself along with those calling, texting and e-mailing still. It was a long shot. You haven’t been looking for long. There were 500 applicants, and you made it further than many, many, many of them.

Answers flooded to me all day, answers to questions that nobody asked. Books? No, thanks. Wanna talk about it? Nope. Plug me in? Well, OK. I can do that. You’ll get more chimes.

Hrmph. Maybe not.


About Dan C
Likes: Games of the video kind, Spider-man, regional hot dogs Dislikes: Close talkers, people singing loudly in public while listening to headphones, yippy dogs

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