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The Order of Meetings

Written by GCom on Sunday, January 28 2007 and posted in Features
By GCom I’ve a 2:00 appointment to sit down with a gentleman wanting me to sell a book. We’re going to sit down, discuss this deal. It’s a small press book from a creator who’s just getting out his first project. I’m talking to his ‘manager’, I think. They want me to give them shelf space for [...]

By GCom

I’ve a 2:00 appointment to sit down with a gentleman wanting me to sell a book.

We’re going to sit down, discuss this deal. It’s a small press book from a creator who’s just getting out his first project. I’m talking to his ‘manager’, I think. They want me to give them shelf space for this new book, but I want to talk particulars before I agree to anything.

I’ve done this frequently. Sometimes I break even, often I loose money. I still keep letting it happen though, because everyone deserves a shot, especially in this industry. If I can give someone a hand, I do it.

I arrange my day to make space for this meeting. I figure if I give up some of my lunch-time, and take care of some workload in a slightly rushed-manner, I can spare an hour. If the meeting is over in less than an hour, then I get to eat!

At 1:50 or so I’m out on my store floor and looking out the display window. There’s a gent in a motorcycle jacket and jeans pacing back and forth on the sidewalk having a conversation on his cell phone. I make small talk with a couple of people until I notice it’s 2:07.

At 2:10 I sit down at the front workdesk and watch a little TV. An episode of Angel was on. Eh, I’d seen it already.

2:13, and my fingernails were now very clean, as well as being slightly gnawed on.

2:14 lands, and in walks the gent in the motorcycle jacket. He greets the Filthy Assistant when he’s given a “Hello” and proceeds to wander about the store.

2:18 sticks its tongue out at me. I decide to start browsing local menus and get something to eat.

2:23. A Southwest chicken wrap is ordered from the place across the street. Nummers!

2: 25. Wow, the girl walking by outside was HOT!

2:28. Discussion of the HOT girl who walked by concludes.

2:29 Motorcycle jacket-guy walks up to the checkout desk. “Hi. I’m here to see Jerry.”
“There’s no Jerry here, I’m sorry.” says the Filthy Assistant. I’m nearby because the HOT girl might walk by again, and I’m listening in because sometimes people get my name slightly wrong.
Motorcycle Jacket-Guy says “Umm… I’m s’posd to meet Jerry here at two to tawk about a book…”
I look at my watch real quick and confirm that yes, this guy is late. Wait, hasn’t he been walking around for a while?
“You mean Gary. He…” starts the Filthy Assistant.
“Yeh. Him.” Says Motorcycle Jacket-Guy, cutting off my Filthy Assistant.
“I’m Gary.” I say while striding forward and smiling.
Motorcycle Jacket-Guy lowers his fly-sunglasses to the bridge of his nose and looks at me over the top. “Yeh. Hey. How yeh doin’?”
“I do well.” I say as I extend my hand for a handshake.
Motorcycle Jacket-Guy pushes his sunglasses back to the proper point and shakes my hand. Limp and fast handshake. Two pumps.
“Yeh. Well, here’s what we got. It’s…” starts Motorcycle Jacket-Guy as suddenly his pants sound an alarm.
“Pard’n me.” says Motorcycle Jacket-Guy as he reaches behind his back and pulls out his cell phone.
I stand at ease as I wait for him to get off the phone and talk to me.
“Yeh. Hey Jan!…. yeh….no, I’m in…. no…. yeh… no, not ‘till he pays for it….” Was the start of his conversation with someone somewhere else.
Some small amount of time went by. I started to fidget. Motorcycle Jacket-Guy notices me, and turns around so he doesn’t have to see me. His conversation with the tiny box continues.
Time passes. I need to go get my food, but we’re running out of time. Will this guy get off the phone soon?
“… yeh! No, it was jus’ funny! Thinkin’ we’ll do that was jus’ funny is all… yeh…”
I go and get lunch.
I return. The conversation with the tiny metal thing continues.
I look to the Filthy Assistant for any information, but he’s busy wit a customer. I travel through the store to my office, put down the bag with my food in it, and head back to the front so I can hopefully get this meeting started.
I walk up to Motorcycle Jacket-Guy from his side and deliberately pose myself with a slightly annoyed look. He sees me and turns to face the other direction.
“… no, we ca do that. We jus gotta get…”
I turn and do some inane busywork for a couple of minutes. *sigh*
Suddenly, it happens! “Yeh, well, I’ll tawk to ya later. I got a ‘ting. Yeh. Yeh. You too.” says Motorcycle Jacket-Guy as he thumbs a button on his phone and concludes his conversation! Yes! Now we can get to it!
Then he presses a couple of more buttons and puts the cell phone to his ear. A few seconds later he says “Yeh. Hey, this is me. Yeh, whattaya doin’? Oh yeh?…”

I went back to my office and ate. I cruised around the ‘Net a little, checking some work-related sites. I went and brushed my teeth.

I stroll back out to the front of the store. Motorcycle Jacket-Guy is still on the phone, but now he’s got a book spread out on a display shelf and is leafing through it as he talks on his parasite.
“… we gotta get over there an’ get some. We take care ‘o that, an’ then we can start on that car. Yeh…. Do they? Cool! Yeh!…”

At about 3:22 Motorcycle Jacket-Guy finishes his third phone conversation. He puts away his phone and turns to me as I sit at the front workdesk. He strides over, and pulls out a rolled up book out of what I assume was his belt. He tosses it down onto the desk in front of me.
“Anyway,…” starts Motorcycle Jacket-Guy, “This is th’ book.”
Sitting up in the chair, I look at the book, devoting a further 3 seconds of thought to what comes next. I placed my index finger on the book and pushed it back to Motorcycle Jacket-Guy as he was sitting down on the other side of the desk.
“Not interested.” I stated flatly.
“What?” asked Motorcycle Jacket-Guy as he peered at me over his sunglasses. What’s the point to wearing those things inside if you aren’t going to look through them?
“Sorry. Something’s come up.” I said as I looked him in the eye and moved around the desk to get to the phone.
Motorcycle Jacket-Guy looked at the book on the desk, then at me, then at the Filthy Assistant, then at me again. At this point I was dialing on the long-corded phone.
Someone on the other end of the line picked up. “Hello?” said a female voice.
“Hi Mom!” I started with.

Later I contacted the creator of the book. I told him that if he wanted me to carry his book, he better meet with me himself. When he asked what was wrong, I simply stated I was unhappy with my meeting with his manager.

The book did okay. It got a write-up in the local newspaper and in the local university paper. I sold a few copies to friends of the creator. All-in-all, it ended well.


To discuss.

Posted originally: 2007-01-28 00:36:51

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