After getting paid for a dozen stories or so recently, I decided to treat myself to a Kindle. I’ve actually been against this device in the past. One of my favorite pastimes is perusing new and used book stores, finding those gems and then finding just the right place for them on one of my 6 book shelves. But recently, I discovered the value of the e-book, and how it brings equality to publishing for unknown, independent writers. So a Kindle suddenly seemed like a good idea.
After some thought of what I could live with, and live without, I decided on the middle of the road model of the latest Kindle, which does have wi-fi, but does not have advertisements which the cheapest model delivers for about $20 less.
Somewhat uneasy about the purchase, I carefully pulled back the seal and unwrapped reader from the 100% recyclable packaging. I actually read the quick start manual, or at least glanced at it, plugged in the device and turned it on. The words that appeared on the welcome page seemed to float on the surface. Because I have a touch screen phone, out of habit, I tried to activate it somehow by touching various parts of the screen. Then, remembering the diagram in the quick start, I pressed a button on the side that advanced the pages for me. It took a moment or two to re-aquaint myself with a non-touch-screen device. It had no roller mouse just four directional arrows with a square select button in the middle which seemed almost quaint.
I already had a few books I was ready to load onto the device, but ran into a problem getting the WIFI to connect. After going through all the steps on the support page and a few described in forums, I finally broke down and called Customer Service for help. Not surprisingly, the Service Rep asked me to repeat all the steps I had already tried. I obliged, but got the feeling he thought I was just a silly woman who didn’t know how to deal with technology. Finally, when the device didn’t work even after completely resetting my WIFI without encryption, the Rep admitted that there must be something wrong with the device.
He gave his canned apologies, and I gave my insincere thanks and that was that. It just wasn’t meant to be. I carefully repackaged the device and the accessories I bought to return them first thing in the morning. Any device that causes that much stress isn’t worth my time and surely not worth my money. But in truth, it was the condescending service that really turned me off.
As a consultant, I often work with those who don’t know what I know. That’s why they hire me. But I like to think that the reason they like to work with me, is because I treat them with respect; respect of their person and of their knowledge. I’m OK with the fact that I know I don’t know it all. For me, every job is an opportunity to learn something else that I can then pass along to benefit the next client. If you get what you give, it behooves you to give something worthwhile.
Giving good service is essential for small businesses or independent contractors. And, knowing what I will and won’t tolerate is a good reminder of the expectations my clients have as well. I decided to bank my money I spent for an Android tablet instead. The Kindle App is free on Android and the tablet has a touch screen to boot.