Another thing that’s on my mind right now is the amount of time I spend online answering questions (and this is NOT to make anyone who has asked me a question lately feel guilty). I think I’m agitated about this right now because not only have a pulled a muscle in my wrist typing in the last week (HOW LAME IS THAT) but also in the last… oh… three weeks or so, I have received … ten Etsy messages. No, twelve. But two of them were only to tell me I have an item featured in a treasury.
Most of these messages, at least six of them, are people wanting to know about my neatly wrapped yarn cups. Someone apparently favorited a listing from November of 2011 when I was taking custom orders after being in that magazine (I didn’t know you could favorite sold items, but whatever) and now that sold item has been making the rounds. Again. Eighteen months later, or however long that’s been.
Now, in spite of the fact that I’m in a situation right now where I keep emailing someone to get information back, and get nothing but the sound of crickets, I still answer people when they contact me. Even though I am annoyed, and have a completely irrational moment of “MY questions aren’t being answered, why should I take the time for YOURS? Clearly *I* don’t matter, why should I give when I am not getting?” — and that’s not juvenile at all. Which is why I respond. And – in my opinion – I answer well. I thank them for taking the time to contact me. I acknowledge their question, I acknowledge any frustration they may have (for example, if they don’t realize that the custom order listing they are looking at was for March of 2012, not 2013, and was actually sold in November of 2011), and I construct an answer specific to their question, rather than copy/paste. If I have what they’re asking about (soap sets, yarn mugs, ceramic mermaids, whatever) I direct them to where they can find it on my new website, and then as a nod towards Etsy’s policy of not wanting you to admit you sell someplace other than Etsy, I offer to re-list the item on Etsy if they are uncomfortable purchasing on an unknown site.
Anyway. Out of those ten messages, one turned into a custom order, one wound up buying off my main site, one had a few more questions for me, and the last seven people just never got back to me. Never Got Back To Me. Not a “thank you”… not a “fuck you”… nothing. Crickets.
The custom order? That woman was lovely. Funny, excited, happy. The one who bought off my main site? Former Hanks customer, an out-of-towner who had found us on Ravelry when looking for an LYS when visiting her in-laws, and she was so excited to find me and find I had what she was looking for. I love that. No, really — interactions like that with people make my day; that’s what makes the hard work worth it. But the cricket people? What. The. Hell. I just don’t even.
What am I supposed to do with that?
What am I supposed to do with people who don’t answer?
What am I supposed to do with people who don’t answer me?
Obviously, me being me, I will continue to peck out the most professional and in-depth answers that I can, whenever I can, to whomever emails me. Because that’s how I am. That’s who I am. Part of me wants to email the people who don’t email me back (whether I’m answering them or asking them questions), and ask them, daily, “did you get this? Now? How about now? NOW?” … but part of me is just… so… very… tired. I wish I had a Magic Eight Ball which could tell me if the person is going to be a non-responder, so that I could just not even bother. But then… the chance! The chance of making someone happy, making someone’s day, making someone realize they can get something they thought they couldn’t… I love that. And I wouldn’t get that if I just… didn’t answer people. Without people, I wouldn’t have a job.