Not My Thing Five

So my phone rings.

It's a number I don't recognize, but it's local, which I always have to answer, cause it could be a booking agent, and when the booking agents are making phone calls, the first musician to answer, gets the gig.

But it wasn't a booking agent, it was Guitar Center.

I had filled out a customer service survey on a piece of equipment I'd just bought and won a $50 coupon for my next purchase.

Very cool, except for one thing, I don't use coupons.

I'm just not a coupon kinda guy.

Coupons are not, shall we say, my kinda thing.

If the product I want is not available at the price I'm willing to pay, then I don't want that product.

Pretty simple stuff.

But $50 is $50.

And I kinda need things from Guitar Center on a regular basis.

Like guitar strings.

Mostly guitar strings.

So I printed up the email coupon they sent me and put it on my piano for future perusal.

So yesterday I noticed that the expiration date for the $50 was going to be today. Hmmm. That puts me in a bit of a conundrum, cause I don't like using coupons, but if I got my ass in gear right this second I could go get enough guitar strings to last me all summer.

For practically free.


And while I was standing at the counter picking up five sets of my favorite strings, a thought occurred to me that not being a "Coupon Kinda Guy" was kinda frigging ridiculous.

Especially when driving two hundred miles to play a show for tips and two free beers.

Singer/songwriter economics are really screwy like that.

So I guess, if there is no possible chance that logic plays into my dismissal of coupons, then it must be a total ego thing.

Which is nice to have, if you can afford one, but the other part of singer/songwriter economics is that you really really cannot afford an ego.

Confidence, yes, ego, no.

So I'm a coupon guy now.

Which made me think of all the things that are not my "kinda things" that I'm slowly having to learn.

Number One:
Talking on the telephone. Don't know why this makes me feel so weird, I think it has something to do with lack of body language when you're not talking to someone face to face, or it could be that half a second delay between you talking and them hearing, but for some stupid reason I hate talking on the phone. Even just shooting the shit with friends and family, I pace about the house, use violent hand gestures and scratch my butt way too much to be healthy.

Number Two:
Writing Emails. Yeah right, cause it's not like I'm writing all day every day. But I can never seem to make emails flow correctly. Back in my retail days, I would write at least two versions of an email, the first being the "Let me give you a real piece of my mind" and the second being, how can I convey my feelings in a professional matter. Then there would be the funny one, but not too funny, dry, but not humorless, it could take me an hour to dash off a sales report. Now, of course, I have to write fifty emails a week that are all of those things and personal at the same time. Hrumph.

Number Three:
Marketing. I've always believed people go into marketing because there was too much reading involved in an english lit degree. But, guess what? I'm terrible at it. And now, there's only me to blame if something doesn't sell. Grrr.

Number Four:
Style. Now, you wold sorta think that someone with my level of narcissism would lavish tons upon tons of energy on good clothes and fantastic shoes and expensive hand creams, but I've just never given my look any serious thought. My wife this morning was like "You really need a hair cut." and I'm like "Lets wait till I have a gig or something" I really want to spend my life in sweat shorts and old tee-shirts. What do you think the chances of bringing in the couch potato look would be? Zero? But there is a chance?

Number Five:
Going Out. The whole reason I have a house is because I don't like going other places. I don't like over paying for beer, I don't like trying to have conversation with friends when it's too loud, and I hate finding a sitter (Which is ridiculously easy cause I have two grandmas within bicycle distance) And now, as a chosen part of my professional life, I am spending hours a day begging to play at the places I couldn't be dragged to a year earlier. Huh?

Well, at least thanks to singer/songwriter economics, the free beer is reasonably priced.

Sometimes, I think, success, in anything you do, is just learning how to get out of your own damn way.

Have a lovely weekend, all y'all, and don't forget to check out some upcoming shows.

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