Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Writer????

by Bert Carson
"Bert Carson," I said.  "The writer?" He asked.
Last Friday, I sucked it up, took a deep breath and dialed the tech support number.  A computer answered.  No surprise there.  It explained to me that if I remained on the line the next available service representative would be with me in..." there was a pause followed by another computer with a slightly deeper voice, no doubt a male computer, who added, "eleven minutes."

Even though neither computer had asked me to make a selection indicating my best guess on which language the service representative would not be fluent in, I decided to invest eleven more minutes in the project that had already eaten two hours of my day without any indication I might be closer to a solution than I had been two hours earlier.

Eleven minutes and one more fuzzy pass through an indescribably bad piece of music which the Otis Elevator Company rejected forty years ago, a sparkling human voice came on the line with, "Hi, I'm Chris.  What's your name."

I figured Chris had my name in front of him on a monitor, but I decided not to mention that.  Instead, I took one more deep breath, thought the most relaxing thought I could think of, and said softly, "I'm Bert Carson."

At that point the script when out the window, and Chris exclaimed, "The writer?"

Candid Camera flashed through my mind, followed immediately by the thought, this has got to be a joke.  However my gut knew it wasn't a joke, and Chris confirmed that before I could respond.

"Mr. Carson, I've seen your books in a local bookstore."

As it turned out, Chris is from Palo Alto, a city I visited a number of times in the eleven years I was a professional  speaker.  At speaking events, I sold cassette tapes (a long time ago) and a book called Remember: An Encounter With Jesus Christ.  As Chris resolved my issues we talked about that book and the ones I've written since.

I gifted Chris with a Kindle copy of Another Place Another Time, and he told me that he was honored to have spoken with me.

In fact, if there were a way to measure honor in a situation like that, I'm sure it would confirm that I was the one most honored. I don't write to build name recognition, or with the idea that I might go viral, or tip over into a pool of money.  I write because I must write.

Still I have to admit it was nice to speak my name to a stranger, who lives three thousand miles away, and to hear immediately, "The writer?" and know that I was the one he meant.