Do you like to laugh?

Do you like to laugh?

I can say with excitement that my book is NOW available…please shop local, eat local, and buy local when you can.  Support local people [artists, authors, programmers, etc], local places/businesses [computer repair shops, banks, clothing boutiques, etc], and local food options [grocery stores, restaurants, farmers markets, etc].  Having said that, I truly hope you will consider buying and reading my book.  I hope you find the lessons I share to be fun, funny, and most of all inspire you to volunteer (when you can) and give back to your community and the people in it, in little ways or big ways.  While my name is on the cover of the book, the life lessons (that I have learned and shared) are thanks to the many people who have taught me something along the way.  And, here’s one of the lessons I shared in the book which I just happened to experience again this week!

This entire book process has been a new learning experience for me.  Sometimes stressful, sometimes challenging, but mostly fun because it’s a completely new realm and new learning curve and that’s pretty cool.  As a new experience, I had to learn how to go about putting together a book cover, how to buy ISBNs, where to find an editor, how to sell on a website, and now how to ship books.  I was lucky enough to have an amazing mentor who helped answer many of these questions, and for that I am truly grateful that Craig Lindvahl helped me along the way.  I had to consider:  Should I ship using the United States Postal Service?  Should I use a more specialty service such as FedEx, DHL, or UPS?  What will be most efficient for my customers?  Which would they prefer?  Or should I just buy a personal drone and ‘hand deliver’ books to my customers?  Yea right, I’m just kidding about that last one!

As I was figuring out the complexity of shipping and how to determine prices for shipping, I contacted several shipping providers to help me (or at least to request information), one being the United States Postal Service (USPS).  After all, I am a small business so I have to be realistic and efficient on my costs as well.  I called and spoke to a young man from USPS one afternoon and left a message and then for the next three weeks we played phone tag, leaving messages for each other until finally last week I got through and reached him!  What I didn’t realize is that our conversation would turn into one of the very stories that I included in the book, and it was a funny one at that!

He started talking to me about shipping with USPS, costs of shipping, how flat-rate shipping works (because shipping isn’t as easy as it may seem).  Different costs to different locations, different options, different lengths, and trying to decide what flat-rate to charge can be confusing.  The flat-rate boxes and envelopes are around $7.15 which seemed too high for customers and the lowest was around $2.75 – $3.75 for many places (which covered shipping, but not the packaging, labels, invoices, etc).  Enough about that jargon.  It was decided it would be best for me to purchase supplies and then ship from a physical USPS location.  As he was typing up info to send to me via email he asked if I had time for him to tell me a quick story.  I said sure, I had a moment to listen.  What proceeded was hilarious!

He said, “When we get customers that ask for assistance with shipping and other services through USPS, either myself or someone else that I work with in the office usually tries to get general info on what their business needs are before we call them back.”  One day, my assistant/co-worker called to give me your information and I asked have you looked her up yet and gotten general details on what she might need.  She told me she hadn’t had a chance and I said don’t worry about it, I can look her up and get what I need before I call her back.  So, I went and looked you up online and typed in ‘Jenna Jamieson’ and yea, something different came up.  I went back to your name to make sure I spelled it correctly.  Yep, I had spelled it correctly and there is a letter difference.  I said, “Yea, you got the porn star, right?  The famous porn star from the ’90s.”  I went on to say, “When I was in school, she was famous and depending on your age, you probably can recall her.”  He said, “Yea, the one letter difference still brought her up and I knew who she was.  Maybe that will actually help with your book sales.”  That’s when the laughing commenced.  I said, “Maybe you can remember me by the whiskey instead.”  You can read more about my name and it’s meaning in my book, Giving Back: Lessons from an adopted immigrant on why a happy life is about helping others.

Hope you got a few laughs out of that story!  Find more laughs and other raw emotions when you read my book!

~jj

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