There are some days that ought to be wiped from existence. The 15th of the month following a Quarter is one of those, especially if it falls on a Monday, and especially when what you find waiting for you on top of your dayplan are, not angry clients, not distressed customers, but somebody else’s customers all calling you for solutions to their wants and desires.
I’ve been pushing a certain service that’s young, but “under development.” I’ve been exceedingly patient. I’ve spent a good deal of time trying very hard to keep a positive attitude toward their repeated failures to “fix what’s broke.”
Well, it ain’t bein’ fixed, and the more tech savvy of us know clouds of billowing smoke being blown up our portals when we see, feel, and hear it. And where there’s smoke, you can bet there’s a fire, right? …Ah, yeah. Too true. And in this case, it’s getting a bit out of control. …And then there’s this smell.
I’m not the nicest person in the world when, my cup of work overflowing, someone then dumps a new load onto me, especially when that load is rancid-smelling. I’m not particularly pleasant when, having begged, pleaded, worked very hard to help, and gone out of my way to promote someone, what I find is that, for all my efforts, I receive nothing but stink in return…and having to pick up somebody else’s pieces — broken pieces. (Pass me the superglue, would you?) And then it gets even worse.
So, first off, what about this other guy’s customers who came to my door instead? Yeah, well that’s taken care of with a lot of effort and scramble, and help from some friends of a friend. But there’s this odd aftertaste I’ve woken up with when all is finally said and done. It’s the realization that, if you want something done, you do it yourself, no matter what, because you cannot depend on anyone else to do what they’ve promised.
For six solid months and more, I and others who have half a clue, have been mentioning issues over at this seemingly pretty, but actually smoky, smelly startup. And we’ve heard promises…and platitudes…and excuses, as one very canny artist named revad so succinctly put it. The bottom line? It doesn’t serve them to fix it. And the truth? There’s more cooking under the lid that stands out as REAL stinky — rigged search results, priority placement slanted toward those who make deals with management, cliques who get special privileges, and a lot of greasy palms that deliver special handling to those who make it onto their “preferred artist” list.
And everyone else?
‘Can pay the bills, thank you. But we won’t sell your art, so, if somebody wants it, you can do it yourself, from your own desk, shipping it out yourself to your customers’
…which means I must have it printed, then inspect it to make sure it is up to snuff, before it ever gets shipped out the door. After all, it’s my name on the line here. They are now buying from me direct, not a shop I engaged to provide me that service!
Well I never wanted to wind up being a print shop to sell my digital art to people who want it. That’s why I use a service, right? And I thought that I chose a really good one that offers what I consider to be the very best printing service on the Net. What I’ve found though, is that they do not have, nor do they plan to make is an equitable and benevolent Internet model for both artists and art consumers to use, and, when the results of this problem lands square in my lap, I’m not happy, especially when I’m told,
‘it’s your website that’s the problem. It’s too esoteric. You need to make your website like everyone else’s so they can see those nice tabs and buttons’
— this coming from a woman who claims she’s made a study of usability on the Net but who couldn’t code her way out of a broken link if her life depended on it and the usability of her own website sucks.
Well, thank you, but zentao.com is designed the way I want to to be — without a bunch of irritating junk cluttering its home page. zentao.com is NOT a commercial website that screams “Clearance sale, buy it here!” Nor is it intended to be any kind of sales venue. You won’t find “Buy It Here” buttons. You won’t find easy ways to spend your money. That’s because zentao.com is the website of an artist and designer, a guitar player, a martial artist, and someone who places value on caring, sharing, and, mostly, self-integrity and honor. That’s more than I can say for the stink under their rugs.