First Impressions, and a Bit of History

I’m kinda depressed as I begin this, isn’t that great? I actually haven’t felt depressed in a long time. I’ve handled myself pretty well. I’ve been pretty happy. I’ve been energetic. I love my wife. I love my soon-to-be-here daughter. I enjoy my cats’ presence. But I’ve always had a faint emptiness. A little hole that I kept from growing. There are moments, I guess, that make the hole grow really big. It’s those moments when I feel awful. When it just sucks. Those are the moments when my dark thoughts come in. Just moments ago I wondered what people close to me would feel if I was dead.

I lost my job today. Well, let’s be honest, it was never really a “job.” It was a way of making money, and a lot of it, actually. I published books to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Through KDP, you get payed for every page that gets read in your books. I think the amount per page is around… $0.005. Not a lot. However, you can make books of any size. Which leads to 3,000-5,000 page books. Now, you’re thinking who would want to read a book of that size all the way through? That’s the catch. Kindle lets you read your own books, and pays you for reading them. Sort of silly, but it worked. I could make $1,000 in two days. I didn’t actually get all of that $1,000. Some of it went to pay fees, and it was taxed, of course. But it was good money.

This past Saturday my wife and I were at a hotel on the southern border of Ohio. I read through my normal amount of books while we were there, and went about enjoying our vacation. When I came home, however, I was shocked to see that I received no reports of payment from those books. I messaged a friend of mine, who is very knowledgeable of Amazon Kindle and it’s policies. He did some research and came back with some somber news. Apparently, Kindle has now implemented a sort of timer in all Kindle ebooks. Basically what this means is that in order to receive payment for a page read, the reader has to stay on a single page for a certain amount of time before flipping to the next page. This really screws me over, as I can flip through a 5,000 page book in under three minutes. With this new policy, it would take days to finish a single book and get payed for it. Not worth it at all.

I have had plenty of bad experiences with being an employee. I have a hatred for employment that I cannot convey properly. My first experience was a landscaping job I hated with a passion.I was 14 years old and tasked with clearing out the woods around my boss’s rentable cabins. I was alone for 6-7 hours a day and expected to be responsible enough to do my work without stopping. Being a young, depressed individual, I developed a love for music. This helped me a lot through my life, but did nothing to prevent me from giving in to distractions. I eventually left that job out of embarrassment. I was not an effective worker, and my distractions led to getting myself into trouble.

My second job was in fast food. A Dairy Queen actually. I still look back at that job with a mixture of spite and longing. I miss the people. Not the job. I actually still have scars from brushing up against the ovens and fryers, cuts from washing stainless steel, etc. We had a good manager, her name was Connie. She kept things alive and always made sure that us high schoolers were okay. Our assistant manager was amusing. Skyler. He kept us on our toes all the time. You were never sure if he was going to lay back and laugh with you or crack his whip and order everyone to get back to work. I’ve actually had a lot of long talks with Skyler. He became a good friend, and we’ve helped each other with different problems we’ve had. Then Connie left. Skyler was leaving. I decided to leave before it happened. I didn’t say goodbye, I broke a girl’s heart, and lost good friends.

I graduated high school a year early, and began working at a production facility. America’s Best Bowstrings. This job, I liked. The people were good people. The job was bearable. I said to myself that I wouldn’t mind moving up in this job, maybe one day becoming a manager. It happened, though. And it sucked. My friends all quit at the same time to make their own bowstring business. We lost a lot of other people as well, but orders kept coming in and we were expected to fill them. I got promoted, like I wanted, but the boss was… a mess. Or perhaps I was the mess. I was constantly aiming to please him, but terrified of failing and making him mad. It cost me greatly and allowed him to take advantage of me. I finally stood up for myself and got demoted for it. So I walked out the next day.

That’s when I found Kindle.

It’s all been good, for a long time. Which is amazing. I used to be a depressed kid. I used to have inexplicable scars. I used to have friends talk me out of ending my life. I married the woman who saved my life time after time. I’ve been strong. I’ve been brave. I’ve even been cocky. I hope it stays that way.

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