Can you please call me ? No.

It was time for a new notebook yesterday. Not that I’ve been journaling nearly as much as I was from 2011 – 2014, Contravex is my journal now, but I finally finished the last Rhodia I had and decided that it was time to start a new dead tree scribble book. Flipping through the filled lines of yesteryear, the Quo Vadis notebook with Matisse’s Icarusi on the cover stood out among the rest for its easy readability. Without being able to recall whether I enjoyed actually writing in it or not, I let the full, flowing pages speak to that score and started digging for another Quo Vadis.

Out of habit, I searched Scamazon first and, surprise surprise, they were selling for $50 – 60.ii I couldn’t recall having paid that much originally, that just wouldn’t be like me, so I continued digging for another online retailer who carried these products in the A5 size. After rejecting a few US-based stores that wanted to change me a) in USD and b) as much for shipping as the product, I finally found Quo Vadis’ own Canadian website. “Aha!” I thought to myself, “this is it.”

Sure enough, it was, and the A5 notebooks were ~$20. Despite a garbage search function, I found what I was looking for and ordered two, one of which was apparently out of stock despite having been listed on the company’s website at the time of the order,iii which led to this unexpected and really rather unwarranted request this morning :

From : Carole ([redacted]
To : Pete (
Subject : Notebook RLH Maroon A5

Hi Mr. D :

Can you please call me at 1-800-[redacted] ext 110

Carole Thibeault
Service à la clientèle / Customer Service – Nouveau/New look!

To which I promptly replied :


I’d prefer to discuss this by e-mail if that’s alright. What seems to be the concern, is there something the matter with my recent order? If it’s simply a matter of the RLH Maroon A5 being out of stock, this would be a suitable replacement.

Pete D

To which she replied :

Okay will sub the modrian notebook

Thanks and have a nice day

Satisfied, contented, I closed :


That’s it. All told, maybe sixty seconds of my time was taken, mostly searching for a suitable replacement on their website. Had I dutifully obeyed Carole’s seemingly innocuous request, I would’ve had to stop what I was doing, pick up the phone, speak to some woman I’d never met, clarify the issue, hold her on the phone while I simultaneously small-talked and researched a replacement notebook, woken up half the house with my voice,iv and then, to add insult to injury, not have a written record of the conversation as evidence of the change order.

Can you see how that might go wrong ?

If you have control, if you have agency, this all might seem painfully obvious. But if you don’t, did you notice how easy, efficient, pleasant, and smart this interaction was ? So…

Can you please keep your savings in this here ‘retirement plan’ from which you will feel utterly stuck without materially being so ? Can you please publish all your thoughts on our censorable social mediatard platform ? Can you please keep this movement tracking ‘computer‘ on your person at all times ? Can you please donate some of your time, money, and emotional energy to help starving children in Africa ? Can you please take out a 30-year mortgage on an asset guaranteed to last no longer ? Can you please be less mean and more nice ?

“No.” The answer is quite simply “No.”

___ ___ ___

  1. What is it about this black-bodied, red-hearted, celestial image that draws me so ? I can recall having admired it since I was just a youth, no more than 10 or 11. It’s like I was born tragic or something!
  2. And, of course, now I see one for $20, shipped…
  3. Though, to Quo Vadis’ credit, the item has since been removed.
  4. Not that a Model M is quiet.

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  1. […] “Bitcoin Core” in battle, stashing your hard-earned cash in inflatable fiat stocks, or taking orders from customer service reps. […]

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