I really am living in the age of the internet. The convenience of it has spoiled me when it comes to shopping. Making a phone call to order something is now such a bother. And ordering from a catalogue? I remember when I used to do that. Seems like a million years ago. I’m not even sure what I used to order from catalogues. I suspect it was never a lot. I did place a few orders of comics that when I was a teenager. That’s how I acquired some back issues. I also ordered my duster from a catalogue too. That I remember. It’s falling apart these days but I’ve patched it and still continue to wear it.

Nowadays I get my mylar comic book bags and protective sleeves for my original comic art collection from a company that has a website but you have to phone them to place your order. Phone them during business hours from nine to five that is. I’ve been putting off doing it, not only because of the expense (these bags are not cheap), but because I have to make a phone call to order. Imagine that, a phone call is what I consider a hassle these days.

Most of my shopping is done at a local store or on the internet. I’m big on Amazon but I buy from a variety of sites. I just ordered a few really obscure comics from a site a friend recommended. I signed up with the site, logged on, found the comics I wanted, and then paid for them. No muss no fuss. Of course now the comics have to show up in my mailbox. I’ve ordered obscure comics before that have never showed up. Sometimes a site shows that they have the comics but they really don’t. But they don’t take your money when that happens so it’s disappointing but not robbery. Nobody likes to be robbed.

Recently I’ve had a bad consumer phone experience. In the last month and a half I’ve had to get on the phone a four times to try and get a part for my stationary bike. A V-Belt. Boy was that a waste of time. The belt broke on my stationary bike.That belt does what a chain does on a regular bike. But no problem, right? There is a sticker on the bike that gives me a number to call for parts. How convenient.

I called it. They charged me thirty five bucks for the wrong belt. I need a 46 inch V-Belt and they sent me a 50 inch flat belt. I called again. No problem they said they’ll send a new one as soon as they get it in. In two weeks. They even said that they’ll e-mail me when they send it. Two weeks later and no belt. I call a third time. Whoops, their bad, no problem they’ll second day air me the right one. Two days later I get the same 50 inch flat belt. I call a fourth time. The guy I get this time doesn’t get what the problem is. His manager says “Don’t worry. It turns into a V-Belt when you put it on”. What? It’s a magic transforming belt? According to the manager it is. He had no answer for how it was going to shrink 4 inches but the manager insisted they had no V-Belts as parts. I asked for my money back. I’m still going through that process. Let’s hope they don’t rob me.

I certainly don’t expect that level of nonsense when I order my comic bags. I’ve ordered from them many times before with no trouble but it still it takes a little preparation. I have to figure out which bags I need, what their order numbers are, how many I want, and I have to order during business hours. Even though I work from home that is usually when I’m working. I have to get business done during business hours.

It was actually easier to make a call during the day when I was working in an office. Then any excuse to take a few minutes break was a good one. And there are plenty of people to make sure you get back to work. Working alone at home you have to be self motivated and that is a spell that’s easily broken. Making calls to order stuff is more of an annoyance at home. It’s a weird thing. I got better things to do when taking a break at home. In the office there are never better things to do.

Most of my internet ordering gets done at night. After hours. Just like everyone else that’s when I have time to look around and see what’s there. Shuffle from page to page in search of some hard to find old thing that’s interesting in some way. You get pictures, descriptions, fast service (well, mostly) and all on my schedule. This whole phone thing is so 1990’s.