At the last Saturday Staff Meeting I got bamboozled. We were having some AF cigars which should have been a red flag. Why would they bring Fuentes when I just got admonished again for not updating Stogie Report as often as I should? Now that I look back on it, red flags were going up all over the place. It was like a May Day Parade, but I was busy eyeballing those couple extra cigars that were left on the table and I was formulating a plan to snag them.
You know, keeping that site updated is harder than it looks. The computer form I have to fill out changed. It has something to do with a new version of gobbledygook that I never heard of before. It used to be easy to fill in the blank, but now it’s not so easy. If I make any little tiny mistake I can’t just fix it, I have to delete everything and start over. What kind of stupid [expletive deleted] is that? Not only that but Phil gets the Press Releases, not me. He sends them to me over the email but a lot of times I don’t click on them because when I see it’s from him I’m afraid he is going to ask me to do something.
So the usual order of business comes up. How many people are going on the site, how many times they are clicking on junk. Booooring! By the way, my column is one of the most read things on the magazine, after the articles and some of the YouTube stuff, that is. The Calendar doesn’t get all that many views but I think people are looking at it but not clicking on each individual item, That’s no big deal.
Then they started going around the room, saying what everyone got done and handing out jobs. The kid fixed the Directory. The string of something was messed up and now when you click on a name another page opens with the channel on it instead of having to go back and forth off the site. Jensen has contacted a bunch of Marketing people and has a plan to establish some contacts. God only knows for what reason. Maybe they are all going to have a picnic over the summer. I don’t care as long as I don’t have to call anyone.
There was one more thing the Kid was working on, an eBay link. In an attempt to diversify our income stream, they made the last little piece of the magazine, way down at the bottom corner by me, a link to the eBay store. It’s actually pretty cool. It shows 3 or 4 pipes that are for sale on the eBay site. Or do you say for auction? Some you bid on and some you buy, I’m not sure exactly how it works. If someone clicks on them and buys the pipe we get a dollar, or some percentage. Not a bad deal.
There is some way the computer decides which pipes are shown. According to those guys, the way it works stinks. The way it filters and the kinds of stuff we want to have it show up doesn’t exactly work the way they want it to. I guess somebody has to go in there and put a new link in everyday to keep it up to date. At least until they can figure out how to make it work on its own. What a royal pain in the [expletive deleted]. I wouldn’t want to be the sucker that has to . . . that’s when I realized everyone was looking at me. At first I didn’t know why, but then it dawned on me, they had already decided who that sucker was going to be and I didn’t like it.
They showed me how to do it and kept saying “Bill, it’s so easy”. You have to use a “Link Generator”. Just fill in these 240 blanks and press the button. Well, it’s not 240 but it’s not exactly simple either. When it pops up the link , it shows the pipes it’s going to display on the webpage. Of course when I tried it out it showed a bunch of Hippy crap. Glass pipes, Vaporing things, “herb” pipes. I ain’t stupid, I know what that stuff is for and I don’t like it one bit. It took about six times to get all the pipes to be the kind we wanted. Now I have to do it everyday.
I asked them if they could figure out some way where I can just pick 4 things to put on the list, but for now they can’t. They can put up a picture Ad that links to the page, but getting pipes that are actually for sale is the goal.
Since everyone is expected to help sell advertising this counts as mine. That’s fine with me because I won’t have to talk to anyone, all I have to do is keep that thing running. My hope is that it turns out to make money. The reason I say that is because if it does, they will put it on the main Briar Report site and if they do that there is no way in [expletive deleted] they will let me touch it.
Last night I went on the computer and looked through that eBay site. They have millions of things for sale on there and I’m not exaggerating. They have empty cigar boxes for sale! I throw mine in the garbage, maybe I can sell them. They got a cigar cutter on there that’s made out of a Boar Tusk and it costs $3,800! I’ll see if I can put a picture of it on here, I’m still trying to figure out how to use the link generator to get a link to an exact thing. I wonder if someone buys that if I get a dollar?
Not sure if this is going to be a good thing or not, but I can tell you this, there are some nice pipes on there and people who come on this site like nice pipes. We’ll have to see. I just hope that if they do buy anything from that site they click on the link from our page first. You know, the more I think about it the more I hope I make more money for us than all those other guys. Once I get the hang of it, picking out what pipes eBay sells might be fun. I should write to eBay and let them know that it’s me who decides what pipes get featured. They will most likely want to bribe me or slip me a little something under the table to put up their own pipes or their friend’s pipes.
Anyway, so now I’m the eBay guy. It could be worse. Plus when nobody was looking I snatched those two Gran Reservas.
Bill is the acting Briar Report Chief of Staff,
he is also the Managing Editor of www.stogiereport.com
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow him on Twitter @StogieReport