The bookcase arrived. Coiffed in what looked like saran wrap. Pieces of lumber. No bags of nails or screws, no directions.
I started thinking about how I'd get this thing assembled at once:
I thought hard for about four weeks. Finally it was either assemble the damn thing or set it on fire. (Stacks of lumber in a small apartment ... well, let's just say a new and fluent vocabulary of strong language is associated with knee-high stacks of wood and dark rooms.)
I wielded my trusty scissors on the saran wrap. Three pieces of wood promptly hit me on the head. Followed closely by two bags of nails, screws, shelf holders and something that looks like Velcro but remains unidentified pending DNA testing. The saran wrap had allowed the shelving to be stacked vertically, like the outer pieces. Once unwrapped, they yielded to gravity.
As I lay on floor, birds circling I remember a lesson learned at my sainted mum's knee: "Beware the Acme shipping label."
I got up, dusted myself off, found the directions between layers of Styrofoam, and thought "Ok, I'm ready!"
Well, of course you know how this ends. The bookcase now assembled, looks something like this:
I, somewhat less assembled, look like this:
But, I had a flash of insight.
EVEN with directions in hand, which were not only written in English but had pictograms; even when I knew how the thing was supposed to look at the end; I still made a hash of it.
Some of this could be that I'm a dodo. I'll cop to that. But a lot of it is I hadn't done this before. It was all new. I made mistakes I wouldn't have if someone who'd done this before was here, OR I could have asked questions.
Insight dawns: this is a bit like writing queries. No matter how clear the directions, it's easy to screw up. It would be good to have a place to ask questions.
So...from now on, IF you have a SHORT question about how to query, send me an email with QUERY QUESTION in the subject line. I'll do my best to answer. If I can't, I'll reply to say it's beyond the scope of the project.
This isn't intended for "what do you want" but more of "what font do I use." Procedural, technical questions. How to assemble the bookcase, not do I want to buy a bookcase. Figure 25 words or fewer for the question.
Clarification: this is not the place for "what do most agents want." This is a place to ask ME about MY query preferences and protocols. If I ruled the world I would make my opinion binding on everyone, but sadly, I have been thwarted in my several attempts to gain the crown.
Let's see how this works.