A few days ago, I was nonchalantly watching a rather lame Norwegian thriller in the Amazon Prime streaming service late in the evening when the screen started to display some flaky images, as if their perennial snow had percolated into my living room. Yawning, I gave up, turned the TV off and went to get some rejuvenating sleep.
But someone was surreptitiously watching. The all-seeing entrepreneur. Jeff Bezos.
One or two days later I received an e-mail from Amazon Prime apologizing for the inconvenience and offering a refund on the streaming fee, which surprised me in more than one way; according to their message the refund not only applied to their US clients but also the ones in Switzerland and Lichtenstein that had purchased the same rental movie. First of all, I would have never bothered to complain about this minor incident and waste my spare time on a phone call for a refund. If the company is so attentive to such a minor service problem, I must applaud their outstanding customer service.
However, this degree of attentiveness means that the company has a lot of information about their clients (even a little bit too much) which they skillfully use to offer us savvy, practical solutions to many personal needs we might have right now and some others that we can’t even fathom at present. Amazon supposedly can foretell what we’ll need. A recent article in the Washington Post—owned by Jeff Bezos—questioned the validity of becoming a Prime member by paying U$ 100 per year, which I had gladly done. As the time of renewing my membership came, I started to have second thoughts. Do I need it?
Still dithering about whether to pay that seemingly medieval exaction, I went to bed.
In the wee hours of the morning, a thick mist started to drift into the bedroom and a raucous voice thundered: “Get up….Right now.” Startled, I blindly worked my way up to the door and opened it. The three bubbles-greenhouse of Amazon’s headquarters stood a few feet away. Trembling I managed to come up to the front door and meekly knocked on it. A maiden beautifully clad in white from head to toe opened the door and smiled.
– “Good morning, mystic wanderer…The Master is waiting for you—come.”
I quietly followed her through a maze of cubicles and offices decorated with exotic, lush vegetation until we arrived in front of a huge steel bolted door. She gently knocked on it. The same authoritarian voice that summoned me from my bed resonated: “Come in!” We entered into a dark, humid chamber where a humongous Australian livestock tank filled with neatly tilled, dark fertile soil took pride of place. The seer’s sleeping quarters.
In a corner stood a tall figure, cloaked in a green robe,pacing up and down. He stopped, turned his face with tightly shut eyes towards me and pointed his right index finger.
– “How dare you trouble my rest in the wet earth?” the seer said. “What do you want?”
– “Er…just wanted to know if my novel will eventually get its due attention.”
– “When the Big Apple’s novice puffs his first Cohiba, you’ve finally arrived.”
-” A novice? Arrive where?”
– “When the time comes, you’ll understand…Why didn’t you pay the Prime fee?”
– “I don’t know…”
– “I gave your writings the big chance in Kindle…And this is how you repay me? By denying me the funds I need to keep this soothsaying operation running? If you don’t dish out the hundred bucks first thing in the morning, I won’t be able to pay my water bill…You’re the most disgusting refusenik I’ve known…. Shame on you, Escribidor!’
– “Sorry Master…Forgive my ungratefulness. I’ll pay up promptly…Got to go now.”
I skedaddled out of the chamber and ran as fast as I could to the front door.
When I woke up, drenched in a cold sweat, I picked up my phone to contact my bank.
What do you want me to say? Whatever your opinion of this guy might be, you must reckon that he has extraordinary powers that no mere mortal can ignore with impunity…
What do you think? Please tell us.
Don’t leave me alone.