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Mine! Mine! Mine!

30/01/2014

Some of the most hilarious scenes in the Pixar movie Finding Nemo involve a flock of seagulls yelling “Mine! Mine! Mine!” every time they see something they want for themselves. I thought back to those movie scenes several times in the past few days.

Mine! Mine! Mine!

I read many times that giving makes you happier; when you buy stuff not for yourself, but for other people. Last week I promised to send a free copy of How to Change the World to a person in Iran, because such books are extremely hard to get there. And yes, it made me feel good.

So I thought, let’s subject this idea to a more rigorous test! Let’s buy stuff for other people who need it more than I do. And let’s ask my followers on Twitter if they know people who can use some help getting a book or two.

So, a few days ago I asked this question:

Twitter question

Interestingly enough, despite posting the message twice, I received only four replies. And even more interesting, the replies all said things like, “Yes, I could use a book”, “Please send it to me” and “Yay, it’s my birthday!” In other words, I could summarize the response as:

“Mine! Mine! Mine!”

It was rather disappointing.

Fortunately, yesterday I received exactly one message, that went like this:

Dear Jurgen,

This Sunday I saw your Twitter message. By coincidence I was in a chat with a young tester from India earlier that day. He asked me if I could send him books in digital format. I do not have that many digital books and I’m not a fan of just sharing commercial books either.

Well, it seemed, when we talked about it, he is studying testing and is really eager to study books about testing. The disadvantage of living in India is that books are relatively expensive. There are Indian publishers that print affordable books on bad quality paper, but not every book is available and books about testing are rare.

I gave him some tips about blogs, video pages and websites, but the discussion stayed with me. Well, I saw your tweet the same day, so I asked them his priority list on testing books he needs and with this mail I send them to you.

So maybe it is a good idea to use some Amazon gifts to send books to this guy who is really busy studying testing and is desperate for some great books,

Thanks.

Thank God! My faith in humanity is restored.

Amazon Error MessageI immediately went to the Amazon website to send two books to India, expecting to become very happy!

Unfortunately, when I arrived at the address page I had to enter a phone number, and the form refused every possible phone number that I tried. No matter what I did Amazon’s reply was “insufficient characters”, even when I appended digits that filled the whole input box.

Still insufficient characters, but the phone number was required! :-(

It made me wonder if Amazon’s address form was developed in India, and maybe that’s the reason they need the testing books!

OK, so now I know exactly one person who really needs books, and I’m waiting for Amazon to handle the bug report I sent them, so I can actually send the bloody books! *sigh* Still not happy… If this is going to take long, then maybe some of my readers can give me the address of the person who needs a book or two about lead times and value stream mapping?

p.s. If I now get flooded with requests to send books to other people, please know that I don’t promise anything! I may pick some requests at random, and I might send a book, or not. Depends if Amazon allows it.

This article is written by on in Happiness. Jurgen Appelo is at Happy Melly. Connect with Jurgen Appelo on .

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  • http://about.me/rvprasad Venkatesh-Prasad Ranganath

    Did you try +91-99999-99999 (or something of that form)?

    • jurgenappelo

      Thanks for the suggestion, I will try that tomorrow.

    • jurgenappelo

      I tried all kinds of formats, with and without dashes (-)
      Nothing works. :-(

      • http://about.me/rvprasad Venkatesh-Prasad Ranganath

        Well, that is the format of phone numbers in India. So, how can this be? It seems Amazon automatically figures out the country code :) So, try entering the phone number without +, 91, or prefix 00, e.g. just enter 99999-99999.

        • jurgenappelo

          Yes, that was the solution, thank you!!
          I had tried everything, except removing the country code, because it said “insufficient characters” instead of “too many characters” :-)

  • Parisa Entezami

    Dear Jurgen,

    Again thank you for sending me your book :)
    after reading your posts and works I’m thinking to be HappyParisa, who is wondering about being one of Melly’s friends ;)

    • jurgenappelo

      Great to hear that. :) The little book will be sent on Monday.

  • Pychav

    Interesting article, thanks. I think the “mine, mine” syndrome you talk about is more linked to the need of owning not sure people actually read the books they get for free. Try giving out pens or stickers and I am sure you will also receive the same hundreds of requests.

  • Riccardo Bua

    Just received it, thanks!!:-)