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A letter of apology to Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook informed me that my fans hadn't heard from me for a while. Then the shit hit the fan.

Facebook informed me that my fans hadn't heard from me for a while. Then the shit hit the fan.

Like every other author on the planet, my life is ruled by post engagements and Facebook page likes, so I was obviously devastated today when I was reminded by Mark Zuckerberg (thanks Mark) that I’d failed to write about myself.

‘People who like Glenn H. Mitchell haven’t heard from you in a while.’

Apparently all those millions of Glenn H. Mitchell fans wanted to hear from me. Rather than assume I was writing weird fiction and horror stories, hordes of devotees were increasingly concerned by the eerie silence.

The issue was so important to Facebook that they downed tools and emailed me. Imagine someone that important taking the time to send you an email? I mean, I had to read it and take the contents seriously. We’re talking about people who are right in the middle of an invasion of China. And they took a break to get in touch? I was humbled, but I felt terrible about distracting them from their perennially escalating stock prices.

Chaotic scenes at Facebook headquarters

I imagined Zuckerberg kicking a door down and rushing into a room full of executives sitting on bean bags, who begrudgingly dragged their eyes from upwardly trending graphs to see what all the fuss was about.

I’m sure their satisfied grins must have wilted when they saw how horrified Mark was.

“What’s wrong bro? You look like you need an almond milk latte and some transcendental meditation.

“Fuck meditation, dickhead! Who let this happen?”

At this point, I originally pictured Mark waving a mauled print-out, but then I realised he was probably showing them a pie graph on a tablet device (possibly manufactured by a company he owns).

“What is it, Mark?”

“Well, let me put it this way: which one of you brainless wankers is in charge of the Mitchell account?”

Wow. Imagine how my personal account manager must have squirmed. I mean, this is what we call a sackable offence in Australia. This is when security turns up with a cardboard box and asks for your lanyard.

I’m seeing a nervous bespectacled dude with a well-oiled beard, wearing a Hawaiian shirt and peach shorts, probably barefoot (I expect they don’t need to wear shoes unless they’re in the games room). But I don’t want to be sexist so feel free to imagine an equally unfashionable woman.

“Mark, what can I say? I took my eyes off the ball. Between mansion renovations, lacrosse training, my community gardening project, macchiatos and staring at these stock prices, I guess I let the team down. Look, I’ll call Glenn immediately and—”

“No, Devlin! Glenn’s post engagements are down almost 50%. He’s probably furious. I’m gonna have to take care of this one myself. We can’t afford to lose this account.”

Due to me being a little overzealous earlier in the story, Mark had to pick up the door (it would’ve been on the floor), wait for a maintenance team to arrive, watch them reattach the door, thank them and then slam the repaired door on his way out.

Leading by example

I wish I could have been in his office as he was torturing himself, writing countless drafts of the email. Seriously, I would have just said it wasn’t a big deal. In the end he just sent a brief warning but I could read between the lines. He was ashamed. How do you word an apology after such a huge fuck-up?

Anyway, I just wanted to thank Mark and tell you—the people who Mark assumed wanted to hear from me—that I appreciate your patience. To be honest, I feel partly responsible for the whole debacle. If I hadn’t been so preoccupied with my occupation, none of this would have happened.

Don’t worry; I abruptly stopped writing as soon as I realised I needed to write about writing. Sure, I was deep in the zone and operating at the full height of my powers. It may have been profound Pulitzer Award-winning stuff (probably not) but how can you compare that to the constant, methodical drudgery of feeding an expectation invented by Facebook? Why change minds when you can change your weekly post engagement by 5.25%? It’s a no-brainer, right?

Suffice to say I’ll put any attempts to be a successful speculative fiction author aside each week, just long enough to make sure I keep those post engagements increasing.

Again, please accept my apology and remember if you’re that desperate to hear from your favourite author, you can always read some of the older bullshit I’ve written.

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