Monthly Archives: July 2007
It takes courage to allow yourself to be lucky. I’m totally serious. Recently I had a couple of conversations with a friend about people that seem poised on the edge of greatness, only to consciously or sub-consciously sabotage themselves. Why the hell do we do that? Why is it that we equate the lucky with the un-deserved? Isn’t it possible that a great universe finds ways to reward those that risk ridicule and scorn to pursue something, no matter what that something might be? Is the act of announcing one’s intentions sufficient for the universe to help make it so?
No, I’m actually not high at the moment…why do you ask?
I hope to explain why I am asking this question in a follow-up post, but since I am scrambling about in preparation for Aunt B’s parents to arrive here, I’ll just throw this out there in case any corporate types stumble across my site after Googling coyote skins or something. I’ll admit that I hate corporations and publicly owned companies pretty much across the board, and I will further admit that I am not well suited to work for one, so if you can answer this for me, I’d be eternally grateful:
Why is it that you spend millions of dollars and countless man-hours trying to attract my business, only to treat me so badly once you do? How does it fit in your business model to take full page ads out, run TV spots during prime time, bombard the internet, and send me direct mail, and then make sure that my experience with you all but guarantees that I will never be back?
(I realize that there is no way to answer this without more context, so let me give one example, in fact one that is near and dear to my heart. Also, this is in part motivated by a recent experience at a well known hotel chain, but for now, lets use the car dealership as an example.)
I used to run large ads in a very expensive car market. 30 thousand dollars wasn’t unusual. This is on top of billboards, and of course a very expensive direct mail and internet ad campaign. In the car business, there is no way to track a referral source accurately, not even when it is internet driven. Perhaps especially when it is internet driven. But my point is that there is no way we didn’t lose money week in and week out on that advertising, particularly print advertising.
Then, when potential customers show up, we employed the same tired old school techniques that worked when there was but one choice per town, and your average buyer couldn’t pull up the damn invoice on his computer. We wouldn’t answer a direct question, had little or no product knowledge, and the minute we knew you were not ready to sign up that day, we just about lost all interest.
Anyway, thats it.
They are gone. The Tamale Lady, Carmen, , Eduardo, and Leticia no longer live in Tennessee. While we were on vacation, they made a move to another State, in part at my behest. I indeed counseled this family to consider re-locating to a more immigrant friendly state. Her paperwork was a mess, she in fact had a work permit that expired last year, and she has been exploited by both an inept bureaucracy and unethical Notarios. Frustrated and broke, she gave up trying to run the ridiculous gauntlet that is our immigration system. Instead, she worked hard, and put money aside for her children’s future.
I knew it was coming, but it hurt that it happened while I away. I know where they live, and we talked for awhile last night on my cell, but I cannot adequately convey how damned heartbroken I am. I loved that entire family.
Then, as if on cue, some light on a dark day. It seems my good friends Stephen and Suzanna’s baby decided to make his arrival yesterday, 6 weeks early, but apparently both he and Mama are healthy. Oliver Thomas is his name. His dad informs me that he will go by the Greek variant that sounds alot like Eli. Welcome, little man, and I’m laughing because you have no idea how lucky you are to have these people charged with your care. Yasou!
We’re back. Amazing trip. Seeing the kid’s reactions to Lake Michigan was priceless. I’ll have more on the Chula Vista Resort, and my opportunity to go on a press junket to the area’s most popular theme park in the days to come. 660 miles later, this is all I got for now…