Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It's the Stupid, Economy

The following is what we believe would happen if a Media Economic Expert Person (MEEP) were to interview the Economy. I think you'll find that the Economy is somewhat of a smart-ass.

MEEP: How are you?

Economy: Great!

MEEP: You're critics would say you're not doing so well.

Economy: Well, that's what critics do now isn't it?

MEEP: But they say you're headed for recession.

Economy: Look. I have to explain this to you. It's not "they" who say this. It's You. The more you say it, the harder it is for me to do my job.

MEEP: So are you saying that you're poor performance recently is because of me?

Economy: First of all, it's not poor performance. It's simply not as good as my recent awesome and spectacular performance. I AM NOT recession-ing now. If you keep saying that I am, then I might.

MEEP: Why is that?

Economy: You're an idiot. If you tell people that I'm all washed up, that I've lost my momentum or tired out, they will start behaving as if I have already died. They will freak out.

MEEP: How so?

Economy: They will curl up in their homes and sit on every dime. That does not really stimulate me. It doesn't really "move the product" if you know what I mean.

MEEP: What does stimulate you?

Economy: Stimulus.

MEEP: Are you referring to the economic stimulus tax rebate?

Economy: You bet I am. I'm so excited about this thing that I can't hardly contain myself. I'm just sitting here ready to erupt in a flurry of activity. All you need to do is not say anything. Shut your lettuce chopper and let me do my thing. If you utter one word about my positive changes being a "bubble" or call then "unsustainable", I'll spin around and fill your personal finances full of hornets and locusts. It will not be pretty.

MEEP: I don't take kindly to threats.

Economy: I don't take kindly to inflation. I wonder if an anti-inflammatory will work. Perhaps some Preparation-H?

MEEP: Since you brought it up....How's the inflation treating you?

Economy: Oh hell! If this is how we're going to operate, we might as well Jimmy Carter a call.

MEEP: Are you feeling any impact at all from the astronomical price of fuel these days?

Economy: Probably about as much as you will soon be impacted by my fist. You and your ilk have totally forgotten about the rules of supply and demand. You think that we have no choice but to reduce our demand for oil. The reality is, we need a supply increase. That's right. Sorry caribou. You are a lesser being.

MEEP: So it is your opinion that we need to open up the Alaskan Wilderness to the oil companies?

Economy: It's not a wilderness. It's a barren patch of frozen flatness with nothing but wind and migratory animals passing through. It just so happens, there's oil in them there plains! We need to get it out of there and use it. You see, I'm really all about leaving the most money possible in the hands of the general public. I want the things they need to be cheap and plentiful so they have plenty of "throw-around" cash to buy things like gargantuan TVs, portable devices that could take over the world, or the largest most obnoxious vehicles available if they so choose. That's what really makes me happy.

MEEP: Well I think we know where you stand. It was nice talking with you today.

Economy: No it wasn't.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Check's in the Mail...and Eleven Other Things People Say to Avoid Paying

I remember back in the early days when I had to hassle myself with everyday business tasks (back when I was working in the business instead of on the business). I used to have to pick up the phone and call the customers who were late on payments. In our business, we call this task "collections". Perhaps you've heard of it.

Looking back, I think I generally enjoyed this task. You get some real "pieces of work".

I've compiled a list of some of the excuses people had for non-payment along with my response for each.

1) The Check is in the mail.

We've all heard that one, and maybe used it a time of two ourselves. It's especially funny though when the customer is in the same building as you.

2) I suffer from a rare medical condition that has drained me financially.

I didn't know gambling and prostitutes were considered medical conditions, but that's what insurance is for.

3) I was on my way to bring you the money but I was swallowed by a whale.

Everyone knows that whales will spit humans out after a couple of days. Especially those Mid-western whales.


You get great cell service from inside a whale. Are all those Verizon Network guys in there with you?

4) I paid you once.

Oh sorry, my mistake. Shoulda caught that one.

5) My wife handles the bills and she is locked in a cage in the basement at the moment.


6) Ich verstehe Englisch nicht.


7) You people make me sick with your "always wanting paid for products or services rendered".

Ohhhhh. You are not paying to make a political statement? You hate capitalism for a living? Do they have a good benefits package?

8) Can I call you right back? My brother just found a dead cat in the crawlspace and I gotta check it for ticks.

Never mind. Just keep the money.

9) You sound like a reasonable man. Would you accept a 1933 steel penny as payment? It's worth $1400 easy.

If you give me 140000 of them, we'll call it even.

10) Dude! Is it like, before noon? It's way too early to be saying numbers and stuff.

Dude! I'll call you back when you are awake and baked.

11) You'll get your money with interest. Right now it's tied up in an investment. I've figured a way to beat the odds on scratch-off Lottery Tickets.

Awesome. How can I get in on that?

12) I've spent all my money on my research. I am very close to refining cat piss into a usable fuel source.

Awesome! How do I get in on that?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Many Complexities of HXT37

It's been many years since it's invention but we have never fully delved into the multi-faceted array of intricate and diverse diversities of the very first, the premier, and the crown jewel of all Crock, Inc. intellectual property.

HXT37* is a derivative of Hoxtex*, which doesn't exist. I know what you are going to ask; How can you make something out of nothing? Before you can understand this, you need to know a few things.

As the holder of 64 US patents on this one product, we can say for certain that this baby is ours. Flanksham actually invented, or shall I say "discovered" HXT37, but he, being the good and faithful servant that he is, let Crock, Inc. take most of the credit and all of the profits. It was either his good-and-faithful-servant-ness or the 207 page contract that he signed, which, remarkably foresightedly, foresaw that he may one day make such a discovery. Observe the follow passage from the contract:

....hitherto fore at this moment and forever from now on Dr. Becconheimer Flanksham does understand and solomnly swear to the truthfulness of the fact that, should he ever invent or discover anything at anytime in the future, and that particular anything becomes known commonly, uncommonly, or medium-commonly, as HXT37, the particular anything referenced now as HXT37 shall remain solely and fully the property of Crock, Inc. as well as all rights, benefits, and proceeds also shall property of Crock, inc. be.

Now I forgot what I was going to say. Something about HXT37 I'm sure. The problem is, there is so much that I would like to tell you, but so little that I am allowed to tell you. Sometimes I even get the two confused. I find myself rambling on and on about it when suddenly, Flanksham or Goersmithism will tap me on the shoulder and give me the look. This is when I know that I've said something classified and whoever was within earshot mysteriously "disappears".

I'm going to go ahead and stop right here. Perhaps my cohorts can fill you in a little more on the Complexities of HXT37.

*Hoxtex and HXT37 are registered trademarks of Crock, Inc. Any use, private or commercial, without a direct royalty payment to Crock, Inc. of an amount to be determined, is expressly prohibited by law, Dr. Phil, Bob Seger, Your Mom, and one of the Baldwin Brothers.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Houses: Buy One-and-a-half, Get a Half of One Free

The headline is yet another stoke of genius from Crock, Inc. This should end the housing slump once and for all. This new marketing concept not only encourages people to buy TWO houses, but it also sounds much better than "Buy one, get the second half off". Any time you can use the word "free", it's money. All we need to complete our ad is a "call to action" and a" sense of urgency".

Let's see.....what could our call to action be? How about "Be the first on your block to buy two houses at once!! Call Now!"? Will that do it?

Now for a sense of urgency. This is usually done with an expiration date or by saying something like "While Supplies Last" or "Buy it before I beat your ass". I will choose the expiration date method. I believe that our expiration date for this offer will be; One day before the end of existence, and not one day before.

Uh oh. I think I've just created a paradox.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Top Five (Three) Ways to Get Your Sell On

It doesn't matter if you're selling widgets, timeshares, mustard, tonsils, or your soul. It makes no difference if you sell in a store, door to door, or hanging upside-down under a bridge. No matter what your personal sales situation may be, if you're doing face-to-face sales and you really want to sell MORE, you will benefit from this advice.

I have sold the living piss out of everything from toilet seat-covers to Luxury yachts so I know what I'm talking about. Don't even question it. Just read and do. Here is a list of some keys to my success:

1) Look the part. You must know who you are selling to and the relationship between the buyer and the product. Then you must dress to fit. For example, used car salespeople should wear dark glasses, a gold chain, a button down shirt with the top three buttons undone, stonewashed jeans, boots, and a leather blazer. To borrow a line from the movie Anchorman.....Sixty percent of the time it works every time!! Another example; if you sell investments or annuities, wear a Big Bird costume. It almost never fails.

2) Talk the talk. While I would always encourage you to be yourself and be honest with the customer, sometimes it's nice to bend a little and be what they want you to be. This is especially true in the way you speak. If your customer seems to swear a lot, drop a couple of f-bombs for good measure. You'll gain respect. If your customer speaks with an accent, you should attempt to speak with the exact same accent. It will be a little uncomfortable at first, but you'll get used to it. Before you know it, your customer will be trying to figure out if they know you from "back home". Please please please, do not use words like "fiduciary" or "philanthropic" when selling a Popsicle to a fourth grader.

3) Walk the walk. Everyone feels sorry for someone who limps. Always act gimpy. Be consistent. Always favor the same leg and stay in character. You should hobble from the time you wake up until you go to bed....even in your own home. It must be convincing. You never know when a potential customer might be watching. You will also need a story about how this happened to you. I usually encourage people to use injury rather than disease, although this depends on what you are selling. Lawn-mower salespeople may say that their old lawnmower attacked them one day because it wasn't equipped with a certain safety feature....it just so happens that the model they sell DOES indeed have that safety feature. SOLD! If you are selling army surplus, it's a war injury. Flowers; killer bee attack...and so on. But, it would be acceptable to use diabetes as your story if you sell, let's say, blood-sugar testers.

I know these tips will probably hopefully and maybe help you sell your product to more people and create a sense of confidence in you that will stay with you long after your customers have gone elsewhere. Read them, memorize them, live them. Put your own spin on these tips and customize them for your industry. Send me your success stories or include them in your comments.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Return of an Icon

We are in the beginning stages of one of the greatest comebacks in men's fashion history, and I must admit, it was my idea. I'm talking about the moustache. That's right. I'm not sure if you have noticed it yet, but you will.

Very Soon, you will start noticing TV and Movie stars, musicians, politicians, news anchors, and other public figures sporting various sizes and shapes of these fuzzy face-dwellers. Look around you. They are more common than you would expect, more plentiful than you thought, and more abundant than they were just a year or two ago.

Now I'm not talking about the moustache-like thing sported as part of a larger facial-apparatus. Not the goatee/moustache, not the fu manchu, not the full beard with moustache. No. I'm talking about the beautiful 1971 caterpillar-of-the-upper-lip device. You know the kind. Usually displayed with a pair of large sunglasses, lenses in hues of purple or brown, the gradient tinted variety; dark on top light on the bottom (the lenses that is). The guys in the pic get it. Well, no sunglasses, but you see what I mean.
Going forward, all Crock, Inc. employees who grow one of these shall receive a $.22 per hour raise in pay while the moustache is alive and kicking. Discrimination, you say? Well ladies, you can participate as well. Some of you can simply stop the waxing or bleach treatment and call it good. Others may have to improvise. Rogaine? Maybe. Give it a shot.
Hell. Do a web search for "moustache" and witness the beauty. Keep in mind, some websites out there may actually be making fun of the moustache, not praising it. I know. It's hard to believe. I was fooled many times before I figured it out. Don't make the same mistake. If you see moustache hate-crimes in progress, please report them to me.
Also, if you have your moustache in place, please send pics.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Keyword: Accountability

Sometimes, in business, undesirable situations arise seemingly out of nowhere.

One example of this is the recent conundrum created here at headquarters with regards to plastic utensils commonly know as "sporks". It seems that most people prefer either a spoon or a fork so no one really uses them. There had been a box of these things in the break room for several years. Little did we know, the new guy in R&D uses sporks regularly (he's a big fan of cole slaw). After a month or so of his spork use, the supply in the break room ran out. He told the assistant to the HR Director that we were out of sporks. The assistant in turn told the HR director who then went to work on the process of getting more sporks. Much to her surprise, our Corporate structure did not assign this task to anyone. There is NO ONE IN CHARGE OF SPORKS!!

Should we, as founders of the company have been able to foresee the need for assignment of this responsibility? How did the original box of sporks get there...and shouldn't whoever put it there be the one to replace it? Or should the person who used the last spork have to replace the box?

Quite a Pickle.

I pondered for many seconds about the dilemma. I thought about stopping this writing here and making it a P.T.B.F.O. (see prior posts) but then, it hit me! I recalled a term from my days as a rank-and-file nine-to-five working stiff. "Accountability". You must define the roles and responsibilities of each employee. You must give them the tools to live up to those responsibilities. And you must hold them accountable when they do not live up to them.

This lead me to the decision which I decided when I thought about trying to chose one of many (or two of a few) solutions to the problem regarding the aforementioned sporks. I created a new position.

At this time I would like to announce an opening for the position of Director of Spork and Bendy-straw Supply and Demand Monitoring (I added bendy-straws in there because I love the damn things). We seek to promote from within. The position will report directly to the Vice President of Minor Disaster Avoidance. The VP of MDA will now have the added role and responsibility of ordering more Sporks and Bendy-straws when needed.

Please send resumes and reference letters (use the proper template please) to:

Director of Spork and Bendy-straw Supply and Demand Monitoring
c/o Crock, Inc.
921 Director of Spork and Bendy-straw Supply and Demand Monitoring Drive
Pork, NH 20010

....or simply email to me