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Saturday, June 16, 2012

An open letter to a jackass.

At Animazement, I ran into a pwecious fellow on Sunday. He was insistent upon getting a Deal for his daughter, as it was Lastday for the con, and clearly would have NO opportunity at making Profit afterwards. He was chunky, with a shock of short salt-and-pepper hair, with matching moustache. J.Jonah Jameson gone to seed. I dub him Alfie Chunkybum. He proceeded to lecture me on how to run my business. I asked him his business. He said "Sales and Marketing". MLM or used cars is my bet. He patted a shirt: They don't care about this. He pointed to the design "They buy this."

Paging Captain Obvious.

THEN he pointed to our Aardvark copyright mark. "They don't come here for you." Ahem. People absolutely buy from us because of who we are. The Aardvarks have a shockingly large fan base, and people DO in fact come to us because we are Aardvark. I so informed him, whereupon he backpedaled a half-step, then plunged ahead undeterred. Our prices are too high. "I can get you the same shirt for fifty cents.
 I handed him my card. "If you can get me this quality shirt for fifty cents, I'm your oyster!". I have not heard from Alfie. The shirts he was describing I am quite familiar with, from China or Points South shrink enormously when washed, and are skimpily-sized, to boot. We have experienced a large section of the shirty spectrum, and have settled with Gildan and Anvil shirts as substrates for our work, because they are good enough to be associated with Aardvark.

I get what I pay for. My customers get what I pay for. Mr.Chunkybum, would you think kindly of me if the shirt you just bought for your daughter drew up a full size when she washed it? Would she think kindly of me? That's what would happen with your fifty-cent shirt.

I would rather sell 1000 people 10,000 shirts over a decade, than sell them a cheap shirt the first year for a little extra profit, and have them never purchase from me again. Your fifty-cent shirts would cost me those 9000 additional shirt sales.

They know our name, they know our quality. They know that when I have seen one of our designs washing out, I have given them a replacement.

So flog your soap, your cheap shirts, and whatever other flea-market goodies you market. Yours was not a pitch for the angels, but rather one from warmer climes.


Michael W said...


Knowing something of your history in this line of work, Weatherly, I have little choice but to thoroughly believe you know what you're doing. Or did this clown think you'd just recently started selling shirts at conventions?

The Aardvark said...

I think he was white knighting for his daughter. Also, he was convinced of his own...expertise.

Jay said...

He sounds like "THAT GUY!".

Michael W said...

I am so willing to bet it was the daughter's idea to attend the Con.

Galt-in-Da-Box said...

MLMer is my bet.
Most-all those birds have a spirit of error so heavy they believe they are something when they are nothing; they feel dumping $100-200grand into their scam and only bringing home $50K is an awesome deal.
Even though he cannot avoid failure, you did. Fine business, sir!

The Aardvark said...

@jay-Yeah, definitely THAT guy.

@Michael-He was enduring the con, I b'lieve.

@G-i-D-B - Yessir. MLMs make sure the house always wins. Brainwashing nonpareil!

Thank you, Galt.

The Aardvark said...

MICHAEL: Words I never thought I would utter: Turn on Sharktopus NOW! The chick that plays the biologist Nicole IS Berta. (Phil Silvers voice) Trust me!

Michael W said...

I wish I'd read this comment earlier. I missed out on Sharktopus. But I found photos of Sara Malakul Lane at IMDb. I think you have something there.

Doom said...

If you can back off just a bit... you can find pity for such a man. He isn't good at much, he really thinks that price equals value, and he got lost chasing a dime and never realized that chasing money is a fools game. At this point he probably has little, to include respect from others or more than enough to just scrape by. But he is so vested in cheap and easy he couldn't change if reality hit him on the head (urhm, which it has, many times). While I live a mean life too, it is because my body failed. I didn't go the wrong way, more than usual, or settle, or give up. Still haven't. I have more room to pity him then he has for me, easily.

Don't take the efforts of such men personally. Pray that somehow, some way, God gets through. And be glad you can see such men easily, for what they are. That does mean something significant.

The Aardvark said...

@Doom- I do not hate him, and yes, he (and his spawn) are pitiable. I had to work through what precisely had bugged me about the encounter, beyond someone teaching their grandmother to suck eggs. I had to imagine "What if I implemented his Master Plan?".

I, too have lived in Cheapsburg, first by "necessity", then by habit. Being raised by grandparents who were depression-era survivors, well...("Be sure to draw on the BACK of the piece of paper. Don't waste it!") It can be overcome.

I do wonder the fate of other businessfolk whom he has "helped" with his golden advice.

Living meanly (and I SO appreciate your classic usage of "mean") is often a necessity. It does not have to turn one Scrooge-ish. I am thinking it has not affected you so. Your compassion for this individual tells me so. Yes, I shall pray. Thank you for the gentle reminder. You are a blessing.


From the sublime to the trivial, I am saddened that no-one overtly caught the "Twilight Zone" reference.