Hey Bud, This One's for You --DeWeseJanuary 2009
The owner of a $3 million printing company down South sent me a long e-mail. I’ll skip the part where he tells me that I’m the greatest living column writer and that I deserve the Pulitzer Prize. Here is what else he told me:
“I read your article in the November 2008 Printing Impressions. The comment of ‘times of trouble are times of opportunity’ usually holds true in my mind. Also, in conjunction to this phrase, for every problem there is a solution. After reading ‘About the Author,’ it didn’t take long to realize this man is probably smarter than most Harvard graduates.” (My dear departed Mama used to say stuff like that.)
“Anyhow,” Bud writes, “finding our company in an increasingly uncomfortable market, economy, situation or whatever you can call it, brings up why I am contacting you. After staying on the cutting edge of technology with prepress to digital output, green technology, having conventional offset, more than qualified and experienced people, a new strategic and methodic salesperson, I still find [my company] barely getting enough work to scrape by.” (Actually, Bud used a down-home term that some readers might find sexist or politically incorrect. It has to do with being the runt of the litter and finding a good position at feeding time.)
He continues, “In the last year, I cannot think of one job that was kicked back due to customer dissatisfaction. My Golden Rule is: ‘Don’t sell anything you wouldn’t buy yourself.’ I think that we have all of the pieces to the puzzle right here, and they seem to be in place, but it is still not making a pretty picture. So, if you could spare the time to chat with me, I am asking for advice from someone I absolutely don’t know, but who obviously has seen a lot and has more than book smarts under his hat,” Bud concluded.
Of course, I could “spare the time.” I can always spare the time for Bud’s kind of candor. I called him, thinking, “I’m gonna lay some of my Mañana Man genius on him. Then, he will be all well.” It was the same kind of misguided thinking for my healing powers, when I would kiss one of my kid’s scrapes and bumps.