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Only in His Dreams --DeWese

September 2002
I am still holed up in this secret underground location guarding my hostage print buyers and bankers. I've made a lot of progress training the hostages to cook for themselves and clean their cells. I am also trying to teach the print buyers to use fair and balanced criteria for selecting their print suppliers.

I am trying to teach the bankers the benefits of embracing the printing industry. The banks have turned their backs on us because they don't understand our industry and because a few bad apples have recently tarnished our ability to borrow.

I have explained that printing companies operate on very slim margins and that, even in good times, most printing companies only earn about 2 percent profits. In bad economies, print buyers are able to squeeze prices by pitting one printer's price against another printer's price. This is relatively easy for print buyers because our industry is fragmented and there are always many competitors vying for the same print jobs.

Unprofitable Work

This price compression, of course, leads to even smaller margins and, frequently, the winning bidder has taken a job at a loss.

I did release about 30 print buyers who have signed pledges to abandon price as their only criteria for selecting printers.

So I've gotten the hostages to do all the work and, aside from our little "training" sessions, I don't have a lot to do here at Camp Mañana. As soon as all you printers agree to implement 25 percent price increases, I will release all the hostages. If we get a 25 percent price increase, I guarantee you that the bankers will come running with their checkbooks begging us for our deposit accounts and begging us to borrow money for new equipment.

I have had more time lately to think and take naps. Napping is clearly more fun then thinking, which always hurts my brain and gives me a headache. I was thinking the other day about the importance of integrity to print sales. The great print salespeople are always completely honest—honest about themselves, honest about their companies and honest with their customers.

This heavy thinking caused me to dose off and dream. My dreams are always vivid, in color and I always have almost total recall when I awaken.

I dreamt I was a custodial worker for the United States Senate. In this dream, I pulled in to the Senate's underground parking garage about 5:45 a.m. and spoke for a few minutes with the security guy, Herbert Dillard. I've known Herb for about eight years and we usually chew the fat for a few minutes when I arrive for my shift.
 

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