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Star Bores -- Lessons From Hollywood

May 1998
A few months ago, owing to the silly deadline imposed by Attila the Editor-in-Chief and his sidekick BakSlash the Editor, I had to write this column on Super Bowl Sunday. This chore, of course, meant that I was working whilst the rest of America was having fun.

Another unofficial holiday has rolled around, and again I have to work while it happens. This is Academy Awards Monday, and most folks are attending Oscar parties and eating hors d'oeuvres.

It's just as well that I wasn't invited to any of these gatherings because I haven't seen a single nominated movie. My ignorance would have made me a boring guest.

Crashing Bores
However, I am going to watch the Oscar ceremony on my office television while I write this column. I managed to write and watch TV during the Super Bowl. I can do it again. Besides, I get a kick out of watching grown-ups take themselves too seriously—whether on TV or in real life. If you let them, they will just go on and on about themselves. There is an archaic phrase that describes these folks: "crashing bores."

I think David Niven used that very phrase in several films when he would say in his marvelous English voice, "My dear fellow, you are a crashing bore." Then Niven would slap the offender with his white glove. There's no slapping with gloves any more. That's probably why we have so many crashing bores.

Kim Basinger just won an Oscar for a film titled "L.A. Confidential." Didn't see it, but I think she took herself a wee might too seriously during her acceptance speech.

I've said it before: Great print salespeople never take themselves too seriously; they take their customers, co-workers and their work seriously. They know, instinctively at least, that an ego only gets in the way when it comes to selling printing.

Goodness knows it's hard enough to sell printing without constructing personal barriers. The competitive barriers alone are too formidable to allow personal peccadilloes to get in the way.

Too Much Talk
Robin Williams just got an Oscar for "Good Will Hunting." Don't have a clue what that movie was all about. But the title is a good

description of the job of print salespeople. Robin Williams is a great talent because he is an extemporaneous chameleon and, wow, is he a talker! Of course, in his case, it's part of his act. The worst sales-people are talkers. They just don't know when to stop.


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