Mañana Man Runs Amok, Again —DeWese
Harris DeWese has been under the weather with the Cajun Flu for a few days so, I, The Mañana Man, am writing this column in his stead. As you know, I am the genius "other" personality trapped in DeWese's body, such as it is. This will give me a chance to get some things off my chest that DeWese never lets me say.
For years I've lobbied to have my picture on the cover of this magazine. I've asked nicely. I've submitted written proposals. I begged. I implored. I whined. Whining almost worked once back in 1986 when the cover story company went belly-up two weeks before the edition was scheduled to print.
Back in 1991, I set up a petition-signing card table in the lobby of the Printing Impressions building. I had three petition signatures favoring me on the cover before the cops came. They not only arrested me but also the three nice winos who stumbled in to escape the cold and had signed on my behalf. (Wait: "Wino" probably isn't politically correct. Make that "gentlemen who were permanently inebriated.")
But, nooo! Attila the Editor has chosen to ignore my years of loyal service, the hundreds of thousands of words written and the popularity of this column. I get no respect. I'm mad! I'm not gonna take it anymore! Revenge will be sweet.
Yep, I'm starting my own magazine.
The first cover features me. All future covers will feature me.
I'm callin' the new magazine Printing Confessions.
I'm going to bury all the existing printing trade magazines. My magazine will tell all. Lawsuits be damned.
I'll have centerfolds like "Print Buyers Bare All" and "The Naked Truth about Paper Salespeople." I'll interview myself for the first cover story. In my own magazine, I won't have to mask the truth. I can tell it like it is. When DeWese writes the column for Printing Impressions, he hardly lets me get in a word edgewise. My interview will go like this.
Printing Confessions: Mañana Man, your detractors have accused you of being shallow and meaningless. How do you answer that charge?
Mañana Man: I should be substantive and meaningful? I write about print sales! Are you kidding? The people who choose to sell printing have to be a little wacko in the first place. Why would rational human beings want to subject themselves to all the rejection, unreturned voice mails, unrelenting price buyers and picky dot fanatics? My readers need to laugh about 300 times a day to keep from crying or overdosing on Jack Daniels.
Keeping yourself up in the face of all the adversity is about 90 percent of the battle. There are some statistics that the industry tries to hide. For example, 20 percent of all print salespeople are entering monasteries and convents every year. Another 15 percent finish each year in straight jackets. And, about 10 percent wind up as guests on the "Jerry Springer" show.
Printing Confessions: A few years ago you caused a big stir when you took 100 print buyers hostage at the Ritz Carlton in Chicago. Tell us, what were they really like?
Mañana Man: You will recall that I was holding them hostage until they granted the entire printing industry a 25 percent price increase. And I would have succeeded if the FBI hadn't gotten so snippy.
I guess what I learned most is that they are mere mortals who are looking for friends. I set up some roundtable group therapy sessions in one of the Ritz conference rooms and, aside from hearing about all their petty neuroses, I learned they want print suppliers with whom they can have a "relationship."
You know, people they can depend on to help protect their jobs. Like everyone else, they merely want to look good in their workplace. Among other things, I learned that we print salespeople haven't done a very good job of being their friends.
Some of the print buyers told me that many graphic arts salespeople are so self-absorbed that they don't seem to care about their needs. They related horror stories about printing salesmen who can only ask, "Got anything I can quote today." They complained about sales reps who seem more intent on making a commission or satisfying their high-pressure management than in satisfying buyers' printing needs.
Printing Confessions: So your foray at hostage-taking wasn't all bad? You learned some things about print buyers and print salespeople. What else did you learn?
Mañana Man: One of the biggest print buyer complaints was that many print salespeople know nothing about their businesses and have not researched enough to even know whether or not their companies capabilities fit the work.
The print buyers also made another unusual observation. It was about the grooming and attire of salespeople. Some print buyers, it seems, correlate how much salespeople care about their personal appearances to how much they will care about their printing. It didn't seem to matter whether or not salespeople were ugly or pretty, but simply how well they presented themselves.
Printing Confessions: On that subject, that's a great picture of you on the cover.
Mañana Man: Oh, that's not me. That's DeWese's picture. Remember that, due to a genetic catastrophe, I'm trapped in his lousy body.
Actually, I was supposed to have my own body—about 6´3˝, 180 pounds, 32˝ waist and a face fit for the silver screen. By the way, readers who wish to subscribe to PC should mail me their checks. The first edition contains a great story on "Consenting Adults on the Third Shift" and another on the "The Return of Letterpress—A New Technology Conspiracy."
Meanwhile, my best suggestion is that you get out there and sell something!
About the Author
Harris DeWese is the author of "Now Get Out There and Sell Something!" published by Nonpareil Books. DeWese is a principal at Compass Capital Partners Ltd. DeWese specializes in investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, sales, marketing, planning and management services to printing companies. He is one of the authors of the annual Compass Report, the definitive source of information regarding printing industry merger and acquisition activity.