Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Paging Mr. Success, Report to the Studio


I believe this will be the quickest blob I will have had the pleasure to have done. (11:23pm start time). People ask “where do you get the time to do this” and frankly I don’t know other than having a combination of ADD, insomnia, a love of hot tea late at night, and thanks to Mr. Stewart (Olympus Junior High School, 1960) – a credible touch typist. My fingers fairly fly across the keys, and though I’m prone to more errors than Mr. Stewart would allow, at least the thoughts make it on screen. Tonights blob, written under the gun of two other deadlines, and a desire to get things moving in my studio, is a purely psychological salve. Salve.. you know that ointment stuff.. sticky, smelly, gooey, which you would put on a skinned knee after baseball or kick the can, instead of calling an attorney, a pediatrician, and a shrink like a parent would do now. Some of you might actually have sold a salve.. it was advertised in the comic books in the 1950s, and if you sold 100 cans, you could earn a swell gift, like a model plane, a magic set, or a volume of Classics Illustrated. White Cloverine Brand Salve was the item, and I suppose that somehow with selling all that salve, someone made money somewhere, but I’d sure love to see the Business Plan for that company’s comic book promotions. Or did they even HAVE Business Plans in the 1950s? I personally chose to sell American Greeting Cards.. if you sold a dozen boxes of them, rendered most of the money to the company, they would also send you a swell gift. Though in my case, there was a distinct lack of marketing Salve-y going on. I tried selling in the nearby ‘subdivision’ which, while at the time – age 12 – I just thought that meant “ a helluva lot of houses” and ergo a helluva lot of potential customers, in fact it probably meant “people who work hard for their money, gathered enough to buy a house, but likely don’t need your all purpose greeting cards.” Too bad. Of the dozen, I sold one box to my folks, and one to Steve somethingOrOthers’ mom. Any money I might have made went into sending the cards back to Pennsylvania to the Company.

A lesson learned early on about salesmanship.

Tonight, I want to celebrate crossing the hump. Ten days ago we had this Pods trailer delivered to the house, emptied the better (or worse) part of two or three rooms of stuff into it, and started dealing with the resultant mess & emptiness in order to reconfigure my office out of the basement dungeon, and into the lovely (but messy) studio, upstairs where there are even windows. It has been a bitch of a time. And that was the good part. Not until last Friday did I start to think that it might actually work: I bought a set of plastic bins at The Container Store (a yuppie place in very yuppie Clarenden, which I’d vowed never to shop in) whose gear was more than competitive with Walmart and Target. I started sorting batches (well, sorting is a strong word for it…) of pictures, tear sheets, slides—oh the HUMANITY of it! – and into the plastic bins they went, semi grouped, waiting for me and some lucky future Corcoran intern to go thru, edit, and scan the stuff. Many bins, many boxes. But it began to make order out of chaos. All you have to do is remember what the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin looked like in 1989 (i.e. western Utah desert), and now, it is the most moderne and fashionable part of Europe. It IS possible to affect change.

So onwards we go.. and having taken this break to make a cup of tea before hitting the last of the basement shelfs for stripping and bin-ning, I want you all to know that success has a million fathers, and failure is an orphan. Well, at 11:38, I want to say that I think we may have found the missing parent. Yea, over there, behind the ladder. We’re just sayin…David

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like the Container Store, but Clarendon has really gone down hill from when I arrived in Arlington in 1983. Too bad for it. I miss that Arlington grittiness of the 80s.

Unfortunately, we country folk don't have container stores. We've got to make do with the Rubbermaid stuff at Lowe's, or the stuff Home Despot sells. Our Target doesn't have the variety that the 'Most Unusual' lumberyards have.

As a kid, I'd put on my blue and gold Cub Scout uniform to sell Easter Candy to my neighbors. It was once a year, which reflects now my piss poor selling ability as a freelance photographer. Perhaps I need a blue and gold uniform for my next New York trip? I'm sure it'd be snappy for presentations in ad agencies and graphic design firms too.

Professor W, which does not rhyme with pool which stands for fool.

m_harding said...

Looks like all you did was push everything into the other room?

That green becomes you. Good job, you deserve the tea...

Iris and David said...

I'm with you Michael. All I see is the mess in the other room--is this another instance of glass half full?
Oh my. Iris