If I am repaired, can we meet again for the first time, in all of the places I have feared to go, and then, again, in all of the places I will have forgotten, if I am repaired?



Friday, November 12, 2010

So I had to swap back to my old Printer.

There are two Printers in Gallatin: one big, one little, one right behind the other… as in, sharing an alley.

     The big one is nice, but it smells like cigarettes. The big one is my old Printer, the place that Bret had my pretty, color flyers printed up black and white.

     Well, when I decided to get the flyers re-printed in color, I inadvertently called the Little Printer.  No problem, I thought, I'm aquainted with underdogs, they're on the line, I’ll give them a shot.

    The lady at the little Printer was helpful enough. She asked if I needed them right away. No. Three or four days would be fine, I told her, and left the work in her capable hands.

     Eight days later I call her to see what is going on.

     “I was just about to e-mail the proof," she says.

     So I wait.


     I get the e-mailed proof the next day with an excuse attached.

     But I’m all about cutting some slack. Proof looks pretty good. Letters are a little too bold: lower case is indistinct. Can she reduce them? I ask. “Sure, no problem. I’ll do it and e-mail the proof back.”


     I’m still good with the slack cutting.

     I call the next day. I get a man...a potentially Muslim kind of foreigner kind of man.
     “Is La La there?” I ask.


     “Well, she was supposed to send me the final proof on some work that I…”

     “Yes. We need a deposit first.”

     “She was just going to tweak the lettering a bit and send me a proof. Then I was going to come down…”

     “Yes, I know. We need a deposit before we give you a proof. This is how it is all over in the printing business. Deposit, then the proof.”

     But I hadn’t been told this, and I already had one proof. And this is where the potentially Muslim foreigner part comes into play. I’m thinking, maybe this guy doesn’t understand what I’m saying, my English, since I tend to be a bit abstract and all.

     So I say, “La La said she was going to adjust the lettering and e-mail it back to me. She didn’t say anything about a deposit.”

     “I don’t care what La La said, I am the boss here! I am the owner! You need to deposit before you get proof.”

     I am done cutting slack.

     “Hold on a second,” I say, “I’m counting back from ten.”

     “... three, two, one...”

     “We can cancel if you would like,” the boss-owner says.

     “I think we should.”

     “No problem.”


     Wow. Now I know why they're the underdogs.

     Then I start to get cranky. I… they… have wasted a week that I could have used to advertise. I look like a fool for giving the underdog a shot. I’m a romantic, gullible idiot. And I still don’t have any flyers!

     I storm off to Gallatin. I have to get my artwork back from Mr. Congeniality, take it around the corner to my old Printer and eat crow.

     Coming down the mountain I’m trying to unharsh my mellow and rehearsing various dialogues with Mr. Sunshine when this occurs to me…

     “Good morning, you must be the boss and owner.”

     “Yes. How can I help you?”

     “I came to get my artwork… we spoke an hour ago on the phone.”

     “Yes. La La, did this guy have any artwork.”

     La La is hidden in the back. She hands out a folder. The boss removes the proof from the folder and hands it to me.

     “How much do I owe you for that?” I ask, pointing to the proof.

     “I’m not going to give you the proof,” Boss says.

     “I don’t want it. But how much do I owe you for making it?”

     “I will not sell it to you!”

     Language issue again? I don’t know, but La La comes out, maybe to translate.

     “I don’t want the proof,” (little did he know I had one in the truck that I had printed off from La La’s late e-mail). “But she,” I glanced at La La, “spent some time making it. What do I owe you for that time?”

     I don’t think they were counting backward from ten, but there was that much silence, while they both digested what I was suggesting.

     La La started to make some kind of apology. She didn’t understand what the problem was, what the company policies were or what the Boss and I had talked about on the phone that morning. She had been so busy and la, la, la…

     Finally the Boss cuts her off and says, “I appreciate your offer. That is very… kind. But no printing, no charge. If you like the proof and want to leave a deposit, we can…”

     Well, there was no chance in hell I wanted that guy’s… that shop’s… bad mojo on my flyers. This was an exercise in killing with kindness.

     One at a time.

     Oh, and my old Printer said they’d work something up for me… no deposit required.


  1. Yikes! This sounds like an incredibly stressful situation :( That guy is a total idiot, and I don't even know if it has anything to do with language barriers! Sometimes, people are just unpleasant and hard to get along with. I'm sorry to had to deal with that!

    Incidentally, what are you printing up the flyers for?

  2. Emmy... I don't know Emmy, if he was an idiot or not... maybe that's just the way men express themselves in his world. I'm pretty used to Southerners though, who are, for the more part, very friendly. So I was like, huh? Anyway, it was good practise.

    The flyers are for Bret and my little business venture... mailers and leave-on-coffeeshop-table-ers.

  3. What a dolt... I just wrote your name twice Em.

  4. Grrrrr... that is so annoying... typical though.. things are not getting better.. just more trying..

    time to find a cave, a brook, a goat, a chicken and a spot to plant some potatoes, far, far away. ...

  5. Just think how nice it is that you can walk away and never see that ass again. He however is stuck with himself and the nagging question "why does everything seem to always go wrong". I'll bet La La gets a little tired of his complaining about how bad business is.

  6. O.F., I think guys like that are too arrogant to ever wonder why things don't go right. I felt a little sorry for La La too. But she had some serious slacker issues... It took her a week to accomplish as much as I did in two hours? Oh well. Water under the bridge.

    I've got everything but the goat and I'm working on that.

  7. See? The old adage is true: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Tried, tested, and true is the way to go. That was such a frustrating story to read--I can't even imagine how annoyed I would be had it actually happened to me. I'm glad you got things worked out (sans a deposit)!!


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