Slight to Moderate Desperation

The printshop is moving . . . on Thursday

Beautiful wife says that I went through my midlife crisis when I started up the printshop. I didn’t chase women, go on drinking binges, disappear to an exotic Third World country, or go postal and blow something up. I bought an AlphaGraphics franchise.

I’m not so sure. For the last nine years, we’ve run the business. It’s been relatively successful. We haven’t become opulently rich, but we’re not starving either. And we’ve had some great customers, wonderful folks who have worked with us and cool opportunities to get involved with all kinds of projects, people and organizations. In balance, I’ve really loved it.
So why did I want to move?

Now that moving day is here, I’m just not sure. The photo above is our new location, enhanced more than just a little bit in Photoshop. It’s nice inside, but it still looks like a disaster from the street. When we began the project last August, the contractor (who is really a pretty good guy) said, “six months construction, no problem.” In February, he said “move in May, no problem.” When we set a move date of June 1, he said, “it’ll all be ready.”

We’re moving on June 7 and there’s still a lake out the back door, concrete to be poured, flooring to go down, and the telephone folks have gone non compis mentis. I’m not sure what part of our need for telephone and internet service that they don’t understand, but they aren’t on any schedule that I can ascertain. Neither screaming nor encouragement seems to have any effect on them at all. They’re oblivious.

Our existing shop is a shambles; and of course we’re busy for the first time this year. We’ve got two large programs and a nice brochure to get off the presses and through bindery before we move. Luckily, the team is functioning well. The owner, on the other hand, is walking around like a dazed zombie. At this point, I’ve got lists of lists to check on. Lots is getting done, but I’m spending time wondering what I’ve forgotten.

This feels a lot like a mid-life crisis. At 47, I might be a little old for this kind of trauma, but I’ll confess to a more than occasional feeling of slight to moderate desperation. The thought, “what in the world was I thinking?” crosses my mind on an hourly basis. My dreams have revolved around deciding not to quit the job I left 10 years ago and I wake up wondering if it’s not too late to ask for it back.

Nonetheless, we’re moving. Into a building in downtown Macon. A big building. A big building that needs to get finished. Across from the Poplar Street park with the fountain that looks like a toilet overflowing. And from the locals who sit in the park and drink beer by the bottle from the Poplar Mart across the street. They are colorful. They use colorful language. I’m going to buy them colorful toy boats and rubber ducks to play with. They can float them in the fountain that looks like a toilet bowl overflowing.

I’m going to do this because it sounds like something a delusional 47-year old owner of a moderately successful printshop would do to go along with his second deranged mid-life crisis.

Life is still grand . . . did I remember to check on the water heater?

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2 Responses to Slight to Moderate Desperation

  1. Robin says:

    Richard,

    I applaud and pray for you and your mid-life crisis; and I feel your pain in reference to your telephone and internet service dilemma. We recently went round-and-round with a certain newly merged phone company that took it upon themselves to “slam” us and switch our DSL service without our permission. Although it took them less than 24 hours to switch us (without our permission), it took almost 2+ weeks to get it switched back (even with our daily “screaming and encouragement”)!! It appears that the new “Your world. Delivered” and “the most complete and secure network in America” forgot about customer service. I wonder how THEY would do business WITHOUT their DSL or phone service?! Yes, you are correct — they are truly oblivious! Well, I wish you the best on our move and look forward to visiting soon. Hang in there and one day you will look back and say, “Well done!” Take care and God Bless!

  2. Mark says:

    A mid-life crisis paved with Black Tar Heroine may’ve been easier. Hat’s off to you for the effort.

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