It’s been a while. I’ve been out of sorts with nothing good to say, so I’ve ignored the blog altogether. After a couple of good months at the end of 2009, Poor Richard fell back into panic mode as business disintegrated at the printshop behind the red awnings on Poplar Street. January 2010 was bleak. I had just begun a serious study of biblical eschatology when the last day of February rolled around and all of our customers woke up at the same time.
I’m thinking it’s the moon. I’ve written about this before (see Poor Richard’s post The Full Moon). Last time, I discussed the deleterious effects of minute changes in the force of gravity on machines and those who operate them. This time, I’d like to consider the tidal effect on the minds of the folks who visit our Gralpharaphics “business center.” (The franchise, who shall nevermore be named in this blog, became disenchanted with printshops a year or two ago and decided that we would henceforth become “business centers.”)
The moon was full on February 28th and the orders came rolling in. All of the work that our customers had decided they didn’t need in January and the first 27 days of February, they now needed immediately on March 1st. It’s not that the tight deadlines are all that unusual, but there were small oddities about several of the orders. Just for entertainment, Poor Richard is pleased to provide you with a few snippets from the past couple of days:
“I gave you my business card as a .jpg. What do you mean you can’t blow it up into a 24 x 36 poster?”
“My last printer closed down. I had been doing this business with him for a while and he wasn’t charging me much. I was hoping that you’d be less expensive.”
“No, the order for 10,000 rack cards went to another shop; but we need you to donate 1,000 posters. Is that a problem?”
“All of their salespeople quit. They decided not to do the mailout because there wouldn’t be anyone to respond to the leads.”
It’s not quite the Twilight Zone, but things are a little bizarre. I answered the phone at lunchtime on Friday. “Do you do raffle tickets?” queried the voice on the line.
“Yes, ma’am, we’ve been known to,” I responded.
“Well, how much do they cost?” said the voice. Even with the sure knowledge that I could not be seen through the telephone, Poor Richard made a conscious effort not to roll my eyes and began to launch into his memorized series of questions regarding quantity, size, paper, numbering, perforations, etc.; only to be interrupted in mid sentence:
“My baby’s in a pageant, and I just need some raffle tickets.”
What kind of person raffles off their baby in a pageant?
We delivered 5000 sets of a stapled document to a customer on Friday – 4 sheets, 2 sides, stapled. This morning they called and said that they had counted the order and were 25 sets short. Poor Richard found it peculiar that anyone would actually take the time to count 5000 sets of copies and also a little dubious that they were short. The job is simple and familiar. We send the file to the big black and white machine manufactured by the nearly palindromatic company that begins and ends with X. The quantity is specified in the print job. The machine prints and staples, the documents are boxed and delivered. The machine log indicates that 5005 copies were produced. Poor Richard is certain that the missing 30 copies were transported into a parallel universe.
About the poster sized business card . . . we printed it. When we explained that it would not print clearly at 24 x 36, we were instructed to repeat it as many times as possible on a 24 x 36 board. We printed it 90 times with a pretty blue background on a nice piece of foamcore for the customer to put on an easel.
It may be the full moon, or perhaps terrorists have injected hallucinogenic drugs into the water supply in Macon. Poor Richard isn’t sure, but he’s happy to be busy even if the orders are a little odd.
Isn’t life grand?