That’s News to Me

Donn James

I freely admit to showing my age today but there are times when it can’t be helped and it’s not like I grew up dodging dinosaurs or went AWOL from the Roman Legion. Last night I couldn’t find anything on early in the evening…that in itself is embarrassing as I have around 2000 channels, DVR, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu which may say more about my attention span than the fact that I just found a network news station and let it run while I did some Thursday chores. My question is, when did the evening news become a joke? Did I miss another memo? This is America so why is the only real news on the Cartoon Network? It can’t be that long ago because I still remember it but there used to be real news reported every evening by an old white guy, either yelling at you in the case of Edward R. Murrow who always had a cigarette stuck to his lower lip and later the calm, grandfatherly voice of Walter Cronkite.
They reported real news because there wasn’t anywhere else to get it. We all watched the evening news and the next morning you read more about it in the newspaper but both have now gone the way of the yellow pages and the foldable map. I have msn on one of my screens, my iPhone charging at my desk and my iPad on a stand next to me so unless it happened while I was typing this sentence, chances are I’ve heard about it so I don’t need someone telling me about it 8 hours from now. In fact, we should make TV change its ways and stop calling it the “NEWs” and start calling it “Things That Happened Earlier Today That You Probably Already Forgot.” Since it has stopped being news and turned into a sitcom, I’d rather they just cancelled all the news and played reruns of Mister Ed because he’s at least still relevant.
I feel compelled to again remind you that when I talk about the “old days” it usually wasn’t better, it was just different. In this case it was better, way better. Murrow, Cronkite, Huntley & Brinkley had more freedom of speech than the talking heads of today, generally because they could read, and they even had some say in the stories being broadcast and it was generally 30 minutes of hard-hitting news stories. There were no stories about Angelina adopting Zambia or a Kardashian car accident; in fact, if they had asked Edward R. Murrow to announce who was going to walk Meghan down the aisle tomorrow, he would have put his cigarette out in their ear. Walter Cronkite spent 30 minutes with me every weekday evening for almost 20 years and never once did he show me a picture of Ben Affleck and his new girlfriend.
Through no fault of their own we started making the trek to crap news when women started doing the news. Women anchors were only given so-called “puff pieces” on which to report because they were thought to be too delicate to do hard-hitting news. Clearly we do not know the same women because all the women I know are tougher than I and have endured far worse than I. TV commercials and sitcoms have always shown the women to be tougher and smarter than their husbands and most of us would agree that that mirrors life but the news networks never figured it out so by the time Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer came along, the news was a joke and archaic since we all had smartphones and computers so it was like asking us to cook when we had a microwave staring us in the face.

IMC has in excess of 2200 promotional products that will help you serve your client and we are adding new brand partners and products from our collections and our established retail brand partners. We believe IMC products speak for themselves and we can also show you ways to use and market them to your clients. Our products with decoration will have your customer coming back time and time again. Since introducing Waterford® Writing Instruments and MoMA years ago, IMC has presented more than 60 retail brands from global suppliers to enhance the selections you can offer your clients. We invite you to browse any of our 2,200+ products on the IMC website to see items suitable for any occasion or event and pieces you can use to personalize your relationship with your clients. On our site you can register as a distributor, track orders, upload art for virtual samples and even create your own flyers and catalogs of our products. The 2018 IMC catalog is available by request from the IMC website and is posted on the online services and we’ll continue to treat our clients professionally and get your orders to you…on time and on budget. You can also request our 2018 catalog using the catalog page of our website or download the PDF. We have products for every event and if your client has invented a holiday or celebration, we can also custom-make almost anything you can dream to make your client’s event all it can be. Take a look at our YouTube channel to see some videos showcasing popular products for some ideas on how to use them. We take our business relationship seriously and we want you to enjoy, give and receive our products and be able to use them every day. We look forward to working with you and we always have ideas to make our products work for your clients. The 2018 IMC catalog is also live and available virtually at Zoomcatalog.com and on our website if you’re tired of fighting paper catalogs and it can be viewed nicely with your laptop, iPad, tablet or phone. IMC is the recognized leader in the introduction of new retail brands to the promotional product industry and has multiple design awards from both ASI and PPAI. We have promotional products for every event, show, convention, corporate store and company program that will keep your client looking to you for new ideas. What do you say…what’s new with you?

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There’s Nobody Like Me Here!

Donn James

Let me first apologize for missing you last week as I was doing the one thing most of you diligently avoid and that is jury duty. I don’t know how I walk among 10 million of you nearly daily and yet it’s my name that pops up every year, mostly likely because many of you have perfected some sort of an excuse, an excuse so good you should start giving classes. Maybe you’re pregnant or your cat just died and you don’t know how you can go on or maybe it’s just your day to volunteer at Nordstrom’s. I have the best excuse but for the last 50 years nobody has listened to me. I have been trying to explain to judges for decades now that I really have no peers, so it wouldn’t be fair. And I have lived this long without a tattoo so I don’t really fit in (with prospective jurors or those accused).
When I arrived at the courthouse I received confirmation of my previous statement in that I had nothing in common with anyone in that room as I still had most of my teeth and I wasn’t sticking a finger into an orifice in my head. I love that America is a melting pot but nowhere is it more obvious than a jury room because it looks like they just opened the doors to every prison in the world. I also realized once more that the term “Business Casual Attire” has taken a hit lately and now included cargo shorts and flip-flops. And that was just the women. It may be unfair of me to comment on the footwear since I don’t wear flip-flops because well…I’m an adult. Looking at a few groups of men was like looking into a sea of denim and while I rarely wear denim, I certainly would never wear denim on denim and here I found myself floundering in such a tsunami of denim, I thought I’d taken a wrong turn and ended up in a rodeo or the Duggar family photo.
Speaking of children, we talked about licensing the last time we spoke and since I was trapped in the belly of law and denim I realized this was where many came to get a license for this or that so I wandered around trying to find out why my dog needs a license to pee in my backyard and I need a license to talk to a pirate but this cracker in Arkansas is allowed to spawn a rabbit’s worth of children without passing a test. Ol’ Jim Bob was a republican member of the state House of Representatives so we can assume he’s not a member of Mensa but I don’t understand how the democrats, who love to pass laws, let this opportunity slip away. Think of all the revenue they could have raised if they made him at least register as an illegal day care center. I’m going to slip to that side of the aisle as I find myself in favor of some sort of a license if you choose to have children…especially by the bushel. Maybe whether it’s your first, your 14th or your 19th you should have to pass a test and get a license. Khloe Kardashian just had a baby and she actually said, “I can’t believe I’m a Mom” but I think she ignored the rest of America as we groaned and said, “Neither can we.”
I have a couple of proposals some may call radical but I consider them worth considering. Not only should you have a license to have children but there should be a separate license and testing before you’re allowed to bring them out in public because most of the ones I see are a menace and I don’t want them crawling under my table when I’m just trying to enjoy some wings at Hooters. While we already need a license to drive, in California you should have to pass a more rigorous test if you intend to drive an SUV. It’s not too much to ask that you be able to back out of a parking space in less than a day or make a right turn without having your back end jump the curb, clipping the homeless guy and his unlicensed dog.

IMC has in excess of 2200 promotional products that will help you serve your client and we are adding new brand partners and products from our collections and our established retail brand partners. We believe IMC products speak for themselves and we can also show you ways to use and market them to your clients. Our products with decoration will have your customer coming back time and time again. Since introducing Waterford® Writing Instruments and MoMA years ago, IMC has presented more than 60 retail brands from global suppliers to enhance the selections you can offer your clients. We invite you to browse any of our 2,200+ products on the BRAND NEW IMC website to see items suitable for any occasion or event and pieces you can use to personalize your relationship with your clients. You can register as a distributor, track orders, upload art for virtual samples and even create your own flyers and catalogs of our products. The 2018 IMC catalog is available by request from the IMC website and is posted on the online services. We hope we had a chance to meet in Las Vegas and you had a chance to meet some of our wonderful retail partners from MoMA, Areaware, Blunt, Kikkerland, Magisso, HydAway and Dynomighty. We’ll continue to treat our clients professionally and get your orders to you…on time and on budget. You can also request our 2018 catalog using the catalog page of our website or download the PDF. We have products for every event and if your client has invented a holiday or celebration, we can also custom-make almost anything you can dream to make your client’s event all it can be. Take a look at our YouTube channel to see some videos showcasing popular products for some ideas on how to use them. We take our business relationship seriously and we want you to enjoy, give and receive our products and be able to use them every day. We look forward to working with you and we always have ideas to make our products work for your clients. The 2018 IMC catalog is also live and available virtually at Zoomcatalog.com and on our website if you’re tired of fighting paper catalogs and it can be viewed nicely with your laptop, iPad, tablet or phone. IMC is the recognized leader in the introduction of new retail brands to the promotional product industry and has multiple design awards from both ASI and PPAI. We have promotional products for every event, show, convention, corporate store and company program that will keep your client looking to you for new ideas. What do you say…can I see your license?

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Opinions Not Welcome Here!

Donn James

Most of you are aware there is no shortage of issues with which I have issues and lately I’ve noticed a proliferation in one area I find particularly disturbing, so let’s talk about opinions. You may not have noticed because I rarely share mine but I already have one…and one is plenty…so I don’t need yours. You may be thinking that I’m talking about friends or family and that may be true in your case but recently I’ve seen total strangers offer suggestions about diet, parenting, politics etc. and they’re usually wrong and while I respect your right to be ignorant, too many of you are abusing the privilege. Continue reading

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Walleye Don’t Know What to Tell Ya

Donn James

And this is the exact reason I don’t like to leave California. Regular readers know I was away last weekend in Minneapolis and, as some sort of a macabre welcome to Minnesota gift, it started to snow in Minneapolis and didn’t stop until I was back in the air Sunday and flying over Nebraska making my escape. Even more Orwellian was that Saturday when they closed the airport, flights were being diverted to North Dakota because even they knew it was spring. Continue reading

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How’s the Weather?

Donn James

I’m posting this in advance today as I had to leave to attend a birthday party. Now, I’m not much for birthday celebrations but this is a good friend and it’s not like I have to drive to Palmdale or Temecula or somewhere else on the outskirts of hell. I just have to fly to Minneapolis and even with the plane just getting hit by lightning; it’s a lot easier to get to than Palmdale. Continue reading

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A Fleeting Greeting

Donn James

With the advent of online banking and the fact that they’re starting to put ATMs in restaurant bars, Tibetan monasteries and Siberian outhouses, I usually don’t have occasion to visit a bank much anymore and I’m comfortable with that because I don’t want to talk to anyone and in the last few years, the few banks I’ve been in have had greeters in the lobby as if they were trying to be a tiny, little Walmart. This is not to say I don’t understand the concept…you have people not working so why not make one of them stand near the door and not work by asking me about my day and what could someone who might be working do to help me. Because what I really need at that point is some condescending suit asking me how my day’s going as if they care or if that’s productive when all I want is for them to open another window so I can find out how much interest my $17 earned in the last quarter.
Since most of us have a raging distrust of banks you might think the greeter is merely there to distract you while they sell you another credit card you don’t need but I’ve learned they are the first measure of security and doing all they can to keep my $17 safe. According to the banks, which would never do anything self-serving, the greeters are trained to spot suspicious behavior and ask people to remove identity-obscuring clothing like hoods, scarves and gloves. Not unusual attire for February in Minnesota but usually out of place here and while I find this to be a perfectly valid reason to get rid of the stupid hoodie, most bank robbers seem to put a great deal of effort into not being recognized so this might be making banks safer. Apparently robbers would rather be anonymous so when someone looks at them and asks, “How are you today?” it has the same effect as a police siren. It is also supposed to deter the robbers who come in beforehand to case the bank. Then the robbers can’t loiter and check things out so they just end up grabbing a piece of candy from the bowl and skedaddling. So don’t be surprised the next time you walk into a bank carrying an assault rifle when the greeter asks you to take off your Dodger cap. If greeters are really a deterrent to bank robberies, I suspect it’s because bank robbers don’t like inane conversations with greeters any more than I do…so they just leave. It’s not like they’re going up to the greeter and saying, “Hey, my name is Bubba. What’s the combination to the safe?”
I guess you can’t argue with the success of greeters and I hope it results in fewer bank robberies. It’s really worked out for me because I have taken my kids there and told them, “If you don’t stay in school, you could end up like this.” More and more stores are adding greeters, especially at self-checkout areas because if you leave it up to us to tally our bill, we’re not to be trusted and I can tell you they need greeters at Target because I saw a guy stuff a bottle of cognac down his pants and the two employees I told had no idea what to do. At Walmart, the greeter seems to fight a never-ending battle with consciousness but don’t even try to sneak out of there with a Snickers bar while, at Target, I think the guy’s coming back later for a TV.

IMC has in excess of 2200 promotional products that will help you serve your client and we are adding new brand partners and products from our collections and our established retail brand partners. We believe IMC products speak for themselves and we can also show you ways to use and market them to your clients. Our products with decoration will have your customer coming back time and time again. Since introducing Waterford® Writing Instruments and MoMA years ago, IMC has presented more than 60 retail brands from global suppliers to enhance the selections you can offer your clients. We invite you to browse any of our 2,200+ products on the BRAND NEW IMC website to see items suitable for any occasion or event and pieces you can use to personalize your relationship with your clients. You can register as a distributor, track orders, upload art for virtual samples and even create your own flyers and catalogs of our products. The 2018 IMC catalog is available by request from the IMC website and is posted on the online services. We hope we had a chance to meet in Las Vegas and you had a chance to meet some of our wonderful retail partners from MoMA, Areaware, Blunt, Kikkerland, Magisso, HydAway and Dynomighty. We’ll continue to treat our clients professionally and get your orders to you…on time and on budget. You can also request our 2018 catalog using the catalog page of our website or download the PDF. We have products for every event and if your client has invented a holiday or celebration, we can also custom-make almost anything you can dream to make your client’s event all it can be. Take a look at our YouTube channel to see some videos showcasing popular products for some ideas on how to use them. We take our business relationship seriously and we want you to enjoy, give and receive our products and be able to use them every day. We look forward to working with you and we always have ideas to make our products work for your clients. The 2018 IMC catalog is also live and available virtually at Zoomcatalog.com and on our website if you’re tired of fighting paper catalogs and it can be viewed nicely with your laptop, iPad, tablet or phone. IMC is the recognized leader in the introduction of new retail brands to the promotional product industry and has multiple design awards from both ASI and PPAI. We have promotional products for every event, show, convention, corporate store and company program that will keep your client looking to you for new ideas. What do you say…how are you today?

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Is That About Average?

Donn James

Just when I think nobody could be more pretentious than I, somebody comes along and raises the bar and for Southern California…that’s really saying something. Californians will believe this but the rest will assume I’m joking but I was passed by a Mercedes and his personalized license plate was his…wait for it…SAT score. So let’s break this down with an expert…me. Firstly, even driving a Mercedes is pretentious and I’ve had three in the last 25 years so I know pretentious. Secondly, a personalized license plate is much less conceited since everyone in Southern California has one and they are usually innocuous homages to your idols like “CHWBCA” or “DUUUDE” although they also may speak to your usual state like “IGOTTAP” or “IAMLATE” and even occasionally to your career choices like “DRUNK” or “WLD CHIC.” Thirdly, why would you think it’s a good idea to memorialize the fact that you’re above average? Half of the people in the world are above average because…that’s what average means. You should trade in that Mercedes and buy yourself a thesaurus. You’ll find average between ass and awesome. Anyway, nobody goes around telling people they’re in the top 50%.
Notwithstanding the above paragraph, I think average gets a bad rap. It just means you’re better in some things and not as good in other things but many people now treat it as if you just swore at them. I’ve never been tall which has been a blessing for me because I don’t like basketball but when I was younger, I was of “average” height and now as I age, I’m shrinking like a grape into a raisin who may eventually turn into a garden gnome and I’m oddly OK with that.
I have for 40-some years heard and experienced stories of parents complaining that their child had to get an “A” because they have some sort of belief that they need to be ranked according to ability instead of just striving that the child does better than he or she did the day before which would alleviate much of the anxiety and stress to which most students fall prey. Most of these parents need to brush up on their math because you can’t stuff the top 40% into the top 10%…again because of that whole average thing. In any case, most of the parents I know need to make a giant leap just to become average so they’re probably overreaching when it comes to their kids. That’s Newton’s 2nd Law of Gravity…the one  where the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I get that it’s nice to know who the fastest runner, longest passer, highest jumper is but we have become entwined in believing that everything of value needs to be sorted and ranked when in many cases…all you want to do is pass.
When you were 16 and got your driver’s license, did your parents start going around and telling all the neighbors you were an “above average” driver? No, and if we ranked driver license photos, nobody would be in the top 10%. When I had fitness tests in school all I wanted to do was pass and if you did more pull-ups than I, I still had no trouble falling asleep that night. And if you think your child graduated with honors from Kindergarten because his or her construction paper necklace was in the top 10%, you probably still believe in trickle-down economics and the tooth fairy.
We have become more obsessed with the next step instead of concentrating on the task in front of us. For some reason we are trying to run the race before tying our shoes when we should be concentrating on tying our shoes and then sitting down and having a beer.

IMC has in excess of 2200 promotional products that will help you serve your client and we are adding new brand partners and products from our collections and our established retail brand partners. We believe IMC products speak for themselves and we can also show you ways to use and market them to your clients. Our products with decoration will have your customer coming back time and time again. Since introducing Waterford® Writing Instruments and MoMA years ago, IMC has presented more than 60 retail brands from global suppliers to enhance the selections you can offer your clients. We invite you to browse any of our 2,200+ products on the BRAND NEW IMC website to see items suitable for any occasion or event and pieces you can use to personalize your relationship with your clients. You can register as a distributor, track orders, upload art for virtual samples and even create your own flyers and catalogs of our products. The 2018 IMC catalog is available by request from the IMC website and is posted on the online services. We hope we had a chance to meet in Las Vegas and you had a chance to meet some of our wonderful retail partners from MoMA, Areaware, Blunt, Kikkerland, Magisso, HydAway and Dynomighty. We’ll continue to treat our clients professionally and get your orders to you…on time and on budget. You can also request our 2018 catalog using the catalog page of our website or download the PDF. We have products for every event and if your client has invented a holiday or celebration, we can also custom-make almost anything you can dream to make your client’s event all it can be. Take a look at our YouTube channel to see some videos showcasing popular products for some ideas on how to use them. We take our business relationship seriously and we want you to enjoy, give and receive our products and be able to use them every day. We look forward to working with you and we always have ideas to make our products work for your clients. The 2018 IMC catalog is also live and available virtually at Zoomcatalog.com and on our website if you’re tired of fighting paper catalogs and it can be viewed nicely with your laptop, iPad, tablet or phone. IMC is the recognized leader in the introduction of new retail brands to the promotional product industry and has multiple design awards from both ASI and PPAI. We have promotional products for every event, show, convention, corporate store and company program that will keep your client looking to you for new ideas. What do you say…who’s in first?

Posted in Brands, Business Gifts, Customer Service, Manufacturing, Promotional Products, Promotions, Retail Brands, Sales | Leave a comment