Back Off with the Back-Story

Donn James

Donn James

When I pass you on the street or in the office I often, before I can catch myself, fall prey to the social convention of asking, “How are you?” when I really don’t want to know or care. The traditional response of, “Fine. How about you?” is expected so I can mumble something unintelligible and move on. I don’t want to hear any more but I guess my pseudo sincerity is so engaging that some of you believe I want to hear the back-story of your life, family, problems etc. I really don’t. I blame TV where it’s all about the back-story in an effort to turn a 10 second foot race into 60 minutes of my life…just to sell commercial time. We all have problems and we don’t want to hear about yours…even if it makes us feel better about ourselves. In any case, now during every reality show, cooking competition and sporting event, we are assaulted by everyone’s back-story. Nobody asked me but I don’t care if you were born with six fingers on your left hand and don’t know how many holes to drill in your bowling ball or have never known what finger to put your wedding ring on…or you’re depressed because you’ve always had to have your gloves custom made. Just sink the putt, throw the ball, run the race, score the goal, poach the egg, sleep with the bachelor or do whatever you were supposed to be doing before TV decided to bore us with your back-story.
I’m watching Chopped the other night and the show involves 4 chefs cooking 4 odd ingredients against the clock only to have their dishes berated by 3 “celebrity” chefs. Now that’s a good question. When did chefs become celebrities? Did that email drop into my spam folder? Anyway, TV decided watching them cook is not interesting enough so they give us all their back-stories to fill the gaps between derisions. But I don’t care if chef #3 was adopted by a family of raccoons outside Little Rock and raised in a burrow; I want to see what he’s going to make out of beef tongue, black radishes, Italian anchovies and M&Ms. I also learned chef #2 has an artificial leg after a tragic vending machine accident but I think she’ll get chopped because putting all 4 ingredients in a blender with a little ice cream doesn’t make it a milkshake.
I understand that the 100-yard dash only takes 10 seconds but that doesn’t mean I want to spend the previous 59 minutes and 50 seconds learning that you run so fast because you had to out run polar bears growing up in your native village of Kirovsk. I’d be more interested if you lost several friends that weren’t quite as speedy. And I don’t care that you had to learn to throw the javelin right-handed because there is apparently a right and a wrong way to operate a wood chipper.
If you’ve consciously chosen to be a contestant on the Bachelorette, you’ve already dug yourself a hole underneath the bottom of the barrel, proving there is no depth to where you will sink but there are things you should keep private; not because they are bad and in poor taste (though they are) but because we don’t care. I have friends who watch this train wreck and actually have favorites and villains they root for to get, or not get, a rose. But, as contestants, it would be nice if you were at least believable…telling America you’re only working as a manicurist until you save enough money to fulfill your dream of becoming an astronaut just isn’t ringing true. And I don’t care that you had to quit school and support the family after your dad got drunk and fell out of the boat, thereby losing his primo job as a tour guide at Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise.
Here’s the deal, unless your back-story includes being launched from another planet just before it exploded and sent to Earth to save mankind, or you were bitten by a radioactive spider on a high school field trip…I don’t want to hear about it.

It’s not really that different in business. IMC does care that your order is correct and the product works for your event but we’ll let you decide what works best for you and jump in to help you with decisions about products and decorations. We have processes in place to assemble your order just right with a minimum of questions and no back-story. We have thousands of products useful for many programs, events and holidays during the year so you can always find the perfect promotion for any season. 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. And we know you want exactly what you’ve ordered so we do everything we can to earn and learn that order and help you look good to your customers. 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. Our 2014 Holiday catalog is available and you can also request our 2014 catalog on the Catalog page of our website and order some. And all of our new items are visible in the  What's New?section of our website. The 2014 IMC catalog is also available virtually at if you’re tired of fighting paper catalogs. 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. Since introducing Waterford® Writing Instruments and MoMA years ago, IMC has presented more than 40 retail brands from global suppliers to enhance the selections you can offer your clients. See great ideas and items from Kikkerland, Nina Ricci, Ten Design and Orangebag. We invite you to browse any of our 2,500+ 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. 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 think? Let us know with a comment here or on Facebook or TwitterIMC wants to know…How you doin’?

About IMC

IMC is a prime manufacturer and supplier of products to the promotional products industry. We sell only to qualified promotional products distributors. ASI supplier, PPAI supplier. Our lines include our own IMC lines and 26 branded lines.
This entry was posted in Business Gifts, Customer Service, Manufacturing, Promotional Products, Promotions, Retail Brands, Sales, Waterford Pens. Bookmark the permalink.

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