Same Thing…No Salt ~

A few years ago John & I attended a destination wedding in Cancun, Mexico. The resort was luxurious and the staff attentive. After dinner one evening, our party moved to one of the huge stone patios overlooking the Caribbean Sea. It was a beautiful evening and the waiters were bound and determined to make sure we were happy with our service. Two young gentlemen went around the circle of our group to take our drink orders, and margaritas were the drink of the evening. As they got around to John and I, we responded, “same thing, no salt.” As the waiters began bringing out drinks another waiter came up to John and I to take our order, “we already ordered” we said and returned to our conversation. The groom of the party noticed the waiters were confused and after a little thought he started laughing. What? It seems the staff wasn’t proficient in English enough to translate “same thing, no salt” and I’m sure they couldn’t find a recipe for that in their drink book. Hence their confusion.

Every once in a while I encounter a language problem because somebody is using print terminology incorrectly..and that my friends, is a recipe for disaster.

How Unfair Is That?

Check out Steve Blow’s column today in the Dallas Morning News. The focus of his article is Michelle Staubach Grime’s story about her college friendship with Lucia Vaccaro. Sadly, Lucia died in 2003 from cystic fibrosis.

Cystic fibrosis is not new to the Lawrimore family. Our good friends, Bob & Nita Jones, who own Graphic Converting, has a son with the disease. You’re right Steve, the disease is insidious. Many thanks to Michelle and her new position on the board of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I’d also like to bring attention to the North Texas Chapter who under the guidance of Eric & Jill Welke, the Event Co-Chairs, lead a group of amazing people.

One frustration with the fight against cystic fibrosis is limited research funds, due to the fact that more people would need to have the disease. How unfair is that?

Clarify, Please~

Web-to-print solutions…what exactly does this mean?

AKA…Internet-based ordering systems for printing, how’s that for a better explanation? Even that phrase will require some explaining.

Think about this when you’re deciding if a web-to-print solution is for you. Do you, or does somebody in your company order repetitive, time-consuming print that could be transformed to a computer-based on-line ordering system? Let me give you some examples. Do you often need to order and reorder business cards? Do you already have a great design where we could develop a template for you to type in new information and place the order on-line? Want to include letterhead and envelopes, personalized note cards and brochures? Want a gate-keeper to have the final approval for the orders? Want to do all this with helpful ideas to save you time and resources, let alone money?

Well, we can do this for you.

It’s Not Always About Work…

I could be writing today about a label job that has gone all wrong, but sometimes I only want to write a funny short story…and, the label job gone-wrong is not funny. Even though my writing might not always specifically deal with printing, some of the stories can relate to work. Whether it’s about getting along with people, understanding what clients want and why, or realizing you’re getting older in an industry that typically likes to remain young and fresh.

I went shopping last night with Olivia. We met years ago, and even though we’re not exactly around the same age, (she’s much younger) we get along fabulously. We had dinner and then trudged off into the vastness of the mall in search of jeans. We window-shopped a bit…yea, that $28,000.00 ring was out of both our budgets…but it was fun seeing it fit on O’s finger. We stopped by a store that held our attention for quite a while. Anthropologie is a fun store that had delightful detailed clothing, rockin shoes and a fragrant dressing room.

The styles appealed more to Olivia’s taste than mine, but I had no problem enjoying the cushy leather couch and helping Olivia find sizes. She had a blue and white top that was too big and she asked if I could find it in a smaller size. I found the rack and found another top that had a really weird size on it. I told O that I didn’t know what size S1X was. Wouldn’t that be a woman’s size or could it be some other strange numbering system? What is a small 1x anyway? We had a conversation guessing what the manufacturer meant. After she tried on the strange size she started laughing. What? It’s a size six she said. Oh, I hate getting old and always needing my glasses!

Chump Change?

Tyler’s first mission trip was to Mexico and boy was he excited about his upcoming adventure. For months prior to them leaving we attended all the parent meetings, where we talked about where they would be and their safety. We talked about what they should bring and more importantly what they shouldn’t bring on the trip, especially too much spending money, cell phones, computers or ipods.

There was a lot to do before their departure. Malaria pills, shots, supplies and ultimately packing. As we went through the packing list and checked things off I remembered that I had some pesos left over from trips to Mexico. Some of the money was from a trip a long time ago. I knew right where the money was, it was tucked away in the bottom of an old jewelry box in my closet. I went ahead and got it and told Ty that he could hide it away in his bag in case he needed some money for gifts. He was a little reluctant because they weren’t supposed to bring a lot of money. The pesos totaled a little over $75.00. He was still wary, but I insisted that he take it.

Fast forward two weeks later and in true Ty-style he exits the plane with a huge sombrero on his head. Yes, that was his gift to me. As we gathered bags and headed for the car I couldn’t wait to hear about his experience in Mexico. Did he learn anything? What did he witness? How did it feel? Did he eat enough? Did he have enough money? That’s when Ty said, mom we have something to talk about. Parents all around the world know what that means…what’s wrong? Nothing, he said, but he forewarned me that if he made a wrong decision that I could take the money out of his savings account. Oh dear, I thought, what did he do?

Well…let me back up just a bit. When I was counting the pesos from my jewelry box I knew the exchange rate. I counted and recounted and thought I was making an error in moving the decimal. No, that just can’t be right I convinced myself and never gave it another thought. Till now. So, Tyler said, mom, do you know how much money you gave me? Yes, $75.00, right? Well, no mom it was actually $750.00. OHHHHHHH, kkkkkkkkk. So, what did you do with the money?

Tyler donated it to the church in Mexico so they could build a roof. Are you mad mom? No, I said, not at all…God put that money in the right hands.

My Lizard Brain~

I follow Seth Godin because I appreciate and relate to his reference to the lizard brain. My lizard brain thoughts have made me freeze up the last few days.

I had a very busy August. (thank you wonderful clients) And, everyone in sales knows after a busy month you’ll usually have a slow month. It’s due to the reality that you didn’t have a lot of time to search for work while you’re busy running work. And, we all know that sales people are only as good as their last month sales.

So we constantly fight the lizard brain fears of worthlessness when our sales fall off. Sales are like that. It’s tough sometimes to manage through the self-doubt. As a group, we’re just as full of anxiety as the production people whose jobs depend on us doing our jobs. Sometimes more so. Nobody likes to admit they feel a certain way at times, especially if it might make you look weak. I’ll admit it though…I don’t like the way being slow makes me feel. Do you? Okay then…begone to the lizard brain that hides in all of us on occasion!

Register to Win!

Neenah Paper has a clever direct mail piece touting the benefits of their environment papers. What I liked about it was the direct message concerning your carbon footprint. How far are you willing to go…?

Don’t just go to their site to register for the trip for two to Costa Rica, where Neenah has their Neenah Paper Rainforest Restoration project…how exciting! I know that will get a lot of attention. But also take the quiz that will not only enter you to win additional secondary prizes but will also educate you on their papers. It’s worth the time.