My Candy Store ~

When Ty & I walk into a bookstore, this is what he does: he’ll walk just inside the door, inhale a big breath of air, turn to me with a smile and say, “this is my candy store.” As a mother and a printer, I couldn’t be more proud.

I know he won’t be a printer…we’ve already discussed that, and actually John & I are more than okay with that. But I’m so thankful that he loves books…and the smell of paper. We are a family that likes to read and we devour books, magazines and still, our daily newspaper.

We know the general population is moving to e-readers, pod-casts and internet news. Information is easily accessible, but is it as sweet as candy?


All in a Moment~

On my way to work this morning I spotted a man at the gas station, fuel pump in one hand with his face propped up in worry by his other hand. Then, only seconds later I saw a man at the bottom of a set of three flag poles, with his veterans cap tilted on the top of his head, getting ready to raise the flag. Again, moments later a building that I’ve been watching the last few days being stripped away of any valuables was now being smashed apart. My heart went out to each of them and I felt their pain, their pride and the buildings demise.

It doesn’t matter that the three came in a rush, I still felt the emotions…even the building spoke to me. I’m worthless, old and not needed, so I’m being torn down. The man pumping gas with his face in his hand was fueling up his truck. That couldn’t be good with gas prices as they are now. Maybe he was worrying about the choices he must now make. The veteran, he just looked honored to be raising that flag this morning as the breezed whipped around the poles.

The pain, the pride and the demise…things change, values scatter to the winds, and the demise of the old is inevitable. Or, is it? Have you seen The Book of Eli?

And So It Goes…

A poem from the past, written for Don Conte:

Nine years are awhile at Proctor Press, not many can say they stood the test.
You began with Steve, KC and Lawrimore, Bart was there too so you had four.
Watson, Adams and Coad – all left on their own, a friendship with one was already sewn.

And so it goes you were on your way, Abbott Labs and Mary Kay made the day.

The end of 87 the two-color was bought, Valerie and Cathy were the reps you sought.
O’Neil and Rodenbaugh came along too, only one stayed…we all know who.
Randy Dowdy, Jo Simpson and Cal Merritt were here, the times were tough but there was cheer.

And so it goes, time moves on by, your loyal few were by your side.

Then an interesting group came along for you, a related pair and a pretty one too.
Their names were Chip, Bill Lott and Julie, they sold for a while then left us duly.
The six-color was added, oh what a buy, we need more work came the unanimous cry!

And so it goes your job was set, hire more reps and hedge the bet.

Tony and Harvey helped production work, Sammee added spirit to our everyday hurts. Marcelino, Billy and Georgia were ready, they all wanted work and they wanted it steady.
So you went to work – added Gutierrez and Downs, Sandy Bell and Martinez soon came around.

And so it goes, the sales were fair and about that time two reps became a pair.

Vanderheiden, Krawland and Wilcox were there, they added sales but didn’t quite care. For the rest of the group was growing strong, Bartin returned and Janet came along. I know I’ve let some reps go by, Bill Buck, Jack Wright and the curly-haired guy.

And so it goes, with all these twists, thank God I’m not creating the receptionist’s list.

Aris is steady, she’s helped your days, Dillon your estimator made some waves.
The strippers have come and gone so fast, Gilbert is the only one to last.
Sales were up, it was a good year, we all tried to rally together with cheer.

And so it goes, some days were hell, and then some days things went very well.

Fornae, Arnold, Saks and Payne, were all on board to give us some gain.
They all went away, that group of four and soon some more came through the door. Krzan, Zinkand, George and Fred, they were the next group that forged ahead.

And so it goes, it’s been a feat, our lives are touched by the people we meet.

It’s near the end, some days are fun and others we wish we were out in the sun.
You’re on your own, it’s time for you, so let’s drink a drink and say adieu.
Some people are glad, some are sad, but nobody should walk away mad.

And so it goes, be on your way…we wish you well, that’s all to say.

Challenging Sales ~

Fran Ussery and I were talking this morning about the current challenges and frustrations of sales. It’s a known fact that it takes gargantuan amounts of energy and an optimistic attitude to go the distance in a sales career. When things get tough the tough get going…and all that jazz. Right?

What happens when energy and optimism aren’t enough to get you through your week? What happens when frustration sets in and the smile fades? Our sales team is a pretty savvy bunch that knows the process of selling is shifting and getting more difficult.

Seth Godin just wrote about the many levels of management hiding within the big corporations. His opinion revolves around the simple idea of unburdening the buying process and challenges managers to open the lines of communication with sales professionals. Mangers would have much to gain by doing this.

Our jobs as sales people are to assist you with your buying decisions and to give you options and ideas. Our goals are not to sell you something you don’t want.


Jim Hatfield was walking down the sales hall here at Ussery and he could have sworn he heard his mom. He stopped and cocked his head to the side. Somehow cocking your head to the side helps the ears to hear better. Anyway, he DID hear her, she was saying “Jimmy, Jimmy…are you there?” He looked around and then realized his mom was in his pocket. Well, not really, but her voice was coming from his pocket. Ahhhh, we all know what happened, he had just butt-dialed his mom.

I have a new stupid purse. I’ll go on record, I dislike it very much. It’s floppy and messy and I can’t find a thing in it. One day I heard my cell phone ringing. I pawed around the sea of black fabric and didn’t come up with a thing but I had obviously hit the receive button on my cell phone because I could hear my sister saying “hello, hello” from somewhere inside the depths of my purse. So I did what every woman would do, I yelled into my purse “hold on” and dumped the contents on the floor. Found the phone…there, success.

I have another cell phone story but it’s not suitable for this blog. We just need to beware of the ease of touch screens.

Are You Environmentally Responsible?

Environmental responsibility has a price tag…what can you afford?

I think most people consider themselves to be environmentally responsible as much as they are able to, and as long as it doesn’t interfere with their comfort level. Most recycle paper, plastic and glass for sure. BUT, do you drink from plastic throw-away (but recyclable) bottles? Do you still drive a gas fueled automobile? Do you own a cell phone, computer, TV and appliances? If so, do you know how the parts to these electronics are recycled?

Do you consider the impact e-waste has on our planet?

Paper recycling has been around for years. Printers were one of the first to recycle their scrap from press and bindery operations along with the building industry who recycles their scrap wood and sawdust. By-the-way, wood used for building materials is nearly twice what printing & publishing uses. Our forests are now managed for paper and pulp harvesting. By managed, we mean they are grown, harvested and replanted; trees are natural and sustainable.

Do you know how e-waste is recycled? Go ahead….Google it.

Technology Unleashed…

Linda was just showing me her new, super sleek, upgraded cell phone. She also mentioned that the sales associate at the at&t store acknowledged that she was a long time client. That’s nice…then, after some hesitation he told her that he was two when she bought her first cell phone. Obviously that made her day.

I remember my first cell phone…it was the holiday season of 1989 and I was so excited to finally be able to substantiate having one. It was installed in my car and I can even recall that the day was cold and dry with a little wisps of snow fluttering around the highway. Did I say I was excited?

Back then we still used pagers and counted on them to alert us when somebody was looking for us. Then we would determine whether or not the call could wait until we could get to a land line. We had to set priorities for our cellular usage because the cost for airtime was very expensive. It was a luxury just to have a mobile phone.

Thinking about the last 22 years and how cellular phones have become so mainstream, it makes me wonder what new technology is around the bend.