Posts Tagged ‘producer’

A few weeks ago someone called me asking if I wanted a free Android Tablet.  My response was, “Of course I do!”  Then we proceeded to have a 10 minute long conversation in which she asked many questions to make sure that we had the disposable income to spend lots of money on her buying club.  I was pretty frustrated at this point because, heck I agreed to come to your dumb schpeel, I need no more convincing.   Now she was just inconveniencing my evening.  Then for an extra $200 restaurant.com gift card we took an internet tour of their club.  After probably thirty minutes I had a confirmation letter allowing me the privilege of coming to their buying club.

Me:  Hey Dave!  I just got us a free android tablet!

Him: Awesome!  How’d you do that?

Me:  We just have to go to a high pressure sales seminar and you need to tell them no and badabing badaboom!  It’s ours!

Him:  We don’t need an android tablet.  We have 2 ipads.  You have a kindle and I work on a team that MAKES TABLETS!

Me:  But it will be fun!

So, after many reminder phone calls, last week Dave and I finally went to the high pressure sales pitch.

Them (handing us a paper with everything you could ever think of buying):  Please circle all of the things that you think you’ll purchase in your life time.

Dave circled: chandelier, grand father clock, and high end toilet.  I circled “baby”.  Heck, if they can get me a discount on a baby, maybe I can convince dave we need one.

Me:  Which catalog does a baby come in?

I can’t tell you how many times they told me to be there at 6:50 because we would be starting promptly at 7.  If we were late, we would not be admitted and we would loose out on this great opportunity to join in on their buying club.

Me:  It’s 7:03

Me:  It’s 7:10

Them:  We’re just waiting for one more couple.

Me:  It’s 7:12

And around 7:15 we started our tour.  It was like a perpetual game of the Price Is Right.

Him:  How much do you think this leather jacket retails for at your favorite store?

Couple 1:  $500

Couple 2:  $600

Couple 3:  $250

Host:  I want to shop where you shop!

Dave:  $1  I’m pretty sure you all overbid.

Host:  Well, with our club, you can purchase this leather jacket for just $45.86

Dave:  Yes!  I won!!!

Couple 1:  Oh, my gosh!!!  You’re kidding me!!!!  How is that possible!!!  That’s awesome!!!!

Couple 2:  WOW!!  How about leather pants?  Can I buy leather pants?? WHAT A GREAT DEAL!!!

repeat with the high end, air compressor, boots, bamboo flooring, bbq, king size bed.

The whole time Couple 1 and 2 were incredibly enthusiastic.  Couple one always responded with an OMG reaction  and couple 2 always responded with some other random thing they could purchase.

Couple one actually said “Oh my gosh, I think I might poop my pants!!!”  at one point.  Who says that?

Host:  You guys are already part of “the retail club”, come be part of our wholesale club!  For just $6000 and $200 a year you can buy everything you can think of for wholesale prices!

Dave:  Can I buy apple products?

Host:  No.

Dave:  How about bose speakers?

Host:  No.

Dave:  A springform trampoline?

Host:  No.

Dave:  So I can buy anything wholesale but the stuff I’m thinking of…

Host:  But all the other things you can think of can be purchased at wholesale prices.  40% of your income goes to being part of the retail game.  By joining our whoelsale club you can now buy 40% more stuff.

Me:  Like a baby?

Host:  We really don’t sell babies.

Me:  Oh.

If you haven’t been to one of these high pressure sales pitches, you probably don’t know that there are many tiers to pressure and guilt.  First is the host who tells you all about the great deal.  He doesn’t mention money or cost, he just gets you super excited to buy.  Then comes the money guy who tries to convince you to purchase his deal for an obscene amount of money.  When you refuse he passes you off to the high pressure/high guilt salesman who tries to convince you again.  If you refuse he offers you a sweeter deal. If you are still standing firm, he passes you off yet again.  The final guy the sort of guy who might moonlight as a used car salesman and a hit man for the mofia.  He offers you a backdoor-fell-off-the-truck sort of deal.  When you still won’t bite, he’ll disgustedly pass you off to the girl handing out prizes.

Dave is particularly suited to going to these things because he has no problem saying no and he does not operate by guilt, peer pressure, or propaganda tactics.

After we heard the shpeel, toured the facility and played a few more rounds of “the price is right” where dave won with his $1 bid every time, we sat down with the money guy.  We were lucky and got the owner of the club.  I think it’s because they knew we were going to be a hard sale.  Unfortunately for the poor guy, he didn’t see us coming.  He was a doctor and an engineer.  He underestimated dave’s ability to keep people off topic.  Every time he’d start to talk about all the stuff we could buy dave would start talking about defibrillators and pace makers.  Then we found out he also tried law school.  This guy is seriously the most educated salesman ever!

He looks at our list of future products we might buy in our life time and sees chandelier, high end toilet and baby circled.  He ignores our list

Him:  What was the last piece of furniture you bought.

Dave:  I can’t remember the last piece of furniture that didn’t come from either my friends, family, or the side of the road.

Me:  I love Ikea!

Him:  I think you guys are at the point in your lives where you might want to start thinking about investing in some high quality things.  Sure you could go to Ikea and spend $100 on a dresser, but with our club, you could spend a little bit more and end up with some high quality furniture that will last a long time.

Me:  I understand what you’re saying, but I don’t think we buy enough “stuff” to make this worth it for us.

Him:  Everyone buys stuff.

Me:  Not me, I’m a producer.

Him:  Everyone is a a consumer.  No one is a producer.

Me:  No, really, I’m a producer.  I’m an urban farmer.  I produce stuff.  The thought of spending money so that I can buy more disturbs me a little bit.

And this folks is how it’s done.  He didn’t bring in the ringers or the guilters.  He knew we were a lost cause.  He handed us off to the lady who gave us our tablet and off we went.  Well, off to the ER, because apparently that’s what we now do on Thursdays.

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I read the book Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes last year and it revolutionized my thinking.  If you talk to Dave and the kids, they might say that it was the day I started reading labels and stopped buying delicious food.  And by delicious they mean things like Fruit loops and corn dogs, frozen burritos and canned chili, Wonderbread and white flour pasta.  It might be categorized as the day that I started referring to certain foods as poison.

Radical Homemakers is about men and women across the U.S. who focus on home and hearth as a political and ecological act, and who have centered their lives around family and community for personal fulfillment and cultural change. It explores what domesticity looks like in an era that has benefited from feminism, where domination and oppression are cast aside and where the choice to stay home is no longer equated with mind-numbing drudgery, economic insecurity, or relentless servitude.  —

It’s really right up my alley.  Because though, it is steeped in information about the food industry because the author is an organic, sustainable farmer, it is also full of families who have turned their backs on the future that our society is making.  They are shunning the conventional and striving for a better quality of life.  I long for the existence that many of the families in the book are creating.

Quite frequently while reading the book, I’d turn to Dave and say “Darn Industrial Revolution!” (with a dramatic shake of my fist). 

Dave:  Am I missing something here? 

Me:  If it wasn’t for the Industrial Revolution we could spend more time together.

Dave:  Yes, we could.  We could also be hungry migrant farm workers.

Me:  That’s not what I mean.  You could be Pa Ingalls and could build us a house out of the forest and I could be Ma and I’d be weaving us straw hats right now. 

Dave:  Or, I could save you 8 weeks of work and we could buy a straw hat at Target for $10.

Me:  That right there, is why I’m a producer and you’re a consumer. 

And for months, every time I debated purchasing something it would be weighed upon the Producer-consumer scale.

Dave:  We’re out of bread.

Me:  Well, we could buy a loaf of bread and be consumers, or I could make it and we’ll be producers.  Let’s go buy flour.  I’m gonna produce this.


Mckayla:  We’re out of peanut butter.

Me:  We have peanuts, a food processor and the internet.  Let’s make it!

McKayla:  Can’t we just buy it?

Me:  No, we’re producers, not consumers!

McKayla:  I like consuming.

Me:  Don’t worry, I’ll let you consume your homemade peanut butter after you make it.

It’s been a long road.  I know that the big picture dreams of being a radical homemaker will never really make it to fruition because I can’t seem to brain wash convince Dave to hop on board.   I’ve learned that being a producer, is hard work, and I can’t produce everything alone.  The convenience of running to the store is so very, very tempting (and easy).  It also doesn’t make it any easier that I’m still surrounded by a family of consumers. But, I’m winning them over, little by little.

Yesterday, we were making dinner and everyone was helping.

Dave:  What should I put in the Taquitos?

Me:  Shredded pork, some salsa, onions, and cheese.

Dave:  We’re out of cheese.

Me:  Aw, man.  We don’t really need it for the taquitos, but it will make for some very sad cheeseless beans. 

Dave:  Let’s make some cheese! 

Our first batch of Queso Fresco was born.

Because we’re producers Damn it!

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