CHEERS JEERS & NIGHTMARES
CHEERS: In 1976, when I was 19, I needed to find job, and quickly. My mother had just passed away and I needed to become self-sufficient. I went in search of finding a steady pay check but fortunately found my career instead. 36 years later I still love what I do and I find immense pleasure from my chosen profession.
Recently a client asked me "what's so much fun about being a bill collector, I think it sounds miserably hard and boring"?
I took a moment before answering: "It's all a matter of perspective, some would consider printing to be a snooze fest, yet we both know how ink infects some of us. Once bitten there's no escape, and we can't think of doing anything but printing because it's who we are. We are the original social media."
The more I thought about his question the more it dawned on me, I like knowing that I helped someone save their business or recover what they thought was lost. What I do makes a difference and it gives me a sense of fulfillment. Helping to find solutions can be satisfying, but happiness? I had to think a bit more before answering.
HAPPINESS, that rare, giddy, knee slapping, laugh out loud feeling is when my work results in capturing the conman who intentionally tried, unsuccessfully, to get something for nothing.
PICB's recent launch of it's unique KreditKarma program has been a long time desire of mine and with the birth of the internet it became a reality. The intent was to provide business people a tool to help identify problems before sustaining damage. IT WORKS! KreditKarma has recently yielded results that gave me a great belly chuckle moment!
A person contacted PICB wanting to help another member who lost a substantial amount of money to a deadbeat customer. He explained that he had recognized one of the judgment debtors listed on KreditKarma as someone who recently tried to victimize his business and he wanted to know if his Information could help get the printer paid. His information ended up leading to success.
The judgment debtor contacted PICB upon realizing his company's bank account had been frozen. He stated how shocked and dismayed he was to discover his company failed to pay its' bill. He claimed he really had no idea despite numerous phone calls, written demands for payment, hiring an attorney to try and defend against the printer's rights, and having been served several summons. He wanted us to believe it was all an honest mistake. He assured us that as SOON as we released the bank garnishment he'd make acceptable payment arrangements. He actually believed he could still con Everyone!
WE GOT HIS MONEY AND WE WE WERE NOT GIVING IT BACK!
Now that's fun! It's like dancing a happy dance and not caring how silly you look, or like you felt as a kid at Xmas opening that one special gift you really wanted.
PS: I explained to my printer friend I am proud to be a credit and collection geek and I plan to continue having TONS OF FUN!
JEERS: Some would consider this story to be a tale of cheer. While its' ending is just that, the jeer is warranted by the example made by the big box bully who intentionally sought to take unfair advantage of a small commercial printer.
Several years ago, a fortune 500 company sought the services of a local printer to mass produce a specialized product. Satisfactory pricing had been agreed upon. The printer knew the margins were low but acceptable. Naturally to accommodate such a large order the printer knew he would need additional employees to accommodate the customer's deadlines. He also realized he would have to increase the raw materials on premises so that inventory levels were constantly maintained. It would have a temporary impact on his cash flow, but he knew this was a good opportunity.
The printer agreed to customer's terms and conditions and signed the contracts required, including a document titled 'Vender's code of ethics'. The printer asked his customer for one concession, He explained that the raw materials were exclusively for their use and it accounted for nearly 60% of the job cost, therefore, he needed a 30 days warning prior to the conclusion of the project. The customer agreed.
The project began, and orders started rolling in from all over the world. The presses were all at full capacity and all schedules were being met. The customer was happy with the quality as stated in several email communications. Everyone was happy because this project was rapidly becoming profitable. Multiple orders came daily for months, then all of a sudden it all stopped!
The printer was concerned and after a few weeks he tried to contact the project manager, but was informed that he had left the company. The customer sent the printer on what we now know was an exercise in futility. Like a wild goose chase, the printer was passed between divisions, each manager knowing less than the previous one. No one was willing to accept responsibility or liability for more than $100,000.00 in raw materials and printed goods, and the printer could not afford to take the excess as a loss.
The big box bully just kept passing the buck till the printer asked PICB for help. After trying to negotiate with the customer, who believed they were simply TOO big to be bothered, the printer agreed to sue for his money. The bully fought and LOST. The case went thru several unfair attempts to dismiss the printer's action, but we prevailed. The bully literally lied to the courts and after delay upon delay they finally agreed to pay the printer's bills!
PS: Remember the bigger they are the harder they fall.
NIGHTMARES: The following is proof positive that an ounce of prevention is a lot better than a pound of cure! Remember in our country anyone can sue for anything, it all comes down to a matter of proof.
A person bought a large mobile home and once out on the road decided to engage its cruise control. He verified that the speed was within the stated limits and promptly exited his seat to go get a cup of coffee from the back. Naturally without a driver the vehicle crashed.
The driver survived and sued the manufacturer for his vehicle's damages and damages to his person. The argument provided to the courts was simply based upon product liability: The manufacturer failed to specifically state in the owner's manual that you should not leave the driver's seat while the mobile home was not properly parked.
While the case was presented as product liability, I can't help but wonder if it should have become an insanity hearing? Believe it or not, the courts ruled in the driver's favor awarding him over a million dollars for his pain and suffering. The case is under appeal and I hope someone points out that the driver is a blithering idiot who should have been jailed for wielding a dangerous weapon...his brain!
In another fine example of stupid human tricks, a woman trying to avoid paying a cover charge at a local bar had the fine idea to try and break into the club by climbing up through the bathroom window. She got caught. Not caught by an employee, but by her blouse snagging on a piece of glass. Hanging there for a while she finally conceded this wasn't such a good idea and she needed help (maybe mental help would have been better) so she called out to get anyone's attention.
The bar manager came to her aid and successfully got her down from the window, but fell in the process. The dangling damsel lost two front teeth and sued for damages. The court awarded her more than $100,000.00
Maybe some of her ill gotten booty can be used for psychiatric help!