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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

What a difference a day makes!

Posted on December 22, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Monday is often described in song, often as Manic, Blue or New Moon-ey. But no one quite hit my particular Monday as succinctly as George Michael did in Battlestations where he proclaimed, “Monday was the worst day…”


Yesterday – well, actually, TWO days ago, Monday the 20th if you are trying to keep a totally accurate Box Score at home – was a less than stellar day. Of course, you can read the 1800 word full length version here, but to wrap it up in a giant rhea-filled nightmare diaper of awful, picture a day filled with phlegm globs, freezing cold, bitter winds, a customer that ended a 2 hour meeting with a parting ball-punch of saying that a $600 projector is outstanding, non-cashable checks and culminating in a shattered Revo lens. Oh yeah, the Sciacca Monday was firing on all choppy cylinders.


But, Tuesday (which is now the NEW yesterday) was an entirely different day. Starts off with the wife of the Green Beret calling me on my cell phone. She got my number from the builder and says that they have decided to make some time in their schedule to take me up on my offer to come down and meet me at the store. Instant reversal of fortune on what I thought was a lost sale! Seriously, my store is my Fenway, Camden Yards, Roman Coliseum, and Madison Square Garden; and you know the home team always does better at home. So, I’m buoyed by a chance to meet with him in an environment that is neither freezing, windy nor filled with silver-toothed, other competing A/V contractors.


Then, as I’m about to walk out the door Dana says, “By the way,Chick-Fil-A is giving away free chicken biscuits this morning.” Sa-weet! Yes, I know a chicken biscuit is only like $2.22. And, yes, my financial wherewithal would allow me the fiscal freedom to enjoy a chicken biscuit every damn morning if I were so inclined. Bu there is nothing sweeter than the delicious, breaded, chicken-biscuitey goodness of a FREE biscuit. So on the way in, I swing through the Fil-A drive through and grab said free biscuit. And, oh yes, it is every bit as delicious as you would expect a free Fil-A chicken biscuit to be. (So delicious, in fact, that I try and double-dip; swinging into the Fil-A drive through right by my store. Sadly, they weren’t participating in the promo.)


So I grab a work van and head down to Debordieu (which is pronounced locally as “Debby-do” killing any person with even a droplet of French blood in them whenever it is so blasphemed within earshot) for an appointment. The couple is older, but is totally cool. They want to add some audio to their home, replacing a super outdated Bose system with wiring that is being tenuously held together by that old, grey, sweaty duct-tape. They don’t like the sound, they don’t like the look and they want to step up to something that isn’t keeping all of their CDs in 6-disc magazines. They also keep mentioning an old Bang & Olufsen system that they had, and every time I hear them say “B&O” I’m hearing “We don’t mind spending money -- lots of money; like giant, heaping, run-and-jump-in-it piles of money -- for something we like.” The solution? Sonos. Wireless, simple, elegant, solving all of their problems and making it about a 5 minute procedure to add audio to the three new areas they want to enjoy. Paired with a Def Tech sub-sat system, this is the perfect thing for these folks.  I invite them to come by the store for an experience and then I head out.


Next stop, the bank. Attempt two to cash the check for my sold Marantz pre-pro. I contacted the check holder and told him of my problems and he was shocked. Shocked to the point of sending me screen captures showing that he definitely had enough money in his account. He was going to stay home to make sure if there was a problem the bank could call and sort it out. New bank, new teller, new happy ending. Awesome. With 39 fresh twenties in my pocket, I had back to the store.


Get to the shop and there is the Green Beret and his wife. Remember how yesterday I said he responded to my offers of automation and lighting control like I was offering to, um, "service" his wife on film? Well, turns out the wife kinda likey the Johnnie offer. Not the sex on film part. The lighting control part. She isn’t three feet in the door when she says, “Tell me more about the lighting control system.” And, pow! Segue into a RadioRA2 discussion. Want to clean up all those wall clutter areas of quad, quint and sextuple wall boxes with a single, so-so sexy keypad? Want to hit a button that sets all of your lighting all over the house at a desired level? Then – appealing to Mr. Security – want to have you lighting cut on or off every day according to sunrise or sunset schedules? So we spend about an hour going over different things and the meeting was way, way, oh-so-much WAY better. I show them all the different audio options, keypad and touchpanel controls, some theater demos, and he even opens up to discuss budgets. And, holy shock! This guy has a totally realistic, workable budget for doing all the ideas that we’ve discussed. And, I feel like we’ve connected where if nothing else, they left here knowing that I am all about ideas, solutions and expertise. (So, if it turns out that I do *lose* this job, it will be an even more totally crushing defeat. But, we’ll worry about that later... Stop trying to be a buzzkill, Captain Buzzkill!)


I box up my Marantz, and drive it to UPS where I am foiled by the first store, which is apparently not an “official” UPS store or something, and being unable to accept my package valued at $2000. And the 3/4-sized woman comes out of her shop and greets me in on the sidewalk in a tobacco-gnarled voice as she simultaneously reaches for this 36 x 24 x 14, 40-pound box I’m carrying and I say, “No, no. I’ve got it.” And she insists, literally pulling it out of my arms then just stands there, visibly straining to counter-balance her weight to keep both her and box upright as we discuss her inability to sign my high-value merchandise form. When we reach the impasse of “I cain’t sign yer form,” I reclaim my box and take it to someone who can indeed sign my form.


Back to the store and my Sonos folks are there. Give them a demo of different speakers, get a sense of urgency on let’s put this deal to bed, and then send them on their way.


I’m feeling like Rain Man, but in the making it rain money kinda way, not the super-memory, socially awkwardey way. And let me tell you, Daddy is closing deals, and they wanna give him the Rain Man suite.


So, my Happy Thought for the day is this: No matter how badly things are going, remember that another day is always just around the corner, and things can turn around for good just as quickly as they turned bad.


Now, we are at today, which is Wednesday. Not Monday, which was the worst day or Tuesday when you might need to go and, say, visit your mother or something. But Wednesday. You know how I know? Because everything is just right. Conditions are perfect...

Categories: December 2010, CTA

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