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A creative blog by Anthony Godoy on The Whole 9

Anthony Godoy is the creative director at Dead Serious MM, a Seattle boutique branding agency. He’s also a photographer and life-long writer whose work has appeared on The Whole 9 for a few years. Though his days are being infringed upon more and more by business development and management responsibilities (running a company and all), he still finds time to hit the design world hands on. He is also a skier, lover of music and gets around pretty fast in the social media circles. Follow him on Twitter, @deadseriousmm, and on Facebook at Dead Serious MM.

A Good Printer Is Hard To Find.

“Maybe you shouldn’t design it that way next time.”
– Little Shit Who Works At My Ex Printer

Recently, turning-point comments made by people in my life are happening in slow motion – break ups, diagnoses, complements. Things become clearer, colors more saturated and I hear everything perfectly despite being half deaf. Weird, right?

A month or so ago I was at my printer. My ex printer. They’d gaffed a job and I said of course, “Run it again.” I wasn’t rude.

As soon as the little guy behind the counter faced me and prepared to speak I just knew he was going to say the wrong thing. He slipped into a high frame rate and had a strange almost wild smirk on his face. His eyes blinked slowly, and he said it.

On a full-bleed tri-fold brochure they’d missed the fold and it didn’t line up correctly. The little guy mentioned something about bindery being busy, or a machine not being available, or the weight of the card stock being difficult to work with. I wasn’t angry, as I was just happy they’d fit the job in on a really tight deadline. I’m the understanding type. I’d gladly wait for them to run it again, and without complaint, and in the end I did.

“Maybe you shouldn’t design it that way next time.”

As he said it I felt a little part of me collapse under the weight of disappointment. Absent was the urge to grab the little shit by his little sweater and shake his little ass around, which I would have done without any personal judgments. Instead I went straight to disappointment, a place in me reserved for the Seahawks, M. Night Shymalan, and my lawnmower. And that’s a very personal place for me.

I didn’t say anything. I gave him a parting look that said, “This is the end, you know that, right?” and I walked out the door. It was like breaking up with a really hot girl who can cook and holds down a six-figure 9 to 5. But it had to be done. Never second guess my folds. Never ignore my hash marks. And never pop off with some smart ass remark to cover up your mistake. Believe that.

Getting into my car I had a sick feeling in my gut. I didn’t care that he’d gotten defensive. I didn’t care that I’d be returning to my client without the brochure. I didn’t even care that I’d wasted a half hour of my afternoon. Instead, I was bent because for the first time in years I was without the go-to relationship that I’d relied on to make me look good. That printer had covered me from wall-sized half-inch matte-finished board mounts, to semi-gloss canvass prints, to 100lb cover stock presentation folders and more. On time and with little notice. It had been a good run.

It was time to hit the bricks looking for a new printer, and it was as disastrous as looking for a good martini at an AA meeting. Morons, I tell you. The world is made from processed morons – corn syrup, high calorie, low nutrition, carcinogenic morons.

To make a long story short, I’ve been dating one I’m pretty happy with. Girly Press here in Seattle. I feel I have to give them a shout out because they’ve been so good. Without jinxing it. . . well, without jinxing it, I remain.

  1. So perhaps I’m not getting the whole story here, but my reaction at reading this is… “Seriously??!!!” You have a great relationship with a printer for a number of years, they pull your ass out of the fire and deliver countless times, and then someone that works at the counter makes a comment after they f@#$ up a job (and subsequently fix it) and you go elsewhere? Isn’t that kind of like being in a relationship for a few years and then having your girlfriend’s friend make a stupid comment and breaking up with her?

    Do tell…I’ve got to be missing something…

  2. The counter dweeb?! Why not talk directly to the owner/manager/CEO/whatever? If they’ve always delivered in the past, chances are this was a one-time screw up. Sounds like you were stressed and angry (I would of been), but did you feel you could never trust them again after that? Or were you ready for a change anyways (better prices, better service, someone who doesn’t take you for granted as a client…)?

  3. Good question Lisa, and yes, there is a little more to the story.

    My clients need things yesterday – nature of their business. And there were a couple times when I had to get things done elsewhere because this printer would tell me it would take days to do something basic. I figured it was the nature of their business until I had an insider at their business tell me what was up. Hmmmm . . . family-run business, new young owner’s wife calling the shots who knew nothing of the business. Yeah, I had to get out. Little man’s comment was just the coop da grawcee. I really have to have full confidence in my printer when negotiating business deals.

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