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Getting Jaded


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Maybe not the best topic to start, but as of late, I've been getting pretty jaded with people.

 

It's the lack of respect to the tool that they purchased that gets me. I don't have high production but I do sell most of what I make... and I can tell you that when a customer spends a good chunk of change on a blade, then proceeds to...

 

  • Cut through a LIVE wire at his house and melt halfway through the blade
  • Can't tell you how many times people think they can pry a nail or screw a screw and end up snapping the tip (EVEN after I tell them that's not what a knife is for)
  • Cutting through metal cans, etc
  • Dropping in a lake
  • And just outright losing it somewhere

 

... I tend to lose any inspiration to continue the craft. Or any craft that involves customers.

 

Yours' Truly,

A Short Rant

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Or, you could just look at it as an opportunity for repeat customers and higher sales.  As the guy who puts the blood and sweat into building the blade, I can see where you'd get upset watching someone abuse it.  But in the end it is their knife, and if they come back to you for a replacement, that speaks volumes about how much they liked it to begin with.

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someones gonna find a badass knife in a lake someday and love it!

 

but in all seriousness, if you put out a bunch of good and dont get enough back its going to drain you.

 

<rant>

 

ive been riding bicycles since i was a child, more than 20 years, the last 5 or so years i have made sure to follow all of the laws, no running stop signs or doing anything that makes the roads unpredictable, i dont go out of turn at stopsigns even if someone is trying to wave me through (i can hardly see through most tinted windows anyways). lately with all the electric scooters and phonebabies that are moving to what-used-to-be-austin people have been trying to kill me on my bike more and more often, there is no such thing as an accident.

 

the other day on my way to work someone cut me off on a narrow neighborhood street and slowed way down at a speedbump so i had to squeeze by them as i was going faster AND there was another car in front of me anyways so what are they trying to do? then they do the same thing as there is another speedbump so it happens again and im trying to turn left so i just get in front of them, signal that im turning left, and just go. then they honk. 

 

when someone puts my life at risk while im one my bike i get as close as i can to them, then its my choice, i slap and kick cars that risk my life. some native americans would try to touch their enemies in battle without getting into a fight, here is a quote from wikipedia "Among the Plains Indians of North America, counting coup involved the winning of prestige against an enemy. Native American warriors won prestige by acts of bravery in the face of the enemy, which could be recorded in various ways and retold as stories. Any blow struck against the enemy counted as a coup, but the most prestigious acts included touching an enemy warrior with a hand, bow, or coup stick and escaping unharmed."

 

i have given away many bicycle tubes to people with flats when i had no income and nobody on the street ever gave me anything when i had flats, i will help people with mechanical issues if i have the opportunity, i am not in the way of slow ignorant drivers that have to speed to pass me because they hate their vehicle so much they would kill to get out of it 2 minutes sooner. i have tried to help people with car problems but that is out of my realm.

 

but im still riding bikes until i am crushed in the street, and i hope it is my own stupid fault when it happens, i am better than anyone who would risk another persons life for nothing so i will not allow those fools to take me without a fight. 

 

running stop signs and red lights gets me off the street faster and its much safer for me but i will not do it because that is not how the road works, it is safer because many other people on the road do not drive safe and it is not safe at all for me to be standing still anywhere on the road ever, if everyone followed to rules of the road nobody would ever be in anyones way.

 

being jaded is being too good, its your natural right to be mad, just make sure you are right, or you will be crushed by yourself if you abuse the nature of the thing. nobody is better than anyone else when it comes to being good or bad, but some people are certainly worse than others. giving and caring is the human thing to do. sometimes you just have to give someones truck a spanking and then care for the guy stuck on the side of the road. 

 

last week i was in a truck with my dad and we got into a wreck with someone going 50 around a corner on a 30 mph street, after i saw my dad was alright-ish (his airbag went off and made a bunch of smoke) i checked for fire in the truck, then i ran to the other guy to beat his @$$ and i got to him and made sure he was okay and that was that, no beating. then i walked and delivered a sheath i made for a guy living in a shelter and he was so happy it made my day, i asked for $5 and he didnt have any cash so i said no problem, that made his day to have someone help him, even though the guy threw a can on the side of the road right in front of me and i LOVE to yell at people for stuff like that. on my walk home my neighbor stops me and pays me $33 for some knife work i did a month ago and didnt want to get paid for because i used epoxy as a filler to make an old handle fit tight again and i didnt like that i had to use glue for something structural. 

 

</rant>

 

be mad sometimes, but always do the right thing, nothing else makes sense.

 

you know what i really want to do with my time? i want to ride a bike with a trash trailer and spear cans and garbage and take it to the metal recyclery. for a little bit of cash, the freedom of riding a bicycle, the challenge of hauling anything with a bicycle. but that would be too nice and i would just be a crazy poor homeless person to everyone if i tried to do that. 

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9 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

That just means you're not charging enough.  ;)

The though has crossed my mind.... oh so many a time. :P

 

7 hours ago, Alex Middleton said:

Or, you could just look at it as an opportunity for repeat customers and higher sales.  As the guy who puts the blood and sweat into building the blade, I can see where you'd get upset watching someone abuse it.  But in the end it is their knife, and if they come back to you for a replacement, that speaks volumes about how much they liked it to begin with.

Thank you for the words of wisdom! And you're completely correct. As both you and Alan have mentioned, charge more... but oh my... I have sold many knives for a humble lump some of change.

 

@steven smith Quite a bit of experience and wise words! Thank you. I've lost my finesse with people. I'll find it eventually. Just in that rut I'm sure most of us have/has felt. You mention "what-used-to-be-austin" people and can't help but laugh. I've lived in central Texas my whole life, and boy, has it changed quite a bit. You're more than welcome out to the shop (a garage at a house, but we have beer) anytime my friend.

 

Edited by Austin_Lyles
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I remember the disappointment when I transitioned out of college (engineering school) and started working my first real job.  I was so frustrated with everyone because they just didn't live up to my expectations.  In the 30 years since then, I have watched a lot of people go through that same transition.  (I'm sure a number of them have even been frustrated at me :) )

 

I don't know much about this, but I think it seems to be normal for high functioning people.  The world, in general, just can't live up to your expectations.

 

The only reason I am responding is to encourage you to keep your expectations high.  Don't let up on people, and keep encouraging them to be and do better.  I personally believe that a lot of the problems we have in the world today stem for letting our expectations of performance erode over time.

 

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3 hours ago, Brian Dougherty said:

The only reason I am responding is to encourage you to keep your expectations high.  Don't let up on people, and keep encouraging them to be and do better.  I personally believe that a lot of the problems we have in the world today stem for letting our expectations of performance erode over time.

 

As someone whose job includes reviewing consultant reports, I can guarantee this is absolutely true.  I've actually started grading some of them when they get too bad.  That, or adding comments like "If this were a high school history paper I'd give you a D-.  What does that tell you about this "professional" report?  Rewrite this to reflect the fact that you have an advanced degree in this field." 

 

A bit pompous, maybe, but I refuse to let anyone get away with something I couldn't. 

 

As far as this relates to customer service and relations, it has nothing to do with it.  We are artist/craftspeople, toolmakers.  I've had people ask about throwing my pipe hawks.  I tell them "Hey, you paid for it, do what you want.  Just know that if you bend the bowl, break the handle, knock an inlay loose, or chip the edge, it's not my problem.  I guarantee my work to hold up against normal use, not abuse."

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My first thought was pretty much in line with Alex's response.  "Score!  Repeat business!"  As long as they keep coming back to you, those that lose or ruin their knives are the best kind of customer to have, from a sales quantity perspective.  Then I read Alan's first comment, and while it didn't occur to me right off the bat, I think it is very wise to consider that price-point is going to change how people treat the objects they purchase.  

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I think even more frustrating than someone abusing the knives I've made are the ones that put them  away in a safe or something and never use them because "they're too nice" or some such. 

  Tear 'em up man! I can make another one if it breaks. 

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On 10/5/2020 at 11:59 AM, Alan Longmire said:

 

I've had people ask about throwing my pipe hawks.  I tell them "Hey, you paid for it, do what you want.

:lol: Seems to be a trend with people interested in Pipehawks the first question I get is "can I throw it?" You throw it, chip it, bend it, break it, and want to pay me to fix it OK.  There's also the quote from the guy who taught me, "Would you throw $300-$600?"

 

Overall anyone who has bought something from me I've given them a small over view.  As most my sales are art related things.  Usually it comes with the disclaimer, its steel - no matter what coating is on it, it will eventually rust but it can always be painted if needed. This is decorative, if you run it over the a truck you will break it.

 

Ive found that with having that friendly conversation with someone about helps.  It shows them that you care enough about what you've made to have a little conversation to convey that you're giving them something unique that needs to be cared for. 

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On 10/4/2020 at 9:14 PM, steven smith said:

you know what i really want to do with my time? i want to ... but that would be too nice and i would just be a crazy poor homeless person to everyone if i tried to do that. 

While I'm not encouraging you pursue a homeless lifestyle (there are plenty of difficulties associated with that, probably the biggest one in my experience is having to use the toilet in the middle of the night), if you really want to do something, and you truly believe that something is a worthwhile activity, don't worry about what everyone else thinks.  They're usually wrong anyway.

 

And NEVER be afraid of doing good or being too nice.

 

 

Edited by billyO
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21 minutes ago, Daniel W said:

I've found that with having that friendly conversation with someone about helps. 

Something I (and a lot of other makers) do is include a little note with each knife, explaining the proper care and what you will and won't guarantee.  After doing this verbally for a while, it gets old.  

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