Friday, October 29, 2010

A quick-ish rant

I've gotten a fair amount of emails since I've started up the business, which of course is awesome. However, there's a general trend I'm not particularly fond of. So, at the risk of offending people, here's a quick FAQ, followed by a rant.

Hey, I saw your stuff - online, newspaper article, whatever - it's really cool. Blah, blah, blah, blah...

Uh...It's nice you like it, that's great really...but did you want something?

Can I watch?

Pardon me? Watch what?

I want to see EVERYTHING! I want to know EVERYTHING you know! I want to see the whole process of how you make this stuff!

Calm down there, Captain. Again, I do sincerely appreciate the interest, but I don't run a peep show and if I did, you can sure as hell bet that it'd be more then 25 cents a gawk.

You should be nicer to your customers!

 Perhaps you don't understand something - a customer buys something, so far you're just the equivilant of a guy standing in line at Burger King screaming about wanting to see the deep fat fryer who doesn't even want to buy fries.

I want to buy something then.

Awesome, please do.  

Do you do custom work?

All depends on what you want and the time line and how much money you're willing the spend.

I want a - insert something I would never make.

That's not really something I do.

Can you have it done in 23 minutes and can you do it for free?

Did something horrible happen to your skull as a child and it developed into something much worse as an adult?

I don't understand anything about what you do, so I've no clue how to ask you about anything or what it might cost.

Okay, that's a serious question. It's a lot of information to absorb and there's a lot of variables, so many that I've posted an FAQ on my website answering hopefully a lot of these type of questions. I'm going to keep updating as I'm fully aware that there's more questions that I'm not even thinking of.

WARNING, for those sensitive to negative sounding words, you may want to look away now.

Seriously though, as far as those questions are concerned, I'm amused at the ratio of random "wow your stuff is awesome" emails vs the number of "I want to buy something" emails. I get that people think it's kinda cool, that's freaking awesome that they do - but I'm trying to run a business, not an free information booth.

As I have stated several times before. I do appreciate the interest and the compliments, I take none of it for granted and it really is nice to hear. It's what comes after that irks me.

I don't give tours. I run this business from my home. I am a private person and don't care to have people lingering about in my home watching me do something that quite honestly is about as exciting as watching the invisible man do nothing.

I totally understand that some folks do find it interesting and wonder how's it done, it's simple: I make a mould of a generic face, I sculpt something on it, I make another mould of that. I clean the mould and the sculpt is destroyed. I make foam latex and fill in the mould, the two halves are put together the foam fills the negative space and it's baked. Out comes a prosthetic. There, now you know.

I'm not interested teaching you how it's done - that'd be stupid of me.

I'm not interested in doing a presentation/talk/lecture/demo for you, or your friends, or your work, or your school. In short, you or other people no matter where you are. I'm not a public speaker, I don't particularly enjoy it. I enjoy my work and the privacy in which I'm able to do it. I would hope that the average person would be able to respect that and not immediately assume that I've all the time in the world to meet their every little curious whim while going out of my way and ignoring my only source of income.

If you have a genuine question, I'm more then willing to answer or help you out as best I can. But have a point, these random compliments feel like you're fishing for something. A simple, "Hey, saw your stuff, looks pretty cool" is great. I don't want to discourage people or insult them for just giving me a compliment, but when the compliment feels like there's a hook attached, it's slightly rude and awkward.

Don't inundate me with question after question all in one email, it's overwhelming and just comes off feeling desperate, like your emails are rationed or something. Calm down, we'll get to all your questions eventually. Is this how you have a conversation? "Hi, how are you? What's going on? Where were you last Tuesday? Do you like dinosaurs? Have you ever worn a hat? What do you think of the colour mauve? Is that even a colour?" Take some time, a deep breath and it'll all work out folks.

Again, I really don't want to discourage folks from emailing me about what I'm doing. I don't mind answering any minor questions, I understand the curiosity. Just take a moment to realize that I'm trying to run a business, I'm trying to scrape out a living somehow off this - if you're not part of, and have no intention on being part of, the business+customer=$$$ equation, I've no incentive to really go overboard to do something for you.

Hope not too many folks were offended reading this and if you were, chances are I was directly referring to you. You should try to fix that.

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