Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pre-Buyer's Remorse

Rock n Roll Kills - photo credit c/o

Something has been irking me for a bit. A little over 18 hours to be exact although I did manage to sleep soundly last night which was brilliant I might add! Now normally I don’t voice my irritation with people’s behavior on my blog but since I love music, art and fashion and many other people do as well, I think this is something that I won’t be holding back from writing about.

Well youngsters, oldsters, hipsters, friendsters and my mom [if you’re reading this “HI!”] on this occasion I’m going to share a little story and change the players quite a substantial bit as not to offend. Even though: FYI! I am a bit offended. It’s kind of a funny offended, in an inappropriate way that I’m sharing because I’ve had enough of the BS people do and aren’t held accountable for.

Let me start by saying: I wanted to acquire something. A unique piece (of fashion, music and/or art) and as most of you know: I love me some unusual in this great big universe and I’m not quiet about it! Often desperately, quite ruthlessly I pursue acquiring such objects with the passion and vigor of ten or more maniacal & financially stable men. Since I’m not a hoarder or obscenely rich, please understand that I don’t have a cluster-fuck of overpriced BS in my home. I have “choice” pieces that include music, art and fashion in my home, in addition to the Vodka, Lemon wedges and Zero Red Bull I keep in my fridge.

Last week I made the decision to acquire a piece of music from a lovely musician because I am attending an upcoming concert of his and thought it would work out to my advantage to be able to pick it up then. Granted it’s a musician who has always been very accessible and for the most part lovely to his fans. Even when he’s lifting ideas from being inspired by his fans to write new songs he’s having a bit of fun with them because they don’tcare. All and all, he’s not a bad guy. For the purpose of storytelling we will call him, The Musician.

Upon the urging of a select Radio Station I contacted The Musician. You see, a few months ago, I discovered this lovely Radio Station after they showcased The Musician’s last album. I sent an inquiry to acquire a piece of music from The Musician's catalog that was exclusive to the Radio Station a few months ago. Which is a very exciting thing for me. (I’ve been excited to finally be able to do this.) I was then urged to send the inquiry to get a price for what I wanted from The Musician directly. And that it shouldn’t be a problem at all. No worries at all. BTW: I love this Radio Station! Needless to say but I will say it: They are fabulous!

Now, understand something, I don’t have a special relationship with The Musician. We are not friends, colleagues, acquaintances, etc and have never met. His representation, himself included, doesn’t always reply to inquiries, tweets, Facebook messages, etc. They are a busy lot, and it’s not a surprise in the grand scheme of things. Which yes occasionally I admittedly take liberties of playfulness with the lack of reply or response just for fun. Who wouldn’t? Really? You should sometime. It's fun. All in all, it’s harmless fun. If you’re not having any fun you may as well be dead. So…

Going into this I knew from a previous experience that the process would not be without its own unique difficulties: I ordered a t-shirt last year from The Musician’s staff, after much persistence I was able to acquire exactly the style and fit I wanted. It was an XMAS present to myself! I still have the shirt and it means a lot to me. It survived a few mishaps,  one of which claimed the life of another shirt it was wrapped around but not my shirt. Blah Blah Blah… Lucky T-shirt! But getting back to things, obtaining the shirt was not without its own set of difficulties and I still hope it was not too much trouble to ask of The Musician’s staff. For the most part they were very wonderful for humoring my request and I didn’t expect to get my way at all. Although grateful for my t-shirt I knew that the process of pursuing a piece of music would be different and possibly be difficult. Yet I was told by the Radio Station, to please inquire as he sells them all the time.

Mind you it has been a few months since I asked the Radio Station but I was assured it wasn’t going to be a thing back then. So I inquired. Not once but twice. I was ignored the first time. No surprise.

[*Sidenote: Yes I do get ignored a lot by The Musician’s company. At this point, you’re thinking why bother with these rude people? Getting ignored doesn’t bother me as it’s a reflection of their bad manners if they aren’t really busy. So I assume it’s a busy place to work and they are inundated with projects, requests and other matters without proper office management. NOW… if they needed proper help they could always hire moi or borrow my office services for a stint. I’m highly efficient at details, multitasking, very business minded, POLITE to customers, not opposed to irregular hours, DISCREET and come with amazing references, but I’ve digressed.]

Back to it: The second time I inquired I dropped the Radio Station’s name. It worked. Success! Exciting! And The Musician replied, quoting me pricing for his typical full length albums but none specifically. Alright I’ll say it: when I started my inquiry I wasn’t wary that I would be talking to the talent and was a bit passionate in my initial discussion. I figured I would be talking with an underling of some sort and let’s say in my most fabulous way I was very expressive about what I wanted. I feel horrid for being so passionate about my designs for the music as my commentary may have been hurtful to The Musician, but overall I meant what I said and apologized repeatedly. Yes, there was a bit of an exchange over cost and style but needless to say it wasn’t heated and I’ll condense it.

***Please keep in mind these are collectibles kids, NOT CHEAP or available in record stores!  (Don’t you love this analogy?! I’m having a blast with it!)

I explained that my collection could only truly fit an EP at this time. *I haven’t moved into the dream house yet. I don’t have room for another album and it would be unhappiness to have one, especially this Musician’s work, just shoved in any ol corner when I spent so much EFFORT to get it. Additionally I explained it would be disappointing if it wasn’t what I wanted. But I thought why not an EP? It would tide me over until I have room for that full length album, perhaps someday a double album or box set! I really only wanted an exclusive EP I had seen online at the Radio Station from his last album for about ½k American. But The Musician didn’t want to talk about that. I would REALLY be CONTENT with the cheaper piece from the last album because the EP looked to be exactly what I wanted at this time because of my size constraint. But The Musician wanted no part of that discussion…

Typically, The Musician said that he only sells albums and this is their cost yet he asked what I had in mind. I figured in case perhaps he had something. Which, this exchange made him more likable as a person. Very few people will work with you and be up front about things, especially when you are dealing with a creative type. They are afraid you won’t want to buy. In that respect I truly appreciated his candidness.

When I replied I told him I had assumed that his business was used to selling EPs in addition to albums as I'd seen at the Radio Station's website. Needless to say The Musician offered me something else instead: A song-set from an upcoming musical work that had not been announced.

I figured: not quite an EP but I’ll bite. Even if it is on the more expensive side… at least I can decide if it’s worth the price or wait to buy a larger piece when it will be appropriate in my home. You never know unless you ask, so I did. I asked him to please tell me more while I apologized again for my previous bluntness.

(*Sidenote: I am still waiting for more information. Although I am highly offended by that thing I will get to, it would still be a lovely addition to my home if it all works out. Fingers crossed!)

After that last exchange, I was quite pleased. I thought this is going to be great. Any animosity The Musician had had with my persistence and any past irritation I had had with being ignored or inspiring as a fan, seemed to be something that could be put aside or essentially squashed. At least it appeared to be an amicable exchange since The Musician was kindly willing to discuss with me something that would be the best fit for my needs. And the purchase puts the best for both parties involved, both buyer/seller get exactly what they want. I could see no reason otherwise than to proceed.

Now here’s where things go a bit sour. I received a very upsetting message yesterday, sent in an unusual way, which happens to be the most cowardly thing I have ever seen in my life, aside from those bombs at the Boston Marathon. You have to love the Internet! If you have a problem with someone, then tell them directly. Don’t hide in a corner and yell shit at people (that’s a metaphor for the passive aggressive coward). Besides you aren’t fooling anyone. This happens a lot more nowadays since the Internet has made it so accessible for trolls and passive aggressive cowards to say shit without having to leave comments on a message board. Usually it's merely empty threats but you have to take them seriously sometimes. Now I’m not certain exactly who the coward was that sent it. I’m certain it wasn’t from my side of things. I’ve told no one until now about my inquiry or design to purchase said music from The Musician. The Radio Station didn’t know when I would be sending my inquiry. With that said I am uncertain of why it has originated and but quite clear of what it implies.

There’s nothing else do to but directly address the gist of the derogatory statement. I’m going to say this and say this nicely although bluntly: I’m not trying to purchase something to fuck anyone. I don’t take kindly to things being said that are not true when they disparage not only myself but someone I’m trying to maintain a bit of professionalism with during a transaction or business exchange. Even if I was, wasn't or might be a dedicated fan and would or might have a fan-girl moment if I met The Musician or not, (WOW I hope not), I’m not a groupie. Typically groupies don’t pay for things they just show up, try to fuck people and tell other people “I fucked that musician” for pure bragging rights. I am a buyer and this should not be happening.

I don’t expect preferential treatment for buying The Musician’s work, but I expect to be treated with respect and a bit of discretion. And in my experience if you spend money in someone’s shop they treat you right and take accountability for the things that people do on their behalf, including bad behavior. For example when I spent½k on a stereo upgrade for my car they kissed my ass at the shop: I was offered lunch, a movie, and a lovely man servant to chauffeur me to my errands in addition to much more. And they didn’t have to kiss my ass or do any of those things to keep my business.

SO with that said… if I spend a considerable amount of money on a purchase, even if it’sjust ½k or even 1k, I expect to be treated with respect and discretion. I expect the same respect from the grocery store employees and without fail they deliver it. Tell me why should a higher end establishment be allowed to behave differently? In fact, they should be on better manners than any other due to the specific backgrounds of their clientele.  Maybe someone should talk to their employees, friends or anyone else close to them about better customer service to deter such things from happening? Or perhaps what not to say or do that might scare off prospective buyers in the future? Honestly, I don’t know. I’m confused by this.

After that last part you think: why not buy something else, somewhere else? Poor customer service isn’t really what’s irking me and although I’m sure someone was speaking with only the intention of defending/protecting The Musician, it isn’ttruly his responsibility to police the Internet. After calming down a bit yesterday and today, I realized the problem wasn’t The Musician; the problem here is that people make assumptions. It’s not their business but they make it theirs and overstep. You don’t really know that someone wants something without asking them. Guess what? That’s all in your head when you do. Try putting yourself in their shoes. Pretty insulting, right? Check your head. Get a clue. Be Decent.

For the most part, I want the best in most situations. I reach out and go after the best when buying. There are only limitations if you choose to have them. Music, Art, Fashion and etc. are all accessible things and anyone can get what they want. I go after what I want because of this fact. I make no excuses for not obtaining it.Again, did I mention ruthlessly pursue?

Keep in mind, just because I go after what I want and I’m not afraid to ask for it does not make me a slut or a tramp. It makes me an educated woman with exceptional taste and the capacity to make excellent choices in my material acquisitions. However, it does make you uninformed, Mr. or Mrs. Passive Aggressive Coward. Although Idon’t drop $$$ all the time doesn’t mean I can’t. I choose not to. I’m a savvy buyer with the capacity to rationalize what purchases are wise and which are not. I accept that this exchange may not prove to be successful at this time,but I do know that I will eventually get a piece of The Musician’s work.

I’ve purchased Clothes and Furniture directly from the designers, Art from the Artists and Music from the Musicians before and I don’t tend to drop names unless it’s promotion for the talent. It’s tacky otherwise. Now I’ve never considered spending or spent this amount of money to acquire anything and I’m not entirely at ease about it at this point. But then again I’ve also never been insulted by any musicians,artists, designers, or their friends, family, employees or crazed psychotic fans when purchasing something. You would think things would be different on this scale. It’s scary that it’s far worse!

Come to think of it my favorite creative buying experiences were actually not spending a ton of money: a $50 limited edition Alex Pardee print from Zerofriends, a $100 Lucky Bunny print from Joseph Watson Gallery and a $10 CD from the band Burning Tree Project selling their own merch at a show. All were respectful, very grateful for the purchase/support and I didn’t have to drop 1k+ to get it.  

Understand, I’mnot truly talking about a purchase on the level of a box set of CD's, a $100limited lithography or Knockoff Manolo's by Steve Madden. This is a purchase equivalent to buying a car. It’s a long term commitment and investment that I happened to take seriously until this interesting turn. It’s quite funny to me now.

My advice to The Musician: Honey, when you have people spewing filth to and about your buyers… You have a problem. If it’s not you or those employed by your company making the remarks, then you should find out who is disparaging your good name and deal with this cowardly individual(s) swiftly and deliberately. After all it makes for bad business and reflects poorly on you.

To anyone who wants to buy music, art or fashion etc. from their favorite creator then GO AFTER IT. Pursue it. It is their night/day/day/night job and they are usually very flattered you think so highly of their craft. Don’t be star-struck or shy.It is their gig and very much part of the territory that comes with it. If they are truly exceptional individuals they will try to accommodate your request.Even if your request happens to go through a few people to get to them, they will almost always try to make it work when & if they can. I’m only sharing this story in the hopes that anyone making a purchase will learn that no one gets to mistreat you when you are buying anything and you don’t have to be quiet about it. Truthfully, they need your support and you do not need theirs. Love yourself the most.



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