Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Free Business Advice to the Incurably Religious: Inquire Within

The first few years after retiring, my old firm asked me to do consulting work in my specialty of direct to consumer operations until they had a comfort level with my successor.   Mostly I conferenced with company execs, and other consultants, offering my input and recommendations on fulfillment services for our national retail catalogs and internet websites. 

I was paid handsomely for my time ... triple digits per hour including travel time and phone time; plus all expenses paid. Great gig if you can get it.

Today I am offering a piece of consulting advice to the religiously afflicted - pro bono, gratis, complimentary, absolutely free.  If you’re a business person, an author of a secular themed book, an ebay merchant, a contestant on a talent show, or any endeavor where religion has zero to do with what you are selling, then  this info may well increase your potential, boost your earnings, or save your job.  Pay close attention...I’m only going to type this once.

The other day I was searching ebay for a new leather belt.  I thought I found exactly the one I was looking for:  1 ¼” width, nice basket weave stamping, subtle buckle, tasteful, and inexpensive.  I was about to do a “buy now” until I scrolled to the bottom to confirm the return privileges, and there it was:  a scene with three crucifixes against a stormy sky, dead dudes dangling from each.  Lovely. Thanks ... I’ll pass.

This morning I was watching the Today show with Mrs. Hump. A pair of Kennedys came on touting their new book. Dressed in black, the gold cross on one of them stood out so big it looked like a gold tablespoon sized coke spoon with wings.  Yeah....we get it, you’re Catholic. What, that dead guy hanging around your neck has an aversion to nestling quietly and discretely in your cleavage?  (Strangely, their devoutness and blatant flaunting of their religion never seems to be enough to keep Kennedys from crashing airplanes, skis, and cars with disastrous results for themselves and innocent people around them.)   Her talisman was so distracting, I don’t have the vaguest idea what the book was about. 

Finally, I went shopping for a new wristwatch today.  The young woman behind the showcase took out a tray of Swiss Army watches. As she placed them on the counter I noticed a tattoo on her wrist. It was about the size of four postage stamps - a full color rendering of a tortured looking face wearing a rather uncomfortable looking thorny crown dripping blood. The guy’s upturned eyes seemed to be screaming “For ME sake, get me off this idiot’s wrist!”  On her other wrist was a weeping woman in black with a cross behind her.  No corpse. 

I casually inquired: “I guess you’re pretty religious, huh?”
“Huh?  Oh!  Yeah!  I’ve had them for about two years. Do you like them?” she lifted her full color corpse tattoo closer to my face. 
“Frankly, no. In fact, as long as you’re asking I find them a little off putting.” I flatly replied as I inspected one of the watches. She was silent after that. There was one watch I liked, but not in love with.  I may have been convinced but I just wasn’t motivated at this point.   I ended up in another jewelers buying from a lovely woman; no corpses hanging from her neck or a visible tattoos of a mythical man-god emblazoned forever in living (or dead) color on her wrist.  $175, less 25%, good deal.

Which brings me back to the title of this essay:  Attention religionists! I don’t care what fable you embrace or god you worship.  I don’t have any interest in how devout you are, or how holy your bodily adornments make you feel.  If you aren’t working in the Vatican, or a Christian book shop your prospective clientele doesn’t necessarily share your enthusiasm for your delusion.

So, tuck in your execution devise jewelry, and cover your bleeding corpse tattoo because these days, north of the Mason Dixon Line at least, you’ve a better chance of alienating prospective customers or clients than you do sealing a deal because of the display. 

Here, let’s try this, because I sense your  Christian-centric mindset is causing a blockage:  if I worked in a shop and wore a sign around my neck or displayed a tattoo on my forehead that said “Jesus is a myth, kill it once and for all” you may feel a tad put upon and not want to do business with me either. In fact, it may even prompt you to complain to management, demand I cover up the imposition, or threaten never to patronize that business again.

I doubt your man-god will be offended. Besides it’s not like his tattooed likeness or gold corpse can’t magically see through your blouse sleeve or sweater top. Plus you’ll piss off fewer people, thus earn more sales, more commissions, maybe sell more books, even keep your job. Sounds like a win win for you AND your deity.  OK, that's my advice. Take it or leave it.   


helga said...

Dear Hump, I absolutely agree. It is totally off-putting to be confronted by vulgar displays of religiosity. I, too will ditch that poor, deluded salesperson in a flash. Perhaps I may suggest, for a future posting, a list of businesses whose CEO or founding member is affiliated to organized religion and its offshoots. Companies such as Domino Pizzas and of course, so recently in the news, that chicken fil-A franchise...It would certainly make useful reading...

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Hey Hump,
I liked your relating of the personal story. Allow me to pass one on.

I worked for a company for 15 years that did a lot of service related products for the airline industry such as those disposable pillow and pillowcases they use to hand out but no more. We also use to produce those flimsily head rest covers to protect your hair from the greasy, moosed up hair or jerry curl products from the person who sat in that seat on the flight before yours, etc.

Well to put on a fuzzy string on that head rest cover which stuck to a male Velcro strip, a Hotmelt glue was used. To make a long story short it had quick working and the mechanics did not know why or how to fix it. I was called down to the production floor to see if I could lend a hand and solve the problem. When we took the cover off and exposed the components of the machine, inside on the bottom of the mounting case was the words, “Jesus Is Lord,” and then the address of “Backwoods Shit Hole” Kentucky or Tennessee. I told the senior lead maintenance mechanic, “There’s the problem, it was designed and built by someone who still thinks the world is flat and evolution is just a theory. Yep….the Scopes Monkey Trial got it wrong…..these people did not evolve from a primate type creature….they are still ignorant un-evolved apes building these machines.

(Really it was the cartage heater to keep the glue heated and melted at the pump had burned out) So I removed the Faith Based cartage heater and replace it with Science Based Fact cartage and it worked just fine then.

Of course what really came to my mind was the audacity of someone pushing their Evangelical Christian Religion viewpoints on through a piece of industrial equipment… amateurish!!

Dromedary Hump said...

Helga... As companies publicly endorse religion or follow religious precepts as part of their mission, I'll indeed expose them as they occur. I've reported on them before and will keep my readers in the loop.

Eng. LOL..thanks for sharing that experience. Classic!