A life in flux. Soon to be immigrant to Japan. Recently migrated this blog from another platform after many years of neglect (about March 6, 2017). Sorry for the styling and functionality potholes; I am working on cleaning things up and making it usable again.
May 3. Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan. We came back the next day, too, because the weather had improved...
Unlike the previous day, May 3rd was also an official holiday, rather than one that people take off to get a continuous week of vacation time. Thanks to the weather, this meant that it was rather tricky to maneuver through the throngs of people populating the park.
We also came craving lots of greasy food, and had the good fortune to be first in line for some deep-fried, battered, butter-flavored potatoes straight from the fryer. All I can say is that I'm glad my blood pressure has always been fairly reasonable. I would have taken a picture, but I was too busy clogging my arteries.
Out of nostalgia Hiromi felt compelled to buy a couple of bottles of sickeningly sweet ramune soda from some charismatic vendors... they asked which flavor we wanted... I believe the choices were regular, pink and blue. She chose the colorful ones... they tasted... well, pink, and blue. And sticky.
We also had some "amai amai" corn, which is pretty much like the corn Americans of my generation grew up with. Since the average sugar content of American summer sweet corn has been hybridized to near candy-like extremes, I wasn't all that surprised by it, but Hiromi was impressed at how sweet it was.
An oyaji day off
The birds enjoy the blossoms, too
Matsuri folk dance and music
Hiromi and botan
Boy, is this ever twisted
The wind picks up
When the wind picked up, the cherry blossoms went flying...
Ring. Fumble. Where is my cell phone?Ring. Fumble. Aha. Ring. Hello?
Jason Truesdell, Yuzu Trading Company... Hello?
Yuzu Trading Company, how can I help you?
"May I speak with the owner?"
What do you need?
"Hello? This is [unintelligible] with Domain Names and [blah blah blah]. Can I get your fax number to send you a packet of information [unintelligible]?"
"Uh... I ..."
No, I already have information on domain names. Thanks. I don't need anymore. Especially sent to my fax number, I think silently.
"Well, I just [unintelligible] mrpfhfmphf."
No, thank you. (Click)
Granted, I have some sympathy for people making cold calls... I've been there, done that. It's no fun. But the last thing I want, when on the receiving end of such calls, is to give implicit permission to send even more marketing material that I don't want. Especially when it's the in the first semi-intelligible utterance in the conversation.
I have this instinct that makes me immediately suspicious when I receive a call and the person on the other end of the line doesn't respond like a normal person... if they say hello before I do, or if there's a second or two of supernatural silence before a clicking sound, I just know it's a marketing droid and I immediately activate my "fight or flight" defenses.
However, I've had those defenses successfully disarmed, at least long enough to listen to the key message.
It just takes a little more effort. Not that I want more marketing calls, but just as an example...
Jason Truesdell, Yuzu Trading Company...
"Hi Jason, I was just looking at YuzuMura.com... It's a beautiful site. You have some really interesting products I've never seen anywhere else."
Flattery will get you 15 seconds of myattention... "Is this a customer?" I wonder? Oh! Thank you, I say.
"I know you're busy... I'm with [name omitted] publishing company that produces a number of books, some of which cover Asian art and travel topics... Would you be interested in taking a look?"
Oh, it's a marketing call after all. But wait, she actually knows something about my business, and has something potentially relevant to offer.
Well, I'm certainly willing to take a look... On my web site I really need books that have a coffee-table format, or otherwise have a production style that would be appropriate for the gift market. At the moment, I have some hurdles with books because my storefront's software has some issues with shipping calculations using multiple shipping methods, but it's certainly something I've been considering...
"Yes, that's pretty much all we produce. Would you be interested in..." (the conversation continues)
To be fair, I haven't yet ordered from that second company yet, either, but I have a positive impression of the company, and the salesperson put me at ease. She appeared to take a serious look at my business, even if it only means she spent 30 seconds skimming through the text and photos on the top page of my online shop. She tried to offer me something she thought would be compatible with my business.
Not everything works out instantly, but guess which company I'm likely to call back when I need something they offer?