Monthly Archives: September 2011

I Wanna Stab Myself in the Eye

Man this has been a crappy day! I’m so glad it’s over and the weekend is almost here. It’s Wednesday night and I’m sitting in my really comfy “slightly used” leather chair writing to you, once again, from the man-cave.  I still haven’t seen any big spiders, so I think we’re OK.

Did you ever have one of those really bad days that you just wanted to stab yourself in the eye with a plastic spork from KFC? Like maybe you left the house kinda late because you were busy writing a blog post instead of getting ready for work and you hit some unexpected traffic and you end up getting to work three minutes late. And then you’re coworkers are bitchy and you’re computer is too slow and you feel like everything you touch turns to crap. Then you start plotting to cut out of work early and you almost get it worked out, but then your boss sends out a department wide email to remind you about the mandatory safety meeting at 3 pm. Now your beyond pissed, and really, your just downright snarky, so you reply that safety meeting email over to your buddy Chris with some wise-crack comment about the boss being so short he needs a step ladder to get into his Escalade and a phone book to see over the steering wheel, but when you hit send, you realize you didn’t change the name in the “TO” field to Chris and now you start freaking out because when you hit “SEND” on an email, there ain’t no coming back from that. I mean there is the option to recall the message, but the only thing that does is draw the recipients’ attention more to your embarrassing mistake then if you had just left it alone. You might as well get one of those really big white poster boards from the dollar store and write in big letters “Attention boss: please disregard the email I accidentally send to you this afternoon 09/14/2011 at 1:46 PM. Please observe and comply with the follow up option that you agree to erase this humiliating email from your inbox.” Now that I think about it, you may need 3 poster boards for that. So then you spend the next hour wondering when the boss will come across the inappropriate, yet highly accurate email, or if he’s already seen it, but just hasn’t said anything…yet. And to make matters worse, you’re about to go sit across from him in an hour long meeting while we talk about why texting and driving the forklift at the same time is just not safe practice. The last couple of hours of your work day feel like they go on for weeks.

Have you ever had one of those days?

Now if I know you, my friends, like I think I know you, you’re staring down at you iPhone (or Blackberry because you’re too mature, or your Cricket because you’re too poor, or your Android because you’re way to hip to use an Apple product in the same way Apple users were way too hip to use PCs in 1999) and your mouth is open and you might even be scratching your head and it’s killing you because you’re wondering…is he serious? Did he REALLY want to stab himself in the eye with a plastic spork from KFC? The answer is… not really. I mean I may have seriously considered it if I actually had a plastic spork from KFC at my desk at the time, because if you think about it, it’s really not a bad option considering the situation. I, for one, can think of many ways why you would consider stabbing yourself in the eye with a plastic spork a win. Sure, it would hurt like nothing you’ve ever felt, and chances are you might lose the eye, but overall, I think the good outweighs the bad in this case for many reasons.

As a matter of fact, I can think of ten reasons why stabbing yourself in the eye with a plastic spork from KFC could be considered a win.

  1. You are guaranteed to get the rest of the day off from work. How the hell is your boss gonna tell you not to go home when you’re obviously bleeding all over your shirt and your desk and you’re coworkers are all freaked out. That’s as good of an excuse as any to leave early.
  2. You get to spend the rest of the afternoon with really cute nurses in the emergency room. There’s no waiting room for the guy coming in with a spork hanging out of his face, my friends. That’s a golden ticket straight to the operating room where the pretty girls are at.
  3. You get some really good drugs from the doctor for a really great price. 80 count bottle of hydrocodone from Walgreens at the unbelievable price of $20? Yes, please.
  4. You get to play the “I’m too sick to…” card at home for the next couple of days while you lay in bed and watch Episodes I – VI continuously…again. This time on Blue Ray!
  5. You get to wear a really sweet eye patch and people can’t call you a douche or a hipster because it’s for medical reasons. Chicks will totally dig you!
  6.  You get to sue KFC for a million dollars because they didn’t specifically warn you that stabbing yourself in the eye with one of their deadly sporks could cause serious injury. It was bound to happen!
  7. You will most likely have a newspaper article written about your dumb ass that will most definitely end up on failblog.com and when that happens, you can totally go into the comment section and plug your blog while directing potential readers where they can hear all about the incident.
  8. You will suddenly have a topic worthy of writing a blog post about, and people may actually read it!
  9. You can write up a serious article called “Safe Workplace Environments and the Eating Utensil” and travel the country giving speeches at company safety meetings and you’ll suddenly be famous.
  10.  You totally just dodged the bullet regarding the really funny email you accidentally send your boss rather than your buddy. High five on that email too, it was hilarious!

That’s a win in my book!

Warning: The preceding article was just a joke and the brilliant author claims no responsibility for future incidents of people stabbing themselves in the eye with an eating utensil, whether it be plastic or silverware. Thank you and have a great day!

Good night, my loyal readers!

*Seriously, people, I should NOT have to explain myself after every post I write. Before you flood my inbox with the obvious question…The answer is no. This did not really happen to me. Today.

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Fun with Craigslist

I was first introduced to Craigslist about seven years ago by my good friend Julie. She had been talking about this amazing website where you could get almost anything you wanted, but I didn’t quite understand the absolute power of the site, so I sort of shrugged it off and put it in the back of my mind. At the time, I was intently focused on driving Alfonzo T-Shirts & Designs off a cliff, and was doing so quite successfully, so I couldn’t be bothered with another trendy website. It wasn’t until a few months later that I first discovered the “free” section and within a week, my garage was filled with 700 records, a Nordic Trak ski machine, two “slightly used” leather chairs, and a box full of women’s v-neck shirts with a tiny pocket on the left chest. Needless to say, I immediately discovered that just because the stuff is free online doesn’t mean you HAVE to take it, 2004 Rob! There is a reason someone gave away her precious wardrobe of classic Kohl’s specials, and it is not so you can flip them and make a huge profit. I promise!

Over the years, since then, I have dealt with Craigslist a lot and not just for the free stuff or the “casual encounters” section, either. I’ve bought countless TVs, DVD players, video game systems, laptops..You name it, I’ve probably bought it. I also sold, gave away, or bartered 99% of said merchandise on Craigslist along with most of the crap I find in storage units and what I buy at garage sales. I’ve hired overpaid workers to help me finish large jobs, answered gigs for beer money, and I even got my Jack Russell of terror from the “pets” section. The majority of the customers who have utilized the service of Centex Moves* have come from my ads, and I even sought out technical advice from computer nerds. This truly is more than just another “trendy website”; it’s a source for everything you could ever want or need.

While Craigslist is an incredible outlet to satisfy the needs of a natural born hustler like myself, it’s not always cupcakes and cartwheels, my friend (yea, I just made that up…feel free to use it). There’s some pretty scary stuff out there, and you really need to be mindful of who you’re dealing with. You might come across someone who is just crazy enough to follow the advice they see on Life of Rob. (Of course the likelihood of that happening is pretty much slim to none, since I’m no more popular than an ad trying to push gay pride t-shirts on a group of Texas Republicans).

Whatever. I still have you, my loyal readers. And because I love you, I now offer you the top ten list of ways to have fun with the people you are dealing with on Craigslist. Or get you arrested. Just don’t call me to bail you out.

1. When you show up to sell something to a potential buyer, look around nervously and sweat profusely when you’re making the deal. Also, scratch your face and arms a lot and then ask the buyer if he knows where you can score some good stuff.

2. Check to see if you’re potential buyer is on Facebook and if her pictures are public. If so, print them all out and put them in a shrine in your living for her to see when she gets to your house. She’ll think it’s really sweet.

3. Make a deal to sell something for a really good price, and then when the buyer shows up at your house, act like you don’t understand why he’s there and get really angry when he tries to explain he just answered a craigslist ad. Pull out a knife to make things really interesting.

4. When you arrive to meet a guy, and he has his wife or girlfriend with him, try to make a deal to “borrow” her for a couple of hours. Ask if she is for rent and how much per hour.

5. Answer any ads you see from someone selling a shovel and/or a wheelbarrow, and make a deal. When you show up at the seller’s house, have a really wild look on your face and cover yourself with dirt and fake blood. Tell them you’re in a hurry and need to get this done quickly and then make them promise they never saw you.

6. Answer an ad offering a free dog and show up in a food truck. Inspect the dog thoroughly and comment on how fat it is. Tell the owner this dog will work out great, and if children are present, wink at them and tell them the dog will be in good hands with you.

7. Make a deal to purchase a video camera and ask a bunch of random questions like, “How hard is it to conceal”, “Does it work well in low lighting”, or “is it good at focusing when pressed against a window, especially if the blinds are mostly shut”.

8. Show up at either the buyer or seller’s house in a suit carrying a briefcase and tell them you have an AWESOME opportunity for them. Make sure to let them know they look like a brilliant entrepreneur and then make them sit through an entire presentation on how your global Fortune 500 Company can make them independently wealthy in 3 years.

9. When making arrangements to meet somewhere, ask if the location is anywhere near a high school and explain that you’re not allowed within 1,000 feet. It’s funnier if you’re making arrangements to buy Hannah Montana: The Complete Second Series.

OK I actually just ran out of ideas and I can’t think of a really good #10, so I’m leaving it to you, my devoted followers. Leave me a comment with your suggestion, and I will publically recognize the best answer. Plus, the “winner” will receive a mystery item from one of the boxes o’ crap my wife is sick of looking at treasure I have accumulated in the garage. Probably something from the last storage locker I bought. I promise it’ll be cool!

*Back to the Centex Moves mention. Due to the overwhelming success of one of my previous posts, “10 Ways to Lose Repeat business”, many (2) of you have asked if I really did do all of that stuff and suggested that, if so, I really need to live my life in a bubble. The answer is no…of course not. I did wreck my truck, but my trailer was empty. Also, I wasn’t really trying to take a picture of the girl in the Old Navy sweatshirt. I mean there was no girl! *sigh* Never mind.

On a side note, I’m actually pretty good at customer service and have received a handful of emails praising me for my professionalism. So there!

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Real Life Hall Pass: My Super Exciting Friday Night

Have y’all seen the movie “Hall Pass”? Well I haven’t, but I’ve seen the previews and the premise of the movie is very similar to the current situation I am in at this exact moment…Except instead of hanging out at a bar drinking with my buddies while surrounded by beautiful women, I’m actually at the house writing blog entries while surrounded by a tremendously hyper dog and an old cat.

Tomorrow, one of Shelley’s cousins is getting married in San Diego, so she flew out this morning to attend the wedding with her mother, and left me here at home with an unspoken “hall pass” to do whatever I want (as long as it doesn’t include any kind of general fun). But the jokes on her, because I am having an outrageous evening! Brace yourself, my friends, because you’re about to go with me on a wild ride!

After I dropped off my beautiful bride at the airport this morning, I drove back home and let the dog out before I took a long nap so I could be fully energized for the night to come (I slept part of the way without my CPAP sleep mask because, yea…I’m THAT crazy). After I woke up, I took me a long and relaxing shower, shaved, and headed out to Supercuts to hang with one of my girls, Michelle (by “hang”, I mean getting my haircut). Looking fresh and hip with my incredibly sexy haircut, I took the drive out to Barton Creek Mall. You heard me right. That’s down in Westlake, people. That’s like the best mall in town! Because I’m so smooth, I found a parking space right up front next to Dillard’s, and Lids happened to be right there around the corner close to the Banana Republic.

If you need a break from all this excitement, feel free to do so now. I’ll wait.

Back? OK great. So I creep right into Lids and go straight to the section with all the baseball teams, and I pull out a sweet Rangers ball cap and it fits perfectly. Many of you already know that I have a hard time finding the perfect hat because my head is weirdly shaped and only certain hats look good on me, but this one did. So after I tried on a handful of others to make sure this was the right cap, I went ahead and purchased this bad boy. If that weren’t enough, I said “screw it”, and I renewed my membership card because for only $5, I get special members only offers and this year I’m totally gonna take advantage of that sweetness. Because of my naturally rebellious nature, I went ahead and refused to have the guy put the purchase in a bag and I walked strutted out of that store wearing it because nothing enhances a great haircut more than putting on a fresh new ball cap. On my way out, I came across a sunglasses kiosk nestled in between the AT&T stand and the place that sells remote control helicopters and I didn’t hesitate to stop. I found myself an ultra swish pair of shades and the dude working there said I could get another pair for the unbelievable price of $22.50! Hell, the one pair itself was $17, so how can I say no to getting a second pair for an extra $5.50? That’s just crazy talk!

Man…by that time it was only 8:00 and already I had a fresh haircut, a new Rangers cap, and not one, but TWO brand new pair of glades.

I should probably stop here and continue this later, because it’s late and you need to get to bed, but you’re on the edge of your seat and you want more, so I’ll continue.

I walked on out of that mall swimming in awesomeness and by the looks I was getting by those teenage girls, it was pretty obvious I was fly like a rock star. I almost went into Brookstone, and then maybe the LEGO store, but it was time for me to get the hell on because a man’s gotta eat. As part of my “hall pass” I get to eat wherever I want and no woman’s gonna tell me where I can or can’t go! There were so many choices and I started to text Shelley to ask for suggestions, but then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m gonna drive out to Wells Branch and get me some Bill Miller BBQ. Hell yea, people. I ain’t no sissy going to SuperSalads or something lame like that, I’m eating ribs tonight! (Also the dog loves it when I have ribs because that means he gets to eat good too). So 45 minutes later, I’m standing in line looking intently at the menu when I finally see it like a beacon in the night…the rib plate for $7.25. Yea that comes with THREE sides! And right underneath it, I see something that literally made my jaw drop…rib plate PLUS one additional meat for $9.45. Am I dreaming?? Are you gonna tell me with a straight face that I can get another meat of my choice for only $2.20 more? No doubt homey, bring it on. I’ll take brisket. But not just ordinary brisket, I want the moist stuff. They call it “marble”. I pay the lady and of course I have to wait a good 5 minutes for my food, but that’s all cool and the gang because I had 2 games of Words with Friends going so, whatever.

Flash forward to an hour later and the dog and I are chowing down on our voluptuous meaty goodness while watching TIVO recordings of last season’s NCIS. By now, it’s already 11:00, so it’s time to go ahead and start winding down. That’s when I sit down to write this blog. It’s now 12:30, but I don’t care. Even though I have another big day tomorrow, I may go ahead and stay up another 30 minutes or so.  I can’t promise anything, my friends, but I may wash the truck (inside and out), get some laundry done, and even make it to Target for some screen protectors for my iPhone (but I don’t know about that just yet, I may not have the time). I think I’m just not gonna plan anything and see where the day takes me. I’m pretty spontaneous like that. I may get really stupid and get me some Hooter’s wings while I watch the Texas game. Again, I can’t promise you anything. You’re just gonna have to wait until tomorrow night to hear what adventures I get myself into. Until then, my loyal readers (I think I may have actually dropped back to 9), have a good night. Sweet dreams!

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Worst Business Advice Ever: 10 Ways to Lose Repeat Business

There’s no better way to run your business into the ground than to have really poor customer service and make it unquestionably certain that the next time your customer needs a product or service that you provide, he will look elsewhere. OK, there are many great ways to run your business into the ground (and believe me, I know), but this is definitely a great start. Drawing from years of professional experience, I give you, my loyal followers, the top 10 ways to lose repeat business.

10. Customer service is overrated. So you sold them a TV that won’t turn on when they get it home. That’s their problem now!

9. Make sexual advances toward the client. She will love you for this. “Do you work at Subway? `cause you’re giving me a footlong!”

8. Be continuously late for every appointment. You’re client expects you at 4 pm so leaving the house at 3:45 to get there is totally fine even though it’s an hour drive.

7. Talk about your previous mishaps while you were making other deliveries. They’ll think its funny and won’t worry at all if you will get into an accident with the antique $1,000 grandfather clock in your trailer.

6. If he has kids, keep asking them their names and then call them the wrong name over and over. “Hey Taylor, do you want to help me out?” “My name’s Colin!” “Sorry Kevin”.

5. Stop off at a bar before arriving to meet the client. It’s just so much more comfortable to deal with people when you’re drunk.

4. Make racial jokes based on the customer’s ethnicity. “Hey Habib, been to any flight training schools lately?”

3. Be totally careless and if at all possible, break something. No explanation needed here.

2. Be sure to compliment her about her daughter and use phrases like “Wow she is HOT! What grade is she in again?”

And finally, the best way to absolutely guarantee you’ll never hear back from you customer again…

1. Actually get into an accident with the customer’s $1,000 antique grandfather clock in your trailer.*

*In my defense, it was drizzling, the road was wet, my tires were bad, and the cute girl in the Old Navy sweatshirt walking down the street was looking at me like she knew me. Not my fault. At all. **

**Ok she wasn’t really looking at me like she knew me, but she was really, really cute. ***

***Also, when I tried to take a picture of her, my iPhone didn’t want to cooperate and the guy in front of me DID NOT need to brake that quickly.****

****And the grandfather clock was fine! Geesh! Calm down! It’s not like I broke it!

UPDATE:

Life Lessons #1: If you’re going to start a blog and talk about things only you and your buddies usually talk about, don’t tell your wife you started a blog! (See comment below)

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Worst Business Advice Ever: 10 Ways to Lose Money in Business

In a previous post, I talked a lot about the business adventures I’ve been involved in. While I’ve had some tremendously brilliant ideas, I’m not always good at putting them to practice. I like to blame it on bad luck (buying riding lawn mowers in bulk to resell just before the worst drought in Texas history hit and everybody’s lawn died), but the truth is I have been known to outright make poor business decisions. If you’re looking for good business advice, you’re reading the wrong blog. I can, however, share with you some excellent tips if you have a strong desire to lose some of your hard earned money. Because I love you, my loyal readers (all 4 of you), I now give you 10 ways to lose money in business.

10. Don’t follow up with potential clients. If they say “call me back in one week when I get paid”, they’re probably lying. Don’t waste the two minutes it will take to call back or write an email asking if they are still interested.

9. Take advantage of buying inventory in bulk even though you will only actually sale five units. $200 is a great price for 350 infant onesies. That’s like 57 cents each and you’ll make a killing on the order of three you just received.

8. When negotiating, the other guy always has the upper hand. If you want $50 for a watch that is clearly worth $75, go ahead and accept an offer of $40 because, what the hell, you’re only losing $10.

7. Trust the guy that is offering you a deal that seems too good to be true. “I know these riding lawn mowers are worth $600 each, but I’m going to sell you all 8 for $1,000!”

6. Make business decisions based on emotion rather logic. You’ve always wanted an iPod Touch, so go ahead and trade a fully functional laptop for it (even though the laptop is worth twice as much).

5. Spend money on marketing that no one will ever see. It’s just fun to spend hours in Adobe creating a logo for your business and it’s totally worth it to print out 1,500 flyers at Kinkos even though they will sit in a box under your bed while you lose interest and move onto your next venture.

4. Overhead is irrelevant when quoting a price for service. Receiving payment of $200 to deliver a couch to a client in Houston is fantastic, even though it cost $180 in gas to make the trip.

3. Go ahead and spend your money before you make it. Hell yea we’re going out tonight! It’s fine to spend the money because my potential customer said to call him back next week when he gets paid.

2. Take on more work than you can handle and then overpay workers to help you get it done quickly. Who cares that you only profited $50 on a large landscaping job that took two days to complete. You made $50!

And finally…The absolute best way to lose your hard earned money…

1. Liquidate because you really need the cash to go out tonight. If you paid top dollar for merchandise that you absolutely can’t move to save your life, sell it for at least half of what you paid. At least it’s off your hands and you have cash in your pocket!

 

***If these reasons don’t offer good enough advice on how to lose your money, or you feel you should be able to lose your money faster, please feel free to send me your money. I need the cash because I’m going out tonight! OK…I’ll wait for you to get paid next week. ***

 

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I’m an Entrepreneur

I’m an entrepreneur…a really bad one. I’ve had my hands in so many different ventures, I could probably write a book. True, it would be a book about how to lose money and no one would want that advice, but I could totally do it. I’ve been involved in network marketing, eBay sales, had weekly garage sales, set up a costume jewelry booth on South Congress, and even tried my hand in landscaping. I started a t-shirt business called Alfonzo T-shirts & Designs (ATD), a resale shop called Rob’s Resale, and a multimillion dollar firm called Intellicorp with my buddy Raymond (Multimillion dollar idea anyway…To be fair, we didn’t have the funding, and also Raymond’s wife won’t let him play on the weekends or in the evenings, so he was only available during work hours when we were at work). I bought a heat press and started making mouse pads and tote bags and picture tees and called it Family Pride, and I also started a delivery service called Centex Moves. Every one of these undertakings proved to be a bust, but I did take something from each, so I suppose they weren’t complete failures. My personal favorite project was when I got involved in storage unit auctions (Yes, I was buying storage lockers before buying storage lockers was cool!). This was honestly the most fun I’ve had while trying to make a quick buck. If you have a couple of thousand dollars to spend at an auction and a large warehouse to store your loot, this business is a sure winner. Unfortunately, I have neither at the moment, so I will refrain from going to another auction until the next time I come into a great deal of money that I want to turn around and lose in a short period of time. When that day comes, I’ll elaborate more on how I choose a unit and will post pictures and provide details about what I found and how much money I made (or lost). Until then, off to my next endeavor. This time I’m taking pictures in a Speedo and making a 2012 calendar for all you ladies. Supplies are limited so you might want to pre-order one before they’re gone!

Coming soon… 10 ways to lose money in business

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