Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Rundown of the Ace Hardware Fall Market: 30 Days of Blogging, Day 11

For those who haven't been keeping up with my 30 days of daily blogging, shame on you! If you've got a few spare minutes today and any interest in reading more of my ramblings, have a look through the last few posts, there's been some good ones and some admittedly sub-par ones, but overall I'm decently satisfied with this whole shpeal thus far.

It's been a handful of days since I wrote a blog post strictly about what's going on in my own life without trying to be insightful or thought-provoking, so I'm currently going to succumb to a bit of self-indulgence and simply give a brief rundown of the last few days in my life.

So I'm now finished with day 2 of 3 of my 2nd hardware show. Needless to say, this one has been quite a bit easier, as the amount of learning required on-the-spot was substantially less. There have been a few interesting stories, meals, evenings out, and sales executed during the 2 days here, and I'm sure that tomorrow will be another day of interesting events.

Some highlights have included:

Day 1: I was speaking with a customer at the Wagner Paint booth about an order. I was asked by the Wagner representative how my Spanish was, to which I replied "bit iffy". It was at this point that I realized there was a rather short Hispanic man in the booth looking a bit sheepish. Apparently he spoke very, very little English, so I had to break out my admittedly positively brilliant (i.e. very shaky) Spanish to attempt to take an order from this man. He ended up being a pretty hilarious guy from Guatemala, and I took the entire order in Spanish (an order which, for what it's worth, amounted to several thousand dollars). I was pretty proud of myself, and needless to say the two guys from Wagner were pretty flabbergasted, as up to that point they only knew that I spoke very good Italian and very bad Mandarin Chinese. Other highlights of day 1 included meeting an absolute mad-dog from Louisiana who was wearing a bright yellow LSU shirt, and spoke as though he'd come off the show Swamp People. But seriously, the guy was an absolute hero. Also got to meet a handful of very interesting people from all over the place. Really cool stuff.

Day 2: I had a customer today from Colombia, which was pretty cool. Needless to say, he was pretty freaking surprised when I told him that I'd been there, as in the US Colombia tends to enjoy a pretty horrendous reputation. I happily told him stories of the wonderful time I had traversing the hostal system of his beautiful country while eating nothing but tailandese food, to which he responded by placing a massive order. Apparently I do well with the Latin Americans. Also spoke to an absolute hero of a buyer who came to Denver all the way from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was pretty pleased to hear how much I enjoyed his country, and was also quite surprised to hear a few of the places I'd gone therein. A legend of a man overall. Overall an excellent day, which was made even more excellent by dinner, which was at an awesome Thai place nearby the convention center. Got Thai Green Curry with "Thai Spiciness", which was, unsurprisingly, not nearly as spicy as it was in Thailand (which still wasn't THAT spicy). Anyway, fantastic meal washed down with the wonderful Chang Beer, the national beer of Thailand.

One of the evenings of the show was a positively shocking example of excess. My Dad and I had dinner with a rep from GE and a couple of Ace representatives at Elway's, a steakhouse in the Ritz-Carlton owned by none other than John Elway. The place was absurdly expensive, with steaks running ~$50 per steak for about a 10oz piece of meat. Little bit hilarious, really. Ended up being a fantastic meal (as one would expect for such a price), and probably the most expensive of my life up to this point (though there have possibly been a few at the Shangri-La in HK that beat it out... close call!) Anyway, so a phenomenal meal.

After dinner I decided to go for a walk, at which point I ran into one of the mad-dog reps that I'd been hanging around at the Philadelphia show a few weeks back, as well as during this show. He was trying to find a place that a friend of his was at, which was essentially a franchised version of the bar which inspired the film "Coyote Ugly". The place was an absolute madhouse, complete with very scantily clad women dancing on the bar, a handful of people from the hardware show, and...the movie "Signs" on TV. Now I'm no connoisseur of Coyote Ugly style bars, but I'd have to assume that I wasn't the only one who thought that "Signs" was about the most awkwardly random thing possible to have on the TVs there. But who knows, I guess maybe people really enjoy Mel Gibson alien films with their scantily-clad bartenders. No idea.

Anyway, that's about the gist of the show thus far. I'm currently watching TV in my hotel room, and would like to note that just now, at this very moment, the St Louis Cardinals have clinched the National League Pennant and will be advancing to the World Series. Which, as a Cubs fan, would be a huge bummer if I didn't absolutely HATE the Milwaukee Brewers. As in, despise more than anything else in sports. The only person I know who hates them more than me is David Jamal Chauncey Tumnus Guildford III. He sure does hate them.

More news to come as it develops, tomorrow could be a bit iffy on the blog front when you consider that I'll be at the hardware show at 8:00am, and won't be getting out until like 10:00pm at the earliest, but we'll see how that goes. If not, maybe I'll try to write 2 the next day to make up for it, but I can't really promise anything.

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