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Cranky Today? This May be Why

jiminy crankball cause of crankiness

You know those days. You wake up annoyed and cranky, ready to drop-kick anything that gets in your way. What the heck is going on? There’s a good chance you’ve been invaded by the Jiminy Crankball.

What’s the Jiminy Crankball?

The Jiminy Crankball is a small, fuzzy invasive species that makes people cranky. He usually crawls in through the left ear, first infiltrating the brain and then moving throughout the rest of the body.

How You Get It

The Crankball species is especially adept at pinpointing weaknesses and certain circumstances that are basically begging for members to invade. These include lack of sleep, being hungry, or getting a $290 parking ticket in Phoenix.

Any annoyance that disrupts your normal routine can invite the Crankballl, as can stepping in cat puke and listening to bad house music.

Oh yeah, you may as well set up lawn chairs for the Crankballs during the monthly womanly thing. That’s when they come around in swarms.

How You Get Rid of It

The only way to eradicate the Crankball is to address and resolve the weakness that let him enter in the first place. Get some sleep. Eat some treats. Deal with the parking ticket. Get back into your normal routine. Clean up the cat puke. Shut down that godawful music. Take a hot bath and a nap.

What Else You Need to Know

Crankballs are highly tenacious, breed quickly, and are extremely contagious. Let them fester in your body for days on end, and you’ll end up surrounded by people who are equally as cranky as you are. It’s like going to work when you have the flu only to infect the whole office.

If you’re not sure of the exact weak point that let the Crankball in, try extra sleep or a healthy meal anyway. You can also talk to others about your crankiness. Crankballs prefer to live just under the skin in the dark. When they’re subjected to attention, laughter or light, they tend to rapidly flee.

Need more helpful hints for dealing with difficult things? Check out the rynski guide for dealing with jerks.

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How to Instantly Lose $290 at the Local First AZ Fall Fest

beware of things that bite

This is an open letter to Local First Arizona after 19 of the Arizona businesses that attended the Fall Fest each ended up with $290 parking tickets after parking in a dirt lot as instructed by Local First AZ.

The violation? Parking on Non-Dust-Free Lot or Area. 

Talk about having a teed-off, 117-mile ride back to Phoenix that evening!

Please Note: The headings were not part of the letter sent, but added to make it easier to read.

Here Comes the Letter

Hi Thomas,

I am one of the 19 Local First Arizona vendors who received a $290 parking ticket from the City of Phoenix after parking in the lot at 1102 N. Third Street as specifically instructed by Local First representatives. As you know, this ticket was issued on Nov. 4, 2017, to a number of vendors attending the Arizona Fall Festival.

The ticket was accompanied by a note from your organization instructing me NOT to pay the ticket and to instead request a hearing.

Since the note stated that Local First AZ would help us businesses fight the ticket, I am confident your organization will indeed provide assistance since this fiasco is in no way the fault of the vendors who were following your precise parking instructions.

Double Woe for Tucsonans

Because I run my writing and art business out of my Tucson home and making the 4-hour round-trip drive to Phoenix would result in loss of full day’s loss of wages, the assistance I require includes:

  • Requesting a court hearing on my behalf
  • Showing up for the hearing on my behalf as a representative as I cannot sacrifice yet another day to drive to Phoenix and back
  • Successfully fighting the ticket at the hearing, explaining how Local First AZ is responsible for the parking violation since the group instructor vendors to park in the aforementioned lot
  • Payment of the $290 fine by Local First AZ if the hearing is not successful on behalf of the vendors

Triple Woe for One-Woman Show

I am a small, single-person operation. Attending the fair required a lot of time, effort, energy, resources and money. While the overall experience was satisfactory, that satisfaction was quickly annihilated upon finding a $290 ticket jammed beneath my windshield wiper after the event.

While Local First AZ is an organization aimed at helping local Arizona businesses, this parking ticket fiasco hurts them dearly. I do hope your organization steps forward to correct the problem on behalf of the handful of local businesses that were merely following your instructions.

All the Blah Blah Enclosures

Attached please find a copy of my vehicle registration and the parking ticket. I am NOT mailing back a request for a hearing, as the ticket indicates this action should be taken ONLY by registered vehicle owners who can show up in court (or risk a default judgement being taken against them).

For Local First to request a court hearing on behalf of the registered owner of the vehicle, the ticket says to:

  • Call 602-262-6785, press 3, then 2

Please confirm you’ve received this letter and that the actions outlined are part of the Local First strategy for helping the businesses to which you’ve promised assistance.

Thank you,

Ryn Gargulinski | Ryndustries

Booth W40: Books, Art and Wheels

local first az fall fest
Rynski at the fall fest in happier times before the $290 parking ticket
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3 Marketing Tactics that Backfire Big Time

make it go away

Not one. Not two. But a total of six! – count them – six emails bombarded my email inbox milliseconds after I recently ordered a single $12 dog collar online. Give me a break. Give us ALL a break – please!

While many modern marketing tactics are highly effective if done right, some companies are doing them wrong. Way wrong. Modern marketing tactics require a delicate balance of:

  • Pertinent information
  • Strategic timing
  • Tactics that don’t piss off your customers

The real-life examples I’ve encountered below backfire miserably in one or more areas, making them more annoying than a sleeping dog’s paw hitting you in the face at 3 a.m.

Example 1: The Email Bombardment

You already got a sneak peek at this one, with a dog collar company sending six emails when I ordered a single $12 collar. I can only imagine how many emails I may have gotten if I would have ordered $150 worth of goodies. Geesh.

Online orders basically require two emails:

  • One email to confirm the order and mention expected ship date
  • One email to alert customer when the order ships

Add tracking info and you get a gold star. Send a flurry of emails that contain things like a message from your founder, a rundown on your return policy, or one just to tell me “You are PAWsome,” and I promise I’ll never order another collar from you again.

This type of email tidal wave suggests the folks at the company have recently discovered email automation and, by golly, are going to set up as many as they can.

Example 2: Begging for a Review

The biggest faux pas in this category are the sellers who start begging for a review of the item you purchased – before the dang item even arrives. Others don’t wait long enough, like the company that started begging for a review of the 303-page book I had ordered a day after I received the book.

How the heck would I have read a 303-page book in a single day unless I quit my job, told my dogs they had to skip their daily meals and walk, and decided not to sleep.

Begging for a review in general can make a company appear desperate, and begging for one with a series of emails raises that desperation to an even higher level. It’s akin to sending hourly texts to someone right after your first date.

One purchase I made started an avalanche during which the seller sent me one email per week, every week, asking if I reviewed the item yet. I finally broke down and wrote a review, just so the emails would stop. My review gave exactly one star, not necessarily because the product sucked, but because the begging emails did.

Example 3: Ads that Follow You around Like a Lost Puppy

You know this scenario. You buy a stand-up yoga paddle board, kiln, or new backyard couch online, and suddenly your browsing is peppered with ads for – you guessed it – paddle boards, kilns, and backyard couches. What backfires most about this ploy is the fact that many of the ads end up being for the exact same thing you purchased two seconds ago.

Sorry, Charlie, but if I just spent $1,500 on a paddle board, $600 on a kiln, or $327 for a new backyard couch, it’s highly unlikely I’ll be buying another one just yet. Why not follow me around with ads for stuff related to the item I recently purchased, rather than a duplicate of the same item?

That paddle board would be more fun with some swim shorts, the kiln would align nicely with a pair of 3-foot tongs, and perhaps the backyard couch could use a few cool throw pillows.

Since the personalized ads come about from cookies, you can go through a whole song and dance to disable cookies. Or you can do the next best thing: ignore them.

Like anything else in life, marketing tactics are best done in moderation. Because we’re all hounded, pounded and otherwise barraged with all types of digital disruptions on a daily basis, moderation is more likely to make your company stand out than joining the crowd of pests.

Modern marketing tactics are definitely an area where the company that acts as the proverbial squeaky wheel won’t get the grease. Your squeakiness is much more likely to make customers throw you off to the side in favor of a wheel that gives you a smoothly quiet and pleasant ride.

Need writing for non-annoying marketing content? I’m on it! Contact me today.

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SEASHELLS BY THE TURBULENT SHORE (rynski poetry)

dazed clam seashell

Stacy Blair was

groovy and keen and

the coolest kid

on the block.

 

If she was your friend,

your life had meaning. If not,

you may as well die.

 

One day she gave me

a drawing she had

carefully colored

herself.

 

I cherished the

thing, hung it on

my wall – the next day

she asked for it back.

 

She came to the door with

Shauna O’Conner to give

the prized drawing to

her.

 

I handed it back –

straight-faced with grace – then

cried on the couch

for a week.

 

And that’s why I

threw a tantrum – some 40 years

later – when mom told 6-year-old

Aiden he could take what he wished

from a big box of shells Mom had

previously

promised

to me.

 

-ryn.09.18.17

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Jerk o’ the Week: Argumentative Anna

argumentative anna jerk

The following is an excerpt from The Little Book of Big Jerks to give you a sneak peek at the types of jerks you’ll meet inside the guide to dealing with difficult people.

Argumentative Anna

Argumentative Anna is an expert on everything, or so she thinks. And the first thing she knows is that whatever you know is wrong. It doesn’t matter that she never rode a horse, painted an awning or flown a plane, she’ll tell the cowboy his saddle is too tight, tell the awning painter the color is not right and tell the pilot he’s doing the landing thing all wrong.

3 Giveaway Traits:

  • Constantly barges in with her input, even if she has no idea about the topic at hand
  • Tells you you’re wrong, even if you happen to agree with her
  • Argues about things that have basis in scientific fact, like that silly idea about the earth being round

How to Deal:

Tell her she’s right. Absolutely right.

How Else to Deal:

Check out the cool jerk-fighting tools in The Little Book of Big Jerks. Real-life solutions for dealing with real-life jerks.

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