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Author Topic: A GenCon Story. Contains Swears.  (Read 4716 times)
lumpley
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« on: September 02, 2004, 10:27:55 AM »

GenCon '04.

Here's a story: this guy comes to the Forge booth. It's Saturday before noon and he's already been drinking a bit and plus he's a real asshole. He comes to the Forge booth and announces that he's going to buy kill puppies for satan, but he's not going to pay $15 for it. He's like, who's in charge here? He carries the game up to the cash register: "I'm going to buy this game but I'm not paying $15 for it, I'll give you $12." At the register they're like, "no." He gets out of them that I'm the only person who could authorize such a sale and he goes away.

He comes back later when I'm in the booth. "Are you responsible for this sick piece of game?" he says. I allow as how I am. He says "I think the title's brilliant so I'm going to buy it, but I'm not paying $15 for it, I'll pay $12."

I'm like, "why the fuck would I agree to that?"

And he's like, "I haven't read it or played it, I just like the title. Am I even going to get my twelve bucks' worth?"

And I'm like, "you'll get your FIFTEEN bucks' worth. That's how I decided how much to charge. What, you don't have the three bucks?" If he'd come to me like, hey, I really want to own your game but I only have twelve bucks, can we work somehting out? I'd'a sold it to him in a heartbeat. But he's being a fuckin' prick.

"Oh I have the three bucks," he says. "But I'm not paying full price. Everything at this con is overpriced."

I blink at him with my mouth open.

"Do you know this game?" I say, putting My Life with Master in his hands. "This is a fucking genius game. Won the Diana Jones award, half the Indie RPG awards, Ken Hite, Jon Tweet awards - THIRTEEN DOLLARS for this genius game." I point to the NPA: "eight games for twenty bucks. EIGHT GAMES." Primetime Adventures: "ten bucks." I wave my hand at the shelf. "The only place in this WHOLE FUCKING CON where the games are worth full price, it's RIGHT HERE."

"Twelve fifty," he says.

Buh. "You're going to haggle me over FIFTY FUCKING CENTS? What - fuck, what are you going to do with two fifty at this overpriced con? Buy a french fry?"

"I'm gonna buy a beer! Two fifty is beer money!"

"Fuckin' - you buy my game at full price and I'LL buy your fuckin' beer. Jusus H."

"...Seriously?"

"Yes seriously. Buy my game."

He does. He pays over a ten and a five. Ralph and Julie give me curious looks and take his money.

This guy and I walk out of the convention center to the Hard Times Cafe. He says "you better fuckin' buy me a beer" and I say "I said I would, what, you think I'm a fuckoff now?" He stops strangers to show off his assholery. He thinks of us as peers, sick and fucked-up wise, but we talk about Mr. McFeely and it turns out that when it comes to fucked upness, this guy's not even in my class. We bump into some friends of his and he's like, "check it out! This is Vincent! He wrote this brilliant game and he's gonna buy me a beer!"

"So do you want a booth or the bar?" he says to me.

"What, you think I'm drinking with you? I'm gonna buy you a beer and go sell my fuckin' game."  Again, if he'd come up to me like, hey, I like your game, come get a beer with me, I'd'a gone with him with a smile. It breaks my heart that this was his overture.

We sit at the bar. He flips puppies open and, yes, laughs. Fucker. He shows it to his friend, they laugh. I drum my fingers.

"Y'know," he says to me, a couple of pages later. "You seem like a really cool guy. I can buy my own beer."

"Fuckin' sweet," I say. "Later."  Did he think I'd stay?

He comes back to the booth the next day, raving about how brilliant my game is and how worth it it was and looking for me. Or so I hear: happily, I was elsewhere at the time.

And so I'm telling this story over dinner and when I get to "twelve fifty" Ron interrupts. "That's it," Ron says. "You don't get to buy my game. Thank you, get the fuck out." I wave him down and tell the rest of the story and he's shaking his head.

"The second half of that story, damn, that could only be a Vincent story," he says. "Know why? Because Jesus wants you for a sunbeam."

A sunbeam, huh. Maybe that'd be true, except that I'm here crowing about who paid full price for my game? and who bought his own fucking beer? Poor pathetic bastard can't even functionally invite a guy out for beer and here I'm kicking shit out of him behind his back. Some sunbeam.

-Vincent
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Andy Kitkowski
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2004, 10:34:46 AM »

Dude, I wondered what happened with that guy.  When he got to "Who's in charge here?", and like me and two others were about to explain that "No one's in charge here, really...", when you stepped in and we stepped the fuck off, I was really curious as to where this all was going to go.

Two fitty. Chr-ist.

Thanks for the story.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2004, 10:36:53 AM »

Well, maybe not a real glisteny sunbeam. But man! I'm a whole 'nother guy and I woulda bounced his ass outta my face, calling security if necessary. My tolerance for hard-buy customers at GenCon is exceptionally low, after I figured out how I got taken a couple of times last year.*

Although your salesman-fu exceeds brilliant.

Best,
Ron

* In the interest of education, here's a common trick. The guy comes up and says, "Give me your spiel, all of it." You do. This takes a while. He asks a few questions which are only based on keeping you talking. You spend fifteen to twenty minutes with this guy, with him nodding his head. Then he says, "So, if I buy'em all, do I get $10 off?"

See, what he's done is force you to invest all this time in his maybe-sale. If you say "no," then you've literally lost a whole bunch of investment. If you say "yes," then you lose some money. He's put you in a lose-a-little vs. lose-a-lot choice.

Fuckheads. I never give discounts any more. Every one I've given has left a bleeding wound. For some reason, in GenCon 2004, people must have seen this intuitively or I got lucky or something, 'cause no one pulled even a hint of any discount-grubbing on me.
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jrs
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2004, 11:03:14 AM »

There's an addendum to this story.

He came back, the next day.  And bought two more games-- My Life with Master and something else, I don't remember.  Not one word about the prices.  

Maybe it's not Happily Ever After, but it's something.

Julie
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2004, 11:07:50 AM »

Quote from: jrs
He came back, the next day.  And bought two more games-- My Life with Master and something else, I don't remember.  Not one word about the prices.  

Maybe it's not Happily Ever After, but it's something.

Julie


BL>  Hey, all's well that ends with cash in the bank.  :-)

yrs--
--Ben
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lumpley
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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2004, 11:10:31 AM »

He bought more! I didn't know. Yeah, that's happily ever after if ever I heard it.

-Vincent
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Luke
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« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2004, 01:37:24 PM »

Not only did he buy more -- I was the guy who "served" him at the rack -- he continued to bitch about how overpriced the con was as he snatched up MLwM. I just walked away.

-L
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Satyrblade
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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2004, 06:15:12 AM »

>The guy comes up and says, "Give me your spiel, all of it." You do. This takes a while. He asks a few questions which are only based on keeping you talking. You spend fifteen to twenty minutes with this guy, with him nodding his head.

I hate this game, too. At DreamCon a few months back, I had some dude come up to me and demand the spiel. At the time, I had run two games, done three panels, hadn't eaten since that morning, and had gotten less than four hours of sleep the previous night. We weren't doing so hot at the convention and he seemed interested, so I went into it. He kept asking questions and I kept answering them to the best of my ability... which, to be honest, wasn't very good at the time. All the while, I'm thinking "Christ, dude, will you either buy the book or get out of here so I can go eat?"

This goes on for what seems like ever. Does he buy the book? Nope.

It gets better. A few weeks later, this asshole gets onto RPG.net and bashes on me, not once but in two separate posts. Bitches about how I couldn't give an adequate presentation on my game, how I mumbled too much, how I rambled inchoherently, had bad breath, and - best of all - how I wouldn't let him leave the booth. This from someone who was keeping ME stuck there when I just wanted to eat, fall down, and sleep for an hour or three.

I have to wonder what he really wanted.

Anyway, the dude got stomped by a few other folks for bitching about me. Still, it taught me that there are times to get away from the booth and take care of yourself, no matter how important it might seem to stay there and SELLSELLSELL. You never know when some dipshit is going to try to score points by making you look bad on a newslist. That risk comes with the territory when you do what we do, but it's best, I think, not to give them material to work with.
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Andy Kitkowski
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« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2004, 08:13:21 AM »

Man, that sucks!

Jeez.

But, if nothing else, there was definitely a valuable lesson to be learned:

--------
Still, it taught me that there are times to get away from the booth and take care of yourself, no matter how important it might seem to stay there and SELLSELLSELL.
--------

Something to take to heart.

-Andy
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Ed Cha
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« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2004, 04:22:42 AM »

I always hear stories about people like this at conventions, but it's never really happened to me. Yet. *crosses fingers*
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