December 7th, 2005

We Want You (to play Pump?)

Ok, so I'm at X-Site last night for my usual Tuesday night Pump outing. At one point in the evening a guy in BDUs walks in and stops for a bit to watch me play. I didn't really give it a whole lot of thought. Plenty of people stop to watch people play Pump--especially since it's right up by the door when you walk in. I was in the middle of a set, and by the time I was done he had gone up to talk to the people at the desk.

Some time later, he was on his way out just as I was finishing a game. He stopped to talk to me for a bit, and it went something like this:

- Hey, how old are you?
-- Too old to be playing this game. (I had been there awhile at this point and my knees were absolutely begging me to quit.)

- 28?
[I indicated higher with my thumb.] (I was surprised--and maybe a bit dismayed at a reasonably accurate guess for a change. Although my previous comment may have influenced his guess...yeah, I'll go with that! ^_~)

- 32?
-- [I indicated lower.] Right in the middle...30.

- What do you do?
-- I work at a software company.

- You make pretty good money?
-- Yeah, I do alright.

- Did you go to college?
-- I finished. I have a bachelor's degree.

- Have you considered joining the Army? With a degree you could be an officer!
-- No thanks, I'm really not interested.

- Why not?
-- I'm happy doing what I'm doing already.

- Do you know anyone else who might be interested?
-- Everyone I know was interested already did it.

- Well, you're really quick on that game.
-- Thanks.

That caught me off guard a bit. I really wasn't expecting Army recruitment at X-Site. I was also a little suprised that he continued after learning my age. Although I suppose they have a need and it would have at least appeared to him that I wouldn't completely tank the physical requirements. However, my flat feet and the way my knees were feeling at that moment would beg to differ with that assessment.

Clueless in Indianapolis

A couple weeks back I receieved a settlement check to cover repairing the damage that occurred to the Pump It Up cabinet in transit. After negotiating with the shipping company, I didn't get all the money I asked for, but I did at least get enough to cover the cost of the replacement parts I'll need. This doesn't really leave me with much to cover more labor-based repairs, but I was planning on doing as much as I could myself anyway. Brandon and yourcarsucks have agreed to help me out with the tasks (electronic and woodworking repectively) I can't handle alone.

Yesterday I called Shaffer Distributing to get pricing on a couple more parts in preparation of placing an order. There were a couple of spare parts (not related to the shipping damage) I was considering adding to my order if it was going to be inexpensive to do so. But, here's where it gets a little ridiculous...

While speaking to the parts guy at Shaffer I had to explain what Pump It Up was. I had to tell him what company (Andamiro) makes it. I had to tell him his company is the distributor for Andamiro. I had to spell Andamiro. I had to look up Andamiro's phone number for him so he could call them.

Ok, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that Shaffer probably deals with a lot of different companies and he may not personally be aware of each and every one...except that I had pretty much this exact same conversation with the same guy about a month or so ago when I first called to get parts pricing so I could provide the shipping company with a repair estimate. Amazing...

So I contact Andamiro to find out my distributor. Andamiro will not sell to me directly nor give me pricing information. But in order to get pricing I have to contact Andamiro myself to find the part numbers for the parts I need. Then I give these part numbers to Shaffer. But the guy at Shaffer just calls Andamiro--at the number I gave him to get pricing that he then passes on to me.

This manufacturer/distributor model makes no sense to me. I fail to see any value added service from the distributor--who must not have a huge interest in such distribution anyway considering the representative doesn't even know he is the distributor.