Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rubber Stamp Man

Tuesday I was visited at my studio by Barry, a rubber stamp salesman. Yes you heard correct, folks. Rubber Stamp Salesman.

He was probably in his 50s-60s, dressed in a nice suit, and had a hard briefcase full of stamps to demo, each in their own custom shaped foam cut-out block. He asked me if he could have 5 minutes of my time to demo his stamps.

Uh, sure. WTF? A stamp demo? Don't you just slam it on the ink pad and then slam it on the paper?

Turns out, professional stamps of the 21st century have evolved...if only a bit. (How much evolution can they really accomplish?) You no longer need an inking pad. Somehow through the amazing technology of Self-Inking™®, now the stamp has ink already built in. So you don't have to hit the ink before you hit the paper. And you can adjust the ink flow simply by turning the handle.


I didn't need a stamp. Or a brass nameplate, which he also sold. (Though I considered for a moment ordering one that says No Solicitors.) But he did offer me a quote on business cards, before I realized they were just the black raised puffy ink kind with 4 not-so-designed styles to choose from. Oh well.

He wasn't pushy. The only suggestion he made was for me to get a signature stamp, in complete olde-timey sales language all but missing "step right up!":
[stamp man]: Signature Stamp! George Washington's the example. [boom! stamp is stamped revealing G.W.'s signature] Who doesn't sign their name? A stamp of your signature saves you time and money! And it prevents carpal tunnel syndrome.
[steph]: giggles and turns to look at her computer

[stamp man]: It does! It's been proven.

awkward pause...

[steph]: do you have opaque inks?
Paul (studio two doors down) also got the demo. We discussed later. Death of a Salesman, how many stamps do you have to sell to pay for a nice suit, and who still uses stamps were some of our comments/perplexed questions.

I'm glad random people walk in to my studio to keep my days here interesting.


Rachel said...

Poor guy. His job is soon to be obsolete.

Butch said...

You can't get that info or treatment from the big box stores.

jamie said...

Wow. Hard to believe he could make any money.

I did see a report on the news about an old guy who dresses in a fancy suit and sells $5 potato peelers on the streets of NY city by giving demos to passerbys... Turns out he has a swanky apt. on Park Ave. paid for by peelers. He's now working to put his grandkids through college. I guess there's weirder ways to make money.