Wednesday, November 16, 2016


239. 'MARK IT UP'
Doubling down on things
never made sense to me
when I was already
doubled-down on
everything. It was
one of those phrases
used by the usual
gung-ho people. One
thing I always noticed  -
the run of the average life
was able to get along,
doing what was chosen,
strongly, weakly, or
indifferently. But it
was always the
'business' types, the
ones always out to
make a buck, spin a
hustle, have everything
be part of a 'deal' a
transaction, something
for money, who always
came up saying junk
like that. It was a dumb
phrase, and it just always
got dumber the more I
heard it. Response to
that : usually a quiet
'Yeah? Double down
on this.'
One thing I learned,
quickly, in and for
my own life, was
that I had no head
for or concern about
'business', and I mostly
found the people
who did to be real
I simply could never
get my 'Life' down to
the level of business or
money transactions, I
jut hated all that  -  even
as I worked way too many
years, like an idiot-fool,
in the midst of all that.
In that department,
however, I was a real
loser. Not hard-nosed
about anything; gave
stuff away, hated pricing
things to people, got
annoyed at all the little
add-ons and charges and
fees by which pricing is
done. Printing pricing
was bizarre  -  and I
always thought somewhat
deceitful too. It was
almost untenable to
me. But people lived
this and this is how it
was done (without
getting tedious, and
this is very general).
You take a 100-dollar
printing job, you figure,
as we most-often did,
a 30-35 percent, say,
markup. The job sells
out for, therefore, $135.
Ok, fine, the 35 dollar
profit has to cover the
physical plant, wages
and salary, insurance,
machinery use, paper,
ink, etc. A one-third
markup here may sound
like a lot, but it's really
justifiable with the
way business works  -
including rent and
permits, licenses,
state and national
government stuff,
and taxes. The
illusionary part of
it is, however, the
built-in trickery is
almost magically
deceitful, and it
often reduced me
to wondering about
it all, what's intrinsic,
what's real, how much,
truly, is anything worth.
Built within that price,
hidden, is an entire
other set of 'mark-ups'
that the buyer never
sees, or, ideally, even
knows about. Deep in
that job, besides the
end mark-up, are all
these along-the-way
markups. Where do
they go, and why?
The 10-dollars worth
of paper becomes 13;
the 4 dollars of ink and
mixing becomes 5.20,
the printing, an almost
entirely- random number,
say 18 dollars, becomes
26, the printing plate,
worth maybe 2.25 or
so, becomes 7 dollars.
It goes on. That all
adds up to the 100,
which later then
becomes 135. That's
a second mark-up, as
I always saw it  -  I
was unable ever to
figure out the ethical
value of that, the
reality of it, and, in
addition, was most
often unable to get
involved in that sort
of sleight of hand for
something that wasn't
mine, that was, in reality.
bringing me nothing. If
I had owned the business,
I guess I'd have thought
differently, perhaps (and
I say perhaps with
reservations, because
that would NOT have
been me). I did not
possess that sort of
mind-set to make
myself think in those 
logical, tactical,
terms. Money was
always dirt and filth to
me, and the people who 
valued it, who drove 
themselves crazy over
 it  -  yes, who 'doubled-
down' in order to get it,
made me ill at ease and
not willing to b around 
them. I found them to be
despicable, and already
on a casket to Hell.
It was just a personal thing;
engrained within me. I never
knew how or why, but I
recognized it and valued it
as my fact. And I took care
of it. And I still do.
My life is about creative
work. Period. It pains me
to ask bubble-gum or a
Twinkie, for anything.
That later valuation, it's
all theirs. not mine  - like
an auction house suddenly
enflaming something 
mediocre just so that 
the socialites who
trend will suddenly 
manufacture and take 
an interest. To me, it 
was no different than 
the sick madness that
took down the towers.
A week or so after they
came down, I remember
talking with some vendor
of foodstuffs or hot-dogs, 
a cart-guy down that way.
They always talk funny
anyway, in a vaguely odd
adapted lingo that doesn't
make much sense. He said:
'Hey look man, what do I 
do know? Everybody here
hates me, they pass me.
in hatred. I here, every 
day now, five years at 
least. I don't do nothing 
to them, but they think I
did this. What to do now? 
I sell a two-dollar hot dog,
man, what if I get nobody
to buy? Or half as many?
I charge then four dollar?
No, they hate me then 
more. I cannot do that  -  
I just try make a living, 
kids and a family, what 
to do? I am lost now
man, but I did nothing 
to them.' Then he went
on about how he buys 
12 hot-dogs, from his
supplier, at a time, for
85 cents. That's each.
H says he can't just 
buy 12  - that would 
be the time he'd run 
out, needing 18 or 25.
So then he gets stuck
with old-stock hot-dogs 
because no one buys. 
He says maybe of he sells
40, he makes a good day,
but lately he sells 6 maybe.
What does he do? Keep 
selling them, tell no one
they are 8 days old? Buy
more and throw these out?
I had no idea, and (no
pun either) frankly was
not interested. I told
him I was sorry, things 
had worked out badly,
all around, and I walked 
off  -  just again hating
the entire idea of buy/sell,
make money/take profit.
What a massive waste
of all-man's potential.

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