2016-08-30-hubris

I was an uncooperative interview once.

It was during the first Gulf War.  A local TV station called the screen print operation that I worked for, and asked if they could come by and ask about the kinds of shirts we were printing (there were a lot of flags and eagles and things on them)

Turns out they already knew how they wanted the interview to go- the interviewer, who was pretty young and maybe not well experienced in hiding his ideas, kept asking questions that smacked of the term ‘war profiteering’.  I can occasionally talk pretty well for myself, and wasn’t going to be led around into saying something that put us into false light.

When the clumsy interviewer asked why we switched from printing shirts for family reunions and church logos to printing shirts with lots of eagles and flags, I dumped it right back in his lap.  “Because that’s what customers come in and pay to have printed.  I’m not going to tell them they have to order anything other than what they’ve come for, am I?  Yes, it’d be nice if they were coming in for FedEx company picnic shirts, but instead, a lot of customers have come in to have shirts supporting the troops printed.  What should we print, then?”  Of course, the young TV interviewer knew we were supplying our own Tshirt stores, too.  I neatly said the same kind of thing.  “If customers come to the store for T-shirts with pegasus or unicorns on them, that’s what they can have.  If they come for shirts that say “I support the troops”, they can have that, too. We’ll make sure we have whatever designs the public comes in asking for.”

The interviewer left pretty miffed.  Mostly, I think, because he wasn’t very good at his job.  There may have been a story there, but it wasn’t the one he’d imagined (or sold his editor on?)  We weren’t gleefully rubbing our hands together saying, “Oh ho ho ho! Let’s take advantage of this war by selling more T-shirts than usual! Mwuhuhuhuhuhuhuhhhhhh!”

I dunno.  Makes you wonder how the TV guy thought stores work.