Business owners, you first. After a lot of serious thought and countless rough drafts, I crafted a well reasoned and artfully articulated resolution for your 2013. And it’s this:
Enough’s enough with the ribbon cuttings.
For years, chambers of commerce all over the globe have tricked you into holding these boring, staged grand opening ceremonies for your companies. And then they want to post the pictures everywhere, like colorings on the refrigerator door.
The only logical explanation I can think for this tradition is that chamber employees are forced to buy stock in oversized scissors upon their hiring, and so they have to push for the cuttings in order to feed their families and buy their children three-piece suits and feather pens.
“It’ll be huge!” Chuck the Chamber Man tells Steve the Scrappy Startup Owner, kind of like a used-car-salesman version of Joe Pesci. “Not your opening, of course, but the scissors! You’ve got to see these babies — they’re mongo!”
But I’m not all that convinced that Steve the Scrappy Startup Owner is interested in being the 10 millionth person to get his picture taken with mongo scissors and chamber reps. He probably just wants to kick-start things a bit. You know, get the word out.
But these guys, they’re no amateurs.
“What better shot at exposure than to pack the place with politicians!?” Chuck asks Steve, wrapping his arm around his shoulder and pulling him in close. “Lemme tell you something: People love politicians. And then — imagine it. (He motions into the distance.) An unsuspecting ribbon. You hold one end. I hold the other. You still with me, Steve?”
“And this is where it gets good: A giant pair of scissors slides into frame and — SLICE! — they rip into the ribbon! Fibers flying everywhere! The crowd roars! And then — guess what happens next, Steve.”
“But I — ”
“You guessed it!” Chuck says. “We take a photo. Huge smiles. Huge publicity. And it’s all thanks to the scissors. Now I ask you: How’s all that sound?”
When you work in newspapers, you see these kinds of pictures all the time. From new delis, jewelry stores, hospital wings — you have all these people in truly interesting trades, and instead of photographing them in the kitchen, or in their workshop, they skip the good stuff and pack as many suits into the frame as possible.
Then they bust out the scissors.
I can imagine Chamber Chuck’s Christmas morning ...
“Ok, sport,” he’ll tells his littlest tike. “I know you’re excited to open your presents and all, but what I need you to do first is stand in front of the tree, OK?”
“Yes, Mr. Dad.” (His kids call him Mr. Dad — obviously.)
“K, now hold these scissors, big guy.”
“They’re too heavy, Mr. Dad.”
“Great. Now act like we’re shaking hands and show the camera those bright pearly whites. Can you do that for me, champ?”
“Can’t I at least open my stocking first, Mr. Dad?”
“Business before pleasure, son, you know that. Now. Sayyy ... ‘Networking!’”
Also, your second resolution: Floss more. Seriously. It’s important.
BY MIKE CAVALIERE | ASSOCIATE EDITOR