Saturday, July 18, 2015

Don't argue, use friendly chatter

Ever had a stupid conflict in public? You know you're right, but you will never convince the other person, because he will lose face. And the details are not the point anyway.

There is another way:

"I didn't know that. I was totally wrong, and I apologize.  Say, those earrings are fantastic! Did you make them? They really make your eyes light up. Where might I get something like that for my niece?"

It seems like this approach (shortened form) would be so fake that anybody can see through it. Many can, but it WORKS ANYWAY. It does not even have to be a compliment. Simple talk in a friendly way about something the other person is interested in, with sincere interest, and within one or two minutes at most it will be almost impossible to for them to stay upset.

I know it works because it was used on me. A person came over and ordered me to come to a meeting with a salesperson. I pointed out she could not give me orders because I was not her junior. Very clumsily with no segue she started talking about the photo mag I was reading, and in half a minute I had no energy or interest to be upset, and accepted her invitation (no longer an order). So even when very crudely done, and on a person who is fully aware what is going on, it works.

By the way, don't worry about being a fake. You can believe anything you want, can change any belief anytime, and there's enough truth in anything for somebody to believe it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The harsh jungle of battery competition

I just remembered something that happened some years ago: I was back in Denmark, and walking in an industrial district in Glostrup, outside Copenhagen. I walked past a big gate leading in to a very large parking lot, and in the back of it was a very, very large building, with a large sign saying "Duracell".

And there it was: right dead center in the middle of the driveway and gate, lay a battery. It was a Danish brand: Hellesen. You didn't see them very much these days. And this poor battery was totally dry and flattened by having been driven over multiple times by big, full, Duracell trucks.

What are the odds? And I've never seen such in-your-face symbolism. The independent Danish battery manufacturer, figurative and literally flattened by the trucks of Duracell invading the country. (And I see that Hellesen was in fact later bought up by Duracell. They may not have liked it, but it's surely preferable to bankrupcy.)

(Don't get me wrong, this is not me 'sticking up for the underdog': if Duracell makes a superior product, and they probably do, that's just how competition works. But I just had to laugh at such striking symbolism.)

Sunday, July 12, 2015