FOLLOW ME - You know you want to. If Baca can get 100 I know I can get 200!

May 28, 2007

Is it possible to make Free even Freer?

Lately I've been thinking I should try to be less mean and grumpy and try to be more informative. After all, many of the things that make me mean and grumpy are due to a lack of player/customer knowledge.

So in that spirit I offer to some of you...

I set up up two "Big Games" each year at T-Square. No. They are not tournaments. I call them big games because they are just like our regular games, only bigger.

They are also called "Free" big games because their is no field fee, no equipment fee and no CO2 fee. Regardless of what anyone might think these events are not money makers. They are not intended to be money makers. They are special events, advertised heavily toward our frequent customers and held in appreciation of them.

I have no problems spending money on advertising to insure a good turn out. I don't concern myself with the cost of the electricity it takes to keep the lights on while I work long into the night on the scenario script. And Lord knows the refs and staff deserve every dollar they earn in salary for the day. In the end I give away to much stuff in the free raffle, take the crew out to dinner, sweat the "1 in 99" and swear I'll never do another big game, all while mulling in my head how the next scenario script will include more pyrotechnics and more chaos.

In hopes of breaking even financially all I ask is that players buy our paint.

So, to the young man that called the day before the event to confirm, "There's no field fee and no CO2 fee and I get a free raffle ticket and I can use your equipment for free," and then ask, "Can I bring paint that I bought from (insert name of competing field here)?"

I apologize for hanging up on you.

Dumb ass.


Ancient history...

Demographics. It's a business thing.

Regarding paintball demographics, the typical age of most paintball players, falls somewhere between 12 and 21. I was reminded of this when I received an e-mail asking, "what does 'Garden Party' have to do with paintball?" ( referring to a post I made on 5.16.07)

Garden Party is the title of a song that hit the charts in 1972 written by a 50's teen icon turned singer/song writer named Rick(y) Nelson. Yeah, yeah, I know - over 20 years before many of the players at T-Square were born.

It's one of those "American Pie" songs. Oh, wait. None of you remember American Pie, either.

It's a song filled with obscure references and insider info that leaves the listener wondering just what was the singer/writer trying to say. (Was "Hughes" really about Dylan selling out or was it a reference to George Harrison, a friend of Nelson's? And were they really booing Nelson or were they heckling the two drunks and the police in the back of the crowd?)

Anyway. The chorus goes:

"But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well.
You see, you can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself."

Like I said, it's one of those songs.

And I'm still learning.


May 27, 2007

A few questions from the test I give my refs...

"Pro-active reffing means

(A) waiting for something to happen.
(B) making something happen.
(C) acting before something happens.
(D) acting when something happens.

A referee's first responsibility is

(A) safety.
(B) doing paint checks.
(C) customer service.
(D) cleaning guns.

Players are required to stay how far from each other?

(A) 2 feet
(B) 12 feet
(C) 20 feet
(D) 22 feet

What is the best way to reprimand a player who ignores safety rules?

(A) in front of his friends
(b) let his Mom do it
(C) shoot him
(D) courteously and in private


May 16, 2007

Garden Party...

The "1 and 99" syndrome bit me on the ass again recently.

You know - the 99 happy customers and one complainer. My nature is such that I let the complainer distract me from the success of pleasing the other 99.

At noon I have a Dad drop a couple of twenties on the counter, tips for his referees. "Your refs are the best I've ever seen."

Just before midnight on the very same day I get an e-mail. "My ref was the worst. I'm never coming back."

The "worst" ref was not one of the "best" refs that were praised earlier. Some are better than others. So I kick one ref in the butt and give the other two their tip.

In the mean time I'm ready to shut the place down because I feel personally responsible for the poor alignment of the stars that caused sensitive customer one to get the one ref that was in a bad mood on that particular day.

Closer to home a lady acquaintance of mine recently and out of the blue announced to me that she hates paintball.

Not just hates it but "really, really, really, really hates it."

She didn't elaborate. I don't know if it's the game in general or if she hates how it use to consume me. We are not on speaking terms anymore so I guess I'll never know. Too bad since now that the business is running itself I find I have a lot of time on my hands.

Just another "1 and 99" to ruminate over and keep me distracted.


May 10, 2007

It's D, followed by a D, followed by another D...

There is an editorial in the February 07 Field and Stream that caught my eye. The title is "Morons Among Us". With my apologies to the author Bill Heavey I'm going to share some of it and add a bit of paintball spin:

"Ever wonder why so many folks have a less-than-flattering image of hunters (paintballers)? Let me explain it to you: There be morons among us. What's worse, the rest of us generally tolerate them. So if the antis ever succeed in banning hunting (paintball), it will be thanks to our generous support."

He goes on to identify just a few of the morons by their moronic actions. He took a particularly heavy shot at chat room antics. Rude smack talk. Crude behavior. Graphic images of overkill.

"There are a lot of people who want to abolish hunting (paintball). There are probably even more who are still forming opinions on the mater. The future of hunting (paintball) depends on the actions of hunters (paintballers)... If we don't police the morons and slobs ourselves, we invite outsiders to step in and do it."

I'm not blind to the irony of using a hunting article to bemoan the presence of paintball morons. Ever since the first paintball-shot-heard-round-the-world proponents of the sport have tried to keep the GAME separate from hunting/war comparisons. I offer Mr Heavey's thoughts because they are more about morons then hunting. The same editorial could just as well have been written by a surfing enthusiast, NASCAR fan or shuffle board player.

The point is, THEY are out there. WE (the majority by the way) need to make ourselves more visible.

Fair play. Sportsmanship. Safety. Common courtesy.


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