OT FIRST RUN WOODWORKS

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Swingman wrote:

Reading the story my take is the folks at the store and in the club are probably at least equally at fault for taking excessive advantage of an event for their own purposes...
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In what way?
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

The "want to touch and be touched" by the celebrity phenomenon. Talked of treating the visit as the second coming...just the observation of how people (especially groups) can act in such circumstances.
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?. If he were paid, as I assume he was, that is exactly the expectation that he should have.
Frank
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Frank Boettcher wrote: ...

Depends on what he was paid _for_. If it was to be seen and give a demo/talk, that's one thing. If it was for that and he's mobbed w/ some crowd, expected to judge some show, etc., ..., that's something else again.
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How about the associated VIP phenomenon? The one where anyone who knows, touches or comes into the presence of a VIP becomes (thinks they are) a sort of pseudo VIP? Like that wood whisperer kid. The guys at the guild are always making jokes about him and how full of himself he is. He sure does like to hear himself talk. I haven't been able to make it more than a couple of minutes through any of his podcasts. He rambles on a lot and doesn't do much of anything on the show. I think he should put in a decade or two of working wood before he declares himself David Marks Jr.
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Like that wood whisperer kid. The

Strongly agreed...
The most impressive thing about him is his shop.
Money doesn't equate to skill - much less talent.
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wrote:

I hear ya'!
At least he seems to have slowed down with dropping David Marks' name.
While WW (I can't remember his name...) does look like he has some skills, he does smack of a guy who couldn't make much money as a pro, designing and building things, so we went the media / instructing route. I think he actually has promise as a demonstrator, but without the portfolio of a DJM, Lonnie Bird, Frank Klaus, etc...
Did you ever notice how little WW does with hand tools?
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That is exactly why companies hire celebrities to come to their store, trade show booth, new car showroom, etc. If you don't want to play, don't take the money.
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Nor do I. And as noted, maybe it was a bad day for him.

I do have a good idea, and I have never liked "those kinds of guys". One thing I learned over nearly 35 years of getting paid as a professional woodworker is this: No matter how good you are, there is always someone better.
With so many years in the trades, and with so many of them being self employed (27.... crap!) I have done a great deal of carpentry work. One thing I learned really well after a few years in the trades was a proper perspective on the endless arena of woodworking. I have learned that just because you can do one or two (or three) thing well, it doesn't mean you are a master at all aspects.
In the bigger picture, I spent time working for a financial institution managing their construction portfolio. So if a "Marks" comes to me when I was in banking and cannot correctly calculate the compounding per diem interest or APR on a floating rate interim loan (which as you know is typical for most aspects of construction financing), should I have belittled him?
I had those folks come in all the time with their HP12c calculators and try like hell to figure out what their financing was costing them when they had a building principal as project went on. When I saw their calculations (which by the way, were NEVER right) I didn't make them ashamed of their efforts.
The guys that went to meet Marks are not, were not, and don't intend to be professionals. If they were, it would have been a totally different situation. Personally, I keep my mouth shut as to what I think of most people's work, unless they are working for me, or with me. On my dime, I try to be as constructive as possible, as quick to praise as I am to criticize, but the guys on the job ARE professionals, and a thicker hide is needed when certain expectations of quality are expected simply because they are pros.

If they are asking you pointedly for your opinion as one professional musician to another, you shouldn't fudge too much. I think you should tell them the truth, and as unvarnished as possible without destroying them. I have had many a woodworking compatriot strike out on their own after doing a couple of nice jobs, only to find that one of the real talents of being a professional woodworker is to be able to pay one's bills.

Yes it does. But we are talking about two different things. You are writing about interfacing as one professional to another (or maybe to an aspiring professional). I have had many a candid talk with fellow professionals about different aspects of our own work, and I have no problem admitting my own shortcomings in certain aspects of woodworking.
For example, if I cut a roof, I can spend an extra week cutting in valley rafters, jacks and compound cut soldier walls for tile. I can get it done, but it is painful. I had a guy that worked for me for years that loved to cut in roofs and took a lot of pride in cutting in full hip roofs. He was easily 3-4 times faster than me. But, if we needed to modify a or make a cabinet, he was totally lost.
Oversize crown molding was a mystery greater than Stonehenge to that guy, and while I truly admired his skills at the beautiful hip roofs he would cut (there was almost no cutting the sheathing to compensate for an off cut, ever) he thought I was the better carpenter because I could build/rebuild cabinets and build doors and frames from scratch. We tried to help each other along in our deficiencies, but actually had little luck. But that was one pro to another, done with respect for one another's talents. No harm, no foul. We had been around the block enough times to realize you can't excel at all aspects of woodworking.
Marks' visit was a one time, few hour visit where he was facing a serious case of leg rash from hero worship at best. He was not there to instruct, critique, or judge projects. He was there to be the guy on TV. If his audience had been students or fellow professionals, then I probably wouldn't have cared. Most "artists" seem to be arrogant insecure pricks, and poor behavior seems to be a hallmark of accomplishment these days. I am not saying that describes Marks.
A revisit:

A good observation. But upon reflection it also extends to the psuedo artists as well. I no longer participate in our local woodturning club due to the unbridled snobbery those in the club show to each other. I think the club should be an open door for all to participate on all levels. Everyone should be encouraged to have fun and try different things, no matter the success or failure.
It isn't that way though, as many of the guys in the club have been "serious turners" for as much as five years! Say it ain't so! And by the time they jangle their memory a little, add in a high school semester of shop and watching Dave Hout on DIY, they can easily claim ten years. So they have to be experts, right?
A grand lesson in humility was learned by them (too bad it didn't stick) when we had a fantastic turner come in for a demo a couple of years ago. He looked at some of the work on a table the guys had brought for "judging" between themselves. He thought he was there to "critique" not pick the best piece. So, instead of someone getting bragging rights for a job well done, it went completely the other way.
He didn't want to know at first who did what. So he would hold up the piece and say things like "I'm not sure what he was going for here, so maybe someone should pipe in and tell me what they were trying to do", or " I assume this was done on purpose ?!? ". One of our red faced artists had to own up to their own work, and take the criticism. It was done with some grace and tact, but the unvarnished truth was too harsh for many.
Their mutual admiration society took a real hard hit, and as you observed, the haughtiest of the artists were the most severely wounded. They were OK the next meeting, but then in subsequent meetings the decided they had been treated unfairly and that person wouldn't be asked back. To me, he was a breath of fresh air.
I don't know when an "artist" becomes and "artist" but I hope I don't ever become one. Seems too hard.
OK.... this time I mean it. Off the box.
Robert
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And no matter how much better that someone is, it doesn't mean he doesn't have something to learn from you either.
In our guild, you can pick any two random people and be pretty much guaranteed that each has something to teach the other.
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That is a sign of folks that are "on the path" to me, realizing that no matter where you are in your skill sets, there is more to the whole picture than can be learned.. There is no end, only more road. That would be a guild I would love to join.
Not always but from time to time I still learn from helpers hire to do something, guys that haven't been doing this for more than a couple of years. You never know.
Robert
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http://www.gnhw.org /
"The Guild of New Hampshire Woodworkers is an association of professionals and amateurs bound by a common interest in woodworking. Through regular meetings, lectures, demonstrations, a video library of those demonstrations, juried exhibits, a newsletter ( The Old Saw ) and other activities, the Guild strives to bring together the diverse interests of the New Hampshire woodworking community."
If you're not in the area, though, the only real benefit is the Old Saw magazine - and you can download old issues for free anyway.
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On Wed, 30 Apr 2008 13:29:12 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

I've been involved in several pursuits that fit that definition exactly.
Woodworking is obvious.
Then there's music and flying. You can never know it all...
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote: ...

That's what I was thinking -- they were trying to get something out of the visit that was unintended and resulted in unintended consequences (probably) on both sides...
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Possibly.
But let me be more blunt, at the risk of offending some here. What I saw was a group of older retirees (not recent) that had gathered to see someone they admired and respected. Older guys that have taken up woodworking at the last part of their lives. I see them as harmless older guys some talented, some not so much so, but all doing something rather than to sit and rust out. The folks that were there to see him were meek, and felt it was an honor to see him.
So I'll take your side on this for a minute.
They should not have been so gullible as to think that Marks was anyone other than a manufactured personality that won a contest (watch Swing's video) to get a show. They were stupid to think he was anything like the character in his show, but in reality only a self serving snob that was there making an appearance due to contractual obligation he could not evade.
And too, shame on them for expecting him to be polite and considerate, or at least keep shut. As pointed out in this thread, that seems to be a lot to ask of many these days, and he may not be able to deliver. As my sister the Human Resources expert says, "it may be beyond his current skill set".
The WC folks were not pleased, though. The owner's rep told me that they expected Marks to be there as an ambassador for woodworking, have a little fun, and to shake a few hands an kiss a few babies. Marks cost them business and teaching income. He was paid to do a job, and he didn't do it. Worse, in the end it went the opposite way it was supposed to go.
Still, my comments were on his behavior, not the man. I hope he was just having a bad day.
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Hard to say...ideally it would have gone as you and WC expected. I have no idea as you say about the man behind the image. If the mingling, etc., was an expected part of his appearance and he bungled it; no excuse. Whether he should have been polite and muddled thru even if it wasn't, no argument. I just wondered if perhaps there might have been at least some blame to share; but maybe not...
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Amen, brother!
I am not professional woodworker nor have ever been although have done a lot over the years from rough framing to furniture and have used it as means for enhancing income or as second business (altho that's been a long time ago now) and was "good enough" to at least make that work.
My career was as engineer and I worked with and supervised enough who were (or, more generally wanted to be) good enough to be treated as something special. Unilaterally, we did without or they learned (sometimes in painful ways) to treat their colleagues as they would expect.
I didn't intend to condone boorish behavior in my earlier remarks; I was simply wondering if perhaps the recipients didn't bring some of their misery upon themselves by being somewhat boorish in their own treatment of a (albeit paid) guest?
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Somebody wrote:

Probably the one endeavor where it is easy to measure the ability of the participants is commissioned sales.
There is only ONE objective, "Go to the Bank".
Commission statements reveal the pecking order in a hurry.
Lew
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I didn't see the boorish behavior, and don't think he took their attitude that way. The attitude from him seemed to be that he hadn't seen anything there to impress him, so it was a waste of time.
And in truth, I may be a little sensitive to this kind of behavior. I absolutely f**cking hate snobs, snobbery, and anything that goes with it. Most snobs are like a one note samba, they do one thing well, and that's it. Their whole claim to fame is one thing in their life...
Had I been part of that club, he would have indeed seen boorish behavior if he had fired off on one of my amigos that was too shy to speak up. I can be short tempered, really profane, and extremely confrontational with that type of guy or gal. However, it wasn't my place as I wasn't there except as a guest. I don't belong to the woodworking club, and in the end, sometimes folks get treated as badly as they will allow themselves to be treated.
Robert
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