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Signs of The Times - Rolf L'MFAO

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I just caught wind of the little side segment as it reached through my spam folder and into my inbox.


I know Signs of The Times is only 15 pages now, with very little content..... but wow how they have really sunk further down just about the last revolution of the circling toilet water out, on it's way to the sewer.


They've never been accused of truthful content on the past, but now announcing they're writing real fiction with their Community Activist writer Rolf L'Mao who is screaming "Fire" where there is none.  This man writes fiction to spark controversy and to hit political emotion....what hole did they dig this guy from?


So, just read the Red Deal - "The Case of the Channel Changer"


....how sad....


I'm not even the person Rolf L'mao would consider "White"....and I see nothing but Made up "Race Baiting" with using such words as "minority owner" and Made up Sexism...just to spark emotion...to infuse some sort of "White Guilt"  


We have enough of a divided country as it is, the last place we need to read about it with made up content is from these Brochure Rags....stick to Made up reasons why a Product is Good based on what that advertiser paid that month....give them back your keyboard so they can write up some Sales points  


As someone who this Community Activist writer would consider, and label ME a "Minority"....lose the labels Rolf L'mao.  No one really cares what we look like or what gender we are, most of us just look at one another as People, and fellow American's.  I've never needed a label like "Minority Owner" to get through in life, nor need a handicap because for some reason I can't make it on my own without the assistance from government, forcing their hand to put me at the front of a line that I can't do myself based on merit....NOT by the color of my skin.


Let me give you little bit of insight Rolf L'mao... in the private sector especially.....we hire, and deal with individuals who are the best at what they do based on merit, character, and based by production or ideas from their own efforts....


We don't hire people or heir their services based on because they are Brown, Black, White, or Yellow, or Man or Women....some do, and that's sad...but that's so small and so few, it's not even worth writing a fake story about.  I've been in this Industry since 1993, and I've seen all walks of life as owners, important decision makers.  Good ones and bad, we're all just people, and we're all so different...


That's one thing I'm proud to have never done, declare myself as a "Minority Owner".  Use on a form, or to try to obtain a bid or contract.  You either Hire me because I'm good (Which I am), or go hire someone else.  There was one time where a grocery chain told me after years of work I had performed for them, that I had to fill out a "Minority Owned" application.  I refused, they told me they had to move on, and they did.  A few years later they called me back after enough failed projects...


No Wonder Why SOT is only 15 pages thick these days 


He's not Rolf L'mao...he's Rolf LMFAO






Why don’t you stick to vinyl and banners, honey, and let the big boys take care of channel letter sets?” Stanislaus Kowalski said to Maddy Barlo, more as a statement than a question. Kowalski, owner of SK Channel Mfg, was Chicagoland’s largest channel letter wholesaler and Barlo’s shop, Signapalooza Downtown, had recently submitted specs for a new Vietnamese restaurant sign in a nearby strip mall.


“Excuse me, what?” Barlo asked, definitely a question and a statement, to which Kowalski, apparently used to this reaction, pivoted to what he thought was being complimentary, talking up Barlo’s shop strengths, but came off somewhere between patronizing and condescending. A few more terse sentences were exchanged before he parted, but you get the picture. 


“Forget him,” Barlo later said of Kowalski to Ryan, her husband and minority co-owner of Signapalooza Downtown. Except she didn’t say, ‘Forget.’ “I don’t care how much more everyone else might charge,” she continued. “We are not working with him. There are plenty of other wholesalers out there. Let’s look in Signs of the Times.” 


Indeed, she found one offering great service and competitive pricing. Signapalooza Downtown fulfilled the sale of the Vietnamese restaurant sign with help from a local installer. This led to another job for a new store opening in the same strip mall. And then another and another … again, you get the picture.


Two years passed. Signapalooza Downtown steadily built up its channel letter business, becoming one of the three fastest growing customers of wholesale channel letters in the Chicago area. The increased volume got the attention of Kowalski, who contacted Barlo by email, requesting an appointment to bid on her work.

“Why are you taking the meeting?” Ryan asked. “This guy was such a jerk to you.”  


“I’m interested in how he’s going to act this time, what he’ll say now that he’s coming to us,” she said. “I don’t know. I may brush him off right to his face.”


The next week Kowalski arrived early for the meeting and waited patiently for Barlo to see him. She greeted him in the shop’s lobby and led him back to her office.


“You co-own your business with your husband but you’re the majority owner?” Kowalski said, again more as a statement than a question. “That’s impressive,” he quickly followed up before Barlo could say, “Yes.”


“Thank you,” Barlo replied. “The arrangement has worked out well.”


“Well enough for Signapalooza Downtown to more than triple its channel letter sales year over year,” Kowalski said. “Which is why I wanted to meet with you today.”

“Um-hm,” Barlo said, concentrating on her best poker face.


“But first, I owe you an apology,” Kowalski said. “The last time we spoke, I didn’t take you or your shop seriously and not only did that cost me some business, but it also was just the wrong thing to do, a bad way to behave.”


“Well...” Barlo started, but Kowalski quickly continued his deep-breath admission.


“You see, my daughter joined my company eight months ago and she tells me a lot of sign guys don’t take her seriously, ask to see me instead, just treat her like she doesn’t count or even exist.” He paused a moment. “And that’s what I did to you, and to other women in sign companies, and for that, I’m deeply sorry.”


Barlo thought, “Didn’t see this coming,” then said to Kowalski, “Thank you.”


“So I’m hoping you might give me another chance,” he said. “I think we can be very competitive in price and delivery with whoever you’ve been working with.”

Get the picture? 


My thanks to Maggie Harlow, owner of Signarama Downtown (Louisville, KY), whose own experience inspired this story, though this ends differently from Maggie’s. — Rolf L’mao


Real Deal is a fictional scenario designed to read like real-life business events. The businesses and people mentioned in this story should not be confused with actual businesses and people.***



You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

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