quality posts: 16 Private Messages WootBot


Despite what some people might think, I know I lead kind of a charmed life getting paid to go cover a trade show with little to no journalistic integrity to uphold. After all, not everyone gets to go to CES, and a lot of the people that do actually have to work hard, like the folks from the business arm of Woot who spend all day wheeling and dealing with various contacts to secure all kinds of exciting new crap products for you to buy from us. Despite all the glitz, glamour, and groaning CES is, at its core, a chance to network. Sales are made, deals are closed, and contracts are signed because people are out pitching to anyone who'll listen.

Even a guy who makes no business decisions whatsoever and has a hard time explaining what his business even does...


This is what business looks like. I'm told.


The three of us writers are always on the prowl at CES for the latest gizmo that might be interesting, but we also spend a lot of time taking pictures of stuff that we're just going to make fun of. The people selling it don't have to know that, and I try not to rub it in their face, but it's also common courtesy to talk to somebody who approaches you, especially when they're getting paid to try their spiel on as many people as possible. Usually my failure to explain what Woot does beyond "I was in a video wearing a dog suit" makes it pretty clear I'm not the decision maker, but sometimes a determined floor rep just won't give up.

Like the aggressive woman with the Eastern European name who tried luring the three Woot Writers to a huge booth advertising some sort of corporate solution involving American Express. "Gentlemen," she beamed, "do you own your own business?" Uh, what?


Fap Anus
Would a guy who owns a business take a picture of a painting because it made him think of the words "Fap Anus?"

"No," we all responded in unison. She was undeterred.

"Well, do you make the spending decisions for your business?"

Again, "No." "I can't be trusted with a company credit card without recording receipts every month," I added.

"Ah, so you get reimbursed, so you ARE trusted with the decisions." Tricky She-Devil!

"Uh, well, sure. I guess." Her smile was as stiff and prolonged as her eye contact. I could already feel myself on the slow, inexorable slide toward her trying to sell me something. I wondered if Matt Rutledge would be very mad if I came back from CES and announced I'd signed the company up for a new AmEx account.

"What's your monthly expense?" I decided to roll with it.

"Uh, fif…teen…thousand?"

"No," Jason Toon intervened before I could waste any more of her time, "he means more like $15."

"Oh." Her smile immediately dropped. "So you guys don't spend anything?"

"Not really. Thanks for your time, though."

"Yeah. Thanks for yours." She was already off to find her next pitch victim. I felt a strange mixture of relief at being out from under her hard sell and shame at how quickly she'd moved on. 

Luckily for me, I would get plenty of more practice at awkward conversations on the convention floor.

Check out Part 2 of Randall's never-ending social awkwardness as our CES coverage continues all week right here on the Woot Blog!



quality posts: 1 Private Messages nparus

Jason Toon, what a downer man. This is a chance to be someone you're not, pick up hot chicks and have fun at other peoples' expense. Fap some Anis!



quality posts: 0 Private Messages constantvelocitty

What kind of company would let you three roam around unsupervised. Oh..


quality posts: 144 Private Messages bsmith1

Dang vendors... Sometimes I just want to say, "Look, dude, they sent me to this conference to learn stuff so I can get more out of the money we've already spent; not spend more money on stuff we don't need. I'm not in a position to make any "business decisions" because I'm one of the people who actually does the work. Now kindly gimme one of those stress balls and a free pen already. I got other booths to pillage."
Maybe CES is different since it's all about "vendors".

Edit: So...he didn't bring the dog suit with him? I assumed that was part of his regular laundry rotation...


quality posts: 6 Private Messages rayray099

Well played, llandar, well played


quality posts: 18 Private Messages WilfBrim

d00d, I can't belive Toon sold you out. You should have made discreet inquiries as to possible food/drink/booze that you may have recieved for listening to her bit.

The whole play at these shows is for you the peasants (you and me) to try and act like a "decision maker" so you get access to the nice presentations, food, drinks, etc. Their game is to make a decision as to who a wannabe (you) vice somebody with real decision power (say, Rutledge). They don't want to waste time and money on you, but at the same time piss off somebody who really could have made a big deal.

So play the game. More often than not you are going to get the boot, but sometimes you can get some nice stuff or a sandwich or something. Or maybe more, go all in and get in invitation to one of those really nice parties I hear about. And be sure to pick up a monkey or two to stuff into Toon's mouth when he tries to drop a dime on you again.


quality posts: 32 Private Messages llandar
nparus wrote:Fap some Anis!

"Fap some Anis!" is going to be my new rallying cry.