Feb 7, 2016

Stamping Destroyed My Life Chapter 13

If you want to start this story at the beginning, please go here and follow the links.  And thanks for reading!

Chapter 13: "A heat gun and a pile of catties"

Dee, Mand, and Delay
111 Ink Lane
Burlington, Vermont 05401

Dear M:

This firm represents Get Down With Stampin, hereinafter referred to as "GDWS," "company," or "client." Our client has authorized this firm to notify you that your demonstrator relationship with GDWS is hereby immediately and irrevocably canceled.  Within 24 hours of receipt of this letter, you must: (1) notify all demonstrators on your team that you are no longer a demonstrator, and (2) return the GDWS pen to this firm.

GDWS takes this action based on your violation of Section V, Paragraph 9 of the Demonstrator Agreement, which states in whole:

Demonstrator shall act in all times with the best interests of the company, and shall maintain the highest ethical standards when conducting business as a demonstrator.  

The specific instances of your behavior upon which GDWS bases its conclusion are:

1.  You were observed by an employee of our client pulling the fire alarm at GDWS.  Upon investigation, GDWS was able to establish, through a reasonable degree of scientific certainty, that your fingerprints were, in fact, on the alarm handle. 

2.  You were also observed by a GDWS employee taking a pen from the desk of Senior Designer Sean Fetterman, and confiscating that pen as your own.  That pen is valued at $2000.

Your actions indicate a lack of moral character and are inconsistent with the requirement to represent GDWS in an honest and ethical manner.

At this time, GDWS has concluded that it would not be in its best interest to file a criminal complaint against you.


Maroon Mand, Esq.


I was in Andy's office the next day and steaming mad. I plopped that letter on his desk.

"Read this and let me know if they can get away with this crap."

I was pacing.

"Whoa, M.  Calm down.  You're making me nervous. Sit!"

Andy read the letter, set it aside, and said, "Well, I wondered what happened when you were up there.  Do you want to contest these allegations?"

I couldn't wait to tell him my side.

"Yes.  I mean I pulled the alarm; I did.  I know it was wrong. But no one got hurt and I went back and fixed the problem."

"Just tell me what happened."

"I needed to get in the designers' building alone so I could plant a camera.  I just wanted a few pictures of the designs that haven't come out yet.  So, yes, I pulled the fire alarm."

Andy looked at me like I was G. Gordon Liddy.  "Are the cameras still there?"

"No!  I went back the next day and removed them.  There was one in this guy's office and one in the ladies' room and I removed both of them and destroyed them.  I didn't get any secret information. I swear.  Can't we just explain this to Kitty and Jackson.  I'm sure they'll understand.  I mean, I think they like me and I did my best to fix everything."

Andy asked, "What about the pen?"

"It's a stupid pen.  It has the Get Down logo on it and I thought it would be a fun keepsake.  I thought it was like a Bic pen. I had no idea it was worth $2000."

Andy responded, "Do you still have the pen?"

I took it out of my bag and showed it to Andy.

Andy said, "Well, why don't you give it to me and I'll return it to GDWS and you can take care of notifying your team that you are no longer a demo.  I guess no harm no foul."

What kind of lawyer was this bozo?

"No harm no foul?  Wait a minute! I've been hurt by this big time!  I needed to make a lot of money as a demo before I started my own company.  I had plans, really big plans, for my own stamping company, and I gave them my intellectual property.  Now all I have for all my hard work is a heat gun and a pile of catties!!"

Andy held up his hand.  "Gee, M, what do you want from me?"

"I want you to fix this!  Get Down lured me up there with a quick flight and a one night stand in a so called Bed and Breakfast, when really it was just an old house with faded quilts and good food.  I mean, my bedroom had Lazy Lavender walls with Breathtaking Blue trim!  Ick!

And that Kitty and Jackson were all friendly with me.  They sweet talked me into giving them my secrets for a successful workshop.  Then they turn around and pull this stunt.  I bet it was Laura.  She was watching me like a hawk. She knew I was a threat. She's going to use my ideas and every demo in GDWS will sell 5 times as much because of me, and I'll get nothing.

I want you to write a letter to them demanding that they not use the information that I gave to them and reimburse me for my ideas.  How much do you think I can get?"

I sat back and took a deep breath, waiting to hear what Andy would say.  Everyone was always suing everyone else.  I wanted a piece of that action. 

Andy was quiet.  And, after a moment, he raised his voice a bit and said, "Good grief M.  You pulled a fire alarm.  And planted cameras!! That's serious."

I couldn't believe I was paying this guy.

Andy continued.  "To answer your question, yes I could write that letter.  Lawyers can write pretty much anything.  However, you pulled a fire alarm when you had no reason to suspect a fire.  That's a crime.  And, then there are the cameras.  Should we say, please forgive her for pulling a fire alarm because she fixed the problem by removing secret cameras that were taking pictures of your intellectual property?  I don't think so."

I thought about it.  Finally, I sighed, and said, "Ok, I screwed up.  I screwed up big time.  But what about the information I gave them?  Do you think it is right that they get to keep it and give me nothing?"

Andy laughed.  "M.  I'm a lawyer, not a philosopher.  Are you really asking for my opinion on what is right?  If so, you are in the wrong place."

"Look," he said, in a more serious tone, "You willingly gave them those ideas.  You didn't tell them they couldn't share them, did you?  Maybe you should just consider your workshop tips to be fair compensation for whatever you did up there."

I replied, "Well, ok.  I guess.  But I thought you could get me some money for those ideas.  I mean, I only gave them to GDWS because I was a demo, part of the team.  I'm prevented from earning more money as a demo.  I had 3 workshops scheduled for February!  It just doesn't seem fair. It's a restraint of trade or something, isn't it?"

Andy shook his head, leaned across the desk, and said, "Listen, M, sometimes you have to just quit while you are ahead.  And, trust me, under these circumstances, you are ahead."

source:  noisetrade.com
I gave Andy the pen and instructed him to return it to GDWS.

Goodbye, GDWS. I hardly knew ya.



To:  All Members of My Stamping Team
From:  M
Date:  February 1, 2002
Subject:  New Venture!!

Team Members, I wanted you all to be the first to hear my fantastic news!  I've decided to resign as a GDWS demonstrator. The company has great products and I wish them and you much success, but it is time to exercise my creative muscle and move in another direction!!  I am in the process of investigating several other opportunities in the stamping industry.

Thank you so much for joining my team.  I have 3 workshops scheduled for February and am willing to sell them to you for $400 each, or $1000 for all 3.  Otherwise, I'll just cancel them.  Each one has a fantastic hostess with many guests scheduled to attend and is certain to generate high sales and many opportunities to recruit.  Please let me know as soon as possible if you are interested. 

ps  Please do not distribute to anyone my secrets for a successful workshop.  You may continue to use them, but those are my intellectual property and I will take action to protect my property if needed. I'm sure you understand.

pps.  If anyone wants to buy any of my GDWS stamp sets, ink, cardstock, eyelets, brads, ink refills, buttons, or ribbon, please let me know as soon as possible.  An extra discount on anything green.


I walked into my craft room and boxed up my GDWS supplies.  They filled 8 big boxes.  I'd have an awesome yard sale and get rid of anything that my team didn't buy. I kept the things that I could use, like adhesive and scissors and of course the heat gun.

At first I wanted to cry.  Then I toughened up.  I was fine with not being a demo for that company.  I never liked their shades of green anyway.  Too many greens with blue undertones and, frankly, I prefer yellow undertones in a green.  More realistic.  And their ribbon was too narrow.  I like a nice big grosgrain.  It makes such a statement! 

Now I just had to deal with John.  That night, after making one of his favorites, Chicken Crepes,  I casually mentioned to him that I was thinking of no longer being a demo.

"Johnny, I have something on my mind.  Doing workshops and all that has been taking up so much of my time.  I'd like to scale back and spend more time with the kids and just make cards for fun.  What do you think?"

John looked away from the TV, and said, "Yeah, I guess. But I thought you liked it.  And what about all that money you spent?"

"Well, the good thing is I broke even and this entire demo thing didn't cost us a dime!  I got that free trip to Vermont, met a lot of people and made some friends.  I did spend a lot, but I also made a lot.  I know the extra money would be nice, but I'd rather not turn a hobby into a business.  I kind of like the idea of just stamping for fun.  And I can sell some of my Get Down stuff that I won't be using.  Besides, if I make much more, it will just put us into a higher tax bracket."

"Whatever.  That makes sense."

I could tell he was half listening/half thinking about work.  Perfect.

Frankly, I was Easy Eggshell ecstatic to no longer be a demo.  The trip to Vermont was fun and all, but really, once I learned to stamp, I realized that I liked it a lot.  So I decided to just focus on making cards for fun and look into the blogging thing.  Who knows, maybe some day, when the kids were older, I'd start my own company.

I sold my Get Down supplies and got over $600 for them.  I also sold my workshops for $1000.  Finally, I did our taxes, deducted all my stamping expenses and ended up with a $40K refund!!  I used it to pay off the credit cards.  I had $5K left over, which I put into a separate bank account.  

From now on, stamping was going to just be fun and relaxing. The drama was over.

Next:  Chapter 14


Contest Winner!

Wow, your guesses were awesome and had me laughing. You are so creative!

Some of the guesses were close and it was hard to pick a winner.  The closest were from:

1.  Tanis Scott wrote:  "The law firms tells M that GDWS is suing her because they have video footage of her pulling the fire alarm, and snooping around."

2.  Diane wrote:   "The law firm tells M that GDWS is severing ties with her because of her appalling behavior when they graciously invited her to visit GDWS headquarters....(they viewed the video they have all over the place!)

3.   Betty Keefe wrote:  "The law firm tells M that she is being sued for industrial espionage in the amount of $1.5m because her activities while visiting GDWS were all filmed on their CCTV."

4.  Mary WP wrote: "The law firm tells M that she must cease and desist from working as a GDWS demo immediately AND pay the company back for all expenses incurred for her trip up to see them. The reason being security cameras caught all her shenanigans at the offices with the fire alarm and setting up her "spy equipment". Not to mention word has gotten back to them regarding her PUSHY sales tactics with her hostesses as well as charging them for valet services and GDWS feels M is NOT the kind of person they want representing their company. She is destroying their "warm and friendly" reputation and are suing her for $2 million in damages."

While no one guessed the exact plot, I think that Diane had the closest guess -- severing ties (not suing), based on M's behavior in Vermont.

Congratulations Diane.  Please email me at imakeitalk@gmail.com and I'll arrange to send you a nice box.


Betty said...

all's well that ends well - great ending - what a trip!!

Leslie Miller said...

Thanks for my morning entertainment and all the laughs along the way! I almost breathed a sigh of relief to know M will be out of the GDWS business. But what trouble will she get into now?

Chris said...

No more drama? Highly doubtful! tee hee...

Unknown said...

I smell an audit in M's future...

Gina K. said...

Ugh, I hate to see it end! Can't wait for the mini series! :)

Joan B said...

oh, it's not ending!!

Susan Raihala said...

So much fun! M is headed for trouble with the IRS next!

Diane said...

oh M- when are you going to learn! Agree that the IRS is gonna be after her soon!

StampingBetty said...

i hope this isn't the last we hear of m and her shenanigans!