Man, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed Sunday morning. I was kind of annoyed the whole day. I had hoped to wake up at 5 a.m. but could not get up until 5:35 a.m. after a tough night not really sleeping, so, I woke up annoyed.
I was able to get on the road by 6:15 a.m. when I wanted to get out by 6, not bad. I had loaded the car the night before so that helped greatly. Traffic was okay except for a few tailgaters. I hate when I am tailgated in the slow lane, there is no place to go. Why tailgate me in the slow lane, go around me, a-hole!
I made it to Orland Park around 7:20. I wanted to get there early because my display case set up takes extra time. I was able to snag the green cart for load in, which has been very difficult to do this past year. The green cart, provided by the venue, is large and I can fit all of my stuff on it for just one trip in the building.
I brought 10 display cases, laid them out and was annoyed when I saw space for at least two more cases. I really didn't have anything to place out in the extra space. I laid out some $10 cards and the '71 baseball binder I brought for Will along with flyers for my Oak Creek show. I really wish I brought extra cases because I could have easily filled up two more cases. Well, now I know for next time that I can fit 12 cases in my Orland space.
Then I was kind of annoyed with all the disruptions while I was trying to hustle to fill the 10 display cases. I mean, I like to chat with everyone, but I really need to set up my tables before socializing. I'm also not all that interested in purchasing cards when I first arrive at a show and need to set up before the room fills up with customers. I am much more interested in buying cards when my pockets start to fill up with cash later in the show. Also, I really don't need to buy any more cards because I have so much right now. I'll never sell all the stuff I already have let alone anything new.
Another annoying thing that happens often when I do the display-case set up is that guys try to purchase the empty display cases before I get a chance to fill them up with cards. When a dealer walks by my table at 8 a.m., an hour before the show opens, and sees empty display cases, wouldn't he think I am going to fill the cases with cards? Seems obvious to me but I always have to tell some guys that the cases are not for sale! They are to display my cards!!
Then the most annoying pre-show event that regularly occurs involves the guys that hover over me while I am trying to set up. Ugh! The show is not open yet! Give me some space and allow me to set up! I had one guy at my tables at 8:30 a.m. when the show does not open until 9 a.m. I still had four cases to fill and was trying to get it done while he kept interrupting asking to see cards in the other cases. I should have told him to come back later because I was unable to complete my set up until 9:30 when I could have had it done by 9! I think this guy was set up somewhere, but I did not get an opportunity to walk around so I am not sure if he had a table. He came back at the end of the show while I was trying to pack up. Go home!
Then once I was set up, I was annoyed that all my early customers were lowballers. I hate the lowballers -- they are sooooo annoying. I am not going to sell you my cards at half my sticker price! I won't be in business very long if I sell my cards for less than I paid for them. There was one particular guy that really annoyed me. I had a 1975-76 Topps Bobby Orr in decent but not perfect condition. I mark all my cards down when there are defects. This is a $20 card all day but I marked it down to $10. The guy offered $5. It took everything I had not to tell him to F off. Guys that offer half of my sticker price are as worthless as they come.
The guy gave me this look like I was crazy not to take his five bucks. Like I really need your five bucks? Any dealer that has to give their shit away to take home five bucks needs to reassess their existence.
The last thing that annoyed me the morning of the Orland show was when some guy going through cards on my neighbor's table placed a large McDonald's cup filled with soda on my table. I just hate when people looking at cards at one of my neighbors' tables place any of their crap on my table. I have also had idiots spill soda on my cards in the past, so I was not happy, and worried this guy was going to spill his soda on my cards or swipe some stuff off my table.
I watched the guy like a hawk because I had a bunch of $10 cards laid out on the end of the table where he placed his cup of soda. I did not want him to walk away with any of my cards. I then observed him place stacks of cards he pulled out of a box on my neighbor's table onto MY table. My blood started to boil. Then he started to rearrange MY stuff on MY table to make more room to place more stacks of cards that he pulled from the neighbor -- that's when I lost it. I wanted kick his ass. Don't move my freakin' stuff!! That is MY table that I pay for the right to display my wares.
I told him to get all of his stuff off my table, he gave me some lip. I was ready to deck him because I was in a shitty mood to begin with. He said something like, "Oh, I can't leave my stuff there because I'm not buying from you yet?"
Well, I saw that he was buying modern cards which there are none of on my tables, so I said, "You're not going to buy anything from me and I pay for that space, not you, so keep your stuff off of it."
He responded, "What's the big deal, there is plenty of room there?"
I said, "No, there is only room there because you moved my stuff around, you moved my stuff on my table that I pay for, so you can place your stuff there. NO, stay away from my table!"
Anymore and I was throwing down. Though, I have to admit that I was looking around for big Joe to back me up. The guy paid my neighbor and moved along. I went to move my items back to where they were before he messed up my table. My neighbor apologized though I think he should have told the guy to stop putting stuff on my table and told him not to rearrange my table. WTF?
One of the things I miss about my old tables at Orland, back in the day when I was up against the back wall, was I did not have to deal with this sort of thing because I had the whole back space and no neighbors.
Man, I was just annoyed the whole day and tried to make the best of it. Luckily, Will, Paul and Rick were at my tables most of the day and these guys are so funny that it was tough to maintain my annoyed demeanor.
Plus, I could not really be all that annoyed when sales were excellent. Rick spent a ton of dough. Thanks Rick! I can't even remember what Rick purchased but it was a nice stack of stuff. Gil spent a ton of dough on '52 Topps. Thanks Gil! Will spent a ton of dough on '58 Ted Williams and Willie Mays. Thanks Will! Chris purchased my 1962 Topps Roger Maris. Thanks Chris! Then I had many more good sales and went home with a pocket full of cash.
Quite a few guys tried to sell me cards during the show but I felt I either had the cards already or the prices were way too high. I'm a reseller, I can't pay retail.
I felt much better after I had a hot dog and downed three or four diet Cokes. Though, I did get annoyed again when I was trying to pack up and that same guy from the morning, who interrupted my attempts to set up, came back to look at more cards as I was obviously packing up.
Definitely NOT annoying was the tremendous attendance. The show was jam packed with people all day long. There were so many people in the aisles that it was tough to walk through. I started to get worried about COVID and threw on a mask. Most people were wearing masks but the way this Omicron variant is spreading, I bet some folks woke up the next morning feeling sick.
I had my booster on Friday and my arm was still sore. I am going to keep getting those boosters. A lot of people commented on my mask and said I don't need one if I have been vaccinated. Well, I know plenty of people who caught COVID after being vaccinated. More importantly, I'm diabetic, as a result, my immune system is compromised and COVID kills people like me, so think what you want but I am going to wear a mask and continue to get boosters, thank you.
I was so tired after the show, I skipped the sub shop, went home and slept for three hours. The next Orland show is only two weeks away on January 9. I'm going back to the binders for that one. The binders are less annoying because they are easier to set up and take down and they are self-serve so a lot less busy work for me helping customers during the show. I just finished filling up my 1977 Topps football binder and am starting on 1959 Baseball, I hope to have it done by January 9.
In the meantime, I am planning to drop a blog shortly that will recap 2021 and include my thoughts on the state of card shows and the hobby in general. I am also setting up on January 2 at the Hyatt Woodfield in Schaumburg, IL. I have to figure out what to bring to that show. I brought out binders to the December show and sales were not very good, so I think I am going to bring some sort of display case set up but not sure exactly. I don't want to have the same set up I had in Orland because I will see many of the same people at the Schaumburg show. I have to figure this one out.
I am sorry that I was a little ornery at the Orland show. I think I may have grunted at a few people who said hello to me. I normally have a cheery demeanor but can get crooked sometimes. Will loves to remind me about the time I went after the big bald guy that used to work at Orland. I don't think I'll ever learn!
Reminder, my Oak Creek show is scheduled for January 15th, NOT January 1st. The Salvation Army will be closed on January 1st. See you in Schaumburg. I promise to be in a better mood!
Well, we tried a few dishes at Tita Mia's and really enjoyed a grilled pork dish. We also ordered a stewed chicken dish that I did not like. The highlight was this ice cream desert. My, oh, my!