Does This Angle Catch The Best Light?

A little while back, Seth called me from the road in a panic…

Ash, I’m in Seattle for a meet-and-greet and demonstration, but there are some pro-basketball coaches from out of town coming to the store today. Could you give them a tour and make sure they feel welcome while they’re in Detroit before their game? I’m shit outta luck and it’d be a big help – they’re really into the show so you’ll be fine.

As I had recalled, he had tickets to the game that weekend, courtesy of these coaches who were big fans of Hardcore Pawn and were clearly “team Seth.” So, I proposed a deal. “Sure bro, happy to help out, even at such short notice! I’ll just take the tickets they sent you.” “Well, I’m using them for the game but I’m sure we can figure something out. They’ll be there in an hour. Thanks Ash!” Click.

And so, even with a huge crowd of actual customers in the store, I was ready to be as helpful as possible so that this VIP group felt well treated, even though they weren’t going to meet Seth in person, as they had probably hoped. When they walked in, I couldn’t have been any nicer. Hugs all around. I was laying it on thick. “Is Seth here?” Uhhh no?!

They went on to inform me that they had brought a gift for him and asked me where to put it so he’d be sure to see it. So, before we even started the full tour of the facility at American Jewelry and Loan, we walked into Seth’s office and I flicked on the lights. One of the men took a basketball out of a velvet bag and placed it on his desk. Then, the group of them huddled together and discussed which angle would look best to show off the autographs from all the star players. After much debate, they turned to me and asked, “Does this angle catch the best light?” I said that it looked great. On my face? Full smile. In my head? Barf. Let’s just say that the lights weren’t the only things that I wish I could have flicked off as we left that room.

Over the course of the two hours they spent at the store (yes, really), I was still incredibly nice, and I chatted them up the whole way. As our time together seemed like it was coming to an end, I asked if it weren’t too much trouble, would it be possible to secure some tickets? I explained that I wanted to see them in action, and that my son is a huge basketball fan, so going to a game as a gift from a coach would simply make his day. One of the men replied, “Sure, we’d love to have you! Tickets are $45 apiece – want me to make a call?”

Really? Make a call?

Over the years, I’ve learned that people who treat you like a consolation prize aren’t worth your time, no matter who they are. These guys were pissed that I wasn’t Seth from the get-go; no matter what I did, I was never going to be as good as what they had hoped… which is bullshit. You’re worth a person’s praise as the main event, and anyone who sees you as less than that is not worth your efforts. Focus your energy on people who value you for your strengths and personality and forget the rest!

Ashley Gold