They're Out To Get Me
"If you hate ‘trouble' so much, why do you hang around with Lew Rockwell?"
I can't stand trouble. Friends credit me with patience, serenity, and level headedness, all ingredients needed to throttle trouble. But, it's all an act.
Trouble comes in the form of angry people. It hardly matters what made them angry, or that their anger isn't even directed at me, it's simply being around "trouble" that unnerves me.
Mind you, I lead a fairly normal life. Yes, I hate trouble, but I also hate alligators, and I have managed to conceal both idiosyncrasies from friends, family, and co-workers.
My wife knows the truth: "If you hate ‘trouble' so much, why do you hang around with Lew Rockwell?"
She has asked that question hundreds of times and my answer is always the same, "Look, it's not Lew's fault, it's those @#$%&*…."
This time it started innocently enough.
Through the years, I have convinced Lew that the gold and silver consumer has a tough time finding reliable venders. I keep him abreast of industry horror stories and recently we launched "Burt's Gold Page." Our initial purpose was to provide LRC readers with up-to-the-minute market quotes.
A few days later we added a chart indicating Camino Coin's, my company's, selling prices. These prices allow a decent profit for Camino, yet are significantly cheaper than other gold and silver prices seen on the Internet.
Finally, this week we offered LRC readers a few "Special Introductory" coin deals.
Yes, the prices were at wholesale levels. What better way to get the LRC reader's attention?
There was nothing innovative here. There are other old-line companies like Camino that offer the consumer good value, buying and selling, though they are not as visible as the high-profile, high-pressure, fancy-brochured firms.
Burt's Gold Page was well received, and business was brisk from Day 1. Several important hard-money websites linked to the gold page at LRC, and we began to get phone calls from non-LRC people.
And then, it began to happen. "We got trouble, right here in River City," sang Robert Preston in Music Man. It was a familiar feeling: "We got trouble, right here at LRC."
First thing Monday morning, I received three angry phone calls from folks rudely attacking our company and the "phony" prices we had posted.
On the first call I tried responding, but it was clear that reason wasn't going to prevail. One creepy guy actually placed a bogus order for 100 ounces of gold.
In my 40 plus years in the business, all this was a first.
I don't know what prompted me to visit the hard-money web sites that had linked to LRC and our gold page. But you guessed it. All traces of any link to LRC were gone. An old friend at a big wholesaler explained: "You have caused no end of trouble with your prices. All the big boys are upset, especially the ones with lots of high-priced telephone salesmen."
Oh well. My wife suggests that I secretly love "trouble." That much of the trouble I credit to Lew Rockwell I bring upon myself.
What does she know? She better not make any trouble.
January 20, 2003
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