Friday, March 15, 2013

Well, It Was Good While It Lasted...

I see "Tom the shipping clerk," whom I haven't seen or heard from in several years*, has chimed in on the print shop I used to work for. One of its competitors acquired it in January. It's been just a year and a half since my time there ended, but it seems like a lifetime ago. Not that this was news to me.

At the end of every year, the folks at Printing Impressions magazine compile the PI 400, a list of the top 400 printing companies in North America, ranked by sales. In late January or early February, I checked out the list to see where Direct Impressions sat. For 2011, if I recall correctly, it was somewhere around 215, the highest it had ever charted -- and I'd watched the company claw its way just a little bit higher each year for several years. To my surprise, DI didn't make 2012's list. I decided to give the company a call and leave a hello and an inquiring message on my old boss's machine, and the first thing I heard was, "Thank you for calling Color Tree Group." Most of the folks in the office were still there, according to the voice message, but apparently the owners had changed. (Scanning the PI 400 again, I see that Color Tree didn't make the list, either.)  

Well, dayamn. I'd long thought of DI as sticking around for the long haul, if not permanently. It lasted just under sixteen years. And less than two years ago, there were two other print shops under its umbrella, one in New Jersey, one in Pennsylvania. DI had let both of those go by the end of 2011, I'd heard before moving back to New England.
I hung up without leaving any messages. Turned out I didn't really have anything to say...
(*: although, now that Tom's spoken up after a very long silence, I'm wondering if he's still listening to clowns like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Alex Jones for shits and giggles. I hope he's moved on to better things. Those three are still running over the same ground they were ten years ago, and if they're still alive in ten more years, they'll still be at it. They'll never change. At some point, you have to distance yourself from crazy people, lest you become crazy yourself -- or, at the very least, get a tourniquet on to hold onto whatever sanity you have left...)