Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Chinese Blade Update, Over-Exuberant Product Promotion

Ming Shi Blade Update

I've had three shaves so far with a Ming Shi blade that accompanied my much-appreciated Ming Shi 2000S adjustable razor -- a razor based on the original Merkur Futur design.

Although I wrote previously that the Ming Shi blade shave unremarkably -- that is, without incident -- I would suggest that for my skin it is one of the more irritating edges that I've used. 

This doesn't mean that it's terrible. It just may not be the best option for me. For example, the Derby Extra blade is one that some users prefer. For me it is a bit irritating, although after some use and daily palm stropping, it becomes more mellow and quite acceptable to me.

I will continue to put more shaves on the freebie Ming Shi blade and will report out how it behaves as it ages.

Questionable Marketing Practices, Reformation, and Forgiveness

I was listening to a radio interview with John LeCarre, the spy-novel writer, who is now in his eighties. He explained that over the course of his life, he has been many persons, some not so nice. But he explained that he has evolved, changed for the better. 

I would guess that the same can be said for many of us -- certainly me. There are many things I've done or not done, to which I would really like to have a Mulligan, a do-over. But life isn't like that. We do the best we can for the reasons that we have at the time, but later perhaps we learn, grow, and would do things differently. We can't go back so we try not to make the same mistakes a second time.

I have recently become aware of a shaving marketer against whom some hold a grudge for questionable marketing practices. Some grudge holders will never forgive and forget. This strikes me as being akin to an attitude described in an old, best-selling pop-psychology book by Eric Berne called Games People Play.  One game he describes is "now I've got you, you son of a bitch." This is when we catch someone in an error and it gives us license to vent our full fury on the transgressor. 

Okay, a shaving-product-company representative or principal performed some questionable marketing tactics to get prospective customers' attention. Certainly less than ideal for building credibility. But on the other hand, were the products bad, harmful, attributed with characteristics they didn't have? No. 

So a guy tries, using less-than-honest sales puffery, to call your attention to products that are largely and basically good, worth looking into. Is this sales practice ideal? No. But is it worthy of damnation? No.

Don't get me wrong; I'm NOT a proponent of the philosophical position of the end justifies the means. But I do think one has to put situations into context. In the instance of a businessman trying to get your attention by crossing an ethical line is a case of an error in judgement, which essentially all of us have made at one time or another. To my thinking, the real questions are, 1) has the error been corrected; have the deceptive practices ceased? and 2) was the deception harmful to anyone, or was it merely to try to cut through inattention or unjustified resistance? If the answers are yes, the practices have stopped, and no, the deception wasn't harmful but merely to capture your (likely justified) interest,  then it's time to move forward, stop holding grudges, forgive and forget. 

Also, you may be doing yourself a couple of favors if you let go of your grudge. After all, 1) holding anger is harmful to you, and 2) the products you've been angrily avoiding may actually be something from which you will benefit. 

Just my two cents, but you may want to give it some thought (and stop playing the now-I've-got-you,-you-son-of-a-bitch game).

Happy shaving (and forgiving)!

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