ASCII by Jason Scott

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Not Interested —

Another day, another person telling me I wouldn’t be interested in them and they’re not interested in being interviewed.

In this case, it was a coin-op and electronics business somewhat near my home. They put the whole shebang up for sale on Craigslist ($175k, firm!) and included some numbers to call. What the heck’s to lose, so I call the numbers.

It is basically impossible to explain to someone like this who you are and what you’re up to. They want to know why I’m interested in them; surely this is a scam! They want to know who I’m “with”; surely this is a scam! In this case, I kept saying I was doing a documentary on arcades and she kept telling me “We’re NOT AN ARCADE!” Well no, but her business maintained machines that went in arcades, and the whole point of my documentary is to talk about the people who work on machines that people have fun with.

I am not easy to explain. I am not an easy sell. Sometimes people jump at the chance to be interviewed. Many times they don’t know what to make of me. Also, of the people in the world to be distrustful, coin-op distributors are way up there. So I didn’t make my case and she told me to get lost.

I’m sad about this because nobody will hear the story. I’m also sad because I couldn’t convince them that I was real. I could hear the skepticism in her voice. All she wants to do is retire, and here’s some firm or sleazebag who wants to make a buck. How could I easily convince her otherwise? URLs aren’t always a great argument.

I’ll continue my efforts, of course, but I always hate these days.

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  1. Joe says:

    URLs don’t convince, it’s true. I wonder if showing up in person would help or hurt?

    I also wonder if you could say to them: “Why don’t I send you a copy of some of the segments of my documentary of the history of the BBS; I understand it seems like a strange request to want to interview you, because I think your story is important to the story I am trying to tell with my film.”

  2. I’d have to second the showing up in person attack, especially at places that are semi-local. As someone who’s listed things on Craigslist before I can tell you this lady is probably getting bombarded with spammy calls and e-mails. Unfortunately it sounds like you got lumped in with them.

    I’d show up with a copy of the BBS Documentary, some printed out stills from your arcade interviews so far, and a camera in the trunk in case you catch them on a good day and they say, “c’mon then.”