Friday, March 19, 2010

I'm Still Alive, In Case Anyone Cares

Hello, all. If you’re wondering why I’ve been away from the blog for so long, I’ve got a good excuse: I’ve spent the past two weeks knee-deep in mind-numbing drudgery here at the ECO Inc. offices. If I never see another Excel spreadsheet in my life, I will die a happy man. In other words, I will not die a happy man.

See, that’s the thing about running a business – apparently, there’s a lot of nitty-gritty, nose-to-the-grindstone work to be done. Having spent the greater part of my 20s avoiding work in all its myriad forms, I’ve had some trouble adjusting to the demands of Corporate America (especially the pseudo-totalitarian version favored by GreenBox CEO William Walsh). After a long day’s work of data entry, customer relations calls, and spotting Ned while he tries to break his own bench-press record (813.5 lbs), it’s all I can do not to have a nervous breakdown. Medication helps.

Now, with any normal small business, the workload is punishing enough. But with the GreenBox, it’s doubly so, because of the sheer amount of interest and inquiries about the product we get on a daily basis. It’s no exaggeration to say that people are knocking down our doors to get their hands on the GreenBox, and keeping track of their fanatical demands for information falls largely on the bony shoulders of yours truly. Are you familiar with the saying about the you-know-what, and how it tends to roll downhill? Guess where I am.

You may already be familiar with the management style of William Walsh. God help you if you are. Brilliant and talented though he may be, Mr. Walsh seems to derive genuine pleasure from demeaning and emasculating his underlings – or, to be more specific, from demeaning and emasculating me. To pick one example from hundreds, he insists on referring to me as his “Gal Friday” despite my repeated protests that I am male. According to him, “the jury’s still out” on that claim.

It is against this background of near-constant mental and emotional abuse that I have strayed from my blogging duties. I hope you will accept my sincere apologies and say a prayer for me if you get a chance.

Meanwhile, ECO Inc. has recently completed an incredibly successful national mini-tour of industry trade shows. First we wowed the overwhelming crowds at the International Restaurant and Food Service Show of New York, sharing booth space with Tri-State juggernaut Imperial Bag & Paper. Next, the higher-ups (Will, Ned, and Jen) flew off to Vegas for the International Pizza Expo.

As usual, all the good stuff happened without me. While in Vegas, the brain trust inked a national distribution agreement with ROMA Foods. This deal formalizes a truly dynamic partnership - the nation’s leading distributor for the pizza and Italian foods industry distributor is now distributing the most talked-about product in recent memory. We can’t overemphasize the impact of this deal enough – it’s equivalent to Ned finally getting a callback from the WWE (cross your fingers).

And wrapping up the mini-tour, Sales Director Ned Kensing traveled all by his lonesome to Boston, MA to pahk the GreenBox in Hahvhad Yahd. Ned was personally invited to the show by Mansfield Paper, a major New England distributor with a boatload of interest in the GreenBox.

Long story short: in the past two weeks, we’ve secured coast-to-coast distribution for the GreenBox. From ruddy-cheeked New England lobstermen to sun-drenched Blackberry addicts in Santa Monica…soon the whole U. S. of A. will feel the global impact of William Walsh’s wondrous invention.

Between these three trade shows and the considerable interest our new commercial has generated, I’ve got my Sisyphean work cut out for me. In the next couple of weeks, the GreenBox will be popping up all over the country, and I’ll take pride in the fact that I helped that to happen. Not that I’ll get any credit for it, mind you.


The GreenBox Intern

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The GreenBox on the Small Screen!!!

If you're David Patterson or Tiger Woods, you might resent the level of media intrusion in 21st Century America. Here at ECO Incorporated, however, we're more than happy to bask in the media attention that our wonderful product receives. We've got nothing to hide, after all. You'll find no skeletons in our closet (I'm not counting Marketing Director Ned Kensing's closet, which probably has more skeletons than your typical Dio De Los Muertos parade).

To date, the GreenBox has not been involved in a single corruption scandal or marital indiscretion; it's just a great product that effortlessly captures the attention of the media and the nation at large. And quite unlike David Patterson's ability to procure under-the-table Yankees tickets, I can't even squeeze free Post-It Notes out of the tight-fisted misers I work for. Absolute power corrupts absolutely; utterly powerless in my position as a glorified coffee-jockey, I am entirely free from the temptations of ambition and greed . May it always be so - you'd hate to see me go from humble intern to sex-crazed, power-hungry megalomaniac, wouldn't you? Besides, I don't think I've got the constitution for the kind of extracurricular shenanigans Tiger Woods has gotten up to. I get winded when the elevator in my apartment is out of order, for Chrissakes. I don't know how that guy does it, but the phrase "I'll have what he's having" comes readily to mind...

Where was I? Ah, yes....the Green Box. The GreenBox is that rare thing in 21st Century America: a phenomenon that attracts attention based purely on its genuine appeal to the industry and to consumers. Other folks might have to show a little leg or sell arms illegally to a third-world nation to get on the nightly news. The GreenBox receives constant coverage for one reason only: it is an idea whose time has come.

And so it is that an eagle-eyed New Yorker tipped us off to the recent coverage of the GreenBox on W-CBS TV in New York City. Food & Produce reporter Tony Tantillo stopped by the International Restaurant and Food Service Show of NY on Monday March 1st with a camera crew in tow. Now, it would be one thing if there was a brief shot of the GreenBox or a quick aside from Tony about the product..but Tony took a GreenBox back to the studio to sing its praises, going out of his way to highlight the product for his viewers (check out the clip here - the GreenBox makes its appearance towards the end of the segment). Clearly, Tony is wise to the inevitable success of the product and thanks to his coverage, so are the pizza-eating denizens of the New York City.

I should mention that Tony Tantillo also interviewed me extensively about Iran's continued uranium enrichment in naked defiance of the U.N., but this portion of the feature was mysteriously cut from the broadcast. However, near the start of the clip, you will see a dapper older gentlemen receiving a sample of soup. This man happens to be paternally responsible for both myself and my brother Ned Kensing, although he may not admit to either on camera.

And that's not all - CFO Jennifer Wright was recently interviewed by telephone for an upcoming profile piece in Business Week magazine. This will be posted as soon as it is available. You can be sure that my name will not make it to print, but I'm OK with that. I prefer to remain anonymous, uncorrupted, and pure as the driven snow...with the bank account to prove it.


The GreenBox Intern

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Trade Show Memories

Hello from the GreenBox Intern. It's been a heckuva weekend.

As you loyal readers well know, the GreenBox was a featured product at the International Restaurant and Food Service Show of NY. The show was a tremendous success for ECO Incorporated and the GreenBox. I can’t say the same for myself, however.

The first day of the massive and well-attended trade show was this past Sunday. Now, I should say that I normally don’t work on the Sabbath, preferring to pass the day in quiet contemplation of the divine mysteries. I was persuaded to relax this policy when GreenBox CEO William Walsh told me that if I didn’t show up, I would meet God personally and I could “whine to Him” all I wanted (capitalization mine). Setting aside my religious convictions for the sake of the company, I decided that the inevitable financial success of the GreenBox would allow me to purchase not only a vacation home in Montauk, but also a papal dispensation for selling soap on a Sunday. I decided to take Will’s existential threat to heart and lend a helping hand.

So it was that I endured an early-morning commute on the Day of Rest and arrived at the Javits Center bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. As Marketing Director Ned Kensing bustled about setting up the goods at the GreenBox booth, I went to the registration desk to claim my Exhibitor Pass for the show. Immediately, confusion reigned – my name was not on the list of official exhibitors with Imperial Bag & Paper. A quick phone call to CFO Jennifer Wright cleared everything up – CEO William Walsh had put me on the list as “Seymour Butts”. I was forced to endure the indignity of repeating this moniker to the attractive young woman behind the counter. She did her best not to laugh while issuing me my pass, and I made a mental note to put a tack on Will’s chair the next time I was in the office.

In this humiliating manner I finally obtained access to the sprawling convention floor. For the rest of this account, please keep in mind that I was wearing a GreenBox T-shirt with a laminated card pinned to the front emblazoned with the words “Seymour Butts – Imperial Bag & Paper”.

As I descended the escalator to the convention floor, I was struck by the size and scale of the show – hundreds of booths, thousands of people, and lots of food on offer. Just as I was about to sample a particularly succulent morsel of prime rib, Marketing Director Ned Kensing grabbed me by the elbow and dragged me through the teeming masses over to the Imperial Bag & Paper booth. Little did I know that was the closest I’d come to nourishment for the rest of the day.

We arrived at the booth. Talk about prime real estate – centrally located and impressively appointed, the IB&P booth was without a doubt the centerpiece of the entire show. Ned and Jen held court, demonstrating the GreenBox for an endless succession of convention-goers – industry folks, the media, and everyday consumers who all seemed blown away by the simplicity and functionality of the product.

As usual, I slowly faded in to the background in the face of my older brother’s charm and charisma. As I watched Ned demonstrate the GreenBox for a busty young woman who seemed to have left the top portion of her outfit at home, I was transported back to my youth. You see, Ned was always the center of attention – good-looking, well muscled, and with a disdain for authority which applied to both our parents and to the penal code of New York State. In short, he was a charmer, possessed of a zest for living that would someday trouble countless teachers and mental health professionals. Who knew it would someday make him in to an incredible salesman and the most dynamic presence at the International Restaurant and Food Service Show of NY? More to the point, what was I doing here? How could I possibly compete with this Adonis of the food packaging industry?

Fact is, I couldn’t. I was quickly forgotten as Jen and Ned worked their magic. At one point a higher-up with Imperial Bag & Paper caught my eye and pointed sternly at the “No Loitering” sign on the outside of the booth. Indignant, I flashed my pass and then remembered the name thereon – surely he would realize that no one named “Seymour Butts” was in his employ. Seeing the suspicious glances I was beginning to receive from the “suits” in the booth, I decided I had better hoof it back to the office and stick to blogging – I wasn’t the face of this company, after all (if anything, I'm the soul).

And so I left Jen and Ned to their work – and believe you me, they were working. Over the course of the expo, they tirelessly deomstrated the functionality and the mission of the GreenBox to hundreds and hundreds of people. And they’ll be doing the same this week in Las Vegas at the International Pizza Expo.

As for me, I decided that I wasn’t cut out for trade shows, so I’d be staying behind in NYC to hold down the fort. That also has something to do with the fact that no one invited me to Las Vegas. Either way, I’ll be providing continued coverage of the GreenBox National Tour – a tour that is laying the groundwork for a revolution in the pizza industry. Very soon, this nation will be wondering “How in tarnation did we put up with that standard pizza box for all of these years?” Think about it – if they hadn’t updated cars or elevators for half a century, would we stand for it? I think not.

Stay tuned for updates, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook – I’ll be posting pictures and more from both shows…as soon as Ned decides to answer one of my phone calls.


The GreenBox Intern