Come visit us at the store!

The perfect Photoshop! No one will suspect a thing!


JANUARY 14, 2011

Here we grow again!

Capital City, Abyssia – Some asshole once said, “You can’t stop progress.” Well, progress is probably the absolute worst kind of change, so we’re rolling in it like pigs in shit right about now.

To celebrate 14 pretty good days here on the blog in 2011 (so far) we shot our wad on a shiny new building that will serve as our HQ for the next few weeks and beyond. Pretty hot shit, eh?

This location will help us usher in a new era of futile lameness here on the blog. There’s a whole wing devoted solely to poop. The remainder of space is split evenly between the G.R.I.P.E. research lab for continuing gerbil studies, product reviews (send us your shit and we’ll tell the world how you suck), guest blog facilities (the drain in the floor of our uni-sex showers), and Tom’s personal office (annexed next to the only working toilet in the entire building – some things never change).

Marvel at this structure. We spared no expense. We even hastily sandblasted the monument sign out front and glued our name where some other damn company’s name used to exist. That exudes permanence and class. You can’t fake sincerity like that.

So, here’s the deal. I realized today that I’m batting a thousand (two out of two) in the category: “Ecommerce companies that make FAKE photoshopped pictures of buildings where they’ve never actually been located.”

It works a little something like this:

  • Finally graduate from your home office and/or garage and get a pure piece of shit location that makes your eyes bleed because it is so motherfucking ugly.
  • Steal a photo of some other company’s building from the internet.
  • Crappily photoshop your name onto that building so it’s painfully obvious you are lying scum and that you are going a zillion miles out of your way to insult the intelligence of your customers.

Remember, if you are doing business in this great country of ours, in pursuit of the almighty dollar, the last thing you ever want to do is be honest. If some residual bit of your humanity balks at this sort of outright fraud, take it out back and slit its throat. Money is on the fucking line here!

I shit you not. Two for two! That’s nothing to sneeze at!

Of course my last boss did this. I worked there for over five years, the whole time knowing an entirely fictional picture of our store was featured on our company web site. He even had pictures of fake employees on the Staff page. The assholio butt munch of a boss thought he was so clever, photoshopping his company name onto a building owned by someone else. The quality was laughable.

At my new job the boss is much nicer but ever since I’ve took this job I suspected he did the same thing. (I actually suspected even before my interview when I showed up and the building looked nothing like what was on his web site.) Today he confirmed it. “Yippie-ki-yay motherfucker and welcome to the party, pal!”

To continue the Die Hard references to their logical conclusion, as Detective John McClain was often wont to say, “How can the same shit happen to the same guy twice?”

How indeed. It’s not easy being me.

I’ve been in the ecommerce business for 10 years and I can’t even begin to tell you about all of the fake shit that has been forever burned into my eyeballs. Do not trust companies that sell on the internet. Ever. They lie, they lie! Bunch of motherfuckers. From the year they went into business (a lie) to the customer reviews (written by the CEO) to the picture of the store (a photoshopped lie) to the number of customers they’ve served (a totally made up number incremented daily by a randomizing program) to the status of products listed as “in stock” (when they really aren’t) – everything they say and do is pure sublime deception.

Every con game needs a willing participant known as the “mark,” I guess.

If you’re ever in my neck of woods, please feel free to stop by and find me in the new HQ and say, “Howdy, pardner!” You’ll find me beyond the second pile of shit to the right and straight on till morning.

How’d I do on this post? Have I regained my Abyss-like form? That last post I tried really hard to be reasonable and it took a lot out of me. I’m back, baby!

# # #

14 responses

  1. overrated to be resonable 🙂 but you have been doing good but this is more like it. Had the same thing at my previous job, clipart pictures from the web of happy employees on the corporate website while the ones working there (including me) looked more like dead gerbils due to the stupid work. No way we would have been good posterboys for the web.

    So rant on now like you never have ranted before 😀


    1. Thanks much! I agree completely. Fake pictures stick out like a sore thumb and do nothing to impress me. Perhaps they are like Jedi mind tricks and only work on the weak-minded.

      Now if I can only think about something else to rant about…


  2. “We even hastily sandblasted the monument sign out front and glued our name where some other damn company’s name used to exist. That exudes permanence and class. You can’t fake sincerity like that.”

    For some reason, this reminds me of the opposite. There’s a lovely local chain called dirtcheapcigarettesbeerandliquor. My cousin is a manager. They have those “local cheap-arsed” commercials everyone loves about their town? My personal faves as a kid were the brother (Slyman?) who sold appliances. You had the straight guy and the crazy brother who always rollerskated through the video–and couldn’t rollerskate!! Awesome.

    Back to my cousin, Gary. He’s in the back row of all the managers. All you see are the upper half of his eyes and his eyebrows. I recognize him cos, ya know, he’s kin but that always cracks me up when I see it. I wave back, “Hey, Gary!”


    1. We have a store like that in my town. Such a creative business name. I know that when I go there I’m in for a real treat, because such an expressive owner is sure to make the visit a true experience for the senses.

      Actually, I’ve never set foot in the place. I just can’t bring myself to visit a store that has the word “smokes” in the name of their business.

      When we moved to a small town I learned all about what I like to call “local commercials.” They make cheese balls look elegant.

      I’ll be nicer to you from now on. I didn’t know that you were friendly with celebrities.


  3. There’s a huge industry devoted to providing royalty-free stock footage that you can buy for whatever purpose. I’ve tried to sell my photos to some of these sites, but they are absolutely flooded with high-quality photographs by people who pay models for their work and have an actual studio (I was trying to do it on the cheap.) The same “employees” are used over and over in brochures across the land!

    As Rincewind said above, you wouldn’t want photos of actual employees. What a turn-off to see their tired, unhappy faces. You want models professionally photographed. The next logical step is not to show the actual business itself, either.

    A friend produced a brochure for his business. To illustrate customer service, the brochure featured a photo of a gorgeous young woman answering a phone — stock footage. I don’t think anyone looking at the brochure thinks the woman actually answered the phone at the business. After all, does anyone really think that the people in commercials actually use the products?

    This friend previously was one of the owners of a family furniture store and produced the kind of commercials madtante describes above. He wanted a higher-class look for his next venture. I loved the furniture store commercials in which he’d dress for the holiday, such as wearing a plumed hat for Columbus Day sales.

    By modern sensibilities, your previous boss’ main sin seems to be that he bungled the job of tromp l’oeil — fooling the eye into thinking that the poorly photoshopped sign was actually his business. Caveat Emptor!


    1. Sounds about right to me. Every possible segment of every possible industry must be pimped out to the Nth degree.

      I don’t know about anyone else, but I prefer to give my business to companies that take care of their employees. If they do that right they can get nice shots of real people. And, all things being equal, I prefer companies that are closer to honesty than dishonesty. Seems logical and self-evident to me.

      In the case of my previous boss the purpose of his photoshopped store was psychological. He believed that customers were more likely to buy from a web site that also had a real store. Suffice it to say that our real store looked slightly less thrilling – by about a million percent! The real store looks like a Borg ship made out of concrete bricks. In the front is a door, two windows and a lame ass sign with the company logo. A friggin’ joke.

      The point is that pretty much almost everything companies do is a total lie. Two grocery stores each run ads at the same time claiming to have the “lowest prices in town.” Simple logic suggests that at least one of them is lying. (And probably both.)

      Another shtick companies frequently pull is the customer service gambit. They run ads about how their happy employees are trained, knowledgeable, and really just get off on helping customers. The commercials portray them as damn ebullient people. (Vocabulary win.) But dare to walk in the store and you are immediately hit with the fact that the reality is markedly different. The employees are few and far between, grumpy, and ignore the holy fuck shit out of you. When you finally do grab one by the ear, you also quickly realize they don’t know jack shit.

      Let the buyer ALWAYS beware. The whole damn thing is a lie.

      There is one other commonality between my two jobs that have photoshopped storefronts on the web. The owners of both companies are highly religious. And here I thought that something in the 10 commandments spoke against dishonesty.

      “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

      A quick check of Wikipedia taught me a lesson on this score. Come to find out there is not universal acknowledgment of this commandment as a prohibition against lying.

      “There are different views on the meaning of this commandment. Some interpret the scope in the narrowest possible sense, as only a prohibition of lying in courtroom testimony. Other interpretations view the commandment as a prohibition on any false statement that degrades our neighbor’s reputation or dignity. Still others interpret the commandment in the broadest possible sense: as a prohibition on all lying. (Source: Wikipedia.)”

      Holy fuck shit! I didn’t know that any of that was open to debate. I guess that makes me even more thankful to be atheist where my morality can be more black and white. I don’t fuck around with interpretations while claiming to be the most moral person around. I simply make it a goal not to lie rather than see what I can justify and get away with.


  4. By the way, I abhor the phrase “Here we grow again.” Perhaps because I’ve seen it in so many help wanted ads from assholes.


  5. I wish I were surprised by this. I worked ever-so-briefly for an ad agency that did this sort of thing as a matter of routine. When I was preparing a RFP and updating staff resumes, I was told to “just make ’em up.” I didn’t last long.


    1. Demoralizing, wasn’t it? Unless you are scum yourself, nobody enjoys working for scum. All it does it motivate the good people to migrate away as fast as they possibly can.


  6. Addendum: I forgot another big way that ecommerce companies routinely perpetuate another kind of subtle fraud. And that is the shipping charges.

    Some online companies go for the “free shipping” shtick. We all know that we’re still paying for the shipping because it’s built into the price. But at least, in the “free shipping” scenario, the fraud is kept at a minimum. After all, price is price, and most of us generally know what we’re paying for products online. (I say “most” because a surprising number of people have no clue.)

    Some companies do the “flat rate” shipping thing, mainly because they don’t have software that can handle to complicated morass of calculating real-time shipping costs. This is also mostly fair unless the flat rate is ridiculous.

    Then there are the companies that inflate the shit out of their shipping costs and use “hide postage” features on their shipping labels to keep the customer in the dark regarding the gouging. I’ve seen shipments go out where the customer overpaid by $15, $20 and even $30 a shot.



  7. This was a full on refreshing blast of negativity. You’ve still got it!


    1. Woot! I value your feedback. Your opinion means so much to me. For filling out our feedback form you have won a double-your-money back bonus from the blog. I’ll need my calculator to see how zero times two works out. I’ll get back to you on that!


  8. […] a retail store. We’re not an internet-only outfit. Check our web site. You’ll even see a picture of our store there. That was my boss on the phone talking to a supplier who wanted reassurance that we […]


  9. Reblogged this on Shouts from the Abyss and commented:

    Finally! A reblog that suits my mood. I like the old me better than the new me. I’d like to invent a time machine and see which one wins in a battle to the death. And, amazingly, even though we moved across state, we are proud to say that the Shout Abyss World HQ hasn’t moved. A family-owned tradition since 42 BC.


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