View Full Version : Funny story about the "reach" of SMC

Dan Friedrichs
02-26-2018, 9:48 AM
Thought you all might find this story amusing… Details are obfuscated for anonymity.

I had posted on SMC about looking for a unique cutter tool, and someone sent me a PM that said, “I’m a dealer for ‘ABC cutter tools’ and can sell you one”, and the sender’s name was Sebastian Flipperschmidt (not his actual name, but something equally distinctive). I wasn’t in a huge hurry, and had a bunch of other stuff on my plate, so I hadn’t yet replied (despite it being several weeks since I’d gotten the message).

I was at work (I work at a very small company in the upper Midwest), and [industrial widget distributor] brought in lunch to get a few of us to come meet with a field rep for ‘Industrial Widget Co’. So I go steal some free food, shake hands and take a card from the ‘Industrial Widget Co’ guy, pay very little attention to the presentation, and leave early to go back to my desk.

For some reason, as I get back to my desk, I think, “It’s been a few weeks…I really should message the cutter tool guy back”. So I get on SMC and write, “Hi Sebastian, sure, I’d like to buy…” and so on. I finish the message, and think, “Alright, back to work…”, and start tidying up my desk, including filing always the business cards I took from the industrial widget guys. I go to pick up the pile of cards, and the top card says: “Sebastian Flipperschmidt, Industrial Widget Co”. A moment of panic – I don’t remember looking at the widget guy’s card, and I wasn't paying much attention when he introduced himself….did I somehow subliminally read the card and substitute widget guy’s name in the message I sent to cutter tools guy? Cutter tools guy is going to be confused if I called him Sebastian if that’s not his name. So I frantically get back into my SMC PM box, and check: cutter tool guy’s name is also Sebastian Flipperschmidt.

A little googling of [cutter tool distributor.com] tells me they’re in Louisiana. I look over my shoulder and see that Industrial Widgets guys are still in the conference room picking up, so I go back in and say, “Hey Sebastian, where are you from?”

“Baton Rouge”, he says.

“You don’t happen to do any….woodworking….do you?”

“Uh, no…no….no woodworking”, he replies, in kind of an awkward, uncomfortable way.

So I explain that I just talked to another guy from Louisiana named Sebastian Flipperschmidt about buying a cutter tool. “Haha yeah he’s always getting confused with all the other Sebastian Flipperschmidts at the Industrial Widgets Office” his colleagues joke.

Odd coincidence, right?

I go back to my desk, and there is a new PM on SMC from Sebastian Flipperschmit: “Actually, it's me. I just don’t want my colleagues at Industrial Widget Co to know about my side business selling cutter tools!”

So I managed to buy a cutter tool from a random guy…over SMC…at the exact moment he flew from Louisiana to the upper Midwest to sit in a conference room 20’ from my desk while trying to sell me industrial widgets.

The cutter tool is great. I did not buy any Industrial Widgets, though :)

Steve Eure
02-26-2018, 10:41 AM
Now that's funny. Coincidence? Maybe. Feel like your being stalked? Again this is too funny. Thanks for sharing.

Malcolm Schweizer
02-26-2018, 11:50 AM
QUICK- buy a lottery ticket!!!!

I was visiting a customer on another island. This customer builds big-name yachts. I told him I dabble in wooden boat building, and build wood surfboards. He said, "Hey wait.... (pulls up his screensaver) ... that's not your board is it?" He had my surfboard as his screensaver!!! Not only was it a cool coincidence, but being that he's a major yacht designer, it was kind of a proud moment that he had my surfboard as his screensaver.

Jim Becker
02-26-2018, 12:50 PM
Queue the Twilight Zone theme sound.... :) :D

Andrew Joiner
02-26-2018, 4:36 PM
Thanks Dan. Made me laugh.