WAY OT:My cigar article is late...

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2008/02/18 21:35:51 (permalink)

WAY OT:My cigar article is late...

Hey gang...hope everyone is well in your world. I have a question for you all, and would love to hear some feedback.....

I started a new feature on CigarStudent.com called "Local Spotlight", being a place to write articles on different tobacco stores around the country either by email or in person. One of the stores I was interested in writing about has refused to be featured. No big deal...I can handle that...that's not what bothers me. You see, the first time I went there (been there twice now), I was accused of robbing the place. Here's the story...

When I visit tobacco shops, I always take my time. I look at cigars, talk to my wife..(he he got to get used to saying that now...just got married on valentines day...), explain things, ogle over cigars, etc. I am always very courteous as I never touch a cigar that doesn't have cellophane on it...I don't squeeze them, or any other thing that would be "inconsiderate". I have even been asked if I am opening a cigar shop...I think all my talking to my wife about different cigars made them nervous. Being knowledgeable about cigars, they thought maybe I was "moving into town" to take their business. This is about the most perfect transition for introducing myself and my website.

At this last tobacconist I went to, I introduced myself, gave him my card, explained the site, etc. He said "I'll think about it" or something to that effect, and I continued to look around. Its a really nice place, nice lounge, and lots of smokes. They even had their own brand, which I found very interesting...asking questions about it like where they are made and such. There are two owners, and when we walked in, I started to gauge which one would be most receptive to my wanting to interview them for the website. I really thought I chose the right guy...but....

The owner I talked to earlier walks up to me and says, "So tell me more about this" holding up my card, wanting more info on the site and the interview I wanted to do. I go into the best spiel I have given yet, blah blah blah, as he is walking toward the back. I'm following him back, walking and talking, as we get to the back. He interrupts me.
"The reason I brought you back here is because I think you took one of our cigars."
I pause.
"Your serious," I said calmly.
"Yah, we have video cameras in the humidors, and I think you took one of our cigars."
I just went to being a fond admirer of his shop to a thief. I was taken back, but I handled it like a champ. It didn't really offend me at the time, I was more worried about calmly showing this man I didn't steal anything. I turned my pockets outward showing how they were empty. I shook out my sleeves. I showed him only my cell phone was in my cargo pocket. I took off my hat...so on and so on, all willingly....covering every base I could think of. I was then going to set my bag down to start emptying it, showing him the cigars I had with me and such, and he stops me.
"No that's ok..." He still had this look on his face like he is absolutely certain I took something but can't prove it...like I'm too good to get caught...it was a look of anger meets disgust. I proceeded to tell him this wasn't exactly the best foot to get off on, apologizing to him for the confusion, and explaining I still had an interest in featuring his shop on the website. I reminded him that I gave him my card. He has all my information on it. I explained that if he sees something on these video cameras (I don't even know if there were any cameras), he knows where to find me. I even offered to stay while he watched the tape.
"No, no, no...we're good, we're good."

Here's the thing....this is in a ritzy town of wealthy people, with a local college of wealthy kids. I go walking in there in my "laid off trucker" clothes, sporting a "laid off trucker" beard and a Carhart stocking hat. I'm thinking I was profiled "too poor to buy cigars" and with my profound interest in their cigars, I must be there to rob the place. What gets me is this owner accused me of stealing after I gave him my card with all my info on it.. I ended up buying some pipe tobacco before I left, and reminded him once again that I gave him my card if he needs to find me.
"Oh, no we're all good, we're all good". I think he realized by the end of it all that he just did a "shake down" on someone with a public voice, and that article I wanted to write could be a smearing of epic proportions because he just accused me of stealing.

I returned to the store a couple of weeks later, and talked to the other guy about the article. I flash my card and explain I was in a while back and he interrupts me saying cheerily "Yah, we got your card." The guy practically tackled me, he said he'd be happy to do it. He wrote down the email address for me, as I suggested we do it by email. I think they later talked, and the other owner wanted to make sure that an interview went up instead of an article of what happened. I typed up a good interview, and sent it off. Nothing....sent another one.....nothing.....so I sent another email asking if they were going to return the interview and if they hadn't received them to let me know, and I can send them another one. This was his response....

I think we are going to pass thanks

Here is my question...the above post is nearly a finished article on the whole thing, and it would only take a few tweaks to finally "feature" this tobacconist on CigarStudent. The truth as it happened. It would make a great article. Do I write it? Can it bite me in the ass later? What are your thoughts?

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    RE: WAY OT:My cigar article is late... 2008/02/18 21:58:42 (permalink)
    Hey Hatchetman. Congratulations again to you and your bride.
    The way I see it, and I may be wrong but if the article you're going to write is a good review and doesn't slam them for accusing you of stealing, then I would go ahead and print it. I believe that restaurants get visited by anonymous food critics all the time and get articles written on them. Wouldn't this fall under the same category.
    I'm no lawyer but that's the way I see it.


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    RE: WAY OT:My cigar article is late... 2008/02/18 22:04:03 (permalink)
    I would have stripped down, "completely" naked.. In his store.

    And as he kept insisting that I stop, I would insist more strongly, OH NO! I NEED TO SHOW YOU THAT I HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE!! I would have gone through the whole routine, lift up your ...., open your mouth, stick out your tounge, bend over, spread um, etc... Oh he would have been glad to GIVE me cigars to leave! Unbelievable!! Sorry to hear about your experience.

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    RE: WAY OT:My cigar article is late... 2008/02/18 22:06:42 (permalink)
    i would make it public what has happened. it don't matter if you have on trucker clothes or a tux, you still need to be treated like a human being.

    There is a cigar shoppe about 1 mile from where I live. I personally hate cigars when they are rolled too tight because its hard to get a good drag. I made the mistake of gently testing the cigars I was interested in - something I do no matter where I buy them - when the owner freaked out and said I was going to break the wrappers.

    I have smoked cigars for 20 years and I have never ONCE broken a wrapper that way. It turns out that the few I bought were too tight to enjoy.

    I will never go back there and will gladly drive 30 minutes to my favorite shoppe. This arseyface lost my business.
    post edited by space_cowboy - 2008/02/18 22:25:22

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    RE: WAY OT:My cigar article is late... 2008/02/18 22:40:25 (permalink)
    As chefmike said, "I'm no lawyer," but I can't imagine you need someone's permission to do a review. Whether or not you include the details of the accusation...shouldn't matter. This is a public place....you aren't quoting anything with a copywrite or infringing on anyone..... you are printing you opinion. I read lots of opinions.... some good, some bad on software, companies, cameras, books, movies, cars, roofers, football teams, airlines, watches....you get the point. I'm pretty sure you don't need permission to put something on the web.

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    RE: WAY OT:My cigar article is late... 2008/02/18 23:33:08 (permalink)
    Journalistic integrity. Of course you write it. Don’t have to be mean, don’t have to be biased...just write what happened.

    Besides.....It will make for an article that stands out more there by giving you more exposure that you may not have received writing your typical bread and butter article.

    Every place can't be a 10.
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    RE: WAY OT:My cigar article is late... 2008/02/18 23:44:59 (permalink)
    Write it, man. You know
    A) You want to
    B) You should
    C) You'll get some Sonar forum members (myself included) checking out your site

    It's a win/win for you and your readers.
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    RE: WAY OT:My cigar article is late... 2008/02/19 00:06:40 (permalink)
    I still say go back and do the dance of the 7 veils.

    It is better to travel well than to arrive.

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    RE: WAY OT:My cigar article is late... 2008/02/19 00:59:07 (permalink)
    Shouldn't be any problem writing about your experience, as long as you tell the truth and don't write anything libellous. You can even add that you gave the owners every opportunity to give their input and they declined.

    Who's fault is that?


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    RE: WAY OT:My cigar article is late... 2008/02/19 01:01:44 (permalink)
    What on earth does this have to do with Sonar? And why on earth would you want to use THIS forum for posting this?

    Not that your post doesn't have its own merit, but I mean, come on, this is truly a misuse of this forum in my opinion.

    What is the point of having this forum for SONAR user to user support if some just use it as they damn well please? That is unfair, inconsiderate, and frankly a bit arrogant.

    I humbly request we all stop and think about misusing this forum. It drives people who seek help away. It even tends to drive me away - and I not only like getting help here, I enjoy offering my own help where possible.

    But we keep seeing more of this type of thing. I'm sure we can all find other outlets for such VERY off-topic posts that would be much more *appropriate*.

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