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TOPIC: The Burger King Thesis

The Burger King Thesis 2 years 5 months ago #35638

A friend of mine posted this on a forum some years ago. As a student of psychology, I can't help but notice the trends -destructive trends mind you- that I see all over our country. Everyone wants things their way or else! What is their way? That all depends on the situation. However, the overarching commonality is that these folks are very quick to blame someone else. Words like petty, cheap, dishonest, cheat and similar words fill the air and pages when they arrive and don't get what they want. The central thread is that anyone in business who does not give these people anything they want is cheating them out of what they feel entitled to have.

A friend was in a large Walmart the other day and witnessed a woman come in wanting to return a stack of steaks...about $100 worth. The clerk (trying not to gag) asked what happened. The woman openly said she forgot them and left them in the trunk of her car. The clerk called her manager who once apprised of the situation explained that it was not the store's fault the meat was rotten. The lady pointed to the sign that guaranteed her satisfaction or she would get her money back. So the manager said ok, and offered to refund her money in store credit. She stopped him, however, because she was not satisfied with getting her $100 back in store credit. She told him she wanted a cash refund and demanded to be compensated for twice the amount which is what the posted sign said. The manager looked at the sign and gave her the $200 and threw out the rotten meat.

Now, who was taking advantage of who? Who was being dishonest or cheating someone?


BURGER KING THESIS
By “Arson571”

The Burger King is the embodiment or arch type for the ultimate consumer attitude. Everyone has heard at one time or another, the customer is always right. Accompanied with the slogan, “Have it your way”, one begins to see the Burger King persona emerge. The Burger King is the ultimate and over arching display of attitude and behavior that accompany the consumers’ sense of entitlement and imagined social position.

It is unknown exactly when the Burger King mentality is formed and it certainly is not solely based on the fast-food restaurant experience. However, the restaurant experience provides us with an example and description of how one becomes The Burger King. You will see the Burger King everywhere, treating his or her loyal subjects like peasants, and demanding service and satisfaction at every turn. In case one wonders who the Burger King’s subjects are, it is everyone with whom he or she encounters at any time and place. Some people are chronic and others are situational Burger Kings. Either way, you can recognize them when you see them in action.

The Burger King spends a modest amount of money on a burger/sandwich, fries, and soda. For this modest amount of money, the Burger King is afforded the right to be impatient and impolite to any employee of the establishment. The Burger Kings that do not find their food order to be according to “your way” flaunts and asserts their sense of entitlement to the person at the register. If immediate satisfaction is not had, the Burger King demands to speak with the supervisor. Anyone who works in any kind of service to others will meet a Burger King regularly.

The Burger King can be seen in any fast food restaurant’s “play land” for the children. The Burger Kings unleash their princes and princesses (future Burger Kings) to play unsupervised among other people’s children. The Burger King gets lost in a conversation with a fellow Burger King or perhaps in the pages of the latest magazine or novel of their interest. The only thing that may possible break into their conscious awareness is when their little prince or princess is hurt or offended by another child. The princes and princesses of course, also typically leave a food mess (ketsup, crumbs, spills, etc.) behind for the peasants to clean up when the Burger Royalty leaves the establishment.

Subsequently, the Burger King goes out into the world. The Burger King can be recognized at the local market demanding something (i.e., a refund, an item not carried, a discount, etc.) and may have to demand to speak to the manager to get satisfaction. Such demanding to speak to the supervisor is a hallmark of the Burger King. This is the manner in which the Burger King communicates to the peasants that they are unworthy of any respect. The hardcore Burger King pulls this trigger rather quickly. It is almost always accompanied with overt impatience and sometimes related to an unreasonable demand. God forbid any peasant has made a mistake in the Burger King’s order. The Burger King will march up to the front of the line in front of everyone else waiting their turn, state the error, and then fall into a silent expectant posture. If the problem is not immediately understood and corrected, the Burger King may roll his or her eyes and gasp in disgust. He or she better not have to explain further. If the problem is swiftly corrected, a demeaning and insincere “thank you” is stated as the Burger King grabs the commodities and marches away. If it is not corrected in such a way, the Burger King will say “I want to talk to the manager.” Notice, this will not be a negotiation.

The consumer is king in a world where the customer is always right. It is difficult for the Burger King to know how far the cost of their value meal will get them. While many fast food enterprises seek to provide customer service and low price meals; it is the self-appointed Burger King who takes it to the level of entitlement. And this notion of entitlement goes beyond the doors of the fast food establishment and into the community at large. The Burger King is mentality is manifest at any retail customer service counter, government office, and even with a police officer in the street. The Burger King has peasants in all of these and everywhere in the world.

The Burger King does not wear a crown and is not confined to any particular socioeconomic class. The Burger King is a mentality of hardcore egocentrism. The Burger King wants everything his or her way and will treat anyone as they see will result in that end. You will know when you come across a Burger King for you will be treated as a peasant. It doesn’t matter who you think you are, the Burger King will make it clear who you are to them.

Next time you deal with a real jerk. One who is demanding and condescending, just smile and think to yourself: “I am in the presence of The Burger King.”

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Re:The Burger King Thesis 2 years 5 months ago #35669

\"It really is basic economics. Your product is worth whatever someone else is willing to pay for it at that moment in time. Not a dime more. This is why huge amounts of money are spent on market research. Any producer needs to produce what the market wants to get highest prices or more sales. You cannot simply produce a product regardless of market needs/desires and demand whatever price you wish. It just doesn't work that way.\"

Don't these (your) words contradict the O P? If it is a rule of business than don't it have to be both directions and at all times? So is the root buyer expecting an \"entitlement\" to expect a seller to merely to sell for less so said dealer can make more (get more \"entitlement\")?

\"As we have seen here in recent weeks, buying or selling doesn't matter. As we have seen nationwide of late, it isn't reserved for the ginseng business either. It seems that more and more people believe they get what they personally think is fair (whatever the hell that is...life isn't fair and never will be) or a favorable exchange in business or legal process or they throw childish fits. Of course, when adults throw these fits they cause harm to others, destroy things, burn things, and loot whatever they want from whomever they want in order to fulfill their sense of en_title_ment.\"

\"It really is basic economics. Your product is worth whatever someone else is willing to pay for it at that moment in time. Not a dime more.\" Or a dime less. \"OThis is why huge amounts of money are spent on market research. Any producer needs to produce what the market wants to get highest prices or more sales. You cannot simply produce a product regardless of market needs/desires and demand whatever price you wish. It just doesn't work that way.\"

And, yes, we sellers can easily control the market by simply not digging and selling on any given year when the price is low. It's called supply and demand. We control the supply. We have the freedom of choice still. We choose who we sell to as well. We choose who we buy seed from. Etc. etc. As a grower we decide which year to dig and if the market is low we simply let them get better looking and bigger by not bringing to market and in turn bringing the price back up (if enough people would just work together). I saw this done to a certain employer I used to work for. They started out at $8.00/hr., demanded more than possible, and gave out 2-3% payraises at most. This was for the same work that other places paid $12. to start and 5-7% payraises when you don't miss work, or be late, and you hussle. More and more folks left (at least those with a good work ethic) and word got out how they operated. Within five years they couldn't get enough employees so they finally gave up the fight for greed and decided it was time to share some of that profit with those who made them have profit in the first place. Now they pay descent (comparable) but from what I have heard they still fail to treat employees how they would want to be treated if they were in that person's shoes. (ie. the forgotten golden rule)

If we are honest with ourselves we will ask ourselves about each action we take that involves another living being and ask \"If that were me would what I am about to do or just did make me feel blessed or cursed\".

I own a six unit apartment building and rent to the out of town workers on a weekly basis. All the best utilities and the lowest price in the entire upper ohio valley (probably nation). I take losses (not as much profit) all the time in having that lower price but now that the industry has lulled a bit I still have all my units full while the greedy ones are now low capacity to many at no capacity, and all my customers are happy and a lot of them come back when opportunity arises. I have no one destroy rooms or try to get back at me except to thank me for making traveling for work affordable. One thing we all should remember is that karma can and will come back on every one of us. It can be a blessing or a curse. The choice is ours!

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Re:The Burger King Thesis 2 years 5 months ago #35670

Don't these (your) words contradict the O P? If it is a rule of business than don't it have to be both directions and at all times? So is the root buyer expecting an \"entitlement\" to expect a seller to merely to sell for less so said dealer can make more (get more \"entitlement\")?


No, not at all. Ginseng is a commodity. Commodity markets are different than most things we are familiar with, therefore, commodities dealers are also working with a slightly different set of rules. If the market price is high, I pay high. If the price is low, I pay low. The risk is if the market does not go up or if it in fact goes down and the ginseng I have already bought is worth less than I actually paid for it. This is what happened last year. I’ve already said that at the end of last season I paid as high as $765/lb and was able to sell for $800 at the most not counting pick-out. How many people would be willing to invest $750 or more per pound on a gamble that they would make $20-$30 per pound? Not many. I prefer stronger markets so I can pay diggers more. Unfortunately, that is out of my and your control.

The fundamental aspect that most people (diggers mostly) miss is the fact that someone in a commodity business cannot buy something for more than they can sell it for and stay in business. My job is knowing what I can buy a given lot of ginseng for and still be able to sell it for a modest profit. If I must pay more than I can sell it for in the current market, it is foolish to buy it. Of course, nearly everyone who walks up to my scales tells me they have the best ginseng they’ve ever dug.

Diggers already reap the largest rewards. In a $700 market, if you dig high quality ginseng and handle it well, you will get $700 (or more) for your ginseng. Short of a tank of gas you really have no costs. A dealer on the other hand who makes maybe $50 or so per pound has a host of business expenses which comes out of his gross sales. It is funny to me how people who claim they are being cheated and lied to because of greed make by far the most money from the people they claim are cheating them. Ironic wouldn’t you say?

If I said I make $200 per pound after paying you $1000/lb in a $900/lb market, would you be happy? Or, would you think I’m cheating you because I’m making too much? Let me ask again, who is being greedy?


And, yes, we sellers can easily control the market by simply not digging and selling on any given year when the price is low. It's called supply and demand. We control the supply. We have the freedom of choice still. We choose who we sell to as well. We choose who we buy seed from. Etc. etc. As a grower we decide which year to dig and if the market is low we simply let them get better looking and bigger by not bringing to market and in turn bringing the price back up (if enough people would just work together).


If you had 25-50 million dollars to invest (lose) you would be able to significantly affect the wild ginseng market –short of that not so much. But, the effect would be fleeting at best. Low harvests this year might cause a modest rebound in prices next year, but as we saw last year, quality of the ginseng in the market is a huge factor of its value independent of volume. The fundamental aspect you are missing is that you cannot control the harvest. You note yourself that it would take enough diggers and growers working together. Let me tell you from experience, we cannot even get 30 dealers, growers, and diggers together to have a say in the changes of the new laws in this state. There is no possible way you and a group of your friends will be able to ever manipulate the ginseng market. Many diggers bought into the $2000/lb hype splattered about this forum last fall –and many of them were calling me in March looking for a dealer on which to dump their ginseng. Don’t forget, dealers have freedom of choice as well.

You also have freedom of choice in another very important way –you can chose what type of ginseng you will bring to market. By only digging the biggest mature roots which good wild character and desirable shape, and then handling them properly and professionally, you will get the highest market prices for your ginseng. If you want to see prices going up for wild ginseng, educate as many diggers as you possibly can and convince them we need to actively avoid short-term gratification and instead improve the overall quality of the ginseng we bring to the international market. That means they need to stop digging every large two prong and small three prong plant they find.

Your comments regarding an employer and his/her business model has little if anything to do with a commodity market. The economics and externalities of organizational culture are much different but also much more predictable and easily affected.




If we are honest with ourselves we will ask ourselves about each action we take that involves another living being and ask \"If that were me would what I am about to do or just did make me feel blessed or cursed\".


Good point. Being Christian, I have always treated people I do business with as I would expect to be treated if the roles were reversed. I find that with a little effort, there is almost always a win-win which can be found. I have never accepted that in order for me to have a good deal you have to have a crappy deal. However, I find fewer and fewer people who are willing to honestly consider my position in relation to their own . I’ve never had a digger come back a week later and tell me he heard the market dropped and offer some of the money I paid him back.

Here is the key: In order to treat someone properly, we need to understand what they are dealing with. I was a digger long before I started dealing in ginseng. I understand the digger and grower side of things. I also understand the dealer side of things. If our roles were reversed, I would never ask you to pay more for my ginseng than you could sell it for. I need to be informed as to what the market really is doing currently (as opposed to listening to pie in the sky claims of 2000/lb on a forum) and I also need to understand why my ginseng is being graded the way it is when I come to the scales. If I take your advice when you tell me what the market is looking for and bring you that type of high quality root properly cared for, I’ll then expect you will pay me as much as you can in the current market.





One thing we all should remember is that karma can and will come back on every one of us. It can be a blessing or a curse. The choice is ours


Your comments about your apartment business are really not relevant at all. I’m happy that you have found a business model with which you are happy and have good success. You stated that at times you take a loss because of your low rates, but acknowledge that in the end, you still have your equity (buildings) with which to make more money in the future. This is significantly different than a commodity market. Once I sell a particular lot of ginseng it is gone forever. Here’s why. Let’s say I’m making $50/lb in a current market. You bring me 10 pounds of ginseng. Some good, some not so good. In a $1000/lb market, pick-out will be worth no more than $300-$400/lb. If I pay you $1000 for a pound of pick-out in your 10 lb lot, I’ll have lost all profit not only on your whole lot but also on part of another lot. But here is the catch, I cannot raise the price or lower what I paid the next time I sell that lot -its already gone forever.

I agree with you that we should treat people fairly. But, fair is a relative term and as we have seen over the past few months in our country, what many people are willing to accept as ‘fair’ just isn’t right. It is not right to riot and loot because you think the outcome of a criminal case (which you know little if anything about btw) is ‘unfair.’ Giving every child a trophy regardless of their ability as compared to other children in the interest of being “fair” is removing any incentive that child has to get better. This is destroying the American culture.

Another relative term we hear often is “too much.” How much is too much? Is it too much for a dealer to make $100/lb on the ginseng he buys and sells? If so, I would have to ask how that logic stands to reason with a digger complaining about the dealer being greedy and dishonest when the digger is getting paid $700 or more per pound for that same ginseng.

So, let me ask…how much is too much for a digger to make on a pound of ginseng? At what point is the digger being unfair or greedy in his business with the dealer?


In the end, there are many factors which go into the way a commodities market behaves. The external forces are bigger than you and I, and bigger than every digger and dealer who comes to this site combined. The best we can do is be honest in our dealings with each other and as long as we are digging, buying and selling ginseng, understand that we are all trying to do our best to enjoy our trade without losing our shirts.

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Re:The Burger King Thesis 2 years 5 months ago #35671

Very interesting,

I wonder what profit a dealer should make on a lb. of good dry ginseng root?
What does the digger think a dealer should make 10% ? 20% ? or barely 5%?

There were a lot of new dealers last year thinking of big profits only to find out their annual tuition was a costly one, paying way too much and losing their shirts.

I warned everyone last year the market would be weaker and buying could come to a stand still in which it did for awhile.

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Re:The Burger King Thesis 2 years 5 months ago #35673

So if a dealer makes 25 a pound and he bought 100 pounds at 700 per pound he would have 70,000 invested. He would then sell those 100 pounds for 725 per pound and have 72,500. So a dealer is risking 70,000 to make a profit of 2,500. There is no way I would take that kind of a chance for such a small profit.

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Re:The Burger King Thesis 2 years 5 months ago #35678

lenno wrote:

So if a dealer makes 25 a pound and he bought 100 pounds at 700 per pound he would have 70,000 invested. He would then sell those 100 pounds for 725 per pound and have 72,500. So a dealer is risking 70,000 to make a profit of 2,500. There is no way I would take that kind of a chance for such a small profit.


Agreed.

I really don't care what profit you dealers make as long as you don't give me the impression while I am there that you are nitpicking and looking for reasons to downgrade the whole lot. The more for everyone the merrier. 3.5% is something I suppose but I know I would find a better way to invest 70k. So with the asians paying very top dollar for the showpieces (gifts with no bites out of them), who is making all that profit? Sign me up!

Brad, you were right on nearly everything in your previous post. Still, like Lenno said way to much money in for so little out. Maybe that was a bad year scenerio and you are withholding the good year scenerio. That sure is a lot of working hours and more little expenses that nickle and dime you left out of the picture as well. I would consider that going in the hole. So, question is, why do it again the following year if it's so low? Has to be good years involved. Just has to be.

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Re:The Burger King Thesis 2 years 5 months ago #35687

The point I'm trying to make is one of perspective.

You said \"as long as you don't give me the impression while I am there that you are nitpicking and looking for reasons to downgrade the whole lot.\"

Last year was a rough year, and I did better than many. I turned a lot of guys away with poor quality ginseng. Others got pissed off and left because I told them I would pay going market for the good stuff, but would only pay value for the rest.



Would you pay top dollar for these pencils?



How about this hard, low quality boney stuff?



or damaged root?

Remember, it takes less than 10% to take out a $50 profit per pound across the board.

What might give you the impression of nitpicking might from my perspective be trying to give you the most I possibly can and still be able to buy next year.

That said, bring me a collection that looks like this and I'll give you top dollar all day long...



Sure, there are a couple in there that will get pulled out, but this lot is strong enough to not worry about it on the scale.

After thought: While it might seem obvious in these pictures that show particular issues together, they are not always so easy to spot when they are mixed in with good stuff. Worse yet is when everyone who walks up to the scales thinks his or her ginseng is the best I'll see that year. Let me ask, would you buy a car without checking under the hood, driving it or maybe even taking it to a mechanic to get an expert opinion? If not, why would you be upset if a ginseng dealer carefully looks through your collection he is about to make you an offer for?

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Re:The Burger King Thesis 2 years 5 months ago #35696

Well, I reckon if I had a whole lot that was low grade I would expect the price lower. I am just thinking that it might be more tactful to weigh, dump, spread out, and calculate in your head the damage and just give a quote on entire lot. That way the digger/seller don't feel like your are looking to only find fault on every root in the lot. Being a psych student I think you might understand how the psychology of the whole transition could play a major part. Now if you can see too young, or roots with no bud (indicating dug too early) I would be quick to point out that and might even mention something to the effect that you are really supposed to report illegal digs and you simply will not buy them and maybe they will realize they will not sell them any more in the future. Last year I found a spot where the soil was black and you could sink your arm in it up to your elbow. Best soil I ever saw in my life and full of wild seng. I dug only the biggest threes and the fours and some of the offshoots were very smooth. Not so great as they looked cultivated. I pointed those out to my buyer and explained the reason and he didn't downgrade any of my roots and just took them all for the same price ($725/lb.). Overall my roots were some of the best I ever saw, let alone dug. 310 roots weighed in at 1.75 lb. Sorry, no pics. The buyer told me they were the best roots he saw that year. Now that buyer pulled a good/smart psychology rule and now knows I will be back with more good quality roots and opportunity for him to make more profit from my labor. Last year I harvested 310 plants from the wild and left around 300 small threes and several hundreds more smaller yet (illegal age) plants. I only dig a three if the stem is fat. Skinny stem gets left to mature. Planted about 2000 berries as last year was a bumper crop of berries. Going by the look of what I did harvest I know the buyer realized I dig only the old plants and I suspect that is why he didn't nitpick my lot.

It's all on how the customer feels on the whole transaction.

Jim

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Re:The Burger King Thesis 2 years 5 months ago #35703

Oh I understand all too well. This comes full circle back to my original post. It is all about perspective and a sense of entitlement. Entitlement to higher price, entitlement to a pat on the back (best roots ever, or accepting all at same price, etc) and entitlement to feel like you \"won.\"

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Re:The Burger King Thesis 2 years 5 months ago #35725

Interesting discourse here.

The post got well away from the \"Burger King\" analogy... and into the politics and salesmanship of dealing and selling 'Sang.

I was talking the other day to a fella... and the point was made that: if a dealer was not going to give a fair value, then gather up what you brought, and go away. no need to get riled in that scenario....

The prevailing attitude there is two-fold. 1] as a grower, I will know and likely seperate the best from the rest prior to selling, and 2] ask /expect my price be met when I show the dealer my stuff. I will have two grades of my 'sang, and sell accordingly.

Oh, yeah... #3]There are plenty of dealers out there that will want my 'sang when the time comes.

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