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Notes from the Front: One man's thoughts on the Quokka Auction

So yesterday I went and sat through the Quokka Auction with Sandor, trying to pick up a few things for the new store. You can read the following stories about it if you like; "Auction of the damned" at Salon.com, end "Auction of Dot Com Provides Snapshot of Decadent Era" at FOXnews.com

I got there at about 1 pm, along with 1,800 other people, found S sitting in the middle of the bunch, and started taking notes. I'm gonna just slap them all up here and you guys can do with them what you will


1:03 pm Autconeer yells "GO, JOE!" - he has aleardy done this about 8 million 
times, and I've been here 5 minutes.
Joe is part of the auction team. His job is to stanmd in the middle of all of us and yell out when he sees someone bidding. He also calls out the persons bidder number
"Joe, dont talk with the mic on"
Joe was given a wireless headset so the guys at the auctioon table could hear him over the 1,800 slavering buyers.

1:05 pm "UNBELEVIABLE! Someone just leaned on the light swirtch!"
THere were so many people there that people were leaning against the walls all around the room, and some mook wasnt wise enough to stay off the light switch.

Also, I noticed about a dozen LITTLE KIDS running around in the back. Their parents couldn't afford to pay $15 buchs for a babysitter so they could try to get a $10 Aeron Chair (Which, by the way, are as nice as people say they are)


1:08 pm lot lable is 'Asstd CPUs' 
Auctioneer:"These are the good ones, we put them all together!"
all the tech people just shake their heads as someone buys 9 random computers 
for $580

1:12 pm - lot 252a) 16 beanbag chairs sell for $225

1:13 pm - The first round of Aeron Chairs goes up for sale. The crowd goes 100%
DEAD SILENT.  This is why people are here.

The bidding starts at $350---->PEOPLE ARE BOOING!!!!

BOOO! BOOOOOO!!!!!!!  Chairs are at $550

A second later 4 more go off for $450 apiece.

1:23 pm Auctioneer: "TIMES YOUR MONEY EVERYTIME!!!! THIS IS NOT HARD!"
See, when you bid on six things in a lot, your bid is how much youre paying per piece in the lot. The above quote was after a guy had bid $1000 for 6 total shit PCs thenthen says to the autcioneer "A THOUSAND APIECE!?!?!?! Well, then I don't want it..."

ASSHOLE!


1:27 $375 for a TABLE

1:31 Auctioneer:"DON'T STRETCH LIKE THAT, SIR! You almost bought it."
	Turns out he DID fuck up the bidding...
	"See what you did, sir?"

1:35 pm One person bids on somehtiing thats USELESS, then someone else bids, 
then suddenly EVERYONE MUST HBID ON THIS CRAP (lot in question was listes as
'ADDT'D CLOCKS, CABLES, POWERSTRIPS, ETC. ')

1:40  $150 for 25 clip on desk lamps...

1:42 Much needed Cig Break

1:48 Heavy Networking stuff goes on the block -> things are suddenly going much 
smoother

2:00 NEW SHOUTER!!!!
Apparently these guys switch off every so often so they dont burst vocal cords.

2:45 We ppick up a decent server, 
	twpo minutes later someone buys the same server, but with only 25% of the 
	RAM, for a hunderd bucks more...
	
                         THIS MAKES NO SENSE!!!
                         ----------------------
3:30 pm Original shouter is back up there
	IBM PIII 600 128 mb RAM 9.1 G HD goes for $5300!!!!!!
	Apparently the thing had a $1500 video capture card in it.

                                                               so they say.....

3:45 Catalog now not in synch with Powerpoint Slides projected on the wall so 
you can see what your bidding on. MASS CONFUSION

Our Auctioneer is The Jovial IRON FIST THAT KEEPS THE CREAKY JUGGERNAUT OF 
AUCTIONS ROLLING SMOOTHLY

3:51 I think i just got yelles at for waving my hand

3:36 S and I have lost all sense of Sanity and Decorum. The inanity of this
MAKES NO DAMN SENSE WHATSOEVER
               OUR WORLD IS SHATTERED

3:57 Auctioneer:"IF you don't give me your number you can't have it.  Celebrate 
all you want."

4:00 S BATTLES FOR THE Phillips 42" Plasma TV!!!
                                                 or not....  $4500 is too rich

4:06 AERON CHAIR ROUND TWO
Auctioneer:"Shh Shh Shh Shh Shh Shh.."

Biding went to $475/chair
PEOPLE ARE BOOING AND HISSING

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE!

Auctioneer:"Keep it still!"

4:10 People overbid the shit out of themselves

The coders are pissed because suits are coming in and living like it was 1998 or something

                          I CAN SENSE: THERE WILL BE VIOLENCE LATER


WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!?!?! 
FOR A PADDED BENCH AND TWO BLOND WOOD TABLES ---->  $950

                                                                  no no no no
                                                                      no no no
                                                                        no no

theres lots of crap being sold and I have no interest at all

4:36 Auctioneer gives speech:
"Haggle me and I'll make sure you buy nothing...  
I hold the microphone, I make the rules..."
IRON FISTED RULES!

Pro Level AV stuff us all going cheap -> no one here really cares

MORE satellite phones..............oy

Theres some guy in a suit.  LIttle bald guy with glasses, got himself a 
$10K printer for like $900.  Now he keeps getting up and sitting and 
getting up and moving and sitting getting up and moving and sitting ....

                                          he scares me.  I KNOW hes PACKING HEAT


They are selling all this crap for $1000 and I have no idea what it is

                                          my mind reels.

4:52 Scary guy sits next to S.  S. moves away.

5:00 I call the office to check in - PANDEMONIUM!  Theyre like having a party 
or somthing

I come back in and now I'm suddenly sitting directly behind a guy who has more
long curly hair than an episode of 'Moesha', but blond
		-AND-
the scary guy is gone.

Joe is walking up and down the aisles flailing his arms much like somsone
who's head is on fire.

What this is for, I'm not sure, but I think it has something to do with egging
on the bettors.

I think.

5:34 S brings me a copy of the SF Examiner with a cover story of "DOT-COM DUH"

5:46 in the middle of the 3rd round of Aeron Frenzy, Joe has to be reigned in
HES CAUGHT UP INT THE FRENZY!!! HE CAN SMELL THE BLOOD!!!

APPARENTLY, AERON CHAIRS DEFY ALL LOGIC
                         --------------

Big chairs, no arms sell for $350....  LIttle chairs with arms sell for $450.

Palm V goes up on teh block, I bid $50, they go for $250.
you can get them for like $199 at the store.

this auction is more and more of an example of peoples greed and stupidity
every second.  
                                 just wrong

IBM thinkpad - used -> $2700

some people apparently smoke a lot of crack right before they come to the auction

6:10 we pick up a thinkpad for $650.  Hope it aint broke.

6:12-6:48 Dinner break.  I get some UDON at the metreon.  
Its got some kinda blood-based broth.

6:49 CREEPY GUY IS STILL MILLING AROUND FOR NO APPARENT REASON

7:05 Peopl are now paying $800 more for stuff than the same stuff that was 
on sale 4 hours ago.

7:08 Soneone buys the same server we idd for $1000 more.  I feel vindicated.

7:12 Man buys 10 items form a list of 22.  He decides he must pick 10 
specific items, instead of taking the next 10.

we all now wish him a violent painful awful death.

RULE #1 of auctions...
Noone gives a DAMN about an item at $1000, so htey drop it all the way down 
to $100.  ONe guy bids on it, and the bidding suddenly goes back and forth 
until the item is bought for $1200.

figure that.

AERON ROUND #4!!!!
They sell for $425

$450 Bucks!!!!


                           GOD DAMN THESE PEOPLE!!!!!!


the auctioneer KONWS soft San Francisco asses need cushie chairs, he forces the 
bidding to start high every time.

Small chairs are going for $450 

S GETS THE VERY LAST AERON CHAIR (SMALL, no armrests) FOR ONLY $325!!!!!

i am going to kill him.  

                     i will NEVER sit in that chair.
                                          never never ever.

we get 2 viewsonic 21" monitors...

8:00 We go to smoke again.  I meet some guy names Rick from the buoilders expo.
nice guy.

8:10 THAT DAMN CREEPY GUY AGAIN

8:27 Projector for auction has been on so long that the lamp is overheating
and giving warning messages

They ignore the warning and continue

8:30 Guy with big blond hair (S refers to him as 'Dee Snyder') buys a G3

8:45 the thought crosses my mind that Joe must burn about 3000 calories a day 
when he does an auctino

Someone just bought 10 PII servers.  What the hell are you going to do with those?

we get 2 more 21" monitors

TWO MORE MONITORS!

8:30-9:15 MONITOR BUYING BLOODBATH

S just bought 7 old laptops at $50 a pop....

                      LAPTOPS FOR EVERYONE!!!!
It should be noted that by this point S and I were so punchy we were laughing ourselves over everything, like the stupid move of buying 7 probably junk laptops for $350... I think we were annoying everyone else, but who cares.

We picked up 3 chairs...  i have no idea.

9:45 The natives are getting restless.  Theyre starting to get argumentative.

This thing has been gong on for almost 12 hours.

we buy MORE MONITORS...

10:15 - all done. The auction is done.

For what it's worth, we had a good time.

Of course, we need to go pick all that shit up now...

Slap Out

27 Jul 01

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