April 9th, 2007

jeanie

When ordering opinions, please select from one of the following...

As anyone who knows me is aware, I am a ridiculously opinionated soul.  I will often comment (somewhat jokingly) "I am never wont for an opinion on anything."

I develop opinions with alarming speed, even about things I know relatively little about.  The really great thing about my opinions is they are always absolutely amazingly good, and are of significant value to anyone who has the balls to listen to and internalize them.

However, it has come to my attention over the years that while I have the tendency to always want to offer the razor-edge finality of the true and ultimate conclusions on all things, that many people merely cannot handle the awesome reality of the total truth.  Many people, rather inexplicably, ask for my opinions, when in truth all they are really looking for is a "Atta'  boy, go get 'em!" or perhaps a "Yeah, that looks pretty nice but have you considered perhaps using blue?"  These latter folks, when subjected to the sheer might of my thought process, usually turn into little puddles of goo.

In the interest in reducing goo production amongst those who would foolishly ask for my thoughts, when they should know damned well that they don't really want them, I have devised a brush-themed system for selecting the kind of feedback you are looking for.  Please understand that the quality and accuracy of the level of critique selected is the soul responsibility of the selector.  I cannot be held responsible for you getting an "Atta' boy!" and then falling flat on your face in your job interview, if what you really needed was a far more narrow and decisive critique.

Please select your level of information/critique/opinion from the following:

Level 1
Size: 10" (Broad, Roller)
Sample Phrase: "Mmm... yes, very nice."
Honesty Level: None to Minimal
Time Spent: Minimal

This level is really just if you want me to eyeball something and give you a general "Looks great!" with absolutely zero additional content.  At this level, I'm going to examine your subject for a very brief period of maybe 1-3 minutes, and unless I see some glaring thing like "FUCK YOU ASSHOLES!" written in crayon across the top of a resume cover letter, I'm gonna pretty much say "Looks nice!"

Generally speaking you a very safe from being offended at this level, and if you did get offended, then you have some serious friggin' issues and shouldn't be asking anyone for an opinion, let alone me.

In truth, this level is really designed for those of you who have generally low self-esteem and need a booster.  Select this level when you don't really want to hear anything bad whatsoever and want to live in your deluded little world that your originally selected approach was a good one.  

Level 2
Size: 4" (Fairly Broad, Exterior Housepain Brush)
Sample Phrase: "Hey nice... have you considered omitting the picture of the dude throwing up?"
Honesty Level: Minimal to Low
Time Spent: Little

This level is for those of you who might want to hear something bad, but fear to the gods that I might go into any level of detail.  At this level I'm going to catch and point out egregious errors (yes, errors), and probably point out significant defects in your overall approach or theme.  I won't generally look at everything, but will search for tendencies or maybe some "red flags" that may suggest certain tendencies.

At this level you are fairly safe from being offended as I'm generally going to do my best to side-step an issue that I think is touchy to err on the side of keeping you safely cocooned in your world of thinking your stuff is great.

This is often a great level for rough drafts and mockups, as it may give you a sense of direction without being subjected to pages of abuse on why you selected a particular cute catch phrase to simply hold a position for a thought you plan to develop later.

Level 3
Size: 2" (Rough, Interior Cut-in Brush)
Sample Phrase: "This is a good start, but I would suggest the following..."
Honestly Level: Medium
Time Spent: Some


This level is for those of you who are just beginning to appreciate the awesomeness of my critical prowess.  Those of you who are genuinely concerned about getting in relatively close with The Russo Model of Success.  (You think I'm joking here, don't you?  HA!  Fools!)  At this level I will probably go over about 1/2 of your materials with the intention of making a single good pass.  I will provide some general suggestions as well as a little of the theory behind those suggestions.  I will cite general trends and I may even speak to you a bit about what the material says about you as a person and how you may want to adjust that if you were looking for something different.  Here is the first level will you will start to benefit from my understanding of people's perceptions and how this will really play out.

Here is where you are going to start to risk having your pride being poked a bit.  I'm probably going to dance gently around topics that I think may offend you, but I'm probably not going to let you get away without at least discussing them, and I'll likely suggest that some of those things could be done a touch differently to avoid this or that.

This is a great level for when you think you are relatively close to your conclusion and you have already spoken with me previously and selected level 2.  If you have not selected Level 2 previously and you jump right into this one, you are likely in for a bit of a shock.  That is, however, far better than going straight to level 4 or 5, as that can often be the goo-inducing move I mentioned previously.

Level 4
Size: 1" (Fine, Interior Finish Work Brush)
Sample Phrase: "Now take that feedback and make some changes and we'll discuss again in a couple days..."
Honesty Level: High
Time Spent: More

This is a level for those of you without a heart condition.  YOU MUST BE AT LEAST THIS TALL TO RIDE THIS RIDE, BITCH.

This level is intended exclusively for those who are ready to bear it all; someone who wants a full critique with essentially no hold-backs whatsoever on content and delivery of your to-be-critiqued item.  At this level I will genuinely investigate each and every portion of your item to be judged and will likely make a list of notations to discuss with you.  Often this level will involve a phone call to discuss the materials, and usually I will suggest that you update the work based upon the feedback and come to me with a second (and if you really are being obstinate) third review.  It is around this level where it is generally best to give yourself up to the understanding that I'm truly correct and just kinda go with it.  A partial acceptance of The Chris Russo Model of Success it not a partial success... it is a sheer and utter failure.  Weakest link in the chain and all that.  Snap to!

It is at this level that you will get not only my thoughts on why your item is failing, but the theories (facts!) behind that, and multiple suggestions on how to address it.  You will likely want to discuss these things in better detail, and I will ask you on numerous occasions if you understand my meaning, and expect you to articulate back to me that you do.  You may choose to debate a point with me, and in fact, I suggest that you do that often as it will further your understanding of why you are so severely off-track.

This is where i will be very honest with you, will not mince words if I think you may be offended, etc.  I will not dance around things.  At most, I may say "This may be a bit hard to hear, but..."  Get ready.  This is not a smooth ride.  You may well be offended.  Tough.  Swallow your pride and listen closely.  Taking offense at something often means I've struck a nerve where you know damned well I'm right and your defense mechanisms are kicking in.  I'm not a psychologist, I'm an engineer.  Get over it and let's review the facts.

Level 5
Size: 1/xxx"(Paint the eyes on my 1.5" tall Warhammer Ork Stormboy)
Sample Phrase: "In our next session..."
Honesty Level: Total
Time Spent: Lots

Simply stated, this is getting into a consultancy style relationship.  We are engaging in a partnership to ensure your total absolution in The Chris Russo Model of Success.  This is a paid affair and rates are reasonable (relatively speaking... I mean seriously, you're buying perfection here, and that doesn't come cheap!)


Those are the levels.

Please make your selection after the tone. :-)

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