Starting this Wednesday, May 5th, I will be opening "Rob's Word Shop" for the month of May. Rob's Word Shop is a storefront shop where individual letters and words can be purchased. Single letters are 50 cents and single words are 1 dollar. As the sole proprietor of the store, I invite you personally to stop by for a chat and buy a letter or a word. These chats will be recorded and, with your permission, collected in a book form at the end of the month. My shop location is 308 Bowery (the south window at the Bowery Poetry Club), and my hours of operation are Tuesday through Thursday 11-2PM from May 5-May 27.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

May 27, 2010 - Day 11, Last Day at Rob's Word Shop
Left apartment at 10:48 on foot (rain was expected) and arrived at the shop around 10:57 AM. Set-up from 11:00-11:10. Immediately following set-up, I received my first 2 customers who came in together.

Customer #1 requested that I assist him in his choice of a phrase. After considerable discussion about his new project, we decided upon the phrase: "all that's left." Total sale: $3.00.

Customer #2 also requested my assistance. In this case, we enjoyed a lively conversation about a famously disputed umpiring call in the 1985 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals. The phrase that we decided upon together was: I'M STILLIN'. Total sale: $2.00.

Customer #3 arrived around 11:30 and patiently waited for Customers #1 and #2 to finish their business. When it was her turn, Customers #1 and #2 stayed on to help Customer #3 in her choosing. Customer #3 purchased 7 words, on 5 separate sheets of paper (1 purchase was a phrase). There was a collaborative discussion between myself, Customer #3 and Customers #1 and 2 for each of her words/phrases; the results were:
Lights, for sure

Total sale for Customer #3 was $7.00.

Customer #4 arrived around 12:30 and purchased 4 words on 4 separate sheets of paper. The words were: BIRD / WILL / SING / A. Total sale: $4.00.

Customer #5 also arrived around 12:15 when several other customers arrived. He purchased 1 word: "Their." As a gift from the shop to his family, I scribed the following phrase gratis: "Where are you?" Total sale: $1.00.

[At this point, I took inventory of my paper supply because I had a few new customers who had large orders. I realized that I was about to run out of paper, so Customer #5 graciously offered to watch the shop while I ran to the Copy Shop 3 blocks away. I was gone for 8 minutes.]

Customer #6 arrived with a list of 19 letters, words, and phrases to be purchased. They were:
EQUALS (gratis)

Total sale: $18.00 (1 word gratis for purchasing over $10).

Customer #7, who arrived with Customer #8, purchased the following:
Tangentially Judicious
Through (across 2 sheets of paper)

Total sale: $4.50

Customer #8 ordered the following words and phrases:
TUBULAR (gratis)

Total sale: $13.00

Customer #9 arrived around 1:45. We agreed to a barter beforehand--he exchanged 2 CDs from his band for the following purchase:

1) approximately 60 periods (.) as part of a series;
2) the phrase: "algae & tentacles"

Total sale: $0

Customer #10 purchased 4 words (plus 1 gratis):
SINK SYNC ("sync" was gratis because this was suggested by the other customers)

Those last 2 words were written in script like a signature and Customer #10 wanted the words written inside of a book titled "Notes On Conceptualisms." Total sale: $4.00

Customer #11 was waiting patiently for her turn as the last customer. She purchased 2 words: "Committee" and "Ampersand." The latter was purchased as a series of letters from a stencil set. Total sale: #2.00

Packed up the tools of the shop, disconnected the printer, and removed the signage. Left the shop at 3:10 PM.

Total for the day: $58.50

Rob's Word Shop is closed.

Thanks to everyone who has participated in Rob's Word Shop. Check blog periodically for updates on this project.

May 26, 2010 - Day 10 at Rob's Word Shop
Left apartment at 10:51 on Bicycle and arrived at shop around 10:56. Set-up was very quick and easy between 11:00-11:10 AM.

Customer #1 arrived around 11:20 and purchased the following sentence: "Are you going to the Guggenheim for the Buckminster Fuller film, or what?" We arrived at tis phrase together--it was part of a short prose "portrait." Total count 13 words, $13.00. Because Customer #1 had purchased over $10 worth of goods, I offered a free letter, word or phrase. The free phrase he chose was "kimono clooney," which is also related to his prose portrait.

Customer #2 arrived around 11:45 and chose the word "poetic." We tried it both as all caps printed and as lowercase script. We both agreed that the first choice looked better, but I offered the other as gratis. Total sale: $1.

I also filled 3 mail orders:
Customer A : die moglichkeiten (umlat over the "o") $2
Customer B: antique / grandmother / short $3
Customer C: "Frame This" and, gratis, "Pipe Down" $2

Total sales: $21.00; amount received $13.00.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May 25, 2010 - Day 9 at Rob's Word Shop
Left apartment at 10:48 on bicycle and arrived at 10:56. My "Business Hours" sign had fallen down and took some effort to re-affix to the window. Set-up from 11:00-11:15. Filled mail orders from 11:20-11:50. Customer #1 arrived around 12:15 and purchased the word "Simulacra". He asked for the word to be written on the cover page of his of the book he came in with: Philip K. Dick's "The Simulacra." Customer #2 made 3 purchases: "pronoun", "the madness of decision", and ":P" for a total of $5.50. Customer #2 asked about bartering a musical composition for the words and letters, and I agreed. Customer #3 purchased the word "puella" and she asked to have it printed from the computer. Total sales: $2.00 (+$5.50 in the barter exchange).

Friday, May 21, 2010

May 20, 2010 - Day 8 at Rob's Word Shop
Left apartment on bicycle at 10:50 AM. Arrived at Word Shop at 10:58 AM. Set up was completed by 11:10. From 11:15-11:30 I worked on the blog post from the day before.

Customers #1 1nd #2 arrived around 11:30. I spoke at length with customer #1 about his situation so that I could arrived at a phrase. The phrase I came up with was "french class girlfriend." He seemed very pleased with his phrase which was hand-written in cursive, lowercase.

Customer #2 had many orders to fill; all of the words and phrases were provided by the customer. He ordered 12 words, each in marker on separate sheets of paper. Here is the list of Customer #2's words:

Customer #3 ordered the word "divine"-- he had me write it with my eyes closed and left-handed.

Total sales: $16.00

Thursday, May 20, 2010

May 19, 2010 - Day 7 at Rob's Word Shop

Left apartment at 10:53 walking. Stopped for coffee. Arrived at Rob's Word Shop at 11:03 AM. Set up between 11:10-11:20.

Customer #1 arrived at 11:30. He ordered the 2 words "Robert Fitterman" and asked for them as a signature. I produced this signature on 4 separate pieces of paper (pen, marker, print & script) but only charged for the 2 letters. Customer #1 also asked for quotation marks on a separate piece of paper (all punctuation marks are free.) Lastly, Customer #1 ordered the word "Pichler" in cursive as a signature. For this last order, the customer produced his own sheet of paper that already had the word "pichler" printed on it. $3.

Customer #2 arrived at 12:15 PM and ordered the words: "Don't make YOUR problem MY problem." The charge was for 5 words because "problem" is repeated. The words were written in lowercase cursive marker except for the pronouns "Your" and "My" which were written in uppercase block letters. $5.

Customer #3 ordered 3 letters on separate pieces of paper: "I' "K" and "E". These were written in marker, all uppercase and centered on the page. $1.50.

Customer #4 ordered 2 words: "under" and "where" on a single piece of paper in marker and written in cursive. $2.

Customer #5 ordered 6 words: "manufactured scarcity" as a phrase on a single sheet of paper, "retarded practice" as a phrase on a single sheet of paper, the word "I" (single sheet) and the word "ressentiment" (single sheet). This customer received a 20% employee discount which made the total $4.80.

Customer #6 ordered 2 words as a phrase on a single sheet: "oil'd pelican." We arrived at these words together. They were written in lowercase cursive with marker. The word "oil'd" was offered free of charge as a student discount.

Customer #7 ordered the words "flowers" and "ICE". "flowers" appeared on a separate sheet of paper--it was written in quotes (gratis), lowercase cursive with marker. "ICE" was written in all caps with marker. $2.

Total sales: $19.30

Left Rob's Word Shop at 2:20 PM; stopped at stationary store for folders, new marker, 2 Sales Books, and a computer printer toner cartridge. Total price $28.70. Arrived at apartment at 2:45 PM. Received a phone message requesting "Gift Certificates." Designed two $1 Gift Certificates and sent to patron as an attachment via email.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 18, 2010 - Day 6 at Rob's Word Shop
Left the apartment, walking, at 10:53 (rain), and arrived at the Word Shop at 11:01. Set up shop from 11:05-11:30. The extension cord for the printer had been misplaced, and it took some time to reconfigure the wiring. I had 1 customer and 1 mail order today. My customer arrived around 11:45, and she did something that no other customer has yet to do... she wrote her purchased word by herself. In an effort to do business-related activities when business is slow, I beautified the "Rob's Word Shop" storefront sign from 12:45 to 1:30. Total sales: $3.50

Customer #1 "EARLOBE" $1
Customer #2 (mail order) "Robert M Fitterman" $2.50

Sunday, May 16, 2010

May 13, 2010 - Day 5 at Rob's Word Shop

Left apartment at 10:55 on bicycle. Arrived at Rob's Word Shop at 11:00 sharp. Set up from 11:00-11:12. Organized ledger and receipts from 11:15-11:30. First customer arrived around 11:30. I was continually busy with 6 customers from 11:30 until closing at 2 PM. Total sales: $12.50.

Customer #1 "BEANS DEAR?"
Customer #2 "S" and "S" (this now makes "S" our most popular item)
Customer #3 "the small form"
Customer #4 "diarrahea z"
customer #5 "nizes and shape / An overall blend"