Buy a Filak Furlough Tour T-Shirt from the World’s Worst Businessperson!

If I’ve been through a worse day at work than Tuesday, I don’t want to remember it. UWO just passed out more than 140 pink slips to employees, with another 75 or so folks taking early retirement and dozens others not being rehired on annual contracts. According to the news, 1 in 6 employees here got canned.

In addition, the university system decided to put our UWO Fond du Lac branch on hospice care, killing off in person classes starting in the fall, which likely spells the end for all the folks there in a relatively short amount of time. Also, the chucklenut who basically runs the statehouse decided to greenlight every state employee pay raise except for those in the university system. The reason? Apparently we’re indoctrinating kids with the idea that empathy, equality of access and basic human decency should be valued.

I needed something to make me smile, and thanks to Jenny Fischer and Heather Tice, who have design and art ability far, far, far beyond mine, I got it.

The Filak Furlough Tour T-shirts are ready to go.

Since there seemed to be a split between a neutral color and a loud color, we decided to offer both.

HERE IS THE LINK TO THE ORDER FORM. The window is about two weeks to order with another two weeks to ship. The cost should range between $15 and $18 depending on how many we sell. Each order has a shipping charge, but it will be directly shipped to you and you pay the company directly.

No “middle-Vince” to screw things up.

Just to make this absolutely clear, what you pay is what the shirt costs based on what CustomInk is doing. I don’t make a dime on this and I sure as hell don’t want to.

Look, I’ve been accused of a lot of things over the years in academia, with many people using words that my editors at SAGE would not allow me to repeat here. Being an opportunistic entrepreneur has never been one of them.

When the Filak Furlough Tour started, people were asking, “So how much are you charging to do this? Is there a fee for you to teach a class or visit my school?”

Nope. I just figured it’d be a nice thing to do. The best part of my day is working with kids in media, helping out fellow educators and feeling like I’m relatively useful. The furloughs took all that away from me, so I saw the tour as a way to get some of that back.

Then it was, “OK, so is this your attempt to gin up some job opportunities? Are you looking for the next big career move out of Oshkosh?”

Nope. Despite UWO treating folks here like my nieces treat their diapers, I really want to stay here. I love the kids, I love my classes and it would take somewhere close to half of a year to pack up all my bobbleheads. Besides, I really like our house, my workshop and even the chickens have kind of grown on me.  If they fire me, OK, fine, I’ll go somewhere else. In the meantime, UWO is stuck with me.

Then it was, “So you’re trying to do some book-pimping, right? Is SAGE sponsoring this?”

Nope again. They had no idea  I was going to do this. Other than what people tell me, I have no idea if anyone signed up for the tour is using my books for any of their classes. Just like the blog, it’s open to everyone for without cost.

The books I’m giving away are from my author’s stash that I got for publishing each book and if I run out, I’ll buy some more on my author’s discount and use those. The bats were nicely donated from the stash my dad had in the basement of my parents’ house. I’m paying for the supplies and postage myself. I made a promise to give this stuff away, and even though I had no idea people actually liked me and/or free stuff this much, I’m making it happen.

This leads me to the T-shirt thing: I set up a design at CustomInk because I’d used them before and the quality and service are good. I could have made it a fundraiser or something, but I just wanted as many people who wanted to buy a shirt able to buy a shirt at the best price. And if I’m honest, I wanted to rub a little shame on UWO as well for this debacle.

So buy a shirt and enjoy telling the story about this insane weirdo you know who took a pay cut due to his school’s fiscal mismanagement and turned it into a Quixotic adventure that involved free books, bats and classroom lectures.

If you really want to know what I’m getting out of all this, that explanation should cover it nicely.

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