In Depth Thoughts from The Girl
Oh hey there. Thanks for scrolling down for a quick glance into my world! Since the past few weeks, and the foreseeable 3 weeks of my life are going to be crammed packed with the Ray run-around of in depth reviews and first looks, I thought you might enjoy a bit of the behind the scenes of what it takes to crank out one of those posts. I feel like every time Ray clicks “post” on any given review someone inevitably leaves a comment along the lines of “Thanks for the review, buuuuuut I’m STILL WAITING on you to review the… blah blah blah”. Sigh.
Whereas you have to understand every time Ray clicks “post” on any given review, I usually get to take a deep breath, give him a high five, and there is usually a general feeling of relief and completion in our house. This is because, while you can see that there are many many manyyyyy pages of text, pictures, videos, etc. in each post, there are also equally as many moments of “oh F---“, hours of testing, photos and retaking of photos, shooting video, writing, writing emails back and forth to the developers, and did I mention moments of “oh F---“?.
Still with me? So like I said, I thought you might be interested in knowing a rough blueprint to how most posts make it from our mailbox to your computer screen!
Any product that comes through the doors of the DCR office likely starts off with an email. A poke of sorts that there is a new product or new company getting Ray’s attention. If they are new to the Ray world they might not understand the world of NDA’s, embargo dates, and generally the terms under which Ray works. Thus the company or PR person might be a little sheepish to let him actually have and hold the product in his hands. Trust me, this is funny, it’s like the first time I ever hired a babysitter and had to hand my babe over to another person to care for, feed, and put to bed. It took a little coaxing, I left a long list of quirks about my kid, and about 15 different ways to get ahold of me if there were any questions, concerns, abnormality, and god forbid emergencies!
Sometimes new companies are like this with their products; like new moms. Companies that seem like old hands in this game like Garmin, Polar, Wahoo, and Suunto are (generally) fairly efficient with getting the product into Ray’s hands. Most of the people in charge of getting stuff to Ray have at least three different street mailing addresses for us depending on where in the world Ray is going to be, and then alllllll of the different door codes and mailing quirks to Paris. Sometimes he didn’t even know something was coming until it shows up on our door step…. Which brings up the next event in in-depth-reviewing.
When a product shows up on our door step (or doesn’t) how do we actually get it? See back in the glory days when we also ran the bakery 7 days a week, we literally had a person from 7am until 7pm available to sign for a package. Especially those packages we didn’t even know were coming. Whereas now we don’t have the bakery running daily, and Ray is often out of the country (or at least out of the office running, biking,
swimming, taking videos or pictures, etc.). So when the delivery guy shows up sees the lights off… said package goes into the French system of hell to try to get it back.
We tried to remedy this by changing the mailing address to our apartment, but that backfired. Often times if the package is too big, like a trainer or Wattbike, the delivery guy literally opens the back of his truck, sees the package, sees we are not on the first floor, and just writes a post-it note saying “Sorry we missed you, please come to the depot for pick up”… The only person I will give 100% credit to is our UPS guy (who has since be rotated onto a different route) who used to know us so well, that if nobody was at the DCR Studio, he would then just try our apartment building!
That was A+ for effort!
The other means of getting products to us, as a way of avoiding the French mailing system (YES, it really is that bad!), some companies literally just pay someone to scooter through Paris, drive across boarders, fly internationally, meet us on vacation somewhere, or use a carrier pigeon. Seriously, there have been some super creative ways companies have “made it work” to get something to Ray on a certain schedule. While this is sometimes entertaining, it can also be crazy stressful on us on the receiving end. We have literally changed vacation travel dates, cancelled appointments, waited for long periods of time on door steps, and even paid university students to sit and wait for the pesky DHL guy to try to fake a delivery attempt. I feel like this has the potential of a really bad Seth Rogan or Vince Vaghn movie? Dude Where’s My Car… turned “Dude Where’s My Package?”
Wow, this section of the newsletter is getting too long for one installment! I’m going to leave you there on that cliff hanger, reminiscing over terrible comedy films. Next time I’ll cover all of the comedic moments of Ray actually taking photos and videos of products that either do or don’t make the cut for reviews! Inclusive of how many products have been lost, broken, or run over by vehicles in the process.
I’ve said too much! Until next time,