Yesterday was just one of “those” days. It seemed that no matter what I did, it wasn’t enough. “One step forward and two steps backward” is the only thing I can think of to describe the day.
I know, I know. I need these bad days to appreciate the good ones. I shouldn’t whine but I suppose I am human and going to anyway. There are just some days when I feel like I am climbing up a muddy hill with an elephant on my back. Nothing really disastrous happened, but it feels as if I worked all day and made little headway. That isn’t a good thing when I have less than three weeks to get my act together.
A majority of the day was spent trying to straighten out the issues with the billing on my site. Apparently what was going on was that they were billing for both the ‘old’ site and the ‘new’ one and they are having troubles merging the financial part of the two of them together.
I finally got hold of them about 1pm, as they are located in Utah and the department doesn’t open until 10 their time (which is three hours difference from Nova Scotia where I am.) I will say that the customer representative was intelligent, patient and very helpful. That was a blessing. Kevin (his name) and I got to be almost “buddies” after the over two hours we spent trying to sort things out on the account. (Yes, you read correctly – over two hours!) The unfortunate things is that in the end, the accounts are still not fully merged and things are still not exactly right. They don’t know why and I certainly don’t have a clue.
Without drawing the story out, it seems that because there are two sites (which I refer to as ‘the old site’ and ‘the new site’) and there is one license that gets billed. The “system” is trying to bill for both accounts, even though only one is published. The old account is there and should be at an “inactive” status, but somehow it doesn’t want to die and keeps being changed by some unknown source to an “active” status. Now this means nothing to anyone, as the domain name of “www.sheilalandrydesigns.com” can only point to one place (which thankfully is the new site!) but it screws up the system.
After two hours of trying to figure everything out, we just threw in the towel and deactivated the old account (again) and we are going to cross our fingers that it will stick. They could see that I paid every month. The problem was that I was getting billed twice – once for the old and once for the new. He thought that it would resolve the problem for me to go on an “automated billing status” but I quickly said no thank you to that. I could just see getting charged twice every month and then having to fight to get my money back. No way.
So I fell as if the day was pretty much a wash. It is funny how stuff like that can suck the life right out of you.
I did manage to finish the first of the two painting patterns for the classes I am teaching. That was a big accomplishment. The second pattern will be easier (I hope) because the formatting is done and all I need to do is change the pieces. I sent a copy of the pattern to a friend of mine who is somewhat new to painting. He also does beautiful woodworking and we have become friends over the past several months and he was gracious enough to look over the pattern and will be giving me feedback on whether everything is explained in a way that is understandable.
Friends like that are a gift. My friend Leldon has helped me so much on the woodworking side of things by proof reading my patterns for me. He has offered good and sound advice and suggestion about explaining things better and I am sure that Steve will do the same for me on the painting side of things. I am very lucky to have such people in my life.
There was a minor error in some of my patterns that we discovered that really annoyed me. My partner was doing some finishing touches on one of his little candle tray patterns and he noticed on one of the patterns that after tilting the saw a couple of degrees to cut the recessed center, it was never really mentioned in the pattern to put the saw back to zero degrees (90 degrees actually). One would think that would fall under the category of “common sense” but we all know how that can be a gray area at times and after discussion we thought that it was better said than not. I check my last batch of six or so candle trays and I did indeed tell people after cutting the center to put the saw back to zero. However, with further checking, I came to the realization that the first sixteen or so patterns of the trays I did not. Poopie.
Now there have been hundreds and hundreds of those patterns sold in the past few months, and not once did I have someone call me or email me to question why that wasn’t said. However, knowing it wasn’t right there in the instructions when technically I felt it should be really bothers me. Am I being picky? Probably. But I need to be picky in order to be successful. I need to be better and have the best patterns available.
So I am going to have to take the time to change approximately sixteen patterns today and add one line in that says ‘return your saw to zero’. I also should probably send the new patterns to the wholesaler. But they had reworked all of my patterns into their format so it will also be a pain in the butt for them. I suppose that I should give them the choice as to what they want to do though. Then there is the part of me that wonders if it is necessary at all since people really seemed to figure it out anyway and not one person has mentioned it. (Believe me – if it bothered them, they would mention it!) I am in a dilemma.
On a good note, I am finding that my class for doing the tray is nearly sold out, if it isn’t already sold out. In only two days. I received a call from a gentleman who wanted to sign up for two more spots on it and with the five already filled the first day, it looks like it will be full. Hopefully, they will let me stay an extra day to do the second class. That is really wonderful to hear.
We got the call from Bernie that our wood arrived yesterday. We had ordered wood for the classes and need to go get some more maple to prep for the scroll saw class. My partner wanted to go today, but I need a day to ‘catch up’ and finish up these loose ends that have been hovering all week. I think it would be better to go tomorrow, as I will be in a better place and have more peace of mind. He was agreeable with that and I plan to really make some head way today and get some of these things completed.
I feel better this morning than I did last night. I think a good night sleep did me wonders. I felt so overwhelmed and deflated last night and just needed to take a breath. We are going to go over our list again today and see what remains to be done before leaving and revise the list of what we are taking with. I am sure that will give me some peace of mind.
I am trying not to let the anxiety get the best of me. I feel that actually for the most part I am on top of things. I have something like 70 pieces of mail in my email box that I have to sort through too. Not all of them require answers, but I don’t like the feeling of not getting back to people when they write. It is funny how quickly it piles up.
Getting through these issues is part of life, especially when owning your own business. Although they sometimes throw me off track for a little while, I don’t feel in danger of them derailing me altogether. I know I am stronger than that. :)
I will leave you with my though for the day:
”If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” – Frank A. Clark
That’s my story and I am sticking to it.
Have a great Thursday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"