I am pleased to report that although yesterday had a shaky beginning, in the end it really turned out to be a good day.
I am learning my way around this customer service maze that I find myself in sometimes and I am actually starting to figure out the right person to contact when certain issues come up with my website. I know that sounds like it should be a given, but when maintaining the websites’ ability to take and process orders, it involves several codependent elements which all need to be functioning correctly in order for things to go smoothly.
I know that this sounds like it should be a given, but it really isn’t with the way that many of these host sites are set up. Some offer ‘all inclusive’ packages in which they cover several of these services for you so you are unaware of these separate components until problems arise and you are directed to others to find resolutions. I admit that in my case, this was exactly what happened. When I first started the site almost ten years ago, I had far less knowledge of what it entailed and blindly followed along doing what was asked of me to initially set it up. Since I hadn’t really worked on developing and maintaining the site until the past couple of years, there were few problems because the traffic was light and the site itself was such a non-factor in my business.
Now however, it is a integral part of my company and perhaps I am just more in tune with the issues that arise because of this. In any case, I do feel more comfortable not only being aware of the process, but understanding it and knowing how to troubleshoot on my own and resolve most problems quickly. I like having this degree of control and it gives me a sense of comfort and independence.
Yesterday’s issue turned out to be a very minor one. Resolving it was only a matter of checking two boxes on the building side of the site which linked both Visa and Mastercard to the new processor account that I had set up the day before. It all made sense once I saw it. I had changed the processor account, and therefore needed to point the payment type to it. It was that simple. The boxes were checked and everything was able to communicate properly. It seems hard to believe such a simple resolution caused me so much anxiety.
I suppose that is one reason I like computers. I can look at them and successfully remove all emotion from the equation. I have been able to do this from the very beginning of my experiences with computers in the mid-nineties. I find that in regard to computers, there are two types of people – the kind that believe that computers think on their own and the kind that don’t. I learned early that computers only do what they are programmed or told to do. They don’t have the capacity to reason and make decisions (at least not at the level that most think they do.) It isn’t personal. It is all very logical.
For this reason, I am very patient when working on a computer or troubleshooting a problem. If something is wrong, it is usually because of something that I did or an incorrect command or program. Although there are times when I do get frustrated with trying to solve problems, usually by going over certain steps and eliminating possibilities I am able to find the source of the error. While this can be tedious, I find that it is for the most part successful and more so than not I am able to fix the problems myself and it turns out to be something simple. Thus was the case with me yesterday.
I find that sometimes walking away when I am frustrated and coming back in a bit can do wonders when dealing with something like that. More often than not, I return with a much higher level of clarity and I am able to figure things out. Taking a step back and taking a breath certainly helps.
So when all was said and done, by mid-morning everything was up and running and back to normal. I was then able to focus back on what I wanted to do most – drawing.
I am very pleased that the songbird ornaments have been so warmly received. Many people ordered them yesterday and I had many positive comments regarding them. This fueled me to begin working on the next set, as I have eight more birds that I want to offer in this way. Working on them was a good and relaxing way to spend the day and I accomplished a great deal. I am very pleased with them so far.
I plan to continue to draw them up today and hopefully I can pretty much finish them (at least the drawing part.) I have a deadline on Monday for the next catalog and I hadn’t even entertained the idea of offering both sets to them, but now I am hoping that I am able to do so. Since the catalog will be mailed just at the first of the year, I think that the songbird theme will be appealing to those looking ahead for springlike projects. I am optimistic that they will do well, especially after seeing that their initial reception was so positive.
It is still dark here this morning. I had thought I got up at my usual 6am, but I did several things and read the paper before writing here and it is still before 7am. I must have misread the clock and got up quite early. (I do that, as I can’t see very well without my glasses!) I will certainly appreciate and use the extra hour or so though, and consider it a gift. There is much I want to accomplish today and getting an early start will help me along the way.
I wish you all a good and productive day too.
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"