November 30, 2007.
I have a new personal best or I mean worst for 2007, one I am not so proud of . It is not even December and I have already had my emotional break-down or freak-out session.
I have already had one good cry about the state of things I was even "snappy" (read bitchy) with my graphic designer.......oh wait I cried twice, dang I wish I was better at math! Now, do not get me wrong, it feels good to cry and I am not proud of it, but I did do it in private. Let me back up a tad, so you do not think I am having a nervous breakdown:
Short on Inventory
The beauty or the beast of having an office that runs itself is that unless something breaks, I have no idea it is broken. Our tiles, ornaments and plates have all been ordered on a regular basis this year, by our buyer. Everyone else sees a supply getting low and they tell her - she orders more. We have been keeping up on inventory, we have been watching, ordering, all good.
Well, as I mentioned earlier, we do 40% to maybe 60% of our business between November and December. So that means we need....40% to 60% more supplies - right? Well, no one accounted for ornaments orders to start coming in the triple digits, no matter how many times I mentioned it.
Back to - I am in charge, I take the fall - yep, that is right, it becomes my fault. I had to make tough calls on Monday to beg for another 600 more ornaments, order a pallete of tiles. It is all good, we have enough tiles, plates, shipping supplies - you name it we now got it! As soon as the ornaments arrive I will give a huge sigh of relief, until then I am on a permanent edge.
Mistakes happen, it is a fact of life. We have them, we fix them and about 99% of the time we catch it before it goes out the door - which then puts a bit of a stress on us. See, we then put that at the top of the "to-do list" (gee I wish it was that simple, you know we have a whole system set up for each product line right?) Usually these things do not send anyone here over the edge, it will just ship on the next shipping day (we ship twice a week). But, you um, add the tile-plates-ornaments-shipping supplies-shortage-syndrome to the mix....fire drill every time. Think Chicken Little yelling, "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"
Catching the errors before they go out the door is key. Our Quality Assurance is usually very good, and we continue to be very good. The few times an error is made - we almost always catch it. This time of the year, not only do we need a few extra set of hands but some extra eye-balls are a big help too! If you stare at an order long enough though - be careful you will go crazy and write something crazy "Merry Hanukkah Stumpy 2001" ----- don't ask, really please don't ask.
It is a prooven fact that email is one of the worst ways to communicate. I just read about how we have become a society of terrible writers due to email. The fact that people do not know that writing in ALL CAPITALS is yelling is down right embarrassing. I am guilty of writing bad emails, and having email fights with people - I should know better.
With stress level so high now, and orders flying in at a record pace....I need to remember to take the time and write kind emails. It is not going to help anyone if I TELL THEM WHAT THEY DID WRONG like that.
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Damn-it!
For any mother with school age children I think the stress starts the day after Thanksgiving. I literally am calm, cool and collect and then BAM it's Christmas time. My children have both asked me at least 342 times already when we are getting a tree and when the decorations are going up. My standard "Tuesday" answer is not good enough any longer. I am trying very hard to enjoy this holiday season like they are, and not stress about how I have........not one gift purchased, no Christmas photographs, no holiday cards picked designed, no tree up, no decorations put up, no lights on the house and no idea when I will get to any of these things done.
So, with all of these things adding up, and a couple other doozies - that equals me having a cry. As long as I do not end up with a double bout of the flu this year - I am hoping to not cry again. Unless it's that good cry when my daughter makes me a special Christmas card in class - now that is worth getting teary-eyed over.