status update

Contact and Pending/In Progress Stuff

  • my new email is karmazain@seraphinstation dot com, but you don’t have to do anything different to get in touch with me. The old @gmail address still works and things sent there will show up in my new inbox and the site contact form will continue to work.
  • If you are still waiting on a reply from me and it’s been a week or more, *feel free to write again,* ideally by responding to the last message in our conversation so you’re basically bumping it up to the top of my giant disaster of a new inbox. I know I used to tell people not to keep “reminding” me they were waiting because it’s counterproductive and clogs my inbox. Well, that was before I accidentally screwed up everything I had set up to organize inbox stuff this past week. Now my inbox is a huge mishmash of undifferentiated, unprioritized, unlabeled stuff, so feel free to raise your hand and make noise in the meantime if you don’t want to just wait for however long it takes me to get to the bottom of this mess going message by message.

Etsy

  • That applies to Etsy messages as well – go ahead and write again if you still want a reply from me and you’ve been waiting a week or more. Once I discovered my notifications weren’t working with the app on my phone like I thought they were, I started working on a way to get it set up so Sonia would see those incoming messages too and help me not lose track of everything in case of app/software/my attention span/whatever failure. Well, let’s just say Etsy does NOT make this easy, and in fact nothing we’ve tried so far has worked. We have a new plan of attack we’re gonna be trying here soon but bottom line is we have not solved this yet, and all the organizing features I had blew up, so it’s all a big mishmash of undifferentiated stuff. So feel free to raise your hand and holler so I can pluck your message out of the mishmash, put it in the appropriate place, and answer you šŸ™‚
  • If your initials are N.S. and you were waiting on a lodestone spell kit, you will be getting that with your current in-house order as a gift from me by way of apology for making you wait so long at Etsy.
  • Folks, with the way Etsy runs things and the current status of existing and affordable integrations that let Etsy talk to other apps/services? Etsy is the worst damned way to get in touch with me at this exact second. If the notification of an incoming message pings my phone like it’s supposed to and does so at a time when I can answer pretty soon, all’s usually well, but in reality, Etsy’s messaging system and I don’t get along so well. So you’re always welcome to email me directly and you probably *should* for best/fastest results.

Current/In-House Orders and Bookings

This does not apply to orders that come in – those do not get lost. There is and has been a system beyond just my memory/email inbox to manage that stuff, so there is still no point in asking “when will my order ship” questions. The answer to that is the same as ever. See your order acknowledgment email for details šŸ™‚

The only exception is gonna be a few services for a few clients where we were having an ongoing discussion on Discord and that discussion covers/crisscrosses *more than one topic or booked service.* I thought the Discord chat idea would be great for the folks who wanted to do asynchronous chat about their reading or report. And for isolated bookings, it is. But when there are several different services/reports/bookings/topics discussed via PM, it rapidly becomes a nightmare and something I just can’t stay on top of in terms of “where are we with order #S8888” or “where is the light setting report for S4567?” And I’m really sorry about that, about proposing an approach that ended up not being a very good one.

ETA: Well, WordPress ate an entire paragraph I had here, and it has something to do with its new freakin’ Blocks feature and [redacted for expletives so ridiculous they make even me feel a bit abashed]. Anyway, if we have had an ongoing PM thread at Discord on multiple things, I’m gonna have to separate these issues/topics out – or you can speed this up by nudging me if you want to tell me which orders/services we’ve begun to discuss but you’re still waiting on a response to a question on or something like that. I will create a private channel for each of those orders/bookings so it’s one issue/topic and one service booking at a time and we both know where that convo is happening, and I’ll paste over whatever info is in that disorganized PM thread and invite you to the private channel once I get it set up. Otherwise, if you’ve been waiting a while for a light setting report or consult and we haven’t started talking about it, you’re not dealing with a systems problem or a message getting lost – you’re just dealing with me being buried with work and slow as Christmas. Once we have my exploding inbox and task lists sorted back out, though, Christmas should start coming a little sooner again, so to speak.

The details

So Sonia and I have been working very, very hard to get my shit organized and connected and put in places that make sense. But it’s involved breaking a few eggs along the way, if you’ll excuse the awkward analogy. And it’s been pretty damned time-consuming, so it probably doesn’t *look* like we’ve made any progress, esp. if you’re waiting on a response to an email or a report or something. Much of what we’ve been doing is behind the scenes so far, and it’s involving some trial and error.

One recent change (and not insignificant error/broken egg along the way):

I basically have been using gmail and labels to organize things and stay on top of what needs doing for years now. I know, I know there are better ways to work now, but when it comes to this, I’ve been a dinosaur. Sorry.

Needless to say, this way of working doesn’t work when you have a virtual assistant who needs her own inbox but also needs to be able to see your inbox and needs to have access to a bunch of files that you have strewn among Evernote, Dropbox, and Google Drive. And it esp. doesn’t work when you have things strewn among various *accounts* with Evernote, Dropbox, and Google Drive. The cherry on top is that I only barely understand any of the stuff I’ve been using and I don’t understand things like Google Workspace or various apps that integrate various things *at all.*

It became apparent within the first week that I was gonna have to spend some money to make some of this stuff go. So I set up the official email for seraphinstation.com, and mine is karmazain@seraphinstation. You don’t need to do anything different to get in touch with me – anything you send to karmazain@gmail or seraphinstation@gmail will show up in my new inbox. And you can still use the site contact form.

But in migrating everything over to the new email, none of the sorting/labeling I had set up in my seraphinstation@gmail account survived.

My inbox now has over 3,000 messages in it. And I don’t know where a damned thing is.

And it turns out most of the solutions Google offers for things via its Workspace do not do what we need them to do at all. That experience has been one frustrating and time-consuming disappointment after another. And I’m so illiterate about this stuff that it can take days and days for me to even realize that Sonia doesn’t have access to something I’m talking about. And of course there’s a new learning curve for every app and extension and bit of software we look into or try out. Y’all, I’m really feeling like the proverbial “old dog” with all of this lol

So we *are* making progress, though it’s definitely not a case of someone waving a magic wand and boom, we’re organized lol… but we are gradually getting there. We’re doing so in large part by building the infrastructure/foundation/whatever metaphor that ideally I’d have built from the outset but didn’t. It’s taking a frustrating amount of time, but we gotta do it.

So I appreciate your continued patience with me and I swear I’m working really hard to get on top of all this. In the meantime, don’t be shy about speaking up if you think your message or email might have slipped between the cracks.

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