Well, folks, it’s that time again – time for me to deny jackasses any more of my mental real estate. And my strategy for this these days is to instead celebrate and thank the customers and clients I have who aren’t jackasses and who understand that I’m a human being and not a spiritual vending machine. (Also, shout out to y’all who are smart enough to not piss off your rootworker ffs…)
So I was nearly caught up with the shipping backlog from the epic trainwreck that my business relationship with the USPS has become, when right on cue somebody decided to take a page out of Glenn the Frizzled Bantam’s handbook and get their tetchy asses disinvited from the party… but only after making me drop everything else when they basically decided to force-jump the queue and make me jump through hoops they created due to their inability to read shop policies, follow directions, and calm the everloving hell down.
On the one hand, that’s whatever, ’cause some asshat is always doing that. On the other hand, this time somebody decided it was ok to talk to my assistant Sonia like she was a freakin’ 15-year-old Burger King employee scoffing at them when they asked for extra mustard or something.
So let me take this opportunity to make some things super clear.
For one, Sonia is not my employee. Technically, she’s an independent contractor. But really, she’s my colleague and my friend who for some mysterious reason puts up with my unending and vast technical ineptitude, my raging attention span problems, and my complete inability to keep to a normal schedule what with the whole running a business from my homestead/farm where I also raise crops and chickens and am constantly having to drop everything and run out the door to chase off a hawk or some crap.
I’m glad she does, and you should be too, because she is dedicated, patient, intelligent, trustworthy, discreet, reliable, efficient, and kind. And we go way back – I didn’t just put out a job ad and hire somebody off the street. She was around back in my *ebay* days. She was born into this work and it was in the dirt she walked on and the air she breathed and the food she ate growing up; she didn’t learn it from some book. So she doesn’t just know a couple of things about a couple of things — she is a rootworker in her own right.
She is also potentially your biggest cheerleader and advocate – she’s right here with me as I’m running through what I’m gonna need to work your case and how I’m gonna schedule and arrange everything, and she lets me know if you’ve sent a new message so I don’t miss it in all the traffic from all the channels/inboxes. She remembers where you’re from and what you’re worried about and what *I’m* worried about for you in terms of your case. She is just as happy as I am when I show her a photo of your candle wax and am smiling when I know I can give you some good news. She’s just as affected as I am when people’s children are in danger, or a client is being threatened, or someone loses their job, or a war or disease or death rips their reality from them and sends everything they had scattered to the winds. You’d be an absolute idiot to get on Sonia’s bad side, because unless she has a reason not to be, she’s your ally and is in your corner.
Even if she were “just my employee,” we’d still have a problem if you decided to be rude to her. This is not Burger King, you cannot have it your way, you cannot have it in 30 minutes or less or your next one’s free, and you cannot take your frustration or impatience or lack of critical reading ability out on somebody who is doing the job I hired them to do. Sonia never copped an attitude with anybody. She is every bit the professional. In fact, she’s generally way more tactful than I am, and whether they know it or not, there are plenty of people who should be glad she replied to their message instead of me 🙂
But Sonia keeps this place and me from freakin’ sinking under the waves. Any correspondence you’ve gotten in anything resembling a timely manner, considering that I have blown up my email inbox and/or my customer database no fewer than four times now, you probably have her to thank for it. Any paragraph you’ve read on my blog or site recently about folk Catholicism or Catholic conjure or regional herblore has probably been enriched by Sonia’s own extensive knowledge and experience that she brings to the table. There’s lots of overlap with our backgrounds, but there’s enough difference that I learn things from her all the damned time. And we talk about databases and apps, but we also talk about sourcing and growing herbs and about theory and practice in rootwork. She is my *colleague.* So anybody who dismisses her as just some “errand lackey” is making a huge mistake.
So I have on my site a little bit about how to get fired as a client and/or banned as a customer. And later on tonight, I’m going to add “being rude to my assistant” right up there at the beginning of the list. Anybody who thinks I care more about a customer’s potential credit line and what they might spend at my shop than I do about how Sonia’s doing and how she feels about all this work she does for me just doesn’t know me at all.
So now that we’ve cleared that up lol, all y’all who treat Sonia like you ought to and who behave like reasonable people, I just appreciate y’all so much. I know orders have not gone out super quickly lately and the backlog for reports and readings is absolutely ridiculous. I’m slowly but steadily working on improvements around all of that, but I know some of y’all have been patient to the point of sainthood at this juncture 🙂 and I am grateful. So if I’m not getting your stuff out to you as fast as either of us would hope, I do at least try to show my appreciation with a little lagniappe or a little coupon or a little limited edition something or other every once in a while.
Or, like now, a little sale. So please enjoy 15% off pretty much anything except services for the next 48 hours. If you’re not already a customer but you were thinking about trying out some of my stuff, well, you’re absolutely welcome to as well, just as long as you’re not a jackass 🙂 That means treat Sonia right, read the item listings and terms of service, and get familiar with my shipping and handling processes before you place an order 🙂 I post them all over the place so nobody will be unpleasantly surprised, because I want you to love what you get from my shop. And if you value personal attention to your work and the creation and shipping of your stuff, I think you will, and I’ll love having had the chance to provide you with some cool and useful stuff I made and packaged up with my own two hands 🙂