Contact and intake form update

I’ve fixed the problem with the contact and intake forms.

The contact form issue was resolved by going back to the old form and the old form host. Important: This means that the host we were using to exchange messages after your initial form submission *no longer works.* I still have the record of the convo, and I will contact you without going through that platform if I need to reply. If *you* need to reply and hitting “reply” doesn’t work, just send the email to support @ seraphinstation.com instead.

The intake form issue was resolved by getting rid of intake forms entirely. Now, when you want to book a service or need to provide customization info, you should see a form right there on the product or service page that you will fill out *before* checkout. This means fewer boxes to fill out, as well, since the whole thing will be part of your order and so I don’t need you to retype your name/email/etc. or look up your service order number.

This is pretty much what I spent last week doing (sigh) so I really hope that *this* time, I have found a solution that will work and keep on working for more than a minute. But if you run into any issues, please let me know so I can figure them out for you.

As you can imagine, I made very little progress on the backlog due to having to put out *this* fire, but I’m back to working on the backlog now 🙂

website forms broken – here’s a workaround

Wow, today is glitch city. I’m working on fixing this thing now too. Just hang on to your petitions until I figure this out. Or if you want to be away from the computer for the rest of the week, and/or other worst case scenario, just email to services@seraphinstation.com.

I’ll post an update or a workaround as soon as I can.

update 7:30 p.m. Central:

I’m waiting on a help desk ticket. In the meantime, please use the following older intake forms as a backup until I get this sorted out.

Community spiritual services (e.g. community honey jars, St. Joseph service)

Private light setting services

Spiritual First Aid sessions

Contact form/general queries

Customization info form

Status update & general news

I wrote parts of this well over a week ago, but Things keep happening and I keep not managing to finish anything. Over the last few weeks, we’ve had a death in the family, and then a sick chicken who ultimately didn’t make it, and that got me chasing all the other chickens around trying to get a good look at them… and then I decided they must have mites even though I couldn’t see them because it explains a lot of things. So we had to treat for mites (and you have to get nuclear ’cause they can kill your chickens), and the bulk of that took two people two full days.

The Littlest Rooster, who I guess is gonna need a real name now, and his mama, Gwen

In the midst of all that, there’s this poor little baby chick who just isn’t quite right – he isn’t developing right and his legs very often don’t work. His feathers aren’t in. It’s been cold. His mama is trying to get him all the way to the top of the coop to roost and he can’t even walk a straight line for two feet.

I told myself not to get attached – give him vitamins and check on him periodically but nature’s gonna have to do what nature does here because we aren’t equipped to have a paraplegic house chicken who needs daily physical therapy and to be hand-fed. (And I know, because *we’ve done that before.* And we shouldn’t have, at least not as long as we did, not once we could see she wasn’t really getting any better.)

Incredibly, this miniature turkey of a rooster is not only still alive, *he’s actually walking better* these past few days. He could possibly even get away in case of predators… slower ones. He’s still wonky and mama’s about done mama-ing, but he might have a fighting chance, and wow, is he a fighter. And against my better judgment, I’ve gotten attached :/

I’ve been referring to him as the Littlest Rooster, but I guess since he’s determined to stick around, we’re gonna have to name him. (He fell into a posthole today. It was a very snug fit and quite a challenge getting him out. It is *always something* lol… but I’m taking suggestions for names!)

Then my car blew a head gasket because of course it did – you know, the one I just had to replace the engine in earlier this year. And then there was a dog fight when our tenant’s dog *jumped the damned fence* to come after Roo. Roo’s hips have been bothering her pretty badly for a couple of months now, but she managed to defend herself pretty well, I guess. But to that general ailment we added some nicks and gouges and a missing dewclaw. And of course Mike, who works with his hands, was at ground zero for the fight and tried to break it up… with his hands. Because of course he did.

Then there was *another* dog fight a couple of days ago because they don’t make enough spiritual baths to navigate all this shit around here unscathed. (The tenant had put up plastic sheeting so his dog couldn’t see our dog and would stop playing Houdini. The plastic sheeting got between the latch mechanism and she just nudged the door with her face and came straight at Roo.) This time Roo’s missing several patches of fur and a lot of the skin that used to be under that fur AND the tip of her ear. My anxiety is not great and I’m doing the hypervigilance thing every time I hear a peep out of that dog. But at least we avoided having to go to the emergency vet or anything, ’cause they pretty much charge you $300 just to walk in the door :/

And then of course fall gardening and winter prep and deciding which bit of property line to fence next based on what seems like the biggest current threat… you know, everyday stuff.

Meanwhile, the quest continues to get everything of Seraphin Station’s transferred over to a new system and then to get all the systems talking to each other properly. There are still a few feathers sticking out here and there, but we’re nearing the home stretch – I can *see* the bottom of the inboxes now and I’ve manually cleaned up a lot of the stuff where the systems aren’t talking to each other. We’re getting things labeled and attached to/associated with the proper other things, and our new system might kind of be starting to make sense now. Mostly.

I’m still working on finding all notes and photos to catch up on reports and consults I owe folks, and I found a few more last night, so there should be more progress on that end today. I might even manage to actually update the services queue finally (wince). Well, we’ll see what I manage.

If you’re thinking, “Didn’t you just say all this a couple of months ago?” Why yes, yes, I did. That platform we were using didn’t work out because it was randomly eating some things, duplicating others, and generally making more work for us. But in transferring things over, you guessed it, a lot of stuff didn’t transfer, so now we have lists full of project cards that have titles like “new unassigned email” and the body text where all of the info should be contains nothing but an email address – *our* email address. So there’s lots and lots of stuff we have to investigate and dig for and do manually and it sucks. (And the learning curve on some of this stuff…)

But we’re getting there 🙂

A few quick notes about contact:

You are still welcome to PM me on Facebook, Instagram, tumblr, and/or Discord if you’re a client who’s been invited there, but please only do this for things that have nothing to do with an order or booking for goods or services and for things that are not urgent. If it’s about your order or booking, or your account, or your ongoing case – if I need to look something up in your file or write something down – then we need to have that convo via email so the details don’t end up spread out among three or more different sites that don’t talk to each other. You can email directly or use the contact form at the website, either way is fine.

Also, my internet still blows and I get stuck with none at all quite often. But Sonia can catch me up on situations and pass on a message to you, and she can make sure I follow up on something when I do get back online, so it really is in your best interest to use email or the contact form to ensure your message doesn’t slip between the cracks. (Obviously with Etsy stuff we have to deal with Etsy’s platform, but other than that, yeah.)

And (God willing) I’ll be caught up soon and can get back to these half-a-dozen draft posts with some actually useful info/content in them and finally get them published. I mean, I know everybody loves looking at my chicken pictures (lol), but I imagine that’s not what most folks are here for 🙂

Morning in the life

It’s just after noon as I type this. This is the first time I’ve sat down all morning since getting up at 5:30.

I’ve changed clothes three times, mopped the kitchen and the floor of Mike’s office twice, washed the dog twice, and am washing my second load of towels. I am kind of ready to go back to bed, but it’s time to get started working now lol

Don’t mind me – I look like I just got dragged backwards through a wet hedge – but look at the size of that damned hornworm. Ugh.

Chickens have to be tended at dawn every day, period, no matter what. And then if you are doing some kind of organic farming or gardening, and especially if you live somewhere like just off the bayou in southernmost Alabama/Mississippi, this is also your best time to make the rounds of whatever you’re growing and tend to anything that needs tending. If you wait until later in the day, even for cooler weather right around dusk, it will still be hot as hell, approximately 1000% humidity, and thick with mosquitoes who think your Deep Woods Off makes a nice condiment. Not that the mosquitoes aren’t already out just after dawn, because they are, but later in the day, they’ll be impossible.

Well, it’s been raining nearly every day for over a week now, and I don’t like to garden in the pouring rain, but tomato hornworms and leaf hoppers and army worms don’t mind snacking on everything in a rainstorm, so you can lose the race *fast.* And sure enough, the sticky nightshade I relocated to be near one of my tomato patches to act as a trap crop was showing signs of a significant hornworm depredation. These things can strip a plant of leaves overnight. So impending storm or no impending storm, I had to find that hornworm.

Well, I didn’t find it before it started pouring rain. Fortunately I found it before lightning had hit nearby too many times, but I was cussing there towards the end of that hunt.

As soon as the storm let up, like within 15 minutes, because I had only just gotten into dry clothes and found some food, Roo alerted me that something was going on outside. She was running from the back yard into the house, to the front door, and then when I didn’t open the front door, back to the back yard, rinse and repeat, whining the whole time. I can’t see things further away than a few feet because I desperately need to go to an eye doctor. The tenant who lives in our cabin IDed the disturbance as a fox, a rather large one.

In a moment of supreme and undercaffeinated stupidity, I let Roo out the front to chase it. And she did – she took off like a bolt of lightning after it through the woods, moving surprisingly fast for a dog her size. Still, she wasn’t gonna catch the damn fox. So after less than five minutes, we called her to come back, which she doesn’t always do right away if she’s chasing something really exciting, but to her credit, she did.

What she caught instead of the fox included a few pretty deep mud puddles and probably some old barbed wire from a decrepit old fence (which is why I shouldn’t have let her out). So she came back soaking wet, dripping a combo of mud and blood, and we couldn’t tell where the blood was coming from.

Have I mentioned she doesn’t like baths?

Chickens are getting pretty tired of this.

Finally got her cleaned up enough to identify that she’d nicked the edge of her ear and had a little gouge in her thigh, not vet-worthy, I was thinking. I try to get her quiet and calm so the bleeding will stop. Meanwhile, Mike is packing up his tools to go to a job site — and while I’ll do in a pinch when he’s not around, Mike is Roo’s person, her north star, her beloved. Once she realizes he’s leaving, she’s back out in the (very muddy, very swampy) yard to watch him, which she will continue to do until the car is no longer in sight. The vantage point for this in the yard happens to be the point of lowest elevation in the yard, so she’s basically sitting in a puddle for all of this.

Washed her off, got her *back* inside, mopped the floors again, and noticed she’s limping now, which she wasn’t doing at first. Cue inspection of foot pads, toenails, legs, etc. Probably that little gouge in her thigh is worse than it looks and her whole leg hurts now. Vet’s not open at this point anyway – just have to keep an eye on her and keep her as calm as I can.

Then it was time to head back outside to look for any storm damage and do things with the plants *other* than look for the damned hornworm.

I’ve been busy as hell for over 6 hours and I haven’t even started “working” yet. First order of business: caffeine. We have some yaupon out here, and I’ve been making tea out of it and drinking that instead of coffee. It’s pretty good. Just don’t think about the Latin name – it’s a complete misnomer.

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 🙂
  • 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 🙂

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.

Continue reading “status update”

status update

Internet’s been down for days, I had an appt for my second COVID shot today, the ISP scheduled the repair appt for today, we still only have one vehicle, we still have hawks feeling very bold and leaf hoppers trying to murder my tomatoes, and Mike was supposed to be finishing some work at a customer’s house (after he finished attaching hardware to this tarot card storage shelf he made months ago that I told him I can’t sell until there’s a way for people to hang it on the wall– which necessitated a trip to the hardware store) . Now I have (very slow) internet again but I am in the middle of trying to set up the business email account so Sonia can do things without getting the runaround, waiting on me, chasing verification codes, etc…. and it’s taking ages cause my domain provider is not playing nice with Google’s verification setup. And it’s about time for me to go out and do dusk chores….. in the freaking rain.

So to say I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off is an understatement. But in all this chaos, things really are pointed in the right direction and some dust really should be settling soon. (It only took me a week to figure out that Sonia didn’t have access to a document with account info in it that I thought I’d given her access to. No idea how much time she wasted looking for it since I kept referring to it like it would be right there in front of her.)

Please don’t quit yet, Sonia! I’m getting it together, I promise! (with your help lol – thank you!)

internet

We have (mostly)* reliable internet again for the first time since March 23rd. Of course, now we have no hot water because there’s never a dull moment at Seraphin Station.**

Y’all, the backlog on email (esp. light setting reports, readings, and consultations), DMs/PMs on various platforms, and Etsy messages is freakin’ considerable. It’s about to storm, but I’m gonna get started on trying to prioritize all these messages in all these inboxes as soon as I get in from weather prep (protecting the more delicate and/or new plants and getting the chickens set up in case we get any flash flooding – there’s an advisory and we live on the edge of a swamp).

Let’s hope the internet still works after it rains again. (Storms are why it quit working last time.)


*This is still the worst ISP in North America and they still haven’t buried the DSL line, so it still gets damaged when a cow looks at it wrong and it still doesn’t like to work when it rains.

**Calling this an old farmhouse would be way too poetic and generous. It’s just an old house. And it’s not even that old – it’s not charming or quaint or anything like that. I’d say it was built in probably the early ’80s, apparently by someone who never cooked a meal for more than one person in their life, ’cause the kitchen just doesn’t make *any* sense.

The first owners had an active farm here for a while, including goats. At some point, perhaps in the twilight years of farm activity — I’m speculating — at least one goat would spend the night in the house when the weather was bad.

The next people who lived here had, over the course of about 10 years, at least 20 cats. And when we moved in, the carpet was original.

So we had to rip the carpet out before I could spend the night in the house. We lived on bare subfloor and throw rugs in most of the house for a good while. The living room/my office area is still bare subfloor with some area rugs on top.

My kitchen floor was several layers of peeling linoleum until last summer.

We laid down some fairly nice cork-backed laminate flooring in the hallway a couple of years ago, but we had to pull it up last year when we realized the hallway bathroom toilet was leaking *under the floor* and had soaked into the subfloor all the way out into the hallway. (I almost didn’t survive that one – it’s not a stretch to say I was about apoplectic.) We had to replace the toilet.

We just had to replace the kitchen sink faucet and some plumbing last week.

I don’t know how old the water heater is, but I know that resetting it is just a temporary fix, so it’s gonna need more fix than that. There’s also something wrong with the oven and I cannot currently bake in it because it just randomly decides 200 degrees is fine, it doesn’t need to stay 400 degrees, thank you very much.

So I often warn people that our house is an active construction site. But that’s just a polite way of saying that if we turn our backs on it for a second, it will be literally falling down around our ears. And our appliances are, for the most part, dinosaurs. And there are fields and fencing and pastures and garden areas and chicken runs and firebreaks and an orchard and an old grape arbor and a barn with an original roof, all of which need regular attention. Oh, and that shed that collapsed hurricane before last, I think it was? Yeah, you can’t just leave stuff like that just lying there lol

So please, please don’t take it personally when something happens and I don’t reply to your emails right away 🙂 Seraphin Station is a working farm, emphasis on the “working,” and in a way, we’re trying to “reclaim” our house just as much as we’re trying to get the farm going again.

status update, delays

We already had our plates full this morning when we got up for dawn farm chores because we knew we had to fit waiting on hold with the ISP for a few hours into everything else this morning, and we had a toilet making objectionable noises that we had to take care of.

We started the dishwasher and went out to take care of the chickens.

And we came back in to a kitchen sink faucet spraying water a couple of feet into the air.

Whatever it is you’re waiting on is most likely not gonna get done today. I’m sorry. If you’re waiting on a reading or consultation and I haven’t begun work on it, I’m happy to issue you a cheerful refund with no hard feelings if you’d rather not wait any longer – just please write to request it and don’t put in a dispute or chargeback. Those are against site TOS and they’re really bad karma 🙂

internet still not cooperating

I’m trying to get a service appointment with the ISP now. [*]

All of my systems are web or cloud based – customer database, bookkeeping, shipping, customer relationship management, communication platforms, payment processing, all of it. So I’m behind on all of that. But before you get all shirty about an order you expected to have in your hands by now, please keep in mind that 8 tornadoes have hit Alabama so far and at least five people are confirmed dead. We had a bout of insane weather last week, too. *People are dead* and services have been disrupted. So please try to keep a sense of perspective if you don’t have your Van Van oil yet, ok? Thank you!


[*] The DSL line is supposed to be buried. But they were doing road work out here for well over a year, including making the road wider and installing some drainage, so for ages, every time the wind blew wrong or a cow ambled by, the internet would stop working, ’cause the line was just sitting there out in the open, laid across 300 feet of no-longer-fenced-in pasture fronting the road.

They finished paving the road a few months ago. But the DSL line still isn’t buried. It rains, the internet stops working. Cow comes back by, internet stops working. Hold your mouth wrong, internet stops working. Ugh.

worst ISP in North America

The storms have finally let up but we’re going on day three of no reliable internet. Since nearly every system I use is web- or cloud-based — postage/shipping, customer database, accounting, photo editing, social media management — everything is moving at the speed of molasses. But I’m doing what I can via phone. Hopefully the worst ISP in North America will come out and fix their Stone Age technology pretty soon and we’ll have the usual crappy DSL again… in the meantime, please don’t take it personally if I’m slow to answer or a bit taciturn 🙂

Magical Packages

Check *this* shit out. The USPS has Santa on the crew or something doing some kinda crazy North Pole time-and-space bending magic:

The tracking says refused. Customer didn’t refuse it. It was returned to *me.* In Alabama.

They’re just freakin’ making shit up at this point. I don’t even know how it’s possible that the scan for delivery shows what it does – I don’t know enough about their computers. But obviously it’s not a seamless, foolproof tracking system :/

I’m really lucky that the overwhelming majority of my customers are being really super cool about this insanity and aren’t taking it out on me. I’m really grateful, y’all, and I’m hating this real hard. I can’t wait to see the end of this BS. It has been taking up an inordinate amount of resources: my time, my money, my attention, the hair on my head that wasn’t yet gray…

Since I don’t know what caused all of this or if it could still happen, I am currently handling shipping this way:

I make sure I generate shipping labels for dates when one of us can either go stand in line and physically hand packages to an employee inside the post office, or when we can get a confirmed appointment for pickup by our carrier as part of her regular route.

Sometimes this means I cannot ship every day. While this has the potential to increase your handling time by a few days, I’m hoping it also drastically increases the chances of your actually getting your package (and ideally before an entire calendar month has passed).

If you’re shopping at SeraphinStation.com, I’ve made a UPS option available for domestic shipping, as well, if you’d rather go that route. If you’re on Etsy and want a different option, just let me know and I’ll be happy to set something up.

If you’ve been waiting longer than usual for a package but it is slowly making its way in the right direction and hasn’t turned completely around or had some truly weird tracking status info attached, then I’d urge you to just please keep on being patient. The mail just plain takes longer these days, and tracking is not really a granular, real-time thing like with a tracking chip keyed into a GPS and shit, you know? They can obviously get a computer to say a box has been delivered in Ohio when it’s actually in Alabama, as I discovered for myself this week :/

And keep in mind that your sellers don’t have any secret knowledge about your package status – they have exactly the same info you have, that tracking number and that info on the tracking website. Pestering or blaming your sellers about this whole mess is sort of pointless – it just creates more work and stress for your sellers without creating more clarity or speed around your item delivery. I can just about guarantee you that if this stresses you out, it has stressed your seller out exponentially worse, ’cause they’re worrying over your package but also the packages of all their *other* customers.

If your package is returned to me, I’ll email you and let you know. Otherwise, I don’t know anything more than you know. Yes, the USPS will still search for missing items and answer messages, but this wasn’t done at lightning speed before COVID, so I’m sure you can imagine how this is not a magic fix now :/

And if you know something that the package status isn’t showing/explaining, by all means do let me know. I will absolutely work with you on the best solution to getting your package in your hands as quickly and efficiently as possible, but this whole mess definitely requires both ends of the transaction to do a lot of “hurrying up and waiting” lately.

this isn’t just the USPS being overwhelmed – this is some kind of shady shit

This item was a shrine/ornament – no prep work involved. No extended handling time or anything. I took it off its altar, blessed it, wrapped it up in tissue paper, boxed it, paid the $35-something for the shipping label because the customer paid for Priority Mail Express, and sent it out that same day for Mike to drop off at the post office. *Which he did, before C.O.B.*

Here’s what the tracking says:

December 13, 2020, 3:58 pm
Shipping Label Created, USPS Awaiting Item
GRAND BAY, AL 36541 

December 23, 2020, 5:09 am
Arrived at Post Office
GRAND BAY, AL 36541 

December 23, 2020, 7:42 am
Refused
GRAND BAY, AL 36541 

December 23, 2020, 1:33 pm
Refused
GRAND BAY, AL 36541 
Your item was refused by the addressee at 1:33 pm on December 23, 2020 in GRAND BAY, AL 36541 and is being returned to the sender.

Ok, for starters, it was not refused by the addressee. The addressee never saw it ’cause it never left this town of Grand Bay. That’s my town. It was refused by some employee at the local post office, AFTER IT SAT IN A BIN IN SAID POST OFFICE FOR TEN DAYS.

The 10 days is one thing. I don’t live under a rock (anymore). I know what’s going on and I wouldn’t be furious about a package sitting somewhere for days given everything going on around the country.

But the packages being refused by the USPS – that’s something else entirely.

The fact that they may or may not approve a refund request depending on somebody’s whim in a system that’s totally opaque to me is yet another.

Now I’m thinking they’re sitting on these packages for however long because they’re overwhelmed, and by the time the package gets scanned, it’s days or even a week or more past the label ship date, and they’re refusing them for that, maybe.

Except that doesn’t have anything to do with me, so they have no business refusing my packages. If it wasn’t scanned on the label ship date, that’s not my fault. But they’ve got it looking to the customer like I sat on my ass for 10 days and didn’t take their package to the post office for over a week, which is just totally fucked up.

Now that tracking showing refusal isn’t counting as the label being “used” in the system, so it did let me file for a refund. But there’s no guarantee they’ll approve the refund. They didn’t approve one the other day. And it might be 30 days before I know if it’s approved or not. But I have to solve the problem for the customer today, refund or no refund.

So what happens if I schedule a pickup on a business day and they don’t show to pick it up? When they finally pick up the package, will they refuse it at the local desk because I printed the label for the date they were supposed to show? WTF am I supposed to do? I cannot trust them in this scenario *at all.* And while I can do something like reship most of these via Fedex or UPS and just pay the difference out of pocket, 1. it will hobble me severely, and 2. I can’t do that with $30 and $40 international and express shipments. I mean, this bullshit could put me out of business – AGAIN – in a matter of days.

I’ve been rebuilding and reinvesting carefully and gradually and trying to stay on top of every cent going in and out way in advance so I have a buffer for random crazy shit. I’ve got spreadsheets out the (ahem). Every day I look at my balances, check what expenses are coming up, make a decision whether my next non-shipping cash outlay will be to refund a 2015 customer or order that next batch of packaging or essential oils or whatever. I have only paid myself for mission-critical stuff like being able to turn around and pay the ISP and power bill so I can stay in business.

Aside from that, aside from me paying myself only when I absolutely have to in order to make this thing go and putting back money for self-employment tax, every other cent that has come through my hands has gone right back into this. But considering the hole I started in, I don’t have comfortable margins and buffers here yet. Regardless of how careful I’ve been, I can’t absorb that many international or express shipment SNAFUs before I’m *screwed.*

So to say I’m upset is the understatement of the decade. It’s taking just about everything I’ve got to stave off an epic freakout – whether what’s percolating is straight-up panic or something more akin to road rage I can’t even clearly discern right now. But I have to talk myself off this ledge here ’cause I have to write this customer and ask him what he wants me to do and not sound like a crazy person in my email to him. (And he’s not the only one I have to write.)

I mean, I can’t take this personally – it’s some cosmic shit that doesn’t have my personal name on it and people all over the place are getting hit with crap they didn’t expect that makes them anxious, or worse. But the boot-print, man, it feels really familiar :/

So I just have to keep taking deep breaths and one of them is bound to work here in a minute :/

This *sucks.*

community honey jar for December; communication speed; Martha Stewart’s infernal contraptions

I sliced my right index finger open and the cut is pretty short but also pretty deep (for being on a fingertip anyway), and it’s slowing me down on pretty much everything, especially typing. So I’ve been moving at glacial speed, but I am moving.

What’s funny is that I didn’t do this with a kitchen knife or a machete or any gardening implements, and I didn’t do it working with tinplate or metal flashing or barbed wire or aviation snips or any of the other sharp and often unwieldy things I deal with every single day.

Nope, I did it while taking the safety cap off of the blade on one of Martha Stewart’s infernal and overpriced crafting contraptions (a circle cutter). I will probably think this is hilarious one day. For now I’m just annoyed ’cause I have a lot of typing to do.

Apparently not *this* adult’s, though.

I got the December community honey jar work set up and going according to plan yesterday, though I have not finished typing and sending out the welcome emails with info about how to access the client calendar and Discord chat. I should be done with that here in a minute. (You can still join the community honey jar service for either prosperity/success or love/relationships. You can usually join community events a little late, at least until I run out of space for petition papers/photos or the lights set on the lid drip wax sufficient to prevent me from adding anything to the jar without breaking the wax and thus jacking up any potential divinatory information.)

I did manage to find where to remove the stupid CAPTCHA from the intake forms on the website yesterday. I always overthink CAPTCHA questions and my eyesight isn’t the best, so I really hate the complex ones and I’m sorry y’all had to negotiate them. I also added a link to the applicable Services collection page on the intake form page since I keep getting intake forms from people who found them but either couldn’t find where to book the service or didn’t understand they needed to book the service first. Hopefully all that’s a little clearer now.

(If y’all ever find something about the menus or organization or anything else on the website confusing, feel free to drop me a line and let me know. Sometimes there are issues I know about and just haven’t found an ideal fix for yet, but sometimes I just don’t know until somebody tells me. Either way, I appreciate your feedback as a user of the site!)


Pro tip: Example A shows a properly seated blade in its little handle/tabby thing that you use to insert and remove it from the cutting handle. Example B shows an improperly seated blade.

If it looks obvious here, well, all I can say is that these things are way tinier than they appear in the photo.