May 24th, 2011

stabat mater dolorosa

procul o procul este profani (status update)

It must seem like I just don't want to work anymore; so much crap keeps happening that even I probably wouldn't believe it if I were waiting on an email from me.

My printer has crapped out - I've had it less than a year, just barely, and while the warrantee may still be in place, that doesn't fix my immediate problem, which is that I can't print labels or anything else.  I've spent the last six hours trying everything under the sun to fix this problem and I have not been to sleep yet because I have a crapload of orders to get out that piled up while I was closed.  And I"m not going to sleep, I guess, because I have to go buy a new printer now.

So needless to say, I still haven't tackled any new emails that came in while I was closed to get caught up on earlier emails, and while I'm doing that as soon as I can, I am still unlikely to take on any new altar work for a bit beyond mojo bags and light settings. It's obviously time for a massive, top to bottom, detailed spring cleaning around here, and that is going to take time and has to be a top priority!  With extra Ajax, so to speak.  And I'm going to lay some reversing like I haven't had to lay it in a good long while, because i am sick to freakin' death of this streak I'm in. 

(I don't take the tornadoes personally - I'm not that massively narcissistic -- but I am definitely in "shoot first and ask questions later" mode right now. Which means, by the way, that if you have pestered or annoyed me, I have probably blocked you from bidding so I could deal with you later instead of now, to make sure we're on the same page about whatever it is that caused me to not want you buying anything from me at the moment until I'd had a chance to talk to you about the issue.  It also means that if you have written about new work and I have already told you once that I'm closed and backed up, and you write again, I have probably filed your email for later and set up a filter so that new emails go straight into that file and get the "closed" autorespond message.  It probably isn't personal at all - I just get way too many emails every day, and a large percentage of them are from people who think the rules -- presuming they've read them, which is not always a safe presumption -- do not apply to them for whatever reason.  No new work means no new work - and in case you're a newcomer to my blog, I don't do emergencies even when I'm not backed up.  Just not equipped to deal with that right now, sorry!  I promise I will get back to you when I have dug my way out from under this giant mess I'm in and when I'm not feeling hassled and harried - if you have bugged me, it's probably best if I don't respond to you right now anyway - I need a cooling off period and I know this about myself; when I'm irritated, I should generally not speak what's on the tip of my tongue.)

SO -- unfortunately, if you are trying to book custom work or further altar work with me right now, or have anything with a particular deadline involved, you will either have to keep waiting, or else get that set up with someone else. sorry - I hope like hell that things are back to normal very very soon, and I did just finish up several longer-term altar workings - so while the "closing out and reporting" on those larger/longer-term cases ties up more of my time than usual, when I'm done I will have more space available on some of my altars that have been completely full for months now. Finally, if anybody feels like interceding for me with the patron saint or spirit of their choice, I could probably use the backup - particularly in the "keep hold of that temper before you bite somebody's head off" category.  A sort of spiritual "help Karma count to ten" lol...

Don't forget that a few posts ago, I listed the reports and consultations queue, and I am trying to update that post as things move and change on the lists.  So if you are waiting on those from me, that post can give you some idea of where you are in line, and let you know what to do if you're tired of waiting (BUT, for the love of all that's holy, don't ask me for a refund and then get all pissy when you have to wait a couple of days for it - the whole underlying point here is that I get 70 new emails every single day and if I weren't behind, you probably wouldn't be needing a refund.  So don't bombard me with multiple emails about the same damned thing if you haven't heard from me in 24 hours - standard response time goals apply [I shoot for two business days, but I can't always make it, esp. when I have to type a lot, look something up, or go through a bunch of previous emails in order to pick up the thread of exactly what we are dealing with in our conversation], and weekends have NEVER counted as business days. And there is very little that drives me more insane than getting multiple emails about the same thing when I haven't had a chance to get to the original one yet, or when I have already told you what the deal is - that crap will get you fired.) 

Ok, the rest of you who already know that can start reading again now: remember too that the best way to get a refund as quickly as possible is to put "refund request" in the subject line, so I can skim specifically for those as I am scrolling down through all the new viagra ads and phishing schemes and new customer and client messages to get to where I left off with replying.  And the subject line thing goes for all email, really, if you're a new client or customer, or are asking about something different than what we have talked about before - the more descriptive the subject line, the better; the ones that say "no subject" are so very often spam from people's hacked accounts that even when they don't end up in spam, I often make an exception to my "answering in the order they are received" practice and deal with other emails that came in that day way ahead of potentially spammy ones.

Blah.  Here's to spring cleaning.
Happy hoodooing,

stabat mater dolorosa

seller/supplier etiquette and bad business practice

You know what's really tacky?  Going through your competitor's ebay feedback to find their customers' info and then contacting their customers with unsolicited emails and messages trying to get them to buy from you.

You know what's likely to annoy those customers of your competition and thus lower the chances that they will start purchasing from you, a seller who is an unknown quantity to them? Yep, that's right, see above.

You know what's a violation of eBay's member-to-member contact policy?  Yep, you guessed it!

Feedback harvesting to spam buyers: it's not just annoying and against the rules - it is just plain lousy business practice.  You're new and the first thing people learn about you is that you are either not very smart or you have no ethics.  (or maybe both.)  Potential buyers learn this; other sellers learn this; pretty soon you've shot yourself in the foot in your wild scramble to get a leg up by riding somebody else's coattails. 

(Though my life would be a lot simpler if all of my intended competition were so bad at launching their businesses!  Don';t get me wrong - I'm not a "how dare you sell supplies to my customers" person - first off, I don't own anybody and my customers are free to do as they please.  Second, I don't make everything that people need; they couldn't only shop with me if they wanted to.  Third, if I did make everything for everybody I'd have no time to ship it and sell it - there are only so many hours in a day, and there's only so much a business can grow when there's only one person doing the mixing and packaging and making and magic.  I'd be miserable if I was the only person y'all shopped with.  Hell, *I* shop with other suppliers - I've posted some about that before.  That "my customer! stay away!" model is ridiculous and I don't hold to it.  But I get kind of attached to my customers, and I even get protective of some of them sometimes when I work with them for a long time, and I don't like it when other so-called hoodoo practitioners or spiritual supplies vendors bug my people.  And I mean "my people" in a very Alabama way, not in a business model way.)

Some people just don't think, and start trying to bust doors down before they really understand what they are doing.  For the love of God, don't be "that guy."  Everybody talks about that guy and nobody likes him. 

(shakes head)