Nothing happened this week. There were no disasters. The weather was quiet. I didn’t have any brilliant insights or tragic setbacks. No vendors screwed me over. Republicans did nothing to harm the economy (assuming that the $60 billion worth of misguided budget cuts that the House proposed this week are dead on arrival). There was one minor Stupid Customer Trick: some guy stomped away when I wouldn’t let him order by mail and pay with a check. The 1980s are over, dude.
I’m not unsympathetic. I resisted using credit cards myself throughout the ‘90s because they encourage the undisciplined to spend impulsively and accrue debt. I only started using my debit card last year when Citizens Bank started paying 10 cents per transaction. But becoming a merchant changed all that. Electronic payment is faster, easier, and more secure than paper. After setting up my business, I moved all of my personal banking online, too. Bills that I used to spend hours processing every month are now automated. Some habits die hard, though: I still maintain paper checkbook registers and balance them every month. Some people think that’s quaint.
A telephone call from a satisfied customer made me feel better about turning away Mr Mail-Order. She loves her Panther Vision cap and was really impressed with my fast order fulfillment. “And…?” I kept thinking, because most phone calls are bad news. But no other shoe dropped. “You should tell everyone in your company what a great job they’re doing,” she said. So I sent everybody home early.
In spite of our magnificence, sales were abysmal. Is the elimination of cheap Parcel Post rates turning people away? Or did they just blow their money on pink lovey crap for Valentines Day? This Hallmark holiday ordinarily doesn’t affect me one way or the other, but theoretically shoppers aren’t here if they’re somewhere else. If that’s the case then things should bounce back to normal next week. Either way, I can’t spend money when I don’t have money coming in. Maybe I should’ve taken that guy’s check.
I ordinarily trash snail mail from VistaPrint unopened. This local company already gets my printing business because they do quality work at fair prices online, where I don’t have to interact with humans. But their marketing is a relentless spammy barrage of sales and promotions. This particular envelope brought a $100 coupon for Google AdWords. It was obviously meant for new AdWords customers, but what the hell -- when I tried it anyway my account was credited $105. Cha-ching! I reckon Google can afford a little generosity after I spent $1,500 on ads in December. I also reckon Google didn’t take over the Internet by being generous to puny schmucks like me, however wonderful and deserving we might be.
Well, look at that. I filled a whole screen writing about nothing. I should be writing television sitcoms.
Welcome to Curious Business
Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.