Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Patience, people, and supplement, and today

I have never run into such a bunch of impatient people as I do with the rescue and webstore.

Had someone send me an email yesterday, asking about the status of their order.   I had intended to mail it out yesterday, but I went to the post office, it was a holiday, and the automated postal machine wasn't working (again).  So, rather than email them back and say, "hey, intending to ship it tomorrow," I thought, I'll wait and mail it and then let them know so I'm not sending multiple emails.  I should know better by now.  This person literally didn't even give me a full day between sending the email and opening a dispute on paypal saying they haven't received their items.  Note, it hasn't even been two weeks since the order was placed, so unless I got it out like that day, they still might have only received it just a day or so ago. 

So here's the thing... I didn't actually notice this until I went to email them back and say, ok, shipped out your order, yadda yadda, here's your shipping refund.  Oh wait... when they open a dispute, you can't refund the money, because paypal puts a freeze on that person's payment.  And I sure am not sending the person someone else's money as a refund, as they're the stinker that opened the dispute in the first place.

By all means, I have no problem with someone emailing to ask where their order is.  No problem whatsoever.  I can update you, tell you if I'm still working on it, or whatever.  But jeez, give me a second to respond before you go all nuts.  I actually emailed this person back saying, in the future, if at all possible, please give more time to respond, as I have a full time job, and the rescue and webstore are just on the side, and come second to the job that pays the bills.  I mean come on, these people can't think little $8 items are paying my mortgage and are going to ship out that day.  And most items on the store are cheaper than that, anyway. 

Anyway, so I told this person, normally, I'd refund your shipping overage.  But... I can't because you opened a dispute, so I need you to close it so you can get your refund.  Usually, when it's them that's holding up the show, they respond pretty quickly.  But you know, I've had people before say, they're not closing the dispute until they receive the item, or I should refund the money out of the other money (rather than their frozen payment) -- I don't think so.  They want to wait to get it, that's fine.

And I had another person, who literally put in an order like two days ago and wants to know why it hasn't arrived yet.  I haven't even written out an invoice yet for her, because there's like 10 orders in front of hers.  Sorry?  I am ONE PERSON.  Someone want to come here and work just on orders for free, by all means.  But this is not my job, this does not pay anything, actually, it takes a lot of money from what I make at my real job, which is fine, but because of that, I can't take time off from my real job to work on orders.  Sorry.

The age of "I want it now" is really getting old.  It used to be just kids with candy bars at the checkout line, now it's "I ordered it, and it's been 5 minutes, why isn't it on my doorstep yet?"  If I could make it and get it to you that quick, I would.  Believe me.  I have a folder in my email just for orders and I go through it and send out orders as quickly as I can.  Depending on the order, that may be quick, or it may take a week or two (which I HARDLY think is unreasonable).  But I do my best. 

And... I'm honest about the shipping.  Which, you'd be amazed how many companies / people are not.  Not saying they shouldn't be, but I HATE paying $15 to ship something and I get it and you see right on the package, they paid $5.00 to ship it.  $10 handling?  Give me a break.  And I can understand if a company or person overcharges to make sure there's enough and then refunds the excess (like I do), but no, I never get refunds for excessive shipping.  Versus -- This one guy who I shipped a package to -- the webstore charged him $39.15 shipping.  Actual shipping was $8.62, I'll bump that up to $9.45 (for a total shipping profit of a whopping $0.83 to pay for tape, bubble wrap, etc) and refund him $29.70.  Most companies would keep that, and sometimes, I think, it would serve the customer right (the ones that are a pain, for being a pain).  But see, this guy, who has an order dated only a day or two after the lady who opened the dispute... opened no dispute, didn't send me an email asking where the order is, wait for it... had.... wait for it... patience!!!  But no, really, I refund excess shipping for everyone, patience or not (though the impatient ones have to cancel their disputes first).  But it just kills me that I'm honest and nice and these people are cruds. 

Anyway, today was a productive day.  I have two custom houses that need shipping quotes, boxed and packaged those up, will figure out and email quotes tomorrow.  Had an order that needed supplement, and I had none made.  And by the time I dig out all the herbs to make it, it's not worth making just one, so I made several jars.  And with all that out anyway, I made some of the healthy treat mixes as well.  And cleaned part of the rescue -- mostly moving stuff where it went, but found stuff I didn't know I had (from surrenders that brought supplies with).  I found a cricket duster in with a donation -- doesn't do any good for chins (and they weren't using it for chins, they just threw in some reptile stuff with their supplies), but I was considering buying one for my crickets (but they're like $14!), and now I don't have to!!  Gotta be happy about the little things, cause you can't count on the big things.  Put together an order that was two shelves, found a box, and packaged that up.  Some of these were already paid for, so those I need to make the customer a copy of the invoice and seal up and label the box and hopefully mail it tomorrow, the others I need to email the people with a quote for shipping and go from there. 

I think that's about it for today.  I guess it doesn't sound like I did a lot, but the supplement and, to a lesser extent, the healthy treat mix take some time.  For the supplement, a ball jar is used, so those I just buy those new (unless anyone wants to donate some ball jars!), but then there's like 8-10? (would need to count, I have a list) herbs that go into it.  And because different amounts of different herbs are safe, there's not the same amount of each herb in there.  So it's not just, throw in a handful of marigold, handful of hawthorn berries, two handfuls of oatstraw, and I'm done.  I actually sat down (when I was coming up with the supplement -- now I just keep a list with notes) and came up with, ok, for it to be a good supplement, I need so much of this and so much of this.  And so, for some herbs, I'm putting in 1/2 ounce.  Others are 1/4 ounce.  Or so on so forth.  And because some are considerably heavier than others (consider rosehips versus calendula), sometimes 1/4 ounce of one is more of that herb (size wise, not weight wise) than 1/2 ounce of another.  Figure, a pound of hawthorn berries can probably fit in a quart-size baggie, versus a pound of marigold that would take 3 gallon size bags.  Anyway.  So, I put in the first herb.  1/2 ounce of whatever.  Then, to avoid resetting the scale for every herb, I just add on.  So, say next herb is 1/2 ounce... so then, when I have enough of that, the scale will read 1 ounce.  And I use a digital scale, to (hopefully) be more dead-on with the weights.  And so on and so forth. 

So I add all the herbs into the mixing pan at their specific weights, and then hand mix everything.  I can only mix one jar at a time, due to the fact that the heavier ingredients would settle in a large batch, so the first jar would be mostly light ingredients, and the last jar would be mostly heavy ingredients.  So, one jar at a time it is.  After hand mixing, I scoop all the supplement into a jar.  Unfortunately, to keep the ounce weights at easy ones to use when adding them together (such as 1/2, 1/4, rather than like, 1/6 or 1/8), when I pack the supplement down, it is shy of actually filling the jar.  And that's true of the healthy treat mix and herb sampler as well, cause I pack em down in the jars, and then overfill and stuff the lid on, so everyone gets their money's worth.  So anyway, I'll mix up another jar, fill it, another jar, fill it, another jar, fill it... and then I will have multiple jars lined up that aren't quite full, so I'll mix one last batch and use that batch to fill up the jars.  Now, before the lids go on, there's the NWI supplement label that goes on the to, and then I can put the lids and all on the jars and be done.

I've had people want to help with the supplement and herb sampler... and if you're here and I need them made and you seem to be able to add, reasonably, and you're a reasonable age, you may be able to help.  For the supplement, the herbs do have qualities that affect the animals.  Intentionally, that's why it's a supplement, versus a treat.  The oat straw improves digestion.  The hawthorn berries are chock full of antioxidants.  The hibiscus helps with appetite.  I don't know them all off of the top of my head, but please see here if you're curious what they all really do.  Anyway, there can be too much of a good thing.  Improving digestion is great... until you overdo it and cause diarrhea.  The herbs I chose for the supplement are ones that aren't too easy to overdo, at least when they're given as a supplement mix.  But because they can be overdone, that's why you will never see a 10 year old making the supplement (the difference between 1/4 and 1/2 ounce may not be much in weight, but matters in the supplement), and that's why some of the supplement herbs are not sold individually.  Because moderation is not always all that well understood, in the real world.

Anyway, I think that's about it for today.

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