Sunday, May 29, 2016


I know it can be hard for some people to keep appointments.  I've even, on occasion, had to contact people and say, hey, I can't make the appointment that we have scheduled, we need to reschedule.  But if that happens, I do my best to give as much notice as possible, so that no one is too badly inconvenienced.  But I'm honestly starting to think no one else has any common courtesy anymore.

Let's talk about the other day.  I had someone scheduled to show up, 11:30-12.  Had another person scheduled to show up, 1-2 pm.  I figured, between the two, I could run to the store real quick to get something.  I should apparently know better.

So at 10:15, the person who was supposed to come at 1-2 pm calls me up and asks how to get to my house from the Walmart in Gary off of 94.  I have no idea.  Honestly, no idea.  I ask them, do they have a gps?  Could they input the address?  No, they don't, so they can't.  These people were coming from at least 5 hours away (what they told me), so I guess they thought they were going to wing it, until they got close.  So they said, ok, they'd call me when they got to Hammond.  So I said ok.  Then they ask, "well, what city do you live in?"  "Hammond."  "No, but what city?"  "Yeah, Hammond."  "No, but is that like Chicago Heights?"  "No, it's Hammond."  I explained, Hammond is it's own city.  Like really, it's not a neighborhood or something, it's a city.  So they say they'll call when they get to Hammond.  Oh and I do tell them though, if they do get here soon, that they will have to wait, since they were scheduled for 1-2 pm and it was considerably earlier, and I had other appointments.  That was at 10:15.

At 11:46 they call back... they took a wrong turn, they're in Chicago.  They want to know what time it was here, so I told them.  They said ok, they would be by soon.

So then time passes, and shortly after noon, my 11:30-12 person texts and says there's more traffic than they thought, they're going to show up around 12:30.  Which they did end up showing up around then, and I do appreciate them letting me know that they were running late and were kind enough to tell me.  So they were  a dropoff, so they come by, drop off their chin to the rescue, and leave... and it was then 12:51... and the other people were still not here.

So I got a call at 12:57 from those people, telling me they can't make it... that it's too far from where they live..  I looked up the area code on their phone... from where the live, they actually went about an hour PAST where I live if they went into the area of Chicago they said they were at... but without a GPS, not sure how they ever expected to find it (cause they also didn't mapquest it or anything).

Saturday, May 28, 2016


So, let's start with talking about orders.  I know I'm always talking about how many I have to do -- which I typically do -- which means I tend to work on them piecemeal.  If you're ordering a motorhome, it gets built in pieces.  I first start with the base and glue the back three pieces on.  Let those dry.  ONCE those are dry (the next day), the I move onto the next portion.  So if I'm waiting to hear from you about something regarding your order, it's usually no problem... except when all I'm waiting for is payment.

Let's talk about this one person.  She messages me with a list of items she wants to buy, and wants to know what shipping is.  Word to the wise, I need to know your zip code to calculate shipping.  People have told me everything from "I'm in Springfield" (Massachusetts?  Nevada?  I don't know...) to "I'm on the east coast (so... Florida?  New Hampshire?) to "I'm in the US."  Now all of those statements may very well be true, but USPS does not let me put in "east coast" when figuring out shipping, I need a zip code. 

So anyway, I email this lady back and just nicely say that I need a zip code, and she gets back to me that day with a zip code.  So a day passes, and I haven't emailed her back yet (see above regarding multiple orders) so she calls me up, asking if I'd figured out her order yet.  I tell her, no not yet, but I planned to work on it that day.  So I tell her, I will end up emailing her later if I need any more information or with her total, or whatever the case may be.  Well, she mentions that she thought her package might be able to go first class, and I suppose I should have thought of it then (but I ship SO few items first class, it's not top of my mind, like out of hundreds of packages a year, maybe 5 are first class... everything else is just too heavy)... I need a full address to determine first class shipping, and all I have is this lady's first name and her zip code.

So I email her and I mention that yes, I put all the stuff in the package and yes, she is correct, it can go first class...and because of that, I need her full address.  Three days pass, and I don't hear anything.  So I call her up, since I had her phone number from the first phone call.  I leave a detailed message about needing the full address and so on... she calls back 3 days later and asks what I need.  Clearly didn't listen to the message, or anything.  So I take down her full address, and she mentions that she wants to take an item off the order.  And then she asks how this is going to work once I determine shipping.  So I tell her, ok, I will figure out shipping, and I will email her with the total.  And I ask her if that's fine, since she hasn't been responding to my emails and she says yeah, perfectly fine.  So then I tell her, ok, if she wants to pay with paypal, I can email her an invoice, or if she wants to pay with a card, she can call me back and we can do that over the phone, and she says ok, she'll watch for the email.

So I take that item out that she no longer wants, input her complete address, determine shipping, and get that email out to her within the next hour or two.  That was the 23rd.  It is now the 28th, and I have yet to hear back from her.  I called her just a bit ago and left yet another message saying hey, this is what your total came out to, I sent you an email, still haven't heard back.

Mind you, this is an $11 order, mostly herbs which have very little profit, maybe $2 of that is profit... and I've been chasing down this lady with this order for like 2 weeks now.  It's not that I don't value the orders, but to me... this is ridiculous.  Either you want it or you don't.  Shipping came out to like $4, so the total (for a 9x11 envelope STUFFED with items) is $15... so it's not breaking the bank for anyone...but she apparently can't be bothered to get back to me... and frankly, I'm too busy to keep chasing people down like this.

And this isn't the first time.  I have an order completely packaged up... from I dunno even how long ago.  At least a year ago, I had someone tell me they wanted a custom tunnel and something else. I honestly don't even remember what the "something else" was now... cause they wanted it, they wanted it, they'd pay next week.  Well, next week turned into, after their court date next month, which turned into, after this the following week... I still have the box under my table downstairs.  I had been emailing this person periodically, saying hey, I need payment for this, cause I mean, she had me convinced she was going to pay so much that the package is literally SEALED and everything.  Every time I'd email her, she'd have her reason why she couldn't pay now, but she'd pay next week...and yet never did.  At this point, I need to cut open that package and sell those two items... but what I've learned from these experiences is that in the future, I need to give the people a set amount of time... say 7 days to pay from when I give them a shipping quote, and if they don't, their order gets taken apart / back on the shelf / whatever.  Cause that box under the table is LARGE and is taking up a lot of room, and I know that whatever is in it could have been sold awhile ago.  And the unfortunate thing, is that people like this are what delay everyone else's order... like because I'm taking the time to chase after these people, that's less time to devote to everyone else's order who IS serious and IS planning on paying... so a line needs to be drawn.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Getting stuff done and funny contacts

So the last few days have been super productive... have gotten a lot of cages cleaned, a lot of stuff washed... very happy with that.  The one guy that was coming over to wash literally vanished into thin air, but one of my friends suggested that they could take the job over, and they're doing an awesome job of that (and everything else I need), so that's going well at the moment.

Over this current week, we're hopefully going to get a lot done, have a lot more toys in stock, a lot more of that sort of thing, since as you all know, I'm constantly having to make stuff since there's only one of me and 4000 people who want orders.  Which is awesome, don't get me wrong, but I would like to get orders out faster to my customers, and that's where this all comes in.

So today, I have a doctor's appointment in another hour or two, so I'm working on clean stuff in the meantime (as in, nothing that's going to cover me with sawdust), so this morning I've been going around and seeing what chins are here and taking pictures and writing notes about those chins so that I can list them on my website and on the other places that I use.  And in doing so, I ran across two messages from April 17th (oops!), that somehow I never received a notification for, on this one classified site.

Well, these people wanted a chin for their 2 year old.  Probably not messages I really care to entertain anyway, as I don't exactly see most 2 year olds holding a chin properly... usually they squeeze it... whether intentionally or not... and parents rarely correct... but I digress.  But anyway, this was mildly amusing, so I'm going to share it with you.  In one of these messages, the person tells me that their husband used to breed chins, so "we know what we need to do."  I'm assuming that means, they know how to care for chins.  Now, in no way am I saying that they do not know how to care for chins... however... just because they bred chins doesn't mean they do know how to care for them, either.  I have run into umpteen people who have told me they had a chin live to a ripe old age... of 5.  And they think that's awesome!  And those same people tell me, oh they did LOADS and LOADS of research.  And maybe they did, but they somehow missed the part where chins can live into their 20s.  Point is, just because someone's had chins, or raised chins, doesn't mean they've done it right, or that they know what they're doing.  Few years ago, I remember buying some "pedigreed" (and you'll see why I put that in quotes) chins from someone selling out (and I know some of my friends reading this will totally remember when this happened).  Now, for reference... here's what your average pedigree might look like (few examples):

Here's what the pedigree I got from this person looked like:

Notice the difference?  That pedigree is pretty much useless.  If that chin developed malo, for example, there's no way to track the parents.  Oh there's a dark ebony mom... well, what if that breeder had 5 dark ebony females?  Which one is it?  Is it one they bred?  Or from another breeder? If it's from another breeder, especially a large breeder, good luck knowing which one, out of thousands of chins born... it was.  Same with any of the chins on that pedigree.  Absolutely useless.  I believe, if I remember correctly, we didn't get the pedigrees until much later after we got the animals -- which were sold as pets (rather than used for breeding, which was the actual idea).  Maybe somewhere along the line, some of those chins actually were pedigreed, like an actual pedigree, but those ones we got weren't, and it wouldn't be reputable to breed them with no sort of information whatsoever on the parents. 

...and let me also mention something else... anyone could make up a pedigree like that pretty much on the spot.  It's not hard to come up with what two colors of chins created another color of chin as a baby.  Oh you have a beige baby?  Great!  Standard grey mother, beige father, and POOF! beige baby.  Look!  A pedigree!!!  And I've seen this, sadly, way more than I would like.  There was a girl (I think I called her the problem child, you may remember me writing about her) who contacted me about breeding her chins, and ALL her pedigrees looked like this.  And the sad part was, for her, it was even worse.  Like at least for the pedigree for that one chin above, it's not every color under the sun. The chin that the pedigree was for, was supposed to be a chocolate (it wasn't, but that's beside the point).  For a chocolate / dark tan, you would need beige, tan, and ebony.  So that pedigree at least vaguely makes sense...  For the problem child girl, her chin would be an ebony... and would have a violet in there... and a tan... and a beige... and a sapphire... but she'd tell me, oh the breeder was breeding for sapphires... so I'd ask, ok, why add in the ebony then?  Oh, because it will get rid of the red coloration in the chins and make it more blue.  *facepalm*  If you have any knowledge of chin genetics at all and how the colors and all that work, you know... and if you don't, let me tell you... that is such a crock of shit.  There's no way to breed the red coloration out of an animal... you just try to AVOID breeding animals that have red fur tips.  But you sure don't add ebonies to get rid of red.... 

Anyway, moving along... the second message from these people stated -- "He has raised and bred purple sapphires with vet papers" -- now, let's assume you're a pet person, don't breed, don't know much about genetics.  Tell me, what color is sapphire?  Ok, I imagine we can all answer at once -- BLUE.  So if he bred purple sapphires... those were either some really off-color sapphires, or he had blue diamonds and she has no idea what she's talking about.  But since blue diamonds are more of a new thing... I'd imagine the first...

Vet papers?  How many of you can say you've taken a chin to the vet, and it's clearly sick, and one of two things -- either (1) the vet has NO IDEA what's wrong with the chin, or, possibly even better, (2) the vet can't tell the chin's sick, or (3) the vet gives some random off the wall explanation for why the chin is the way it is, such as "the chin is homesick" (and yes, I've heard it happen -- "stressed" would be a better way of putting it, I think "homesick" is giving that chin a little too much mental credit).  But for sake of argument, let's say you have a smart vet, and they actually can tell you, and be correct in telling you, ok, your chin is healthy.  Does that mean that genetically, it's fine?  Doesn't carry malo or any other illness?  No, unfortunately, they can't tell you that.  These aren't dogs, we can't do genetic testing on them.  So, even if your vet has said, ok, the chin is healthy... that doesn't mean, ok, go ahead and breed it, because you just don't know what that chin might be carrying.  And that's why pedigrees are so important, because that way if something comes up, we can trace it back.  But a vet paper saying, oh the chin is healthy... really doesn't mean much.

This is one of those things where I get that this person was trying to let me know that they've had chins before and they know what they're doing... but they really proved that they probably really don't know what they're doing, at least as far as the breeding with vet papers and purple sapphires...  I feel like this is an interesting case of... if you really don't know what you're talking about... best to leave it simple.  If they had just said, oh they bred chins, and left it at that, I wouldn't be writing this blog post (well, maybe a much shorter one).  And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I know everything either... but I know what color sapphire is...