June 9, 2009
So have you ever been in the middle of something and you keep thinking, it can not get worse, it can not get worse? You know mumbling to yourself as you rock back and forth and contemplate throwing things at the wall? Then you carefully pick yourselff off the ground, wipe off the tears and decide it is going to be okay. Ya, well what if that keeps happening? What if it keeps getting worse, and worse, and that guy Murphy with the whole laws and everything, what if you can actually start to think that maybe he was on to something?
Well that has been the last oh I don't know the last 10, 11 or 12 days for me. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong - and I mean everything.....and I am totally aware of the fact that this post may read like an episode of Three's Company. This my friends is what running a company is really like:
I made some quick notes about what then proceeded to go wrong.
Thursday May 28 - It Will All Be Alright
Printer that we use to make tile broke, so broke that after 4 hours of trouble shooting we had to call the company that sells them and order a new one. I had them over night priority a new printer. I smugly smiled and thought to myself that I had just solved our big problem.....brilliant.
We still had 50 tiles to make for the Wall Art Tile Fundraiser and we had the work for the week - but it would all be okay, I was a Rock Star.....so I thought.
Friday May 29 - It is Bad, But I can Handle It
Printer arrived.....it was the wrong printer. I call up the company, we go back and forth over the fact that they sent the wrong printer and they ASSUMED some things. My husband has to call them and discuss so we can get the right printer. Calls, emails - then I have to make a decision about whether or not to have the new one overnighted.....I go with overnighting the printer - pay the money we need that printer.
I rushed to my kid's school to do an Art Game show for my son's class - that would be 60 4th graders to keep entertained with questions and factoids about art, thank you very much. Then I rushed across campus to see my daughter's play, making it with only seconds to spare.
Saturday May 30 - Oh and it Gets Worse
I contacted Fed Ex, they said that the printer should arrive by 10:30 a.m. My husband and father went to get the supplies for the Tile Fundraiser. We had to make frames and paint them for 445 tiles.....and as they showed up at the office the Fed Ex truck was leaving. He left a note though that said he would be back Monday....MONDAY! So, I got on the phone called them and proceeded to fight with them about our overnight payment....ya he came back, and they brought back the printer.
Darin then proceeded to spend 4 hours trying to get it to work, it did not work. So he gave up on the printer and he built the frames. My committee of volunteers to help us paint - turned into just one friend. We basically crawled around on the floor caulking the frames (and making all kinds of Cock jokes) and then painted the frames. This took all frickin' day.....
My parents were kind enough to let my kids spend the night at their house, so we could just get up and start working again the next day. Ya, well my daughter proceeded to wake up in the middle of the night and projectile vomit all over the wall, the closet doors, the carpet, the sheets and the bedspread that can only be dry cleaned.....good times.
Sunday May 31 - More problems, Really? It Can't Get Worse
My mom took Abby to a birthday party for me and they were an hour early (of course) I gave her the wrong time. My Dad and Darin started to put the tiles down, with Mastic, they ran out (of course) and had to rush to the store before it closed to get more.
My beloved blackberry broke - dead, gone. I had no phone, no email - nothing.
Monday June 1 - Nothing Surprises Me It Got Worse
We got on the phone with the company that sold us the printer and told them it was not working and we basically had to order a new part........overnighted please priority. UPS this time, why? I don't know but all will be solved tomorrow.
I got an email from a parent at school about a recent firing of the most popular 5th grade teacher at our school. I, along with a long list of parents was asked to write a letter on his behalf to the Superintendant....okay I did it. OH ya she then proceeded to forward my email to our principal.....the one who fired him. Wonderful!
We went to get a new blackberry and it took an hour and a 1/2 to get one. Yep - done wrong, the guy who sold it to us was um an idiot. The service was wrong. SO I had a new blackberry that did not do me any good.....wonderful!
After a long day we took Abby to dinner since Grant was at a friends house. She proceeded to start crying hysterically after we sat down - she was the only one in her class who did not get to go to the Art & Wine Festival this past weekend. Did I mention hysterical? It was lovely. We went to pick up my son - he was not there, we drove back home....then got a call they were on there way so we went I went BACK to get him.
Tuesday June 2 - OMG You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!
The part did not get here on time, let me repeat that - the special cartridge that was to be overnighted....it did not arrive. It seems the wonderful people at UPS never got it on the truck in time. No cartridge, no printer working - no tiles. Did I forget to mention that the tiles are getting grouted tomorrow morning? No? Oh well they were - they are getting hung Thursday at my kid's school and the assembly is on Friday - yes Friday!
I make a last ditch plea/cry to our supplier here in Northern California and beg them to print the last 50 images for them. They agree to it, I saved all the files on to CD's, and my wonderful Mother agreed to go and deliver the CD, AND wait for them to be printed. That took oh about 3 hours. Then my husband and father went to the office and made the tiles and used the mastic - got them ready to go....problem solved! I was so happy....
Darin called - one tile was missing. One tile. One image did not get made.........
Wednesday June 3 - Are We Done with the Bad News? Nope.....
I did not get the right grout....my friend's husband who was kind enough to come over and grout the tile....for FREE, but he had to go get more first. I then had to drive to the supplier's business and get the one missing piece of art. When I got back the printer cartridge had arrived and after hours of screwing with it troubleshooting my Dad got it to work. He proceeded to start making the tile, my husband went BACK to the office to help him. The printed and pressed the work for the week, my tiles that the parents ordered for home (oh about 150) and all looked good. The last board was going to be grouted tomorrow and then hung. Problem solved right?
We got an email that our shipping clerk had the flu and could not ship tomorrow. Luckily we got a replacement and all was gonna be a-okay.
Thursday June 4 - Oh Jesus Mary and Joseph I Pray this is a good Day
We are in the middle of our morning-rush-get the kids to school-why did you not brush your teeth- you are going to be late day when I got a call. The principal from my kids school wants to know where the tile are? Uh, my reply was that I was to call Facilities to hang the tile when I got there and it is like 8:00 a.m in the morning and I am getting my kids ready for school. Oh, well he said Facilities wants to hang the tiles NOW. Okay, um I have to go to the office, get dressed, call the people who were delivering..........I did not have much time.
We delivered 16 of the 17 boards.....and then stalled as my friend's husband (my most favorite person on the planet at this point) grouted the last board. The tiles were hung, we quickly covered them so that they could be a surprise for the assembly on Friday.....and then I had to to run, I mean hobble on my crutches (yes I am going on week 3) to play #2, my son's Gold Rush Play.
I checked the tiles, all looked good. I got the kids from school, left them with my husband and went into the office, project a success and I was done.
HOLY MOTHER OF..........someone get me a paper bag I am hyperventilating....anyone?
All of the new tiles done with the NEW printer, ya the colors are off, I mean way off. The light blue is green, the turquoise is black...........OH NO!!! Most the tiles are ruined. Almost 80% of the wall art tiles for home are ruined (the parents could order a copy of the tile on the wall to have at home). I um, sort of freaked out at that point.
I did get the company on the phone and they helped me to fix the problem. But we had in the meantime run out of tile. Yep, out of tile. I really lost it. I had to get more tile and fast.
Friday June 5 - The Big Day.....and the
Bad Good News Keeps Coming
I got to school in time for the unveiling, and the students were thrilled, the teachers were thrilled. Everyone was super happy. Then came recess.......and I started getting some questions and concerns. What started with one missing tile quickly turned into 15 missing tiles of students that were convinced their parents purchased tiles and they were not on the wall.
I took down names, and tried to stay calm. Inside my head I was screaming but I smiled calmly and told them we would take care of it. And, as we looked at the paperwork and the accounting we realized that um 13 of the 15 missing tiles were students who did NOT purchase them. Okay, emergency averted. Wait - what? We still could not find 2 tiles? I was pretty upset, but heck we could fix it, and uh what you say 2 out 445 tiles - not bad statistics.
I took the kids to the office and was ready to call it a day. I figured I did not have much work to do.....uh wrong. Ahhhhh well our "replacement shipping clerk" came and went and missed
a few a lot of orders. So I had to do them. I also had to go and look at the 150 tiles and determine which were good and which were bad. After many hours of work the tiles were all re-done and it looked good........we were at the office till well past 9:00 p.m.
Saturday June 6 & Sunday June 7th Everyting Gonna Be Alright!
We had soccer games and pretty much slept in. We were beat. My wonderful husband fixed my blackberry and we were able to think that maybe it would all be okay.
Monday June 7 - Today is a New Day, it is all good.........right?
I went in today to print the labels for our fundraiser tiles that were going home with the students. Ya.......the Xerox printer broke. Yep. The tray was out of whack or something and after an hour on the phone it was determined that I needed a new tray. Luckily the office complex we are in has like 34 printer places - so I was able to fix the problem.
And, after looking at the tiles at my kids' school I found the two "missing" tiles. Phew.....
Later this afternoon I got a call from the office. A student that ordered a tile could not find their tile on the wall and they were pissed.........okay, tomorrow is a new day. Right? I hate to say it but, it can't be this bad every day......right?