With the huge amount of them that I have to ship out, I expect it will probably take me 2 to 3 business days to get all of them shipped out, because getting each and every single order ready to ship out actually does entail a lot of steps. I'm not sure if all of you are interested in knowing what all those steps are, but I have had many people ask me in the past what the process was, so this seems as good of a time as any to share the steps I go through for those who would like to know.
HOWEVER, before I do that, let me also update you on the i-rock Tool: It looks as if it should be shipping to me THIS WEEK, probably in the next couple days, so again, I say WOOHOOOO!!! I don't have the delivery date or a tracking # for the i-rock Tool yet, but I should have it very soon!!! It sounds as if FINALLY--all pre-orders, back-orders & re-orders for the Pink ATG and the i-rock Tool will FINALLY, FINALLY be completed!!! Then next, we'll be onto all the brand new products from CHA, which I haven't even had a chance to input yet!!!
So for those of you who would like to know all the steps I go through to get each individual order out the door from start to finish, here's an example of the process to get your order out to you: (if you don't care to know, but want to know how my little dog, Gucci is doing after being so sick (thanks for all the emails wishing her well!!), skip down to the next paragraph of this post):
First, I get notified in email from PayPal that I have received an order. I log into PayPal, look up that order and I print out a hard copy on my printer. I also double-check to make sure that the customer also received a notification that I've received their order. Once I verify that everything on that order is in stock and ready to ship, I check (and double-check) the order and then I go and pull every single product item the customer ordered from inventory, then I weigh the total order, then re-check how I want to ship that order (double-checking to make sure I'm using the best & most economical method for the individual package size and weight). Once I have all that information, I pack/box up each order, then I tape it all very securely (and every one of my regular customers knows I am a chronic "over-taper" (better safe than sorry I always say, LOL!!!). Next, I'm back to the computer and logged into my shipping program, where I input the correct information for that individual order (dimensions and weight of the package, shipping method being used, etc.), then the program takes all that information I just input and previews a virtual shipping label for that package, which appears on my computer screen. Once I check (and double-check) it to make sure all the information on the shipping label is correct, I tell it to print out that shipping label, as well as the receipt for the label. After it's all printed out, I take a paper trimmer & separate the actual label from its receipt, I trim down the label to make it fit more easily and correctly on the front of the package, then I roll some glue from my big tape runner all over the back of the shipping label, attach it to the package and then I tape the entire label on with packing tape, all around on all four sides of the label (yes--even MORE tape--remember what I said about "better safe than sorry"?? I really am overly cautious about the safety part of each transaction!!). Now, I'm ALMOST done, but there's still a couple steps left (and I don't think most people do these next couple steps, but as you've already probably figured out, I am a detail gal, so I always want to double check that everything reflects correctly what I've done so far for that individual order!!).The last steps are these: I go back into the customer's order in PayPal and verify that it now shows this order as being shipped and that it has the tracking number included on the Transaction Details page of the customer's order in PayPal. I click on the tracking number and make sure it takes me to the shipper's website tracking page (USPS or UPS). Once I know that's all working correctly, I then print out that Transaction Details page in PayPal with the shipping and tracking information showing on it, I take it, along with the printed receipt for the shipping label, and staple them both to the paper copy of the order (which I already printed out as soon as I received it). I write across the paper copy of the order the day that the order was completed and the ship date (if different) and any other miscellaneous notes I might want to remember about this order if I'd ever need to look at it in the future, then I go into MY CONTACTS files (on my computer) and I type those same notes into the customer's file, so I have them in two places (I told you I was a detail gal!!). The very last steps are I file the paper copies of the completed order in chronological date order for that month and then I put the package at the door, ready for Carrier pickup. WHEW!! Then, onto the next order and the next and the next... My DH thinks I should buy stock in a packing tape company, along with stock in HP because I use up so much printer paper and printer ink on my poor old over-worked HP printer and he's probably right. I know I make extra work for myself by adding in the extra steps that I do to make sure that I know everything is 100% ready to go with all the information documented, and I know that many online retailers don't do most of these extra steps and extra printing, etc., but I do it for my own peace of mind so that I know I've done everything possible to make sure that each of my customer's orders get to them safe and sound, the way I feel as a customer myself, they deserve to be. So yes, maybe I'm a little overly detailed (nutty??). But so far, it has allowed me to take of people in the same way that I would want to be taken care of if I were the customer!
Last things for today are an update on my poor little sickly dog, Gucci and then after, more travel adventures (NOT!!). Regarding Gucci, we spent most of the day yesterday at the vet's office, where she was administered I.V. fluids again (second day in a row!), was also given an antibiotic shot along with some other meds to try to stop her "stomach problems". She was finally able to keep some food down late last night and again, this morning (so far!!), so it appears she is on the mend. None of us are sure what happened to make her so violently sick, but the vet thinks it might have been some kind of bacterial thing. (In other words, she's not sure either!!) I can tell you that when we traveled home from Omaha, it was the HOTTEST day they'd had all year and it was MISERABLE and I do mean MISERABLE. I felt sick myself all day when we were rushing around, getting ready to go, because the air conditioner at my Mom's house just couldn't keep up, so it was hot even inside the house, and it was SOOOOOO stinkin' HUMID, it was like walking into a steam room every time you walked outside. Thankfully, Gucci travels in the cabin with me in her little carrier, under the seat in front of me (where I would normally be able to put my feet, but when she's with me, I'm a bit cramped up in the airline seats, which seem to continue to get smaller and smaller every year, don't they?). I can't imagine how she could have ever survived if she had to go under the plane as luggage--or how ANY dog or cat could have survived that awful heat that must be ever present in the luggage area at this time of year Thank goodness, Gucci will never be under there, since the airlines will not allow any flat-faced dogs, (such as her breed, Brussels Griffon, or bulldogs, shitzus, etc.) to ever travel under the plane, because they can't handle the air pressure and temperature changes. But even though she was in the cabin with me, we were both really hot and not feeling well by the time we arrived at the airport, and inside the terminals it wasn't really very cool either, so I know that I felt hot and icky all day, so I can only imagine she did as well (even though I had her carrier opened up during the entire flights and while waiting to get on the planes--but I did have to zip it up to get on and off the plane and when traveling within the terminals when going to the gates). I don't know if she got sick from all the heat, or if she somehow picked up some strange bacteria somewhere along the line, but all that matters right now is that she is getting better. She's still pretty lethargic, but I would be as well, if I'd been as sick as she's been.
Speaking of travel, one last word about our trip home. I think many of you know that I've had several failed back surgeries (the first surgeon REALLY messed it up and I've had several subsequent surgeries to try to help alleviate the ongoing and consistent pain from it all). I manage the pain and I get along OK most of the time; I just know what I can and what I cannot do. And traveling carrying my laptop and carry-on, along with dragging Gucci's little carrier (which is thankfully also on wheels!) is hard enough, not to mention being cramped up in those little airline seats (with nowhere to put my feet because of Gucci's carrier). So, just to add to my fun level on the trip home, just before we started to descend to land in Denver (where we changed planes to come home to southern CA), I decided I'd better make a quick run to the restroom before they turned on the Fasten Seatbelt sign. So I did and just as I was starting to stand back up to pull things back up into place (if you know what I mean), all of a sudden the Fasten Seatbelt sign came on, the captain started talking about turbulence and within a split second, we took a big drop and I was tossed hard into the door and then thrown back onto the back of the toilet. Whatever happened to me and my poor back in those few seconds, let's just say that I could hardly straighten all the way back up--I just could not stand up all the way straight. But I somehow managed to finally pull myself together and started limping back to my seat, where the stewardess continued to rant at me all the way down the aisle, because of course, they'd turned on the Fasten Seatbelt sign while I was already in the restroom (which I tried several times to explain to her!). To make a long story short, I had all these big plans for this weekend, after I returned home, to get all caught up on everything and be ready to dive back into work, headfirst, bright and early Monday morning. Well, needless to say, between laying on ice packs for two days because of my crazy back situation, thanks to the airline not turning on the Fasten Seatbelt sign soon enough, and then running after Gucci, cleaning after her stomach problems nonstop, my well-laid plans went awry and I did NOT get all caught up with everything like I'd wanted to. I don't know why these kind of things always seem to happen to me, but I really, really think I've had my share of bad luck lately (especially this last year!!) and now it SHOULD be time for some good luck to come my way!!!
And, I do NOT plan to travel anywhere for the next couple months at least, so hopefully, staying on the ground on Terra Firma will help keep me safe and sound as well!!
So that was my excerpt from my own version of "Trains, Planes and Automobiles", except mine would be titled "Planes, Turbulence in the Restroom, and My Little Sick Doggie", LOL!!!