Monday, May 18, 2009

It's Good To Be Flexible

Mighty Leaf green tea tropical in a blue NJ & IBM (Perfect Together) mug, traditional southern blues with slide guitar for music. It's a Kavarna Day! Dave wanted to get out of the house to work this morning and I got my three kiln loads in late yesterday (the last one at 10 pm) so I accompanied him as I have plenty of time to get caught up on non-production glass business work while the kilns cool.

Yesterday I started the day at Duckbill Studios again doing the last four of the new Cloudstone roll-up pieces for ACRE. It went great--Lee came to help too so we were able to get all four pieces done in four hours. The rest of the day didn't go so well. When I got home from Duckbill I looked up transit times for UPS to get my work to Vegas for ACRE. Memorial Day really throws a monkey wrench in the works and the shipping deadline for everything to arrive in Vegas in time for the show is this Thursday! Thursday I will be on the way back from New Mexico with a truck load of hot glass studio equipment... What to do? I hadn't even started firing yet--heck, I didn't even have the firing schedule done to start the firing. I frantically added up the number of pieces I had to do, the kiln room I had in which to do them, and the number of firings they needed... and it wasn't physically possible to do it all by Thursday AND go to New Mexico from Tuesday through Thursday. I would have to change the New Mexico trip.

Note to fellow Delta Airline fliers: If you get a reasonably-priced ticket from them don't even THINK about changing it. They have a $150 fee to make any changes to a reservation including cancelling it and applying the price of your ticket to another flight. My ticket to NM only cost $145. I would have lost money ($5) if I tried to apply the money I paid for that ticket to another flight. I thought I could maybe switch my return flight from ACRE to put me in Albuquerque instead of Atlanta and apply the price of the current Albuquerque ticket to the changes... I was told it would cost me $260 AFTER they applied my credit. Nope. Couldn't do that.

Tried a couple of other permutations--rent a car in Vegas and drive to Albuquerque after ACRE, rent the truck in Vegas after ACRE and drive to Albuquerque and then on to Atlanta, keep the Albuquerque trip but drive to Vegas in the minivan and carry the work instead of shipping it UPS, ship everything 3-Day Select with UPS next Tuesday (in a week)--but all of them were over $250 of additional cost in money and considerably more in terms of time and strain on me. Okay, had to to make it work as originally planned.

The first thing I would need to do to make it all work with the original timeline was to work around the pieces I had to make. By changing the colors I had picked to colors of pieces already made (either in Vegas from last year or in the studio) I was able to cut the firings down to yesterday and today. That would still leave all the packing and shipping of them, and maybe some grinding and a correction firing for size. Hmmm. I don't have a clone, but...

Enter (unbeknownst to her) Becky The Wunder Assistant! I rejiggered my calculations so that she would do all the shipping for me on Thursday and maybe the one correction firing on Tuesday. She would also have to unload the kiln Tuesday and ship the pieces in it that are due in Seattle by the end of the week. After thinking long and hard about my level of confidence in her and the increased responsibilities I am proposing asking of her, I decided it's time to give her a raise. Problems solved. (Lucky for me she doesn't read my blog so I would get to surprise her today with all this news in person :-).

So this morning I begin my post in Kavarna with all my problems adequately if not optimally solved, and every intention of chronicling the saga of my difficulties here and moving on. But then I decide to check just one more thing... I look at Delta for the cost of a one-way ticket from Vegas to Albuquerque on June 3, and it's $109. Oh boy, new dilemma. I asked Dave which absence he would prefer and he didn't care--they would be equally difficult. So I called Sara and David (in New Mexico) and asked them which would be better for them. Were they ready for tomorrow or could they use a couple more weeks to pull more stuff together? They didn't care either but thought it would be better for me to come in June. So I changed my plans! I got a new plane reservation, changed my truck rental date, and now can do everything myself that I was going to off-load on Becky (including picking up the roll-up pieces I did at Duckbill that won't be ready till tomorrow).

But not going tomorrow I'll have time to grind the punties off the roll-ups and ship them to Vegas instead of carrying them on the plane. I'll also be able to do the remaining Cloudstone pieces tomorrow and ship them, AND I can do a load of small stand pieces for Black Cat Artworks and get it to them on Friday in time for their orders. Productivity ahoy!

I'll still give Becky the raise though. :-)


Dee said...

i know the wunder assistant will appreciate the raise! ;)

now, i will be eagerly awaiting the resolution of the other issue you emailed me about...

Bill said...

You WILL post about her reaction to the raise, of course...