Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Dealing with an Overload of Everything

Sometimes life is just overwhelming. So much that it causes my brain to shut down, memory to fog and concentration to float off like clouds. I'm an upbeat person normally but some situations make me just want to explode. This is my venting post, as I just am fed up with just about anything that has happened within the last few weeks. First, store sales are slow, not dead, but slow. Reading the Zazzle message boards in the Elite ProSeller area, other elite sellers share my stress over our profits becoming harder to get and fewer in number. Some people are about to lose their homes, others feel panic, others are just sad. I'm not losing my home or anything but money is now tight, with this car repair fiasco going on (more on that, later). It breaks my heart seeing others so miserable. I'm keeping sane (barely) with the help of caring friends and my parents. I just want to sleep most of the time, and hyperventilate frequently for no reason. My body is highly tuned to stress out due to the PTSD which makes matters worse when I'm overstressed. Outwardly my demeanor is calm, but inside I'm frustrated and worried. My business is still there, and will continue as always. My other branch of business at Cafe Press is making (small) sales already. Not much but it's a start. I used to have big commission percentages but due to the economy, I lessen them more and more. And, Cafe Press only lets you get 10% commission in their own marketplace (but whatever you want away from it). It's about survival, growng my customers and visibility at both Zazzle and CP. I will go with the flow, but it's uncomfortable. Especially since..

My car is in the shop. And has been for the last few weeks, with mechanics who give me the runaround and blow me off whenever I call to check on the status. They want to charge me outrageously high prices for grandiose jobs. I was told by previous mechanics it needed just a hose to keep the coolant from leaking, the mechanic tells me I need a new manifold ($1000 repair). I told him "forget it". He claimed he would "save me money and look into it", then never called back. I called him back the next day, and he was annoyed, "I already told you it's the manifold". I said to him that "I know, and I told you that I don't want that work done. You were going to call me back to save me some money". He hemmed and hawed, doing the same song and dance of "I'll call you". I told him, "I need the car by Friday. Urgent. I don't want big bucks spent on an old car." He said "Ok, I'm on it". Heard that enough in the past. I said, "Are you? I hope so. I am tired of getting the runaround, and need my car." He said again that he's "on it". I take him at his word now and will get my dad to deal with them next time if need be. It's hard being a woman alone getting repair work done on cars. There are some great mechanics out there, who don't play games or string us along. I know that. But, there are quite a few unscrupulous ones that want to jack up the bill thinking that the dumb lady won't know any better. I took my car to two different mechanics before this one (as of now, unnamed), the only reason I didn't choose the others is that they don't take payments, this one does. They both told me I just needed a hose to get the coolant to stop leaking, nothing grandiose like manifolds, etc. They told me the turnaround was only ONE or TWO days. This mechanic acts like it's a huge project and it takes a long time to find out what's going on, yada, yada.

Anyways, my blood pressure is surely rising as I type this, needless to say I'm unhappy and World War III will go off if I don't get this car back at a reasonable price. The brakes were the original problem and this time, that idiot light on my dashboard saying "Brakes" had better be off. And fixed. Don't just take a fuse out and call it fixed. UGH. If I was a man in a three piece suit, I highly doubt this would happen. I have gotten tough with mechanics in the past who tried this BS with me, and had unneccessary charges taken off. I don't want to be a B. But sometimes it is unavoidable, you have to put your foot down, if not amicably (my first choice, of course), I hate to fight. But I'm ok with calling the local TV ombudsman if need be, not to mention give scathing reviews to sinister mechanics who try to screw me over, sticking to facts, keeping it real. I'm nice, but don't mistake my sweetness for weakness.

Then there's my dear laptop, turns on but has a black screen. I contacted Hewlett Packard's site and looked up how to fix it, ran some tests, and it needs to be seen by a computer mechanic. No way around that, too technical for me to do on my own. My main, FAST computer (my other computer is slowww, with less memory..I could leave the office, go make lunch and eat it in the time it takes to load a YouTube video.) The laptop needs me to spend surely over a hundred dollars to fix it. I haven't been to a computer repair place and walked out with repairs for under that. The last one was over $200! I want to cry but can't. I'm too numb. Will fix it later, after I finish paying the thousand bucks off that I owe that car mechanic.

One bright light in all of this totally insane mayhem is that my parents and our pets are ok, love my house and gardens, and beautiful Autumn is here. I'm going to get better health insurance soon and working to fight this blasted infection in my mouth/system. I looked into dental coverage as an add-on but true to form, it's not worth paying $12 per month for only $1000 total benefit in a year. What a ripoff. But the rest of the plan looks ok. I keep all my same doctors, and get medicine coverage, when needed. Being fifty, I am getting more health conscious. Want to be prepared if any health problems crop up, without paying an arm and a leg for it.

Throughout my rough last month, it helps me to know that there are people out there who care about me. Thank you all for that. I truly appreciate everything you've done, and most of all, your just being there when I need you. It's been a meltdown for me, of sorts, but I'll be ok, my business will be ok. It takes creative adapting, learning more about marketing/business, and working through the tough times (with breaks to freak out now and then). My home is peaceful and safe, the countryside around me is so beautiful and relaxing. Life could be much worse. I have a lot to be thankful for, as do we all. Zazzle shopowners, don't lose heart. I read your stories and feel for you. Let's stick together and help eachother out in growing our stores. Never give up. This too shall pass.