Tag Archives: business

Pick a card, any card………..

There are so many “different ways of doing business” that you must navigate when you move somewhere new. One of the things that I did not realize I would miss about the United States was the ease of getting phone numbers or addresses or just information in general.

There is no directory assistance here. (Well there might be – but it is a well kept secret.) If you want a phone number, you have to know someone who knows the phone number. It is really crazy. I am yet to see a telephone book (except for the school’s directory – God love them). But what we all do have is a flippin’ stack of business cards. Literally hundreds of them. Everywhere you go, you get a business card. And you are hesitant to get rid of them – because you just might want to call that vendor one day. And when you do want to call a vendor, good luck figuring out which card is who.

And the internet is not always that helpful. Many of us have shared our frustrations of trying to find a business or address on the internet – you can literally get lost for hours in the land of nothingness.

Heck, most stores still calculate the bill by handwriting it and then doing the math manually – then rechecking the math with a calculator. So the fact that they don’t have a web presence really is not surprising.

Just the other day, I asked our cook to order some groceries to be delivered (yes, that is back when I had a cook). I knew that he was rewriting receipts so I did not want him to go himself. But the market delivers and then I pay the bill. Fabulous.

Now, just so you fully understand – this is the same market that we have been shopping at ever since Francis started working for us – 7 months ago. And they have delivered groceries many, many times to our house.

So a whole day goes by and no groceries come.

The next morning, we have this conversation…

Francis: Ma’am, I could not order groceries.
Me: Okay, why?
Francis:  I don’t have the number.
Me: Of the shop we have been ordering groceries from for months?
Francis: Yes Ma’am. But I have the number of his brother’s shop.
Me: Can you call his brother and get the number?
Francis: I tried. No one is answering.
Me: So, you really don’t know the number? That you have been calling for 7 months?
Francis: No Ma’am.
Me:
Really?
Francis: Yes, Ma’am
Me: I’ll get it for you.

So, I went into the pantry where we have about 15 canvas bags (all of which Francis put away) from this market shop. Each bag has the address, phone number, and name of the store printed in l.a.r.g.e. type right on the bag.

Francis: Oh, thank you ma’am. (awkward laughing)
Me: Make sure you get their card.

Pimp My Font……..

As you might recall, in a previous life I had a handmade stationery business. So, it makes perfect sense that I am always on the prowl for the perfect font. And handwriting fonts are my favorite fontalicious variety of font.

Holy font, batman – if you love fonts, I have great news for you.

There’s a young lady named Amanda and she likes to make fonts out of handwriting samples. No, dear font freak, I am not kidding. And she gives them away for, say it with me, FREE. Seriously. And, yes, I love her! And her fonts are fontfabulous. She has an entire line of “pea” fonts. If you don’t know what I mean, check her and her delicious fonts out at Kevin and Amanda’s Free fonts.

You can thank me later.

When the stars line up……

Many of you know, I used to own a stationery business (www.AReasonToWrite.com). Moving to India put that on hold (for now). I was (more than) a little sad to think of not being creative – but holy guacamole – I found the paper store to die for. It is called Four Seasons and it is in Jor Bagh. Rohit runs it – he is delightful. He used to live in New Jersey and he misses Dunkin Donuts. What’s not to love! I mean, he sells beautiful paper and he loves doughnuts – we were destined to meet.

Rohit tells me that Oprah’s friend Gail has shopped in his store. (Yes, I mean THAT Oprah.) Maybe I will run into her. He showed me which paper Oprah likes and I swear I almost bought him out of it. You can tell her to contact ME if she would like some more. A little handmade paper blackmail maybe not be that impressive so I will lurk in the shadows hoping to spot that BFF of hers.

So anypaper, here is a small sampling of the handmade papers I bought there…

scan0001

It turns out that the paper is made by handicapped children. Seriously, that is a little gift. Because now when I buy it, I am helping to employ handicapped children – it’s almost charity. How can you argue with that?

The stars are definitely lining up. Invitations anyone?

NoISok

NoISok

If you went to high school in the mid- to late 80’s you might recall this clever little catch phrase. If not, I’ll break it down for you – No is Okay. It was meant to give high schoolers the permission to say no to whatever pressure peers were laying on them. Drugs, Sex, Smoking, Cussing, Skipping School, Studying too much (okay, maybe it did not exactly give you permission to say no to studying – that was parental pressure, a whole different story, but hey, I am entitled to my own interpretation).

Certainly, I spent some time in those meetings (yes, my picture is even the yearbook front and center – I might have even been an officer, gulp) and I chanted No is Okay with the best of them – oh yes, I signed the contract…

I, state your name, will follow the straight and narrow path and be a good little high schooler who does not party, does not smoke, and aspires to be the President one day so that I can bring about world peace. And I will do it while helping old ladies across the street, babysitting for free, organizing canned food drives, and studying for my Calculus exam (which I most certainly get an A on, by the way)…

Put your cigarette out, your drink down, and Sign in Blood here. XXXXXX

Only, I spent more time saying “no” to NoIsOk than I spent helping old ladies across the street. I was by no means a horrible kid (SHHHH – remember, my parents/husband and maybe, one day, my children read this blog) – but I was busy enough that I did not exactly accomplish world peace or necessarily an A in Calculus.

Where am I going with this, you ask? What could this possibly have to do with moving to India, you say?

Well, I realized today that, in fact, No really is OKAY. Very recently, I have been daunted by some pending invitation orders, which appear to be in direct conflict with moving me and my family to the other side of the planet – in 5 weeks. Holy smokes. Translation – not enough hours in the day.

And, yes, I do realize that I could have said no in the first place. But, I honestly thought I could do it and they are orders from very good customers and really nice people. And I so much wanted to make their holiday invitations – I love making invitations – it’s super, super fun. Unless you are moving to India – then it is simply STRESSFUL. And I don’t care if “stressed” backwards spells desserts – stress by any other name is still STRESS, even if it is covered in chocolate and dripping with whip cream. Then it’s just stress that will also make you fat.

So, I took a deep breath and I emailed all of my customers with pending invitation orders and explained that I am overwhelmed, because I am moving to the other side of the planet – in 5 weeks, and I just simply cannot create invites for them. They were all so understanding and supportive and it made me feel horrible. And, frankly, a little sad. But it also made me feel better. Much, much better.

Enter – deep cleansing breath.

So, over-busy people of the world UNITE. It is okay to say no every now and then. In fact, maybe this is the solution to world peace – less stress. Gotta go – Obama needs to know that NoIsOK. Maybe there is a cabinet position in it for me – the Secretary of NoIsOK – I’d even be willing to sign the contract – the position will be located in …. India? Okay, he might say “no” to that.