Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Back to Normal

Today has been about trying to restore things back to normal. Last night my friend Chris set up the network in the store. Normally it's something I would do. I did that kind of work for many years. I actually enjoyed it. However, when it's not your primary job and you've got customers and other things to do, taking a few hours for a task like that can seem maddening. Yet giving it to something else when it's a strength seems like an act of desperation. Being practical, I decided it just needed doing to move forward and I asked for help. It required setting up a DNS and DHCP server, NAT mapping, and the wireless configuration, in case you were wondering why I was wimping out. The bottom line is that I can now print from the POS machine and backup my stuff.

The biggest issue with the new store is that it's busy. It has to, just to pay for itself. The down-side is that there is very little time to do anything other than assist customers. Because of its size, the store really takes two people to do the task properly, so with one it requires your full attention. If you're reading email or typing a letter, it means your back is probably towards someone. Projects, like the network, or putting up the new paper towel dispenser in the bathroom, have to be done after hours (after 10pm now!) or in the couple hours of employee overlap (what we usually do). I save up these little projects throughout the day and do them quickly when Michael shows up. My goal is to have a surplus of cash and to be tired from the long hours and then decide to have that second person on all the time.

Back to the network, having printing means I have the ability to do some office work while at the POS system. For example, today I had to work on a request letter to the landlord so we can have the SCA beat each other with sticks during our grand re-opening. It should be cool. There are also at least three "move" documents from existing vendors required to continue my account. Some are as simple as a single page change of address form. Some are ten pages and require photos of many areas of the new store and copies of legal documents. None of these were getting done while I couldn't print. All of them are to prove I'm not operating out of my basement. I'm actually glad they do it.

The real decision that proves things are back to normal is that I'm leaving my laptop in the office now (it's old and decrepit, so don't think it's worth anything). The real office consists of my laptop, the check register, and the bills folder. I can run the store with these three things and all three have been in my backpack for the last month. Today they left the backpack permanently, signaling that everything is safe and back to normal.

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