Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What Holiday?

Here I am in blog detention again.

I feel like I missed the holidays and much of the whoopla that goes along with them. Thankfully I think things are getting back to our normal level of wackiness.

Do you want to hazard a guess what I have been doing that has kept me so busy?

A. Stitching up hand-made items for everyone on my gift list?

B. Decorating my house, baking cookies and hosting holiday parties?

C. Starring as the Ghost of Christmas Past in the local production of "A Christmas Carol"?

D. None of the above.

Yep, you guessed it, the answer is "D" none of the above.

I've been working harder than ever before. Our store is now an official Bernina Dealership and the preparation for that has been all consuming. I have barely taken a stitch on a sewing machine since Thanksgiving. I did manage to festoon our house with exactly 2 garland swags and my cookie baking was limited to melting a few dozen Hershey kisses over pretzels and squishing a nut on top, no mixer required. I did make me feel a little like the Ghost of Christmas Past.

Being a Bernina Dealer isn't the hard part. Moving a ton of fabric to make room for the cabinets that I ordered to display the machines is another story. Cleaning out files, cabinets, nooks and crannies to make room for the machines, the accessories, the instruction books, etc, etc, etc, isn't nearly as much fun as the look on a customer's face when they make the decision and say "I'll take it"! - that makes it all worthwhile! It is fun to see happy and excited customers walk out the door with their new machines.

Naturally we don't want to be just another dealer. We want to be the kind of dealer that our customers rave about. That requires lots of training, lots attention to detail and lots of hours. To handle all of the details, Santa brought our shop an early Christmas present in the form of a Point Of Sale system, otherwise known as a POS. For those of you that don't speak "retail", a POS system is the light beam that scans the black and white barcode on your merchandise. That little "beep" that you hear means that your purchase has been rung into the register.

It is absolutely amazing that through the "magic" of technology a red beam of light pointed at a group of black and white lines can identify exactly what is being sold, know the price, the color, the manufacturer, tell you when to reorder and keep a record of customer purchases. It CAN do all of that IF someone tells it which little black lines are which. Basically a POS system is an enormous, brilliant brain that when new, is completely empty. Filling it up is a full time job. In lieu of "Jingle Bells" I've been listening to beep, beep, beep, beep, beep as we entered about a half a million items into the new brain.

Now the brain is full, the system is smart and the only thing left to do is to train the brains that work at the shop how to use it!

Anyone feel like celebrating?