That was the view from my apartment earlier this afternoon. We’re in the midst of yet another big storm that will probably drop over a foot of snow and ice on us by tomorrow morning.
If you asked me on Monday how I thought my Wednesday would go, I would have said I’d be up at 6, hit the gym, pack orders at the warehouse, kick out early (I’m working a reduced warehouse schedule to give me more time to program), meet up with Mike to program for a few hours, and finally head to my parents house to do laundry and grab some dinner.
All that got thrown out yesterday when we realized that there would be a winter storm warning from Tuesday night until Thursday morning. We told FedEx not to do a pickup on Wednesday. George and I decided that we’d get up early and make a decision then about what we’d do.
At 6 AM this morning it didn’t look too pretty outside. But we had a very good night of orders last night. In particular, we had two large orders that were express shipping, seemingly so they could get them by the weekend. When this happens, we feel obligated to do everything within our power to get the orders out. It isn’t fair to someone to pay $40 in shipping on Tuesday night because they want the item by Friday, and then get it the following Monday instead. We try to do everything within our control to make sure that doesn’t happen, including shipping on days when other companies would close.
I drove us in. The roads were pretty crappy but we made it. We ripped through orders and then drove them over to the local FedEx, making it home sometime around 9:30.
Today was one of those unique days where you see both sides of running a business.
The bad: On a day when all of the schools, malls, and many other businesses closed, we dragged our asses out at dawn and packed orders in a freezing cold warehouse. I spent probably an hour and a half driving in pretty bad conditions what would normally be a twenty-five minute route.
The good: We ensured that all customer orders were shipped within 1 business day, something we pride ourselves on always doing. We also were lucky enough to have the flexibility to get ourselves home before 10 AM. Many people who did have to work had to drive a horrible commute home at 5 PM.
I’ll gladly take the bad with the good. To me, the good things about running a busines far outweigh the bad. But the buck does stop with you. No one else is going to clean up your mess. If we didn’t ship, we’d likely have a handful of ticked off customers on our hands, and that would have been our fault. You have to be willing to accept that.