Saturday, January 31, 2009


I get this great satisfaction from packaging up items that I've sold in boxes. I don't do anything fancy, although I have some great ideas for future packaging. I just bubble wrap the breakable parts, then create a little nest in the box for the item. I make the nest from old magazine pages, or more recently, the 2007 Ikea catalog. Ikea would approve, don't you think? It's more environmentally friendly then styrofoam peanuts. Then I tuck the items inside, wish them well and then fills the rest of the box up with more crumpled magazine pages and tape it all up. I don't know why I find this so satisfying. It just is.

Also, in case you don't know about this, you can get free flat rate and priority mailing boxes from either eBay or the post office. It costs a little more to ship priority mail than to ship first class, but you have to ship priority in order to get delivery confirmation anyway, which is always a good idea. I typically pay for delivery confirmation at the post office because I'm not quite to the point where I trust myself to figure out postage, but another great tip is that if you are paid through Pay Pal, you can print your shipping labels there and get FREE delivery confirmation. This is on my to do list for the future. Random Anny says that she doesn't even bother to print her shipping labels on label paper. She just prints it on regular paper and tapes it right on the box. Sounds like a good plan to me!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Another satisfied customer

I encountered a new situation today...  someone was unsatisfied with an item that I sold them on eBay.  I sold him a wireless webcam and he said that the wireless feature didn't work and that he had to use a cable with it.   When I sent the camera, it was still in the factory-sealed packaging, so, I really have no way of knowing if it was actually broken or not, but suspected that he wasn't telling the truth because he said that the seal on the camera was broken and it had been tampered with.  If the seal was broken, it was before we owned it since we never even opened the box.  I wasn't sure what to do, since I have a no refunds policy on my sales, but I didn't want to rip someone off if the item was truly broken.

So, I ended up reaching a great agreement with him!  Since he could still use the camera with a cable, I offered to sell him another wireless camera for the price of a non-wireless camera, which worked out great since I have another wireless camera that is missing an antenna that I didn't want to list for sale until I got the antenna replaced.  But, this works out perfectly because he can use the antenna from the one that he claims is not working with this new camera and use this one as his wireless camera and the other camera as a wired one.

Does that make sense?  Basically, I took a complaint and turned it into another sale.  

But, what do you normally do if someone claims something you sold them is broken?  I guess you have to judge it depending on the situation.  

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Friend of Bob that used to work with Janet...

Let me start by complaining.  I like a lot of things about Blogger, especially how easy it is to insert pictures and links, etc, but I absolutely hate logging in to it.  I have several gmail accounts that I use for various reasons- private, anonymous, professional, casual, blogging, storage, etc.  Whenever I try to log into Blogger, it automatically fills in the username with whatever the last gmail account I signed into is, which is often not the account that I use for blogging.  There's a link to click that says, "Sign in as a different user" but when I click it nothing happens.  This happens even if I've logged out of gmail and logged into the account that I use for blogging.  It's very annoying and every time I have to clear my history, empty my cache and delete my cookies, just to log in.  Am I the only one that has this problem?  Maybe it has something to do with me using Safari?

Anyway, I'm starting to get really worried about finding a job.  I thought I'd be back to work by Feb. 1, but that's clearly not happening since I've applied for 20 jobs and I haven't gotten a single interview.  If you have a job, keep it.  I would say that I made a mistake leaving my job, but given my very unique circumstances, I still think it was the right thing for me to do, but unless your job is truly unbearable, hang in there.  The job market is so different than the last time I was looking.

Tonight, I reached a new low.  I sent an email to a man that I barely know who works at a company at which I applied for a job today.  He and I worked at the same place briefly, but we know each other so remotely that I felt as though I had to go to great lengths to explain who I was to him.  Then, I asked him to put in a good word for me.  LOL.  I figured that I had nothing to lose and as far as I am aware, his impression of me has been positive.  Still, it's awkward, even in email.  But sometimes, it's things like this that pay off.

I BARELY knew my old boss at the zoo when I applied for the job there and reached out to her and ended up with the job.  I barely knew her as in I'd met her twice.  Obviously, it helps when you're qualified for the job and I definitely meet (even exceed) the requirements for this position, but I've always heard that it's not what you know, it's who.  Well, I know a lot of people and I've been working my connections, but I'm about to start working them more aggressively and getting more Kevin Bacony about it.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Affendoodle? Poopinscher?

I've had a hard time writing here- or anywhere else, for that matter- lately. My life is excrutiatingly boring these days, aside from back pain, which has managed to keep me somewhat busy whining and feeling sorry for myself.

Because we got him from the pound, the history of our ridiculous dog, Duke, is a mystery. He's at least part poodle- that's obvious. Most likely, he's also part schnauzer, because his fur gets this 80's frosted look about it when it gets on the longer side and he also has a little patch of course hair on his rump, but thanks to Cute Overload, I was recently introduced to a new kind of dog (new to me) that bares a striking resemblance to him... The Affenpinscher. Behold:

And for comparison, here's Duke:

Obviously, Duke's hair is curlier, but the eyes and his wacky ears are right on and those of the parts of him that neither seems particularly poodle or schnauzer. And yes, I know his sweater is gay (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cup Cakes

I had my first ever paid cake-making gig this weekend. I made two dozen tennis themed cupcakes for an acquaintance's mother's birthday party. They were pretty cute and sure looked yummy, but sadly, I neglected to take a picture. It's my sister's fault because instead of taking pictures on Saturday morning, I ended up going to watch my niece and nephew play basketball, which was pretty funny. My niece, age 8, flubbed several balls, fell down and hurt her knee and cried, and spent most of the game on the bench. She was the cutest player though. My nephew was considerably better, scoring several points, and his team had their first win of the season. A real nail biter.

Douglas is in much better spirits today. For the first time in weeks, his tail isn't tucked between his legs and he's doing his awkward little tap dance that he does when he's excited about something like me talking to him or opening the drawer that the leashes are kept in. It's the little things, you know, when you're a dog.