verbal croquis


jinxed orders

Posted in the day job by verbalcroquis on July 1, 2006

or “Retailers Don’t Know the Hell Sometimes We Go Through To Complete An Order And They Better Appreciate It”.  Read below to see why I have not been posting much this week.  Just entirely too frazzled.

Let me preface by saying that looking for a replacement for my production position has been benched until sales go up some.  Once again, personally dismayed while understanding the business logic.  Bleh.  So, I’m still in charge of domestic production, while wrapping up Spring 07, gearing up for tradeshow season (late July through August), starting research for Fall 07, and working on special development projects for two of our Most Important Private Label Clients.  Did I mention I love being busy at work?  Okay, maybe not *this* busy.  Oy.

I’m getting sidetracked.  The point of this post is that there are just some orders that are a nightmare to fill.

When your #1 buyer politely asks you they want a few dozen jackets, they’re not asking.  You do it.  When they say they’d like it in 3 weeks in time for a special event, they need it in 3 weeks, no extensions.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love this company.  We have several different buyers in different departments with this company and they’re all great.  They’re professional, they’re polite, nice, and continue to buy all year round.  What’s not to love?

But this order.  Sigh.  It should have been smooth sailing.  Order fabric that was already in stock in L.A. (2 days wait, max). Order zippers (supposedly 1 week wait, perfect, since in that time, we wait for fabric, cut and embroider).  All other materials we already have in our in-house inventory.  Cut it up, embroider it, sew it up, send it out.  Right?

Well, three botched fabric shipments, one major delay in zippers, and one boss pacing the hallways muttering “This order is jinxed!  Jinxed!” over and over again later I want to hide in my office under my desk and electrocute myself with all my computer wires. My factory foreman demands X amount of days for sewing and I don’t blame him.  I want to drive to L.A. to slap some brain power into those fabric people.  I’m tempted to hunt down the UPS nut who lost shipment #3 so I can club him senseless with a bundle of mildewed leather.

To further complicate things, I’d like to address holiday weekends.  It’s Independance Day this upcoming Tuesday here in the states which means a lot of the industry is shut down for a 4-day weekend, including yours truly.  Some even took Friday off, some are even shutting down for the whole week next week (thus the zipper delay).  Holiday weekends are mixed blessings.  On the one hand, it’s days off and who doesn’t love a nice long weekend?  On the other, you’re thinking you could really use those extra two days since you had to swallow a week’s delay for the fabric.  For a 3-week timeline, it’s murder.  I’ve had to touch base with my embroiderer (who’s an absolute gem, thank goodness) to reschedule 4 different times.

I talk to the woman in charge of customer service here (she’s also great) and she makes a call to the buyer, to just “verify ship date and address” and sometimes God smiles on you.  The buyer tells us that the event was postponed and we can have an extra 3 days if we want it.  Do you hear the chorus of angels?  Do you see the sky opening up to stream a light of hope onto your disgruntled and manic VC?

This industry, I tell ya.  Sigh.  Now I can enjoy the weekend.

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