Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Let's Catch Up

A lot has happened in my world in these oppressive days of August besides people blowing off people on their milestone birthday.  But that's a long story for another time...or for never.

I guess the biggest thing that happened is that I closed my little shop after a grand total of 2.5 months.

The main reason for making the decision to close the shop was because the warehouse building it was in is not air-conditioned.  Unfortunately we were not specifically made aware of this when we signed the lease back in much cooler May.  The management never actually said a word about it and later, when we realized the situation and checked the wording of the lease, all it said was that they provided "ventilation".  Who knew that in 2016 that meant no AC? ("Ventilation" meant floor fans which are almost totally ineffective with booths/partitions.)

It didn't even cross our minds that they wouldn't have AC or some other temperature dropping means
that would keep the building less than suffocatingly hot. June in that building wasn't so bad; July was pretty awful (which is when we realized there was no AC), and by August it was Africa hot in there. Some of you know that I have lung issues and can't be in extreme heat so I couldn't even spend any time in my own little shop which is, of course, ridiculous.  Plus there was no way in hell and in good conscience that I was going to advertise and encourage people to shop there.  What would I say? Come shop in my little shop and be sure to dress lightly and bring lots of water to keep hydrated? Free salt pills for everyone?!

Maybe I could have handed out instructional flyers to my customers
to instruct them what to do in the event of heat stroke.

Luckily, I was able to get out of the lease (for a fee, of course).

So we learned some lessons, the main one being that even though it's 2016 you still have to ask questions about proper heating/cooling! Also, do lots and lots of research before signing on the dotted line.  Ask the "dumb" questions, i.e. the ones that seem obvious. When dealing with business people, there is a lot to be said for transparency...or, alas, lack thereof.  Don't get me wrong: the people were really nice.  But I did feel that when they didn't verbally divulge important things like the lack of a cooling system and instead expected me to figure that out on my own by reading in-between the lines of the contract (i.e. using the word 'ventilation' instead of explicitly stating 'building does not currently have air-conditioning')...well, that's a big turn off.  It felt very disingenuous to me.

One of the main things to do if you are considering a similar endeavor is to definitely watch for the non-specifics. Dig around, do your research! I can't emphasize that one enough.  I found out too late that the owners had started one of those pages where you ask other people to donate money. Theirs was to try and raise money (22k!) for an air-conditioning system.  Normally those pages are for things like helping people with medical needs, charity, etc (although there was that one guy who started one so he could make potato salad)...not for what - in my opinion -  a legitimate, professional business owner should have in place before ever opening a business.  Seriously, if you have to ask people to fund some major part of your endeavor then in all likelihood it's probably a good idea to wait until you have your sh*t together a little more. Had I found out about that before I signed a lease I would most definitely not have signed.  If it feels like a red flag, it IS a red flag.  Pay attention to that.

Oh well, you live and learn.  So for now I am back to selling my stuff online which, quite honestly, feels most right for me.  No pressure and I'm the one in control.  Yup, that's just how I like it.

I've pretty much had enough of summer.  As one of the lucky 1% of the population with Reverse or Summer S.A.D., this has been a summer with very little rain and - as the weather people like to say - "abundant sunshine" as well as ridiculous dew points that make breathing almost impossible. Basically that all adds up to my idea of hell. I spend summer cocooned in my office with the blackout shades pulled all the way down to block out all sunshine, and the air conditioner set to mildly arctic.
Everyone always says "but you have a swimming pool!"  Yes, but why would I leave a comfortable, dark house to go outside and sweat and not be able to breathe?
Thankfully I've found some forums for us one-percenters where everyone bitches and moans about the sun and heat while posting pictures of fall and winter.  Although I'm not a winter lover except for the breathable air part but it does help an awful lot to know I'm not the only one who hides from summer. There's always these great festivals and events in summer and all I can think of is how hot and uncomfortable they must be with "real feel" temps that soar over 100°F and cranky people and uncomfortable clothes that stick to you because you can't stop sweating.  Not my idea of fun.
Here's an article from a kindred spirit: Good Riddance To Summer; A Thoroughly Un-British Season

Was summer always this awful with air so thick it feels as if you could actually slice it?  I mean, I used to be so active in the summertime and there's no way I would have done the things I used to do if it were crazy humid out.  When I was little my mom used to say that one day we would have Florida weather here in NJ.  I used to think she was on something but now I think she was on to something!

But I think the worst part of it all is the lack of rain and cloudy days.  Oh, how I love rain and clouds. Instead it's just been endless days of glaring, suck-the-life-out-of-me sunshine.  No summer storms to break up the heat, no porch-sitting while listening to the faraway rumble of thunder.
Nerves are on edge.  We need the rain and the benefits of its negative ions.

At least there's always wine to get me through until it finally cools down/gets cloudy/rains.

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