Hey all, Jack Wylder here with a much delayed update regarding the swag shop. This is a long post and I apologize but this is an attempt to consolidate all bits and pieces of emails I’ve been sending out over the last month or so. There’s no fisking, no Wendell or Cookie Monster jokes, and Larry doesn’t figure in this that much. You can safely ignore this and go read something more amusing instead- like Larry Free Fiction
After the last challenge coins run, I closed the store while I got caught up. Took quite a while but I got there. So as I had promised, once all orders had shipped I put the remainders up along with finally having more patches in. I figured I could keep up and stay on top of them this time. 42 orders in 27 minutes (with plenty more to follow). Busted my ass trying to get them all out the next weekend and managed to get about half of them out. Got those shipped, logged in- now had 60 more orders waiting. So I wanted to explain a few things in the hopes that maybe it will slightly reduce the number of email inquiries I’m getting.
Many folks emailing me can’t believe that a company like CorreiaTech can’t get a simple patch shipped in less than a month and if I don’t get theirs our right away they’re going to complain to my boss. heh. Please allow me to share some insight with you. (I apologize if it comes across as self indulgent but I want to put this out here once so I can just send the emailers a link to this instead of having to retype this time and again.)
The reality is that CorreiaTech consists of Larry, the lovely Mrs Correia, Correias 2.1-2.4, and… me. In the early days when the demand wasn’t really there, Larry got 2.1 to fill the orders as she could and he would ship them whenever he went into town. As his status as a failed writer grew, more and more people started ordering them. While their support is awesome, Larry started having to spend more and more time on this instead of writing books. Larry and I have been friends for a long time so I agreed to take care of it so he could focus on what really mattered. This is how the Challenge Coins came about- I had time to do them and it wouldn’t take very much of Larry’s time to do them so he said why not. Not a problem for me, really- especially when I was unemployed. But now I have a job- and not just any job, but the best job I’ve ever had. (I seriously love my job!) I leave the house at 5:30am and usually get home around 4:30pm so that’s 55 hours a week gone right there.
When I get home, I have about 2.5 hours a day to spend with my wife and son. This is quadrant one time- the most important thing I do all day falls into this. Understand, it’s not just a matter of ‘oh I’ll pack a few orders before dinner’- I have to gather all of the merchandise from the garage and bring it into the lovely Mrs Wylder’s dining room so I can set it up and have room to actually pack everything. THEN I can pack. But I have to leave enough time to tote everything back to the garage, of course. There’s also the time to actually get to the post office AND I have to go in and enter in all the tracking numbers and close the orders in the swag system. (That usually takes more time than the actual packing.) Here lately, from the time I start working on packaging the order to the time I can actually close it, 5 more orders have come in.
And weekends? Well last weekend my family and I went to the coast- first even mini vacation in years. It’s spring now, so there’s a lot of family outings to do AND I still have to keep on top of the things that need doing around the house. (If you’re a homeowner, you know the things I mean.) On top of all of this I had (until this past week) a story to finish for the MHI Anthology (I’m the slowest writer there is.) (Except of course for the village idiot. Although does he even really qualify as a writer? What exactly DO you call a ‘writer’ who doesn’t write? Hmm…) Did you see the post where Larry was talking about a new business venture? Any guesses as to one of his partners? (Here’s a hint- it’s me.) My end of things takes time and sadly the project can’t move forward until I get my part done. Larry certainly can’t spend any time on it and the third part of the equation is equally tied up. Then there’s Special Project N. That’s the project I don’t have to work on, that’s the one I get to work on. On top of it all, the Lovely Mrs Wylder and I are going on an actual vacation next month, so we’ve been having to deal with passport stuff for the last few weeks.
So if you haven’t gotten the patch you orderd 2 weeks ago, it’s not that I don’t care or can’t even manage to ship a simple patch. It’s just that there’s a bit more to it than just sticking it in an envelope.
Right now there are over 70 orders waiting for me, plus I still have to close the ones from last week.
The store is now closed until I get caught up. Once that happens I should be able to do 5-10 a week. I’ll keep an eye out and once I have the week’s orders taken I’m going to lock the store again until they all ship. This isn’t ideal, but it’s the best solution I can come up with right now.
We’re not going to do international orders anymore. I’m sorry about that, but I have to stop them at least for now. International orders take at least 3-4 times as long and at least 25% of the time the orders don’t end up making it. It’s bad for us, it’s bad for the customers, and there’s just no profit in it. If you’re international and you want something you can email me and we can discuss it, I guess, but for now I just don’t have the time.
The simplest answer is to find someone else to handle all of this, freeing me up to focus on the bigger picture. That might happen down the line, but keep in mind I’m not really making that much on all this as is- so if I hire someone else to do it, then prices would have to go up. That’s not ideal either.
As for the folks saying they’re going to ‘complain to my boss’? A) Larry isn’t my boss, he’s my partner. B) He’s going to side with me. (Do you really think HE wants to go back to dealing with this?) C) He can spend his time explaining points A&B to you OR he can keep writing to try to keep up with his unbelievably packed schedule. Which do you think he would choose? Which would you like him to choose? (Larry has eluded to how busy he is but trust me- unless you’re really close to him, you have no idea. He has had to turn down offers most writers would kill for. Seriously, not my tale to tell but if you knew some of the offers he’s turned down, your head would spin.)
So that’s why you haven’t gotten your patches yet, that’s why the store is closed again, that’s why you haven’t gotten your tracking number yet. Hope that helps clear it up.