Saturday, December 27, 2008

Random Thoughts, Random Advice

A post in which I make a very public display of my passive-aggressive-ness. Aggressive in that I am annoyed and making a point of offering advice, passive in that I am not telling anyone this directly, hoping only that stumbling across this information on an obscure farm blog will change behavior.

To Charity Groups:
We all know that the economy is not doing well. We know that the need for your services is higher than usual. My piece of advice is this: return ALL phone calls to your general voice mail, especially from someone who wants to a)Give you about half of the items on your wish list, and/or b) wants to give care packages to the people in your shelter, but needs to know how many to put together. If the person who handles this is on vacation, a short call telling the interested party this fact will make the interested caller feel better about trying to help you out. And will keep her from becoming bitter. And annoyed.

To clerks who stalk pet owners in pet stores:
-There is a fine line between helpful and annoying. If I have a newly adopted pet and you have heard that a)I have been training dogs since I was 10 and b)the dog had some unfortunate social "issues", instead of trying to (repeatedly, continually) make suggestions (use a Gentle Leader!) that are not going to help with the dog's behavior, why don't you try to talk the woman with the four pound lap dog into using something more appropriate than the huge pinch collar she has on her dog. Seriously, that would be time better spent. Did I really feel the need to use a choke collar on my dog? Yes. You can tell because I am cheap and don't like to spend money I don't absolutely have to. While clicker training is great and there are definitely advantages to it, sometimes the dog does need a correction. That's life. Again, please listen to the words that are coming out of my mouth. I know how to train dogs.

-Also, when I tell you I have trained dogs for years, do not try to get me to sign up for your beginning obedience class. It will only serve to irritate me and to convince me that you are incapable of listening. The dog that I just told you I got earlier in the day is not indicative of my training skills- she has not even spent one night at my house.

-If you try to get me to buy a Gentle Leader one more time, I will write your corporate head quarters and complain to them about the fact that you will not let me alone when I am in your store. Seriously, do you get some sort of commission just on this one item?

To Petco Specifically
It is very nice that you give a coupon book for money off of supplies to people who adopt animals from a breed rescue or the local animal shelter. However, it would be nice if you went through them occasionally to make sure the coupons haven't all expired six months or so before you handed it to the people in your store.

Also, when the people bring the book back, hoping to get one that has coupons which expire sometime in the future, make sure that your clerk can at least read at a high enough level to comprehend that just because "dog" and "cat" both have three letters, they are not, in fact, the same thing. You can give me all the coupons you want for kitty litter, but that is not going to bring me into your store.

To Farmers Market Shoppers:
In general, I love the market shoppers. There are some things about some shoppers that I would be happy to do without:

-I think it is great that people see people they haven't seen in a very long time at the market and get to catch up. However, if you decide to catch up, please do not use my table as a place to set all of your belongings, and as a place for your toddler to amuse themselves. That is not why I am at the market. I am there to sell things so I can feed my animals and pay my mortgage. You blocking my table does not do either. Please move to an unoccupied spot, or over to one of the many picnic tables provided for you.

- If you cannot use the sort of thing I am selling, do not feel compelled to come over and tell me why you cannot use soap. If you don't use soap, you are not going to be one of my customers, and there's not much I can do about it. I wonder if these same people go into ice cream stores and explain that they can't eat cold food or they will double over in pain. Uh, thanks for sharing, I guess.

-Similarly, if you have a friend who makes soap and gives you all you can use and more, there is really no need to tell me that either.

-If you are thinking of making soap, find a soap supply store that will happily give you recipes on how to make this product. Do not expect someone who is selling soap to give you their recipe- lots of research and time went into their product.

-Also, if you have children who are big fans of really ripe strawberries, please, please keep track of where they are putting their hands. Strawberry stains are very hard to remove from the fabric covering my table, and having to re-wrap soaps with stained wrappers is not fun, nor is it free.

-If you ask me if I will be here next Saturday, I (and all of the other vendors at the market) know you have no intention of actually coming back next week. There's really no need to ask us this, just because you have asked a million questions and have no intention of buying anything but feel awkward about just walking away from the booth without at least making an attempt to sound like you may be back next week to get something. We're on to you.

-If you don't think that a soap smells exactly like what you were thinking it would smell like based on the label, do feel free to let me know, and suggest what it smells like to you. After the first mention though, if you go on and on and on about the scent not matching what you were expecting, I may get somewhat annoyed. Especially if you are emphatic about it.

That is all for now on the advice front.

Random thoughts:

I seem to be unable to post comments to 98% of blogger blogs, even though I clearly have a blogger account. Many times, the letters you are supposed to type in to make sure you aren't some sort of auto-comment spider don't even show up. When they do show up, I usually have to type them in several times before the blog will post it.

Yesterday was the National Bird Count day, and I am pretty sure some memo went out to the birds. I awoke yesterday morning to find the back yard positively alive with birds, including a couple of western blue bird pairs checking out the new bird box Andy put on the post in the "lawn". Lots of finches, a woodpecker, the blue birds, ravens, gold finches, purple finches, etc all there for the counting. Last night the Great Horned owls sounded as though they were having an animated conversation about where their next nest should go, or possibly how many owlets they should aim for in 2009.

This morning, nothing. Not a single bird in view.

In flipping through a book titled "1001 Reasons to Think Positive", I was quite surprised to see that about 30% of the one sentence "reasons" started with "don't". That seems sort of negative for a book on being positive. Also, they weren't reasons to think positive, they were more how-to oriented. I would have assumed from the title that it was a book convincing you why you should be positive (i.e. lower your blood pressure, you'll be more enjoyable to be around, friends will return your phone calls, etc.), but that turns out not to be the case. I suppose this is one of the reasons you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

I would have more random thoughts, but Stella is doing the dog equivalent of hovering behind my shoulder and asking me how much longer I need before we can leave. She's been promised a nice long walk once we have a break in the weather, and since we are having a somewhat sunny day, I must get her some exercise while I can.


L said...

I am about to get 2 Nigerian Dwarf Doelings sired by your Sky Walker, and possibly one from Guy (I have reservations on a breeding, but the goats haven't been born yet)... I am very excited! I may be contacting you at some point in the future about stud services.
But, that's beside the point -- I also sell at the farmers market and I loved all of your points!!! This post cracked me up. I'd also have to add: If you come up to my stand and take non-sample items without asking for my permission, it is stealing. I woke up at 5AM to pick every single cherry tomato out on my table, and if you pop one into your mouth, that is one cherry tomato that isn't going to a paying customer. You wouldn't steal from grocery stores, would you? So why do you assume that everything at the farmers market is there for you to sample at will? Samples are in bowls. With toothpicks. It's a health code thing, too.

L said...

Silly me, I got it backwards. I already have a goat sired by Guy Noir! Her picture is here (the one on the right), and she's absolutely adorable:
Her name is Ginger, and I can't wait to see how she does. I'm very tempted by Z20 and Z36 on your sales page... you have absolutely beautiful Nigerians. Unfortunately my livestock budget is a bit tight for the year.
Great website! Thanks for taking the time to post such beautiful pictures.