Thursday, August 20, 2009
I think there's so much to be said about disappointment... I guess the aspect I want to delve into briefly here is: the disappointment that happens when a customer calls to check on an order only to find out that it has been delayed. Doesn't really matter what the reason is... they are always disappointed. Not once in twenty years has a customer said, " WOW! Fantastic! I am so glad my order wont be here when I expected it! Thanks!" Doesn't happen.
We have had a quick run of those in the past week. Not sure why. We have had lots of pots moving through the studio... but the orders seem to have piled up. Not a good thing. So for me, this week has entailed a lot of apologizing and trying to get things caught up.
The second disappointment of the summer has been technical. We are seeing defects coming back to the studio as complaints. People are bringing back or mailing back defective pots. Never before have we had any problems with our pots. But it IS happening now. So we're working with our patrons, replacing pots as fast as we can. Trying to figure out the cause of these odd cracks that have suddenly shown up.
From my end, the frustration and disappointment is something I can't pin on anyone or some far away entity. I don't know where the blame is. I know I have made the same bloody pots for 8 years now, with nary a defect... and suddenly, out of 2000 pots a year, I am getting 4 or 5 this year that are showing the oddest cracks. If I didnt know these customers well, I would guess they were abusing our pots in the most severe manner. But they aren't.
Do I blame the claybody, the manufacturer of our clay? Do I change the forming method? Do I kick myself for not knowing this could happen....
Nope. I feel my blood pressure rise. I look at my diminishing bank balance and I sit down. Keep the customer happy. They dont want excuses or reasons. They want kick ass pots, no exceptions. So I add an hour to my night, and I throw like a man possessed. I fire an extra load each week. Maybe that takes the disappointment away. Dunno.
My last disappointment is with myself. My body. I seldom speak about things too personal or intimate, but what the heck?! I feel like my body is out of warranty. All of sudden everything is starting to break down. I will be having surgery on my colon next month, little less than three weeks from now. At my age, I should have a spiffy shiny new intestine and instead mine looks like it was ridden hard and put away wet.
The surgery aspect scares me a lot. I don't know how most people feel about anesthesia, but it really terrifies me. The last major surgery I had (back surgery in 2003), when I was coming around, and the drugs were wearing off, I experienced the most awful feeling. The sensation of not wanting to wake up. Of wanting to keep sleeping, without pain, without dreams or nightmares. To just drift further and further out.
For someone who greets each day, excited and ready to go, the thought of giving in while under the anesthesia TOTALLY terrifies me. I cant imagine leaving my family, my friends... and yet, for that brief moment of awareness, that space between unconsciousness and full wakefullness... I was pain free, calm, quiet and peaceful.
So on that end, I am disappointed that I can't find that same peace and tranquility in my daily life. I know I need to find it, especially in light of how much influence stress has on one's well-being. To that end, I am off to bed after a nice late evening walk.