Fri Jan 15 2021

The neighbor has been running a generator all morning. They were running it last night as well.

I have some unhandled feelings that got to me last night, and are bothering me today. I had a customer buy $100+ worth of card singles last night. They didn’t pay full price for anything, they sent me dozens of individual offers for cards. That’s all fine and good, but I accepted every offer, regardless of the card the offer was for.

I let some really rare and valuable cards go for only $2 or $3, and I feel guilty about it. It’s as if the price tag of $15 or $18 on some of those cards meant nothing.

I feel like I’m undervaluing myself, and giving away product. Sure, I made $100 today, but how much of that is just covering expenses? The actual profit I’m making is… negligible. I’m still making less than minimum wage, and I don’t see any potential for that to change, if I continue letting product go so easily.

I have another customer who would have paid full price for one of those cards. They would have bought already, if not for the ongoing mail carrier shortages to their country due to the pandemic.

I could have got $18 from customer A, but I chose to get $3 from customer B because customer B is loyal and I want to keep them happy. They’re a big spender and I want them to come back

Wait a minute. If I let cards go for so cheap, they’ll quickly get all the cards they want, then they’ll move on.

I need some sort of system for making deals. Right now I have no system, and I just follow my heart. No, that’s not even accurate. Today, I didn’t follow my heart. I hesitated to accept those low-ball offers on the $15 and $18 cards, Super Rares and Promo cards…

Yeah, I want to give them a deal because they’re buying a lot of cards from me and I need the sales. No, I don’t want to go out of business because I’m too nice and I want to cut everyone a deal.

For fucks sake, I get a lot of messages from cheap-asses looking for a discount. That’s a separate issue, and I think I’m conflating the two…

Ok yes, I was conflating the two issues. I was conflating them because I received a few messages from another customer last night who wanted me to put some items on hold for them so they could pay for the items with their paycheck that they get next week.

I put the item on hold for them but I think that practice is not good.

See, they want a discount, and they want me to put the item on hold. That’s two things that cost me money. The first is obvious why it cost me money, and the second cost time for me to go into my inventory and remove the eBay inventory, then re-add it on the day that the customer is ready to pay.

I think I am going to discontinue my layaway program. It makes zero sense. I’ve got a customer that promised to buy a $70 card in November. That month came and went, and they begged me to keep the card on layaway until they could pay in December. Then they came back and said that gifts for their family took precedence, so they wanted to wait until January to pay.

January is here, and I haven’t heard from them. I haven’t got any orders from them, and they’ve been silent on Discord. I anticipate that they will say something, sometime this month.

Anyway, I’m not waiting any further. If they ask for another extension, I’m going to say no. I want to get that card listed on eBay, for other collectors to have a chance at. Other collectors who don’t yank my chain and make promises they can’t keep.

This is the beauty of eBay. I can list something, and lots of eyes will see it. Eventually, the buyer will come along and do business with me.

So yeah, I think I’m noticing a trend with layaway… Customers ask for it when they can’t manage their own money. It’s almost like taking on debt.. It’s attractive and something done on impulse. It’s a promise…

Well, fuck. There’s gotta be some sort of credit system for layaway. I say… one strike, and they’re out.

So the first customer who wants that $70 card but won’t pay for it… They’ve had so many strikes. I even forgave one of their actual debts in the past, after they made a strange deal with me and then couldn’t pay what they agreed. So they’re out. They can pay the price on the stickers at time of sale, but I grant them no special treatment.

Ok I put a reminder on my calendar. February 1 is when I add that Steins;Gate card to my eBay inventory. That is, if the customer doesn’t buy it by then.

So yeah, IDK what to do on this front. The taking offers part… The customer who bought a bunch of cards over the past few days is very appreciated, but I think I’m being too nice.

Let me review my job as a customer service representative

  • Know what I’m doing
  • Be nice to the customer

I forget what #2 is… What is that?

Be efficient.

LOL, I forgot that same item last time I reviewed the job of a CSR !

Ok so I think I’m doing great on being nice. Also I’m efficient because I’ve got a good schedule that I stick to, and I get orders out same day if the customer orders by 8AM. it’s the know what I’m doing part that I’m suffering with at the moment.

Ok so… I’m giving this customer in question a very large discount. I’m not saying no to any offer and I think that’s a huge problem. I’m going to be all out of c…

I won’t be out of cards. I will be out of rare cards, though.

Ok so I want the sale. Yes. And the customer… what do they want? They want cards. Lots of them. As many cards as they can get with their budget.

So… We need a middle ground. They are offering $3 for SR and PROMO cards, and those are cards that I normally sell for $10-$15. I need a middle ground.

Next time I get an offer for a SR or PROMO card, I’m going to take my time and think about it. I’m going to review the warehouse cost (the cost I paid for the card.) I’m going to consider the customer and their order, I’m going to consider my goals. I’m going to consider my time and my value.

I’m going to meditate after writing in my journal today. I really need it.

This morning, I picked and packed, followed by a bike ride to the grocery store. I bought a couple bags of discount banannas. It was something like 5 bannanas for $1! Really good deal. I bought two of those bags– all the bananas that were on discount!

I guess it pays to visit the grocery store in the morning, when yesterday’s produce goes on clearance sale. I’ll have to keep that in mind for when I run out of bananas!

I’m probably going to run out today, honestly. 10 bananas a day is EZ PZ for me. Bananas are like Pringles to me… I can’t just eat one!

I also got a bag of mixed nuts (contains Brazil nuts– YES!) and Tide detergent.

I was looking for a small box of tide detergent, but I discovered that Fred Meyer didn’t have any of that. It makes sense. Those little boxes that I have got in the past are silly, because it’s only a few loads worth, and then it’s gone.

I got the full sized box, and I’m pleased to know that such a box fits nicely in my average-size backpack. Jansport something or other. @todo add affiliate link.

The box of laundry detergent set off the inventory control thingy when I exited the building. LOL I didn’t know that laundry detergent was an item that people steal! I paused for a moment and I was surprised to have set off the beeper. I looked around but didn’t see any employees. I didn’t have any guilt about the beeper going off, because I knew I paid for everything. I turned back around and started to walk outside. An employee came out of nowhere and asked if I used self checkout. They looked at my bags and said, “I bet it’s the detergent” and then it made sense.

“Yeah I used self checkout.”

So now I know that laundry detergent has inventory control tags! I’ll be sure to deactivate them when I use self checkout in the future.

What a silly thing to steal. It makes sense though. I’m relatively poor, I get it. I get free food money from the government, but I don’t get money to buy soap, toothpaste, or laundry detergent. Detergent is the most expensive thing on that list. If I had no money and my clothes stank and I had no other option, I would be tempted to steal detergent!

Oh heck, maybe that’s why there is no little box anymore! Maybe the store doesn’t stock those anymore, because they’re too easy to conceal & steal!

It’s funny how the inventory control beepers work when they go off. I’ve seen it so many other times from other people, they look surprised, an employee witnesses it and just says, “you’re fine.” and the person keeps walking.

I think it’s a formality thing, mostly. I bet people who work at grocery stores would have different stories just because they’re at the store all day and see so many people pass through the doors, but for me, I probably won’t witness those beepers get used to detect a theft.

Oh that reminds me… I have witnessed a few thefts. One was at Fred Meyer, years ago. I never saw the theft, but there was a sketchy dude lurking around the shoe area. I think I heard employees talking about the theft afterwards, and I think they called the police, but the guy had already left with merchandice. But yeah, I never saw him steal, I just figured he was up to stealing due to how he was behaving around product and trying to be sneaky.

The other time was at a convenience store in Eugene. I saw this chubby guy who was around my age come into the store, open a cooler door and slip a few beverages into his coat pockets. Actually I don’t remember how many. It might have just been one.

I saw the dude do it, then look around some more like he was deciding whether or not to buy something, then he exited the building, soda in tow, without paying. Sketchy situation. Now I just think back on the situation and I think it’s pathetic. It’s not like the guy needed soda to live. Ah that’s an important distinction that I did not make. I’m pretty sure it was soda, not beer.

Ahh.. that reminds me of my foray into shoplifting. I think I was influenced by a brother of a friend that I had. He was a troublemaker for sure. We all skipped class one time and went to the mall. We went to some party or gimmick shop and he slipped a bunch of toys into his pockets, then exited without paying.

He made a habit out of shoplifting. He would steal subscription cards for XBox Live. He would steal from $1 shops. I’m pretty sure he ended up in prison. I don’t know and don’t care what happened to him. He was a real sociopath who would shoot paintball guns at street signs from moving cars. I heard stories of him pulling his dick out and masturbating right in front of other people. I never wanted to be around him back then. He always frightened me.

Anyway, I shoplifted some shit. Shit that I was too embarrased to take to the cash register and buy. I think I talked about this, but I’m still feeling shame around the subject so I’ll write about it again.

I would steal G-strings. I stole a women’s g-string from wal-mart. I would get off on putting it on and jerkin’ it. I stole a men’s thong from JCPenny’s. That was my first man thong and it opened my eyes to the erotic pleasure of wearing a soft and smooth strip of clothing that wrapped between my buttcheeks.

I think that’s it. I remember buying bikinis once, but I’m pretty sure I paid for those. I remember being really embarrassed going through the check stand and paying, but the checker didn’t say anything about it and it wasn’t a big deal after that.

Hmm… Do I need to pay restitution? I only did it out of shame. I could have afforded to pay for the item, I just didn’t because of the shame that I had surrounding sexuality as I grew up.

Hmm… I think I want to talk to a lawyer or my therapist now. Actually, I probably shouldn’t tell this to my therapist, because I know therapists are obligated to report things to law enforcement under certain conditions.

Let’s say this was 15 years ago. I’m pretty sure it’s around that timespan. I feel guilty about it, for sure. I’d never do it again, that’s for sure. Especially something that isn’t a necessary item. Just like how I said it was pathetic how the kid didn’t pay for the soda, I didn’t pay for underwear when I didn’t need it, and that’s kinda fucked up.

Well, I’ll think about this some more. Maybe I will bring it up with my therapist. Maybe I will get reported and go to jail… Nah that wouldn’t happen. I think there’s a statute of limitations thing, that says I can’t be charged if the crime happened 3+ years ago or some shit like that.

Or maybe what I need to do is forgive myself and move on? Nah, I think this is something I actually have to face head-on, and make right.

I think this could be worked into my 12 step program with CoDA.

ok then. I’m glad I wrote today. Moving on to affy & gratty

46. My past mistakes do not define my today self.

30. I can reach out for help if I need it
29. It is always too early to give up on my goals

I’m grateful for the renewing effects of journalling, meditation, and exercise.

I’m grateful that I took the scenic long way home today, and had a great sweat while riding up the big hill.

I’m grateful that Nyanners exists, and how she’s such a great friend to Ironmouse. I’m grateful that Ironmouse had a wonderful stream on Monday. I’m still thinking about that stream, how much love was expressed towards mousey from her friends and fans, and how emotionally touching it was.


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