UPDATE 9/04/04: I’ve just been unable to get time at the keyboard. I wistfully think of my loyal readers every day and regret how I have fallen from grace as a blogger.
Somehow, the idyllic pattern of craftwork and blogging that I had constructed over the past year has exploded into a frenzy of phone calls, emergencies and late night planning sessions.
Gretchen and I put our services and our home office at the disposal of a friend who has a rapidly expanding tree care business. We created a remote office for his company that handles all of the incoming calls and emergency appraisal requests.
We act as the front end for his business and get a free hand to create new systems for handling and tracking orders and for insuring customer satisfaction. We also provide billing and collection services for the company so the owner can concentrate almost entirely on planning and production.
This is essentially a low-tech business where ruggedness and simplicity are primary requirements. At the same time, scheduling and tracking men and machinery draw upon all of the project management skills we have developed over the years. We have scheduling boards with sticky notes that keep track of jobs in progress and work to be scheduled.
Our kitchen table becomes a conference table several times a week where decisions are made to coordinate tasks and plan around our capricious weather patterns.
I am still able to work in the shop occasionally, but not as frequently as I would like. I managed to complete a fancy pedestal yesterday and will post a picture as soon as I can.
Meanwhile, the phone keeps ringing and the business keeps flowing in, so I’d best get on with it. I will write more soon. I promise.