He's laughing now...He's laughing now... But while it was happening his urge was to cry not laugh!
Let me share a little story as told to me by my friend and fellow Pinot's Palette franchisee. I think many of us will relate in some way, but especially small business owners.
This one goes in the "we have to laugh or we'll certainly cry" category. And most of the time once we laugh about it, our whole perspective changes and we can deal with it.
It was a busy day in sunny Tampa Florida for James. The studio was set up to fulfill paint kits and artists working with masks and safely distanced . As he walked in with lunch he laughed a little and said it looked they were "cooking meth" hah, then they had lunch and he was off to make deliveries! "Amazon has nothing on me" he mused. His team was creating over 80 paint kits to be delivered for a virtual paint party. As a business owner, this had all the hallmarks of a fantastic day! Under extraordinary circumstances that we are all enduring, a big event like this is a difference maker for a small business.
I know James and his extremely stellar customer care practices in usual times, so I am very sure he and his team wanted to make sure everything was just right. While getting the private event paint kits ready, there are still other orders to fulfill and deliver as well.
Meanwhile, James is a husband and father too, so there is "distance" learning, and daily household responsibilities that need his attention, including his precious dog, Eli. To pile it on, James and I had a zoom meeting planned to present to our fellow franchisees this same week.
This is where I come in to hear this story... I should tell you too, that James is one of the most upbeat and positive people I know! I called him (apparently in the midst of his calamity- which is funny now but...). He did not pick up so I left a message. I wondered why I didn't hear back from him the same day, as I would normally.
The next day I get his call. He began, " Oh Robyn, I just couldn't answer your call yesterday. I was just overwhelmed with ALL OF IT"! We can all relate to that feeling, right!?
"You would not believe what my day was like." He went on to share' " It started out great and I was excited about getting paint kits to people. Then one thing after the other started to happen, and one of my favorite customers (I bet he has lots) called and said they didn't have any blue paint in the kit I delivered the day before. At first I was annoyed that it was missed, then realized mistakes happen, so I decided to figure it out. I had my dog Eli with me to deliver a few kits, and realized there was blue paint in the kits, so I could take that blue paint and deliver it to her since she wasn't far from my location at the time. Then I would swing back by the studio for more blue paint and go to the other side of town later. Well, that turned out to be a terrible idea" he exclaimed...
When he went to get the blue paint, the lid was not secure, so it opened and spilled all over...ELI the dog! in the car! I think we can all sense what he must have felt in that moment. Here he was trying to make things work and manage many moving parts and suddenly everything starts to spiral.
What to do??? He has to now get more blue paint, clean the dog, oh and he was driving his wife's car- uh oh! That has to be cleaned up quick- as y'all know by now he had about 60 seconds to clean it up before the paint set.
At this point as he is telling me the story, and laughing a little now, I said please say you took pictures of the dog? He did, but not until after trying to get it cleaned off. Eli is still a little blue!
In the end, James made it all work and he and his family including Eli the dog who is painted blue can laugh about it. All of his customers have been able to paint safely and happily from home too!
We are all facing instances that could make us cry, but if we just take a breath and get through it, hopefully there will be more stories to laugh at and lessons learned to come from our time during this Pandemic.
We are all in this together!
Stay Positive and healthy y'all!