Saturday, May 8, 2010

The rest of the story.........

So every story has two or three sides, or should I say view points, or better yet versions. My last post kind of highlighted and touched on the highlights of the week and overall was a pretty good feel good story. Here is the better version: Two Pound Bluegill. Now here is the rest of the story......

Usually during the middle of the night, I am out on some awesome exotic fishing adventure, stalking some sort of african big game, or walking the halls of junior high school in my under britches. I just never know what kind of adventure is in store for helping me get through each night (or church service, wedding, or fill in the blank with any activity that involves sitting and listening). This whole week though has basically been a real life crazy midnight adventure, only this time I had to be awake during the ordeal.

The first fish truck of the season was supposed to roll in last saturday. I had everything lined up and scheduled out with our route and all my customers lined up eagerly awaiting the arrival of their new fish. Anyhow a couple delays and bumps in the road and that truck finally rolls into town at 2 am on wednesday night. The fish werent loaded the whole time, they dont get loaded on the truck until the very last minute possible in Arkansas. The fish guy just had some stuff come up that delayed the delivery.

Anyhow the adventure started earlier in the week with the usual crazy unorganization that comes along with a lame computer, and an outdoors fish guy trying to be an office secretary. I am just not engineered to be indoors in an office of any kind, but it is a necessary evil to running a business. I cant operate a printer, still dont know how to fax, am not as polite as needed to answer the phone when I am running behind on everything and can never find an ink pen to save my life. Where do they go, HONESTLY, its like they just randomly disappear never to be seen again??? I buy ink pens by the hundreds and even always grab a few cefcu pens when presented with the opportunity, but for the life of me can never find a stinkin ink pen!@#$%

I also messed up a couple orders this week, and made a major communication mistake with a client who was not very understanding. Not very pleasant stuff that I am not used to dealing with, especially when under a bit of stress. I am a fast learner, but always have to just make sure I really learn something by experiencing it the hard way. Out of 2754 online orders we have shipped out, we have messed up less than 10. Out of 1600 acres of water managed locally for over 200 clients, I have messed up 3. The biggest culprit is always communication.

Anyhow, right now I have 27 unlistened to voice mails on my phone and that is after spending the whole day in the office answering the phone and emails. At the moment I have bitten off just a bit more than I can chew and am working on solutions that dont require hiring more employees. Our secretary does start work in a few days which will help out tremendously and Allen did start this week to help Justin which also helps out tremendously, I just want to get organized and figure out how to make everything operate smoothly with a 4 person company.

This week we electrofished in Vermont, installed aeration system and electrofished near Davenport, and delivered fish from two huge trucks to over 25 lakes in the area. I slept hardly at all trying to do all the office work before and after the sun went down. Busy time of year.

So that pretty much brings me to about 2 am wednesday morning and I am headed to Astoria to deliver 2000 Hybrid Striped Bass. This is like the crazy midnight adventure from the beginning of the post only this one was for real. I am putting along driving 10 miles under the speed limit and dodging deer like a car commercial obstacle course when those famous red white and blue flashing lights pull up behind me. I always get a bit nervous when I get pulled over because I always have about 4 things I can think of to get a ticket for, but this night I actually didnt get any tickets.

The police officer was actually really cool and just wanted to let me know that I had a headlight out. When he pulled up his first words he said was "Hey, your the pond guy. I read your stuff online." I definitely didn't need the ego boost for the long run, but would be lying if I didn't say the adrenaline injection of actually being known by someone didn't help me make it through the sleepless night of delivering fish. When I got to Astoria and was sitting there at 2:30 am I got to meet another cop. He too didn't give me any tickets, just wanted to make sure I was ok and sane for being out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night.

All the fish made it to their homes safely except for 3500 big hybrid bluegill. These were some prized fish that will end up as fish food instead of as an evening meal for a happy client. There was a malfunction of some sort with most likely the oxygen supply in their tank somewhere between St. Louis and Astoria. Anyhow that just makes for quite a bit more work having to let folks know what happened and having to scramble to try and find some more fish this late into the stocking season.

So we finished the delivery routes about 5 pm and Justin finished his delivery route about then as well. You see the Wisconsin truck was scheduled for Thursday, but the arkansas truck was scheduled for last week. Having them both come on the same day just makes a stressful big job 3 times as stressful and challenging. We got through em.

I spent the whole day today just answering emails and phone calls and still am not close to being caught up. If I havent returned your call, please send me an email and I will be able to respond while the rest of the world is sleeping. Clients dont mind getting emails answered at 5 am, but most of them didnt seem to appreciate the early morning phone calls (I am a quick learner).

Next week is going to be another adventure that is filled to capacity with electrofishing surveys in Fiatt and at Oak Run. Along with a couple consultations, a few more fish stockings, and a dock to build on Friday. I am looking forward to it, hopefully everything will just start flowing a bit more smoothly and me and my midnight adventures will take place at home while I am sleeping. Hopefully I can head out to the Florida Keys fishing tonight before the oil spill gets there and wipes out the entire ecosystem.

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