Best Year Ever

Guess who’s back!

It’s been a while. Today my co-worker was talking about how he would like to start writing and I was thinking about how this blog and the challenges I set around it helped me to start writing. We talked about a similar arrangement as I had with my crew at SUCCESS. Although instead of bringing baked goods on Friday if we missed a Wednesday entry, we would buy each other lunch.

I was driving home one day and I was thinking about how if you think about it when you are having the worst day of your life, with 7 billion people on the planet, there is a good chance that someone else is having the best day of their life. And vise versa. Your best day you might keep in mind that it is hell on someone else on the planet. 

So we should take what we can from each situation, if things are really bad it might just be a learning experience, but you should be able to find something.

This can be applied to this year. 2020. People hate it. I feel guilty saying this because many people are having such a hard time, but for me, this has been a great year. 

My wife and son choose to be homebodies and don’t get out much anyway. They haven’t noticed much of a difference other than having to wear a mask. 

In March, my boss said we could work from home to stay safe. For me, it only lasted two days. I talked to my boss and he was like ,“I still come to the office. I’ll buy you lunch if you come by.”

Free food is always a big draw for me but really I love to be productive. The operations manager was also there and we sat around a table and worked just the three of us. My boss would grab us lunch at noon and he was always excited about where we would eat next. 

We talked about setting up a No Contact Delivery and I had always hated our current delivery setup which did not account for the different price zones so I asked if I could revamp it. I had also reworked our warranty process earlier, and set up a pre printed signage (before we hand wrote signs). 

I love a big challenge so making the delivery system work by zip code was a treat. 

Later this year we migrated from Salesforce to Zendesk. I never liked Salesforce having set up Zendesk in the past, and was really happy to work on that project.

There were other projects like getting dimensions of all our products on a spreadsheet and then importing them into InDesign and creating easy to decipher images of the product with dimensions. 

I also created a spreadsheet that manages Assembly Instructions for all our products. This Google Sheet spits out HTML to upload a PDF file of instructions based on product type and also what products a kit might contain.It is a thing of beauty.

After many years wanting to pull off a certain project, I had enough components built to use conditional formatting to show whether a kit was selling for more than its individual parts. We change prices each event, and many times the price for a sofa and loveseat combo would be more than if you had purchased them separately. I always knew I could work it out for one event but with the way it was set up I would have had to redo for the next event. Now if the price exceeds the individual price the Name displays with a neon pink background and it continues for each consecutive event with very little effort.

Beyond increasing my knowledge and skills, I also hired an assistant. 

Plus, furniture is booming like crazy. During the initial COVID shutdowns, we had to close many of our stores and our website was leaps and bounds more than it had done in the past. I felt really good about all the work I had put in over the previous years. The website is like my baby. Until I hired my assistant, I have been the only one to work on it.

In my personal life we took a road trip, completed a lot of house renovation projects and also made friends with some squirrels!

Really, this year has been amazing for me. There have been downsides, to be sure. We took pay cuts at work during the initial store closing. Wearing masks are a pain. The campaigning and election were pretty annoying. I miss watching movies at a theater.

But even with all that, it has been great. Next episode, I’ll tell you more about the squirrels!

By Sam Watson

I'm pretty good at Microsoft Excel but a freak in Google Sheets.

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