7 Alissa wrote about shopping, and it was very interesting, too. If you haven’t read it yet, you should. Her experience of shopping is very different from my own. In my case, I dislike shopping so much that I have to force myself to do it, so it is something of an occasion when I actually buy something.

Not that I went to a store and bought this. That would really be too much to expect. But I happened upon it online while doing something else, and saw that it was the shape of handbag I had been coveting for … a couple of years, I guess.

A friend of mine had come into the store where I was working at the time with a splendid pleated bag. Hers was a $300+ work of art.

I made myself a couple of pleated bags, inspired by hers, and they are nice, but they aren’t quite the shape that I wanted, and the pleats didn’t go quite the way I liked. Also, I bought last month (with the assistance of #2 daughter, who loves to shop, and without whom I would not have succeeded at the task) a black suit for the suit-type occasions which may well be in my future, for all I know. So when I saw this bag, which is just what I wanted, I actually bought it. And it arrived yesterday.

I like it just as well in person. It’s from Perlina, and it it’s big enough for my organizer and also has a cell phone pocket. so it is practical as well as beautiful.

Another thing that I dislike and avoid is talking on the phone. One of the things that I really like about working with computer guys is that they email before they phone me, so I am at least warned. And then they don’t usually want to talk much when they do call.

I reproduce for you a phone conversation with a computer guy yesterday, which I actually initiated:

“Hey, [insert my actual name here].” That’s the computer guy answering the phone. He could see who was calling, of course, so there was no need for me to greet him or identify myself.
“Hey. Can you take on a church for a website?”
“Hosting or design?”
“Definitely hosting. Maybe also design.”
“Yeah, okay.”

Now, that’s my idea of a phone conversation.

I had to call him, unannounced, because if he had said no I would have had to march right back into the church and take back what I had offered them. I emailed him the details when I got home. He has also called me once without warning, so we are even.

The thing breaks down, of course, with my big client, from whom I am expecting a call today. He’s a computer guy, but we  talk at length on the phone. I am inarticulate and awkward, and he doesn’t necessarily answer everything I say, so that there are silences. But we do talk on the phone. I intend to have a good collection of numbers for him when he calls today.

However, I have another little business venture for which phone work is central. Last year, when my third kid started college, I needed a bit of extra income, and I began selling some excellent cookware. I got in trouble at one point for mentioning the company in my blog, so I won’t say what company. But it was fun, and I made enough for the tuition and for Christmas last year, not to mention having a really well outfitted kitchen. 

In April, I lost my job and had a bit of a crisis over it, and then I was jobhunting and then working a whole lot on contract, and with one thing and another I have only been having one or two cooking shows a month, and not making any phone calls at all.

Last night I went with Janalisa to a meeting for this company. We got to find out about the new things coming in the fall (very cool) and also got a bit of a pep talk about sales calls. Janalisa is the high muckety-muck of our local branch of the company, and she had the brainstorm that we would all make these sales calls over the next two weeks, amassing 21 “no” answers, and then go to the movies together as our reward for braving rejection all those times.

I know there are some craftspeople reading this. If you approach galleries or stores with your goods and have trouble continuing in the face of rejection, you should try this. Keep track of all the “no” answers you get and reward yourself when you get a certain number.

Also keep in mind Gene Kelly and the “Gotta Dance” number, for the right attitude.

Anyway, my initial reaction to this project was that I should be excused on the grounds that I am working like a fiend and can’t add anything more to my day, but I was not allowed to get away with that. I am therefore going to try to get all those phone calls made which I should have been making anyway.

Last night, I asked #1 daughter whether she’d like to have a show, and responded to an email from my accountant with a suggestion that she might like to join the company. #1 daughter said no immediately, so there’s one no already.

This morning, since it is only 6:00, I haven’t called anyone, but I did email a jeweler whose web presence I could definitely improve, offering to donate a couple of hours of SEO to her in return for permission to include her in the list of clients on my web site, which is currently under construction. If she says no, I won’t be able to include it in my list of “no”s for the group calling project, of course, but I’m hoping she’ll say yes. I think she’ll round out my client list nicely.

I had a very busy day yesterday, and am expecting to have another such today. #1 daughter has agreed to start the day with a hike around the lake, so I’ll get in a couple of hours of work first and then do that and return refreshed for some more hours of work. She’s having a bit of a rough time. I think that some fresh air will do her good. Me, too.