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Friday, May 08, 2009

A Morning with Me, Myself, and I

As some of you know, I went back to work in April--April 1st to be exact. It's been . . . an adjustment after several years of wearing my jammies all day. My current boss frowns on such casual attire, which is a bummer, he's also liable to interrupt my evenings with talk of work and he makes me iron his shirts. The upside is that he sometimes runs kids in the afternoon so that I can finish something up and it's understood that I can yell back if he gets out of hand. I'm also hopeful that the fact we're sleeping together will open up some promotional opportunities in the future. Unfortuantely, everyone knows we're sleeping together and so I can't blackmail him with it. Them's the breaks for working with your husband, I suppose.

Back in January I blogged about my employment qualifications. I specifically mentioned that I had none--other than writing novels which there isn't a huge section for in the Help Wanted section. Apparently that blog post infiltrated the nether-regions of Karma and by February I was feeling the pressure that I needed to be bringing home a paycheck. Why? Because the last year has not been economically kind to the Kilpacks.

Now, we're okay, as in we're not behind on anything and don't anticipate that we will be. Right now, we have our needs met, but the next six months is going to be interesting. In July 2008 we bought a Window covering buisness in Vegas. We spent several weeks doing our due diligience, we felt we had really found a great company--and we did find a great company--however the seller was not honest in his financial reports. Within 90 days we were facing collections on debts we had no idea existed and a month after that we found ourselves embroiled in a lawsuit. Anyone that's been watching the economic crash and burn (who hasn't?) has likely heard that Las Vegas has been hit hard, very hard. After a ten years unprecidented period of growth, construction has all but stopped and jobs have dried up, sending people out of Vegas in droves. Those things do not bode well for a company whose market is made up of people buying new or upgraded window coverings. Lee has jumped in with both feet to keep the buisness going amid all the arrows being slung our way, and he's done an amazing job. While other window covering companies are folding left and right, we've managed to stay afloat. We've lost some key employees, but we've held on to some absolute gems who are putting everything they have into making this work. In January we opened an Ogden, Utah location. We mostly wanted to keep our administration closer to home so that Lee didn't have to spend so much money and time commuting to Vegas, but we also started selling blinds out of that location. We hired a bookeeper and crossed our fingers that things would improve.

Come April, however, we had to look at more ways to cut our overhead. What we needed was someone to work for free, that had a vested interest in the company, and knew how to do basic account. Well, that person didn't exist--but two out of three ain't bad. I can work for free and I very much want the company to do well. The accounting part was the sticking pin, so I took a Quickbooks class and six weeks into the job I kinda almost sorta know what I'm doing. It's really worked out well despite my feeling sorry for myself that I can no longer live in my jammies.

It's been hard to fit this 25 hour a week job into everything else I do. I find I'm running from one thing to the next without much time to take a breath. Today, however, I have a morning to myself, at home, with no one but my dishwasher to keep me company. I have to take a couple kids in for doctor appointments in an hour, which means I won't be going in to work until after the appointment, which means I got to read a couple blogs and take twenty minutes to post something to my own.

Heaven.

It's my hope that within a few more weeks I'll be caught up at 'the office' and that life will settle into a new, though brimming, schedule. It's my hope that within a few more weeks I will now and then get an hour to sit and blog. It's my hope that within a few more weeks I will feel like I'm really making a marked contribution to the company (Did I mention the computer I crashed? The fact that I don't know how to use excel? My propensity to be rather snappy with the boss?) It's my hope that I will find a way to fit writing, exercise, editing, and cooking back into my life at some point.

For now, I'm glad I can do what I can do. I'm glad that working for my husband gives me the flexibility I need to be a mom and a writer as well, and I'm glad to have another thirty minutes of blesses peace and quiet in which to ponder the blessings in my life. I am blessed with work, blessed with ability, blessed with comfort, proseperity, and enough wisdom to see that despite the struggles, we're going to be just fine, one way or another.

So, anyway, if you've wondered where I've been, that's where, and if you're looking for window coverings, I'm hoping to have our new website up in another week or two so stay tuned.

22 comments:

Lara said...

I don't know if I should congratulate you or offer condolences.

So I'll do both:

Good for you for being so willing to help, and good for your husband for keeping the company afloat.

I'm sorry that it's hard. I have definitely had that going on the last three years by working and being torn between home and work stuff. I'm also very sorry that the previous owners weren't upfront with you. I hope you get that all worked out soon!

I've missed you in blogland!

Melanie J said...

Holy smokes. I've been working about thirty hours a week for the last few weeks on a fundraiser and it's been killing me. And yet...it's good to be reminded of some of the talents I haven't used in a while. So there's a blessing in it, when I think about it that way.

Annette Lyon said...

Holy frijolies, woman! Just reading this is exhausting. Hang in there.

Queenmemory said...

You have been missed in the blog world

And about the blinds I probably will be needing some when the windows get in.

Kimberly said...

My goodness, woman, you must be exhausted! So sorry about all the nasty surprises with buying the company - I can only imagine how frustrating that was. Good for you for stepping up to the plate!

Jenna Consolo said...

Wow! You guys have your hands full! But I admire the way you've pulled together, and think of all you're learning! You really are superwoman after all!

LexiconLuvr said...

Am I the only one who laughed their butt off at the "sleeping with the boss" comment? I about fell off my chair.

Sorry for the economic hardships as of late. I'm prayin' for you. I know you'll be a great employee and if your accounting skills are close to your writing skills, you'll be rollin' in the dough soon!! Take care & blog as soon as you're able. =]

Amber Argyle-Smith said...

It's been hard on all of us. Sorry it hit you guys too.

Karlene said...

I can so relate since I went back to work at a "real" job about 6 months ago. I haven't quite adjusted to it. But now, my job is over and I have to readjust to being poor. :s

Good luck. You can do it.

Tristi Pinkston said...

I'm glad there's an occasional minute to yourself in there ... and am so flattered you chose to spend it with us, your faithful blog readers!

Heather Justesen said...

Isn't owning a business so much "fun?" =) When people comment on how great it is for business owners to be able to pick their own work hours, my dad has been known to state that it's true--he gets to choose which 14 hours a day he wants to work!

We've been running our computer business for four 1/2 years and my husband has been working full time for the county for most of that time, in addition to being the computer tech/office manager/bookkeeper/ requisitions/advertising... you get the picture.

Trying to get the business to make money, run the house and our other sources of income (I have several besides helping with the business) has been a juggle sometimes. The good news is the economy doesn't stay bad forever.

And, of course, just as someone's computer is going to crash somewhere today because they downloaded bootleg music off of Limewire (and all the viruses that come with it), somewhere out there someone is going to come home to find their kid/cat/dog/spouse/parrot has destroyed the blinds and they'll need to be replaced. =)

Hang on, and enjoy all the fun of getting to know Quickbooks (I've got my parent's 2000 version down. Don't ask me how to navigate the one 2009 version Bill uses!)

Julie Wright said...

You and Lee are amazing and the fact that you guys are working together on this only further proves that fact. It will all work out and I know this because you are great people and you have talents and love in your lives that many people will forever envy. I'm glad you got a minute to yourself though. Heaven knows you deserve it!

Melissa Cunningham said...

Good heavens! What a busy life! I wish you luck, but more than that, I wish you a relaxing and peaceful state of mind.

Ali Cross said...

Wow, that's a lot. You will be missed in blogland--but I really admire you standing up for your family and doing right by them, even it is inconvenient and possibly unpleasant for you. Hugs! And Good Luck!

Selwyn said...

Geez, is there anything you CAN'T do?

You're an internationally acclaimed author, you blog, you organise CHORES for your kids, you basically rock AND you do accounts?

I'm just gonna sit over here and sigh in dejection for a while... and wait for your next blog =)

Oh, and as for trying to fit cooking, exercise etc in, try what I do - I jog from my pool past my kitchen window and see the chef in there preparing dinner for me. Then I wake up =)

An Ordinary Mom said...

I can only imagine how tired you must be! Reading this post makes me sleepy. Here's to hoping things pick up soon for the company ... and that you continue to get some mornings to yourself so you can stay in your jammies longer :) !!

Diony said...

Josi, I finished Lemon Tart yesterday and made the recipe for Sunday dessert. Yum! Your book kept me guessing as to who the real murderer was--way to go! I'm looking forward to English Trifle.

CTW said...

You're proving to be more superwoman all the time. Good for you for doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done. It's tough sometimes making the right choice for your family.

Crystal said...

Whewh!! You sound insanely busy, but chipper about it too. You are so tough and I am am so proud of you! Taking one for the team right?!

I am apologizing in advance for an age jab I made about you a recent post, it's funny but I'm concerned it will send you over the edge...we'll see I guess, cause I'm not concerned enough to change it! Love YOU!!!

Kristi said...

Wow...can I say that I can totally relate? When my husband started his law practice I was needed to be the free laborer...and boy did I ever labor! For FREE! And then we did our own business adventure around that same time with his dad and purchased two pizza franchises...yeah...CRAZY!! I ended up working nights at the store (we literally ate pizza every day...man I sure miss the free pizza!) and life was just crazy. The previous owner was dishonest with her numbers and after a couple of years, we had to shut them down. Wow..the real world is brutal!

So...long story even longer...heh heh...it's amazing what women can manage to do on an everyday basis...on TOP of being a "stay at home" mom. Hang in there girl!

Julie Wright said...

This is going to be an awesome conference!

damselindisdress said...

I got lost on the internets link-clicking and ended up here.

1. My little girl went to your teen writing conference and LOVED it. (We were one of those two Hovleys that squeezed in at the last) THANKS...I was excited to see the words "1st annual" hoping that means there will be more. Do you know of any other things for teens going on this summer?

2. Doing the exact thing with the husband's company...wow. So much fun, eh? By the way I have a Quickbooks question for you, lol...

http://damselindisdress.wordpress.com