March 2009

Don’t slip to the dark side.  Not in front of your customers anyway.

Sellers, you know what I mean.  You read an email from a potential buyer that just doesn’t sit right.  Or, you just read a post in a discussion forum that raises your hackles.  Or maybe another seller just implied that you’re not doing things “the right way.”   You know, their way.

Your fingers are on the keyboard before you even exhale.   You fire off a blur of  emotional paragraphs  peppered with words and phrases that may not be as professional as you would normally write.   You might write with anger, sarcasm, or even profanity. 

Have I done this?  Yep.  “How’d that work out for you?”, you ask.  Not well.  Every time.  Did it give me inner satisfaction to make my point known to this awful person who dared to disagree with my opinions?  Temporarily, yes.  But it was very fleeting.  It fled quickly after it occurred to me that there was now a written record of my dark side.

You know about the dark side, don’t you?  That (hopefully) small, dark, gnarly and nasty place inside that is just looking for a reason to come out and play.  It’s that place where we cram all of our daily exasperations to which we can’t always react.  Life busts our chops every day.  Some days it just has a field day.  Many days we can’t afford to react to each thing that Life throws at us.  Where do those feelings go?  To the dark side. 

Ask my husband about my dark side.  Preferably when I’m not in the room.  He’ll tell you (if I’m not in the room) that I can be sarcastic and nasty when my dark place flairs up.  Does it happen often?  No, thank God for that!

Ask my former co-workers about my secret dark twin.  As my unhappiness with my life-sucking job increased, my demeanor slipped to an all-time sarcastic low.  Hint:  If you ever become the most negative person in the room, it’s time to leave the job behind and find out how you can again become the most positive person.  Something has changed and it may just be you.  Don’t rely on negativity to improve your work environment.  It really doesn’t work that way and you know it.  Just a little career advice that I feel qualified to give.  Trust me on that one. 

Anyhoo…  Sellers, now that you’ve ignited your dark side what are you going to do about it?  Should you fire off that email response to the buyer that criticized your listing?  Should you get into a pissing match with another seller over business practices about which you totally disagree?  Will you lambast that newbie on the chat board that just thinks she knows everything?  You might, but I’m thinking you’ll regret it later.

It’s hard to rise above it all but in every instance that I chose that route, I have not been sorry.  Conversely, every time I took the “blast-it-all-to-Hell-I’m-telling-you-exactly-how-I-feel-because-it-will-make-me-feel-better-and-really-important-too” route, I wind up feeling very unprofessional and lacking in self-control.  “Why did my emotions get the better of me?”  “How come I actually mailed that email?”  “Now every time I go to that chat board I (and everyone else) can pull up that thread and see what a bitch I am!”  yadda yadda – self-loathing, remorse, wanting a do-over that can never be done.  In other words, a complete waste of precious time.

What you write down on the internet and in emails can not be unwritten.  Simple, right?  We all know this.  Remember it.  Rise above the negativity.  There’s an awful lot of it out there.  You have the power to wade into it and become part of it or to take the bridge over troubled water away from the dark side and into the light.  There’s a troll down there that would love to deliver that angry post or email.  Tell him very professionally that his services are not needed and that you’ll be responding when you are in a better frame of mind.  Or that you won’t be responding at all, thank you very much.

Our online words, emails, and posts are the only “faces” that our customers (including other sellers) will probably ever see.  That one email, Tweet, or post may be the only thing they read from us.   Wouldn’t it be a shame if the only side they saw of us was our tiniest worst side?


It never ceases to amaze me when my husband and I discuss something that one of us has read and he will be in total agreement and I will be shaking my head in disbelief.

It usually begins with him telling me about something that he read that really clicked with him.  He found someone with whom he can relate.  Someone who understands him.  Someone who’s been writing what my husband’s been feeling.   Great.  But sometimes I just shake my head and think, “You’ve got to be kidding?”

Do we often have similar opinions?  Well, yes and no.  That’s a complex answer for a simple question.  Sometimes I can read his mind and we’re totally on the same page.  Other times… well… I can admit here that I think to myself “I’m married to a person with this idiotic opinion!”  But just to myself….  wink

Opposites attract.  Yep.  Hubby and I have the same basic values, ethics, morals, and all that jazz but maybe it’s a male/female thing because on the issues in which we disagree, we disagree BIG.

Hubby mentioned seeing an article written about a rich, famous CEO who when asked about his “secret” to becoming successful said that he never does more than one thing at a time.   My first thought was “Only a man could have the luxury of doing one thing at a time and still be a great success.”  When Dave (the husband) told me this story my second thought was, “I know where this is going.”  He went on and on about the fact that someone so successful shared this trait with him.  Dave didn’t say it that way but I knew why he was telling me this story.  We’re very different in this respect and we don’t understand this opposite trait in each other.

Is it typical male behavior to do just one thing at a time?  Is it more of a female thing to multi-task?  Not sure but that’s the way it is in this household.  Always has been.  Not that there’s anything wrong with either way but each of us can NOT understand why the other is the way they are. 

I can not for the life of me understand how my husband gets by only doing one thing at a time.  He can not see how I can simultaneously be doing 12 things and get anything done.

Here are pictures of my kitchen yesterday:


My laptop was running Dave White’s “eBay and Beyond” talk show yesterday while I was simultaneously making cookies, listing auctions, doing laundry, making tea, and doing dishes.  The orange spray cleaner was left out to use for cleaning up the mess I would eventually make.  Don’t ask me about the green ground strip.  I have no idea why it’s been on the dishwasher for a month week next to the purple cat brush kitchen utensil.   😉


Here is my cookie sheet at the ready, my tube of cookie dough made the day before, and my electric hotpot all plugged in and ready for my tea break.  “eBay and Beyond” was still going strong and I hadn’t missed a word.

Who can do just one thing at a time?  Obviously, not me.

Today, it came back to bite me though.  I nearly burned down the kitchen while I was boiling cooking tomato soup on the stove for lunch.  By the time I got back into the kitchen after listing “just one more auction”  it had boiled over and run down the front of the stove to the floor, not missing the insides of the pull out drawers on the way down.  Tomato chaos.  Monday Bloody Monday.  One big mess.  Set me back a half hour by the time I cleaned it all up.

Should’ve been doing one thing at a time today.  Also should’ve left out that orange spray cleaner.

Are you a multi-tasker or a one-at-a-timer?  I’d love to hear from you.

I did it.  I started a different blog on Blogger.  Blech.  Hated it.  Backed myself into a corner with it.  Didn’t like having ads either.  Did I already say “Blech”?

More importantly, I’m coming back to my little WordPress blog that I missed.  Blogspot just didn’t “do it” for me.

I’m not going to back myself into a corner with this blog.  I never have here on WordPress.  It’s my blog and I’ll do what I want.  Just because “the experts” say to get a niche, don’t mix business with personal, stick with one topic, use high traffic keywords, don’t talk about your family, don’t make it a journal, yadda yadda yadda…  I’m still going to go back to doing it my way.  Writing about what I want that may add something of value to my readers.  If I want to write about my grocery store experience today, I will.  Stay tuned because that’s what’s coming.  I know you’re on the edge of your seat…  Stick with me here if you’re a cooking fanatic.  Even if you’re not, you’ll want to know what I learned today about saving money at the supermarket.  Trust me.

I thought about writing a private blog.  If I just wanted to journal, maybe I would.  This isn’t a journal.  I’d like to share information and get some feedback, opinions, and ideas from others. 

I’m not going to write about politics.  Not because I don’t have opinions, but it just seems pointless to add to the bazillions of political blogs and, in my opinion, there is no changing anyone’s mind once people pick a side.  And those blogs are not fun for me.  I plan to have some fun here, not to go back and forth about our leader’s decisions good and bad.

I want to share some tips with readers.  I have many interests other than my full-time Internet business.  I’d love to write about them here.  I’d love to write about Internet sales too.  It’s always changing and it amazes me every day that I’ve made this my career.

Stick around.  I’m doing this my way even though my goal is to add value to my readers.  I learn so much from my favorite blogs and started this so others may feel the same way about this one.  It’s really not all about me.  It’s more about us.

Here’s the handy dandy money saving part:

Cooking tip that I did not know until today — and I’ve been cooking for MANY years…

I happened to be lucky enough to land on this blog about a week ago.  How the heck this blog escaped me for two years is unimaginable but to make a long story short, it’s filled with my favorite kinds of recipes – the kind that are easy to make that use the ingredients that I have in my kitchen already and are yummmy. 

I printed off about five of these delicious looking recipes and discovered that I was short two spices and was out of canned tomatoes.  Did the grocery shopping today so I brought my list.  Headed down the spice aisle and to my surprise a bottle of the “famous” brand of nutmeg and the store brand of curry was over $10.00!!  I thought that maybe I’d leave them out of the recipe and use some spices that I already had at home.  But, there’s nothing I hate  dislike more than to make a recipe for the first time and to alter it.  I like to give it a chance.  There’s a reason (usually) why it’s published the way it is.  So I grabbed the very expensive spices and told myself that I was saving SO much by cooking and not eating out (we don’t eat out a lot anyway but I lied to myself to feel better.)  Does everyone do this?  🙂

Five minutes later I was heading down the ethnic food aisle.  This section had it’s own spice rack.  Hmmm…  Probably just some adobo, cayennes, pepper mixes, etc.  right?  Wrong!  They had curry powder for a third of the price for a bottle (no lying this time) that was four times larger than the expensive brand!  I quickly grabbed the large bottle and put the thimble-sized one I had put in my cart five minutes earlier back on the shelf.  I felt like I was doing something wrong… How could this be?  They couldn’t possibly have the nutmeg too?  Wrong again!  There it was staring back at me with a tiny little price tag on a whomping big bottle.  Same store.  Same spices.  Different brands.  Different aisle.  Less than $4.00 for both bottles that are four times the size!  Who knew?  Not me.  I’ve been cooking for years and have lived in a small city that has always had ethnic foods available.  I’d never thought to buy spices in the ethnic aisle.

Here’s a picture of my new friends that will always remind me that there is often a cheaper way to acheive the same results:


Did everyone know this trick except me?  

Where do you buy your spices?  I’d love to hear your comments.