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Posts Tagged ‘red tape’

PostHeaderIcon Makin’ It Right…

Today (a Saturday) my husband had a bunch of stuff to catch up on, so I took the kids and went to the grocery store and then to Target to spend their allowance. They were terrible at the grocery store and to make a long story short, I ended up telling them in the car on the way home that they could play with the Legos they bought when they felt that they understood why I was upset with their behavior and when they felt they had earned the right. My son, of course, immediately said he understood and was happy to play when we got home. My daughter… she’s a different story. She wears her heart and conscience on her sleeve. She hemmed and hawwed and absolutely hated that I put this decision on her shoulders. We had tears. A lot of tears.

When we got home, they came in and she reluctantly followed big brother and they played with their Legos. About 30 minutes later, I was laying down reading when I hear her walk in and sniffle over to me, “Momma, I’m really sorry we were so terrible in the grocery store.”

There’s that ah-ha moment again… she’s more like me than I want to admit. The poor kid had probably been beating herself up the whole time she was playing because she didn’t feel right about it. I gave her a hug and told her it was okay and we’d do better next time.

But it also reminded me that I’m really hard on myself too. I always have been. My parents never had to put me on restriction for getting a bad grade. If I didn’t make at least a B on every test, I’d lock myself in my room and study the material and basically would put myself on restriction until the next test. I think it secretly drove my mother crazy.

Not much has changed, except now that I’m a business owner, I really have a problem when I make a mistake. Oh, my team makes mistakes and it’s no big deal, they are, after all, only human. But I am not allowed to make mistakes – I am, in my own mind, supposed to be perfect at all times. I goofed up this weekend (actually woke up at 2am panicked because I realized I forgot to file a payroll form for a client and we’d missed the deadline). I’ve already filed the form and mailed it for the client. I’ve emailed the client letting them know and telling them that whatever fee they incur, I will pay. I didn’t charge them for the time to do it. I will probably never forget to file that form again because I’ve mentally berated myself for being so silly – first for forgetting the form – later for beating myself up about it. *laugh*

But you know… the thing is that you have to make it right. No matter if you are seven or uh… twenty-nine. The point is that you own the mistake and you fix it. It really is that simple.

For my part, I will attempt to let go of that ‘D’ I made in Chemistry in 11th grade one day…


PostHeaderIcon The keys to the kingdom…

I was talking to a long-time client on the phone earlier today who is shifting things and wants me to start printing checks for him. It’s a fairly easy thing to do. About half my clients still use checks on a regular basis. For them, it’s fairly easy, we just set up their check for use on our check stock and MiCR printer, get a scan of their signature to use (unless they want us to mail to them to sign and mail – most just give us their signature though), and off-we-go. Other clients use online banking (well, we do it for them most of the time), but most do a mixture of both.

Anyway, it was interesting because this is a big step for him. Giving access to his checking account like that. For me, I know there’s nothing I’m going to do with it, would do with it – or, really, could do with it. Writing myself a big check would be, well… stupid.

It also kind of made me laugh because I have such a wide variety of clients and how they look at their banking information. We are, of course, fully insured, but some hand me the keys to the kingdom with a big sigh of relief while others protect it with their lives. I do have some in-between, others that are handling like this particular client – doling it out slowly, but it’s true that they run the gamut.

It’s just interesting because there are things in my personal and business life myself that I an open with (Google me and you’ll find my personal family page and we’re pretty open on there) and other things that I keep very private. I think because we work virtually, it makes everything a little different. I know that when I tell people that I’ve never met over half of my clients they are shocked, but it’s true. I have clients from all over the United States.

I’ll be honest and say that those who hand me the keys to their kingdom make my life easier. We’re able to keep their books up-to-date in a more timely fashion, we don’t have to wait for a statement to get emailed to us, etc. We can log into their account, update their file, pay their bills and send them an update every 7-14 days or so.

But… I also recognize that not all clients are comfortable with that. Some would prefer to work off of statements only and want to review it themselves. I have some that send me every scrap of paper they get. I have some that make notes. I think the most important part is flexibility. Clients are flexible with us. Almost all of our team will be spending next week out of touch and they are all cool with it, it is our annual conference and we’re going to have fun (and learn, of course). We are also flexible with them. If they want to hand us the keys and run away screaming, we take the keys and redecorate. If they don’t, we just suggest moving a knick-knack now and then.

PostHeaderIcon Budget Crisis, Red Tape and teenage crushes…

Okay, first, the random – I heard this morning from Twitter that Corey Haim died this morning, looks like it’s true, being reported by CBS as well as TMZ as of the time I’m writing this. So sad. The Coreys were my teenage crush. One of them was going go swoop down in my small town in South Carolina and take me to Hollywood to live with them where we’d live happily ever after. What? It could have happened! My thoughts are with his family, it appears to be an overdose. Sigh, they always are, aren’t they? So very sad.

Oh yeah, business blog… need to stop reliving my youth… heh.

I saw a post on Brad Farris’ blog this morning about the various budget crisis that are popping up again. I commented on my thoughts, but I really am sick of the waste that goes on. You’d think with that many supposed smart people running something, they could put together and stick to a workable budget. It’s ridiculous that they simply don’t.

Last night, a friend of mine (Hi, Dy!) and I were laughing because we got a letter in the mail this week. Do you want to know what that letter was for? That letter was from the Census Bureau to tell us that we were going to get another letter from them and to be on the look out for it. Yes, my friends, we got a letter telling us they were sending us a letter. I really wonder how many of those taxpayer dollars went to that. Could we, like, feed a starving kid or two instead? Really?

And then, there’s just the ridiculous. I saw an article this morning from The Austin American Statesman. Apparently some nosy neighbor down in South Austin decided to be a pain in the butt and reported a good number of their neighbors (like 50 of them) for random code violations. What are these heinous acts? Oh, they converted their garages to living spaces – TWENTY or more years ago. Oh, they added a professionally installed carport – TWENTY years ago. Seriously? And the people who issue the permits so the neighbors can try to stop being fined? Yeah, those people only work half days, apparently. Really, Austin, is this type of red tape necessary? There really should be some sort of statute of limitations or something. Completely ridiculous. Hopefully some local attorney with a big heart (yes, they do exist) or something will step in and help these people. It’s one thing if it’s a matter of filing for $123 permit that should’ve been done TWENTY years ago, but it’s another if you’re talking about widening a driveway or tearing down a usable carport!

My point? I don’t really have one. It was just one of those mornings that seemed to remind me that people really are crazy.