9:00AM, Monday AM. I roll out of bed and head for my phone. I'd guess I'm not too unlike most people, my eyes immediately focus on the little numbers next to my text icon, phone icon, email icon, etc. Normally on Monday at 9, I'd expect to see maybe 1 text, 1 missed call, and 20-30 emails depending on how late I turned in the night before. This week however, there was a big number "9" on my phone icon.
The possibility of my dad pocket dialing me 6 times always exists, add in a call from my store manager and two early bird customers and the "9" may not be a big deal, but this "9" was a bit more serious than that. There was 1 call from our store manager, but there were 8 from one other number, all between 4:00 and 4:15 AM. Only 1 voicemail. I opened it up and heard something to the effect of "Hi Jeff this is Capt. "whatever" from the Fire department."
The next few seconds could have literally defined my entire life going forward, as we sell comics... comics are made of ... yup, paper. Fire and paper, not the best of buddies. So in my mind, I have 8 missed calls from the FD at 4:00AM.... it's not looking good. He proceeded to tell me there was a fire at my neighbor's warehouse, not mine, but that they were trying to get in to make sure it hadn't spread or what have you.
Long story short, I've never gotten out of my house, into my car, and over to my warehouse faster. The fire cheif never called back after 4:15, so I didn't really know what to expect. Our store manager had already been on the scene for about a half an hour and was able to confirm for me that we hadn't burned down, but that it was a pretty rough scene.
I pulled up and saw two glass doors busted out, our two neighbors, and our door mangled pretty badly where the FD had attempted to crowbar open our door. I hopped out of the car and made my way inside as quick as I could and was immediately made aware of the fact that there was tons of water all over our floor.
I know what you're thinking, we're the perfect candidate to be royally screwed by a fire as if the fire doesn't get us, the water will. But luckily, through some sort of divine intervention, we put up 10 different 30 box shelves over the past month. So where the water was, where hundreds of boxes had been, there sat only a few. And I had to literally trash 4 total issues. All post Miller Daredevils. Talk about a relief!
The man upstairs was certainly looking out for us, as we were literally 25 feet away from where the fire started. And the business where the fire started, was a woodworking shop. So, had the FD not gotten there as soon as they had, and God only knows how they did at 4:00AM, in a largely industrial area, where the unit that caught fire didn't have a smoke alarm, we would have been totaled, and totally screwed.
So in summation, our neighbor pretty much lost everything, we lost 4 comics, and now have a slightly bent door frame, but the door STILL locks! Unbelievable!
We didn't even have a lingering smell or any smoke damage to anything. So moral of the story, if you own a comic shop, get EVERYTHING off the ground, and donate to your local FD, as those guys are life savers.
In honor of our business almost going up in smoke, we're going to run a HUGE Labor Day sale this weekend, we're offering 25% EXTRA off our lowest published price on ANYTHING in the store through MONDAY. Just use offer code "FIRE" in the comments section of the offer screen, and make us an offer that's 25% less than our current ask, and we'll accept!
By the way, it takes about 40 rolls of paper towels to clean up giant puddles of water, in case you ever find yourself in that situation, now you know.
There are days that will test you, when things seem to pile up in the "what else could go wrong" category, Monday threw everything and the kitchen sink at us.
After I finally finished cleaning up 40 rolls of paper towels worth of water, bleaching the floors, etc, I noticed our internet stopped working.... completely unrelated to the fire. Doing my best to still get everything out on time, I packed up the 100 orders we had over the weekend, and made a fast break for my house with working internet, packed up the printer and everything.
Got home at 3 with plenty of time to get everything done, only to find out that eBay was experiencing a "bulk label" glitch. Meaning that I had to print every label one by one manually, AND tape them down instead of using our sticky labels. So my 3PM with plenty of time to get everything to the PO before 5, turned into I got done at 7.... longest day ever, lol.
Good news is, we've experience problems with the internet every day this week, but have gotten everything out on time, except for Monday, and tomorrow is finally Friday. So try as hard as you must universe, but you just can't keep the mighty ACC down.
It's also Labor Day weekend, so we get Monday off, Football is back, my Fantasy draft is Sunday, my brother's coming home from college for the weekend, and Dragon Con is in Atlanta this weekend. So here's to sloughing off a terribly inconvenient week, and looking forward to an awesome weekend!
Until next time, keep your comics dry, keep them away from fire, may your internet work flawlessly, and may every shipping label you print be sticky! And always remember, as bad as you may have it, your neighbor may have just lost his entire business, so keep your head up!