cartoon cow writing at a desk

I Need Your Help (12.9.17)

This past week has been unfucking believable. Our family and businesses were hit from all angles. Our primary small business is a residential roofing company and we are experiencing competition that we have never experienced in the past 24 years of business. Apparently the fake news, fake election, and fake president energetic patterns are seeping deeper into our personal lives. While we were in South Carolina this past spring a hail storm hit some neighborhoods near our primary residence in Virginia on May 27, 2017. I called one of my immediate neighbors and asked him for a report on our home and property and he said, “Everything is fine. It was no big deal.” Seven months later we are still dealing with storm chasing roofing companies from Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Northern Virginia, etc. circling our service areas like vultures.

We niche market in a small area which has been very effective throughout the lifetime of our business. We’ve been patiently waiting for two huge sub-divisions, like the one that we live in, to “turn over” when it’s time for the homes’ original roofs to be replaced. We are a well known and well respected roofing company and typically, our estimates are being compared with 2-3 other local roofers and that normal competition is stiff. As of today, 11+ different roofing companies have installed roofs in our immediate neighborhood within two blocks of our home and 8 of them are on our very own street! And we have not been called to provide one estimate for any of these roofs! My husband has gone on several estimates to meet homeowners with their insurance adjusters to assess hail damaged roofs and most of them have been denied. Our experienced roofing crews have inspected roofs for hail damage from this storm and claim that the majority of the homes have minor damage if any at all.

So how the hell are all of these roofs getting replaced left and right? And if the hail damage was so significant in these neighborhoods, then why weren’t people’s cars damaged too? In my search to understand this phenomenon, I discovered websites specifically designed to monitor hail damage throughout the country to encourage contractors to seek out communities where hail storms have been identified. Then the storm chasing roofing companies infiltrate these areas of the country and saturate the market with fear based sales and advertising. We have received mailers twice per week from one company from out of state with the word “HAIL” in their toll free phone number which is a major red flag to me. Their salespeople have knocked on doors, made repetitive aggressive sales calls, and have been hanging out at all of the local restaurants in our neighborhood shooting the breeze about all of the “hail damage to our roofs.” We see the enemies’ trucks everywhere we go. It’s maddening! Neighbors have told me how aggressive the salespeople are insisting and telling them that their roofs have hail damage. These companies position themselves to somehow do the paperwork with the insurance companies and sell the homeowners on “all you have to do is pay the deductible.” What?…and your insurance rates will never go up? Yea, right. These storm chasing roofing companies even have yard signs that say “APPROVED” on them as if some divine source allowed them to install these “hail damaged” roofs. We’ve never seen anything like this before in 24 years of our roofing business. The entire experience is surreal. What’s really absurd is that the roofs look fine. Most of the roofs in our specific neighborhood were installed at the same time and the roofs may begin to need replacing in the next 5-7 years.

Yes, many homes may have experienced legitimate hail damage and needed to have their roofs replaced, but the majority of these homes do not need their roofs replaced. This phenomena is called a business scam. I’m stupefied that the people in these neighborhoods are falling for this trick. Talk about keeping up with the Joneses! And the insurance companies are approving this farcical game! It’s insane and infuriating to hear roofing construction going on in my neighborhood on a daily basis as if Hurricane Katrina devastated our community. And if you watched these roofs being installed you would scratch your head and say, “WTF? Why are all of these roofs getting replaced?”

On the family front, our youngest daughter Rosalina caught a nasty virus and threw up for 2 days straight which impacts the whole family and me, the mother, the most. This time around I have been wearing a mask while she’s vomiting to help prevent catching the disgusting germs. God help me and protect me, because I just recovered recently from 5 weeks of bronchitis. And then if this virus trickles throughout the family, God help me more.

As a new self-publishing children’s author, I have been in a stand off with the “2nd Printer,” located in China, that I am working with concerning the print quality of Vegetable Chatter. The printer is ready to ship me 12,500 copies of the book once I “approve” the two “advance copies.” The advance copies look much darker than the proofs that I approved several weeks ago. I said that I “do not approve” the advance copies. These illustrations are supposed to be full of bright, vivid, colorful vegetables, not dark shaded illustrations. I showed the advance copies of Vegetable Chatter to 12 different people and all of them stated that the advance copies of the book looked darker than the previous stages of the book known as the mock-ups. Our 15 year old daughter Ashlee described the illustrations as “looking at the book through a tinted window.” I agree with her astute observation. According to the printer, they claim that “the advances meet all industry tolerances for acceptance.” Gheez Louise. Well they don’t meet mine.

Meanwhile, I had another problem brewing. According to my contract, I had 30 days to communicate with the same “2nd Printer” in writing about any “defects, damages, or shortages” of books from the first print run of Loblolly, Lobolly, You’re So Tall. I printed 12,500 copies of this first edition board book. These books are sitting in groups of 40 in 311 boxes stored in the warehouse. I took my 3 daughters and two part-time Mommy Moo Moo employees with me to randomly inspect 6 boxes of books at the warehouse this past Wednesday. We inspected 240 books on site and removed 115 books to be re-evaluated off site to determine quality standards. We discovered warped, dinged, dented, scratched, poor binding, rough rounded corners, and a term we created called “eyelash.” “Eyelash” meant that the artboard was cut poorly resulting in a piece of paper sticking up from the spine which looked like an eyelash. Based on these disappointing results, we expanded the project and inspected another 400 books for quality control. Thus far, 9% of 711 books we inspected do not meet our standards of quality to be sold on the open market. Yay! Based on this sampling, I can assume that 9% or more of the entire shipment of 12,500 books are defective or damaged. Holy shit. Näive Debbie believed this company who has provided excellent customer service to date could produce high quality board books and stand behind their product. Time will tell.

Currently, my team, my herd, is focusing on inspecting the remaining 11,789 books to remove all of the damaged and defective stock from the warehouse so that we don’t sell these poor quality books. Rosalina is still under the weather, therefore Ashlee and Rachel went to the office and inspected 400 books today. I am so grateful for all of my helpers.

So, I stand here, my friends, temporarily deflated, but not defeated. I need your help. I need your assistance. I have been praying and visualizing every aspect of this business since the beginning of its inception. I believe in the power of prayer. I believe in manifesting and visualizing our dreams. I pray. And I’ve prayed for this business with my daughters for years. I have faith in God, the Universe, the Creative Life Force. I need more help. I now ask you, my friend, my supporter, to please pray with me and for me. Following are my prayer requests:

  • Help Mommy Moo Moo find and work with the best FSC Certified printer to print the highest quality board books on FSC Certified paper or something better.
  • This printer will provide the best customer service.
  • We ask that this printer create board books that will not warp or have any other defects.
  • We ask that this printer stand behind their product to be a true partner in co-creating these board books for babies, toddlers, and little ones.
  • May this 3rd Printer, Printer #3, be a valuable partner in getting these stories written by Mommy Moo Moo out into the Universe.
  • We also ask that all of the best people and resources come forth in perfect time to assist Mommy Moo Moo with managing and operating this board book business or something better.
  • Thank you.

Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for your support. And thank you for believing in the power of stories to change the world. Welcome to the Herd. A-women (Rosalina’s version of “Amen.”).

Mommy Moo Moo
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