Saturday, 4 May 2013

08:40 – Barbara’s father is back in the hospital. She made a quick stop at the supermarket and library on the way home from work yesterday, and then headed out to cut the grass while I made dinner, timed for 6:30. Around 6:15, Frances called to say that their dad had fallen while getting out of her car on their way back from a doctor’s appointment for their mom. He wasn’t injured, he’d pretty much just sat down rather than actually fallen, but he wasn’t strong enough to get up. Frances got a couple of the staff at their retirement village to help get him up and into his wheelchair. Frances said it wasn’t an emergency, and just to let Barbara know to call her when she finished mowing the lawn. She said they couldn’t leave Dutch with just Sankie to help him, so they were going to have to start staying over there at night.

As I was talking to Frances, my call-waiting beeped, but by the time I was able to hookflash over to the new call it had been disconnected. The caller ID showed it was Barbara’s parents’ apartment calling, so I called back. Sankie answered the phone, obviously very upset. I asked if she’d just called, and she said she had. She said Dutch had fallen and Barbara needed to come over right away to help them. I asked Sankie if she meant that Dutch had fallen again, in the apartment, or if she was talking about his fall out in the parking lot that Frances had just told me about. She was obviously confused, and just hung up. So I called Frances’s cell phone back. She’d been out in the parking lot moving the car, and arrived back in Dutch and Sankie’s apartment just as I called. She said her mom was talking about the fall she’d just told me about, and that he hadn’t fallen again.

I heard Barbara just finishing up outside. When she came upstairs, I told her what was going on. She called Frances back and told her to call 911 and have Dutch transported to the hospital. Barbara said Dutch’s symptoms were exactly what they’d been the last time they’d brought him home from the hospital and had to turn around immediately and take him back. She told Frances that she was going to change clothes, eat a quick dinner, and then head over to the hospital.

Barbara left around 7:00 for the hospital, and got home about 2:30 this morning. I’m sure she’ll post more details on her page when she has time to do so.

10:24 – I’m still trying to get a reasonable projection of what our science kit sales might be for the year. A big part of the problem is that our sales are extremely seasonal. More than 90% of our sales last year occurred in the last seven months of the year. Put it this way, in 2012 we had higher sales in our biggest month (August) than in the first six months of the year combined. And in every month so far in 2013, we’ve had higher revenue in that month than we had in the entire first quarter of 2012.

The scary part is that in 2012 we shipped less than a dozen kits on our biggest day. If the current sales trajectory holds up, in 2013 we may need to be prepared to ship 60 or more kits on a big day, which obviously means we’ll need to have a boatload of kits in inventory come July. I’m not even entirely sure that I can process 60 orders and ship 60 kits in one day. And, of course, the other scary part is what happens if somehow this sales increase is just a blip. I’d hate to end up with several hundred kits in inventory and no orders to fill.