Survivng the storm.
Today is my birthday. I was born 52 years ago in a hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. I was premature, my mother had toximia. My family did not think I was going to make it.
My uncles did not want my mother to name me because they did not want her to get attached and heartbroken. I rallied and rallied and finally it was clear I was going to make it. I was ugly, wrinkled and looked burned and was very small, but I made it. I fought and survived.
This has been my MO ever since. I am a survivor. I like my life and the way it has shaped me into who I am now. As lives go, it has not been an easy one. It has made me really strong, kind of brave, compassionate and believe it or not optimistic.
It has made me appreciate every single moment of life and is teaching me to see them all as opportunities, no matter what they look like. I am still working on this part. It is so much easier to see and accept the lessons in life when they come packaged all pretty and nice, isn’t it? All wrapped up with a bow, all tidy and easy. It’s the dirty, messy, scary ones that are a little harder to see as anything other than pain and suffering. It is hard to weed through the debris to see that, in fact, there is light and love and hope.
I don’t know about you, but I have found that even though I truly hate these parts of life and would vote for being done with them (really, if there was a place to vote and I missed out, I’m going to be so bummed), they have given me a wealth of knowledge, experience and, yes, even joy. Teaching me to look beyond what is presented to me to see what might lie inside or underneath or maybe is exactly what it is and only that.
I have spent a good chunk of this week doing all of this. And, honestly, I tell you I have needed every skill I’ve picked up along this 52-year journey of mine in order to gracefully walk through it.
But I find myself stumbling a bit. The most challenging part of this for me has been the hate and cruelty directed at Stephanie and I. Personal attacks on our character and threats to our businesses. It is painful, shocking and, honestly, a little scary.
Oh, and I almost forgot . . . undeserved. We do not deserve this kind of reaction, projection and irresponsibility. Actually, no one does. I understand the disappointment and frustration. We both do. We have a lot of the same feelings in relation to this as you do.
Honestly, how could we not? SS09 has taken so much time and energy to plan and implement. Add in the extra time to be taken seriously and, well, does anyone really think we have worked this hard to make something that many could participate in no matter what they chose to do while keeping the costs down as far as we could get them, only to have registration look like this? This was definitely not the plan.
We have run reports and based on what we have found and what we have gotten from IT experts there was no way we could have predicted this and we would be hard pressed to afford a server situation to take care of it. You should see our IT friends faces pale when we tell this story.
Our IT team is running reports and problem solving with us so we can work through this in an efficient and timely manner.
We are rallying.
We are painstakingly going through the emails to solve everyone’s problem and we will do our absolute best to do this.
There were 12,000 signed up on our mailing list. This is the number we went by. Rule of thumb is you count that 10% of that number is your true customer base. Knowing our actual customer base, we took that 10% and multiplied it by four. In the non-knitter world, that would have been more than enough (and actually a bit of a financial risk on on our part and a huge leap of faith). How could we have known that not only would we be hit with more than the 12,000 but over double that? ( that would be at least 30,000) We could not.
Along with the hate has also been a whole lot of patience, understanding, compassion and love directed to us and also knitter to knitter. We have a fair number of emails from knitters offering to give up classes so someone else can have one. We have lovely stories about how people tried and tried and got in or maybe they did not and how they are choosing to deal with it to make the most positive experience for themselves.
There are those that will think I am making excuses or belittling their experience. I am not. I’m just trying to give us all a little perspective. It is easier to problem solve when the problem is clear and not clouded with other issues.
We will keep you all in the loop so keep checking in.
We aren’t going to be putting up the page where you can search for your registration, because it isn’t a “for sure” way of telling what’s going on. When we were testing it, we had a lot of trouble and realized that, if we put it up, what’s going to happen is that people are going to search, not find themselves, figure they aren’t there, and freak out. Meanwhile, they are (in fact) there, they just have a typo or glitch. We’ve decided to make sure that everything is accurate by doing it all MANUALLY, ourselves. That means that, if you have a problem, you should write to us on the “Contact Us” page with as many details as you can and we’ll sort it out. If you already wrote us, we’re on it. The first refunds went out today, and we have all our staff working only on this. Also, we have hired more staff and the IT company is lending us people. It should go quickly, but please be patient. We’ll sort everybody out as best we can, as quickly as we can. The good news about duplicates is that there may be some open slots coming up on the website. Haunt the place, you might get lucky yet!
Answers to most-asked questions and comments:
-No. We can’t make it bigger. It’s already the biggest ever. It’s really big, and there isn’t more room at the Conference Centre, and we actually don’t have a responsibility to make sure everyone can fit. A knitting conference for tens of thousands of knitters isn’t a reasonable thing to ask of us.
-No. We can’t get the bigger ballroom at the Art Museum. It’s is booked and has been since we tried to book it before.
– No. We can’t put more students in all the classes. Class size is dictated by the teachers. That’s industry standard and if the classes were any bigger you would just be sad that the classes were so big you couldn’t learn in them.
– No. We can’t get Barbara Walker to do some extra lectures. She’s almost 80 and a retired and extraordinarily well respected matriarch of our community. We won’t be exhausting her.
No. we don’t agree that we are horrible people because you didn’t get what you wanted. We are very, very sorry you are disappointed. We are even sorrier about the server crash, because it made what we now understand was inevitable – a lot of disappointed knitters, a lot who think that if the server hadn’t crashed it would have worked out for them. The server slowed down for all of you. It crashed for all of you. Nobody got an advantage and we’re heartbroken that you’re sad. Write to us. We’re helping everyone as best as we can. Really. While we don’t think we’re horrible, we know that this feels horrible, and we want to make as many people happy as we can.
ooops P.S. PLEASE, the blue moon staff and sock summit team ask that all the love messages be sent here in comments and to Stephs blog. Thanks ever so much.