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Catskills - Sullivan County - Ulster County Real Estate -- Catskill Farms Journal

Old School Real estate blog in the Catskills. Journeys, trial, tribulations, observations and projects of Catskill Farms Founder Chuck Petersheim. Since 2002, Catskill Farms has designed, built, and sold over 250 homes in the Hills, investing over $100m and introducing thousands to the areas we serve. Farms, Barns, Moderns, Cottages and Minis - a design portfolio which has something for everyone.

March 9, 2023

Interesting Business Stories

There are actually some really interesting business stories out there, and I’ve always been a big fan of business journalism.  Since as a business owner, I’m a big consumer of goods and services, I have a decent eye for out of the ordinary stories and a few recently have come to mind.  I always compare my business and our efforts with these, and a lot of times it gives me consolation that I’m not the only one at times failing to live up to the goals of the business.

I like this watch brand, Lilienthal Berlin, and they are sort of like the equivalent of a craft brewery or micro batch whiskey maker - cool, expensive but not obscenely so, craftsmanship, stylish, etc…  So I’ve been wearing a few of theirs over the last few years, and 1 day my watch band broke which I sent back to them to repair, that then started, and I’m not lying, a 6 month effort to get my watch back.  My communiques just seemed to go into a black hole of random and informal responses of ‘it’s in the fulfillment center’ and then nothing, but the email signature tags were lacking and really any graciousness or explanation, or really a feeling of anyone actually doing anything about it.  It was a weird experience that I thought would take 48 hours and turned into half a year and a lot of effort - there seemed to be no way to escalate the issue, like everyone who worked there were former surfers and now had a day job.  I did get it back last week, after I put a person on it fulltime. I'm sure not what they have sketched out in meetings for customer experience.

(pictures of a Barn home we are building in Forestburgh, during the rough in and siding stage - moving right along).

The 2nd one is a real tough one for a single dad/guy who struggles with nutritional eating.  So I’ve been experimenting with food delivery companies for a year or two and the ones where you have to put the ingredients together, but those that come ready to heat and eat.  Even a non-foodie can recognize the difficult task of selling pre-packaged meals, not much different in practice than a TV meal of old, but with fresher ingredients, and not frozen.  But a lot of them just get old quick and the taste isn’t there until I found Real Eats, which sold packages which you boiled - didn’t matter what it was, you were able to boil it and it was excellent, and I had been on that kick for over a year, eating pretty good, with a good variety.  They were based in the Finger Lakes of NY.  Then, out of the blue, they went out of business.  Poof.  Gone.  Dietary habits once again at the mercy of whim, hunger, convenience - never a good combination.  I can cook, or have succeeded in the past when I put in the effort, but I don’t enjoy it and don’t do it much.

The 3rd one I’m surprised has not made the news since it’s big news - Rejuvenation (high end home furnishings) merged with a few other big name brands, and the merger resulted in a gigantic shit shoe of incompatible computer systems, lost item codes, deletion of customer histories, and other horror stories.  We have tried to order, or return, and the poor soul on the other end is taking the SKU code, and then comparing that to a SPREADSHEET’, then doing a few other tricks, just to take an order on an item and it can’t be done by computer.  So whatever is going on over there is really bad, and I wish them a speedy fix, since I’m sure there is a lot of stress, when some of the biggest brands in the world merged, and those millions of orders that come in by computer, now must be answered by phone, identify the order, change the old SKU to a new SKU with the aid of a spreadsheet, tally, order.  God forbid you have to make a change, a return, or refer to your purchase history. One can only imagine the tempers flaring in each department of that company.

Sometimes you see those stories, and all you can is ‘there for the grace of God, there I go.”

(landscaping posts edited and/or removed as we move towards resolution)

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