Wow. I see I haven't posted since just before we reopened. I guess you could say I have been busy.
Let me try to bring you up to date – at least the short version.
We did reopen August 2nd. Th first floor was vacant but at least it was clean and safe. We had a simple table where we could greet customers and then we asked them to go upstairs into the rest of the building. We had no elevator service to the upper floors for the first couple of weeks so my staff and our customers had to use the stairs. We all got some serious exercise.
We had a tremendous response to our reopening. I had my staff up on second floor discussing how we were going to be able to work the floors before we opened. About 10 minutes before opening time, I got a call from another manager who was stationed downstairs at the door. He said it was time – we had a crowd at the doors waiting to get in. It was amazing. Admittedly, many of those people were just wanting to see what had happened and how we were doing, but many people bought that day and many of the others have come back since that day.
That first month we ran our department with very limited resources. We had one computer for all three floors. That was the one on my desk. That is all we had to look up stock, check open orders, order what we had sold and all of the varied taskS involved with selling furniture and ordering it in so we could get it delivered.
We are still rebuilding but it gets better every day. The elevator is still finicky but works most of the time. We now have computers on all of the floors. And we have moved into about half of the first floor. Business has been encouraging. Despite the “downturn” in the economy, we have maintained our sales pace and are doing well.
It will be at least a year before we have recovered from the physical damage of the flood. We may never return to the basement. The rest of the first floor is still a work in progress. Our Operations Manager has done a wonderful job of getting us back in the game. The water didn't just destroy the basement and first floors – it also wiped out the phone system, the computer network, the elevators, all of the infrastructure systems that we tend to take for granted until we don't have them anymore.
There is so much to talk about and so many stories have come out of this experience. I wish now, that I had taken the time to document them but it just didn't happen. I will post some more as time permits.
This has been a tough year for many of us around here. I hope that 2009 brings us all better times. I wish you all a merry Christmas and as always . . .
I WISH YOU PEACE.