Thursday, September 6, 2012

What takes so long?

So there's a "have your pen custom-made" link in my Etsy store, and I've been pimping for a while in social media to contact me to have your pen customized.

Can you feel the guilt oozing from your screen? Eric B. contacted me sometime in April to have his custom-made. He still doesn't have it. There are two orders through Etsy for customized pens, one of them paid up front. A friend asked for one as a gift for their spouse a LONG time ago as well. So what's the problem there, Pipe?

When I was 18 I worked briefly in my Uncle Russ' store in Norfolk. He had this guy, Vinnie, who sort of managed the place ... sort of. I loved Vinnie. He had an "Ozzy Osborne before he totally lost the ability to communicate" vibe that I -- as a lazy, impressionable teen -- really admired. Vinnie had a catch phrase: "I'll get right on it." You can see where this is going. Everyone except the customers knew that whenever you heard Vinnie say, "I'll get right on it," that whatever you were asking about just went to the bottom of the priority stack. Oh, how we'd chuckle.

I've since grown up. Let me be clear: I'M NOT VINNIE. So what IS taking so long?

In the years since my misspent youth, I developed what would diplomatically be described as a meticulous attention to detail. My wife calls it like she sees it: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I'm not as bad as people you see on TV, switching on and off the lathe seven times before starting. But I'm DRIVEN to do my absolute best at things. If a pen I'm making isn't "good enough," it gets scrapped and started over. And these things have to be done in stages, so as I'm waiting for one pen to dry, I'm working on another. That's why you see pens get done ahead of yours.

It took 6 months to finish Vince E.'s pen, Northern Fury. Ridiculous? Yes. Really poor customer support? Yes. Do I feel guilty? You bet. Am I gonna "Get right on it"? NO. I'll get them done and continue to strive to do it in a more expedient manner. 

I want to know! OCD is my Achilles Heel. What's yours? Comment below!

See my current inventory at:


  1. Hi Bryce, Yes, your tendency towards OCD IS most certainly your Achilles Heel; procrastination is a killer! I'm in the same business as you (making brilliant pens), though from my blog postings you would never know it... Why? because I'm still 'planning' to create an Etsy shop, still 'planning' a great sort out of everything, so I'll have enough room to work. Check out my fairly recent blog posting for my insight into this problem

    Cheers, Steve

  2. Steve, my wife and I each have a share of OCD traits. One of hers is the same as yours with sorting candy treats. I found this link particularly humorous: