Thursday, May 22, 2008

Holy cow

Holy fracking cow! I had to fill my gas tank on the way to Collage this morning. Gas is now $4/gallon here. It cost $52 to fill my tank. A year ago, I was paying $35 to fill my tank - driving back and forth to all the summer shows. I almost had a heart attack. I know, lots of people have way bigger tanks and have been paying more for awhile now. But I have a smallish car and pretty good mileage, and don't do a whole lot of driving. This is painful, scary and I'm fretting like crazy about how hard it will be to cover that extra cost this summer when I have to drive all over for shows every weekend. That's unbelievable.

The price of oil jumped $9.50 a barrel yesterday. Which is historic. In like there has never been a moment in all of history when the price has increased that much in so little time. One day. And it's not like it's been steady for a while and then adjusted. It's been going up almost every single day, by a dollar or two. It will probably happen again in a couple weeks. They are predicting $5 gas for the summer driving season. I'm going to have another heart attack.

So with heart palpitations and sweaty palms, I headed to the post office. I had an order to ship off to Nashville. For anything out of state, the flat rate box is a real deal. There is virtually no order small enough that shipping it Priority Mail would be cheaper than the flat rate. When they started that option, it was $8.65. The next rate hike went to $8.95. And I just absorbed the difference. I don't have to pay for the boxes, since the Post Office supplies them. So I just accepted the difference, and decided I would make an adjustment after the most recent rate hike. Today I got my first chance to check it out, since rates went up a week ago. It jumped from $8.95 to $9.80. That's a whole dollar! Now I'm losing basically $2 on every shipment out of state, and sometimes even more. Another heart attack.

I'm feeling a little queasy about it all. I don't know what to do any more. Obviously, I should just raise my prices, change my shipping rates, and be done with it. But will anyone even buy soap anymore if I do that? Who wants to pay for MY rate increases after they are done paying rate increases for every other item, thing, service, etc. on the planet? Especially for stupid soap bars, which they don't even really need? Well, yes, you need soap. What am I saying? People still shower, even in a recession, or depression, which I'm in right now. But they could cut back and buy cheapie crap soap, or switch to somebody else's slightly cheaper versions. Who knows. I can't afford to stay in business if I don't do something. But if I do something, there's so guarantee that I will be able to stay in business anyway.

Oh yeah, that's the panic talking. The sky is falling. The world is ending. My life, as I know it, is no longer. What will I do? I've wrung my hands to pieces. I'm going to leave the keyboard and try to inhale oxygen for a breath or two. Have a piece of cake. And then go to my sister's for dinner tonight. Maybe she will talk some sense into me. Or maybe I'll get her in a funk too. It's 50/50.