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Please don’t call

By BARBARA GONZALEZ- VENTURA, The Philippine STAR Published Apr 18, 2021 5:00 am

Today is my husband’s birthday! How will we celebrate? We will start the day by having breakfast then, in our nightclothes, participating in Father Jerry Orbos, S.V.D.’s Sunday Mass on TV, and listening to his very human speech.

Then what? I guess Loy will watch TV in the living room, while I watch in the bedroom in true quarantine style. Maybe we will have a Zoom session with his children. That’s life these days.

It has been a harrowing week for me spent juggling, making three rosaries a day towards meeting an order for 50 rosaries and answering questions about StemEnhance.

During the quarantine I cannot let strangers into the apartment to work with me closely because we might contaminate each other. So until the quarantine passes, I just have to buy the materials myself, store them myself, make the rosaries myself, package them and bill them all myself.

Let me write these instructions. I don’t like to receive calls on my cell phone. They usually come when I’m making rosaries. I have to drop everything and answer the same questions. I can get really cranky sometimes. 

My last job was as president of a company that wasn’t mine. I was chosen and hired for that position. It means that I have certain abilities. I already have in my cell phone information about the product that all 90 of you want to know about. But to send it to you, I have to know your name and enter it into my list of contacts. Then it’s easy. 

I simply open the last person I texted the data to, press forward, type your name into search and, voila, the data appears. It’s very good, very simple, but very clear. It ends with the question: “Are you still interested?”

Then you can answer me. Usually the question is “How do I pay?” I also have that in my cell phone.

Here’s the greatest infuriating thing. The answer I send includes the name of the bank where I have my current account and the number of my current account. It has my maiden name, which by the way is Barbara C. Gonzalez, with a “z” at the end.

You cannot imagine how many people still spell that “Gonzales,” with an “s” at the end. Neither the banks nor I have patience with misspelled names. I don’t have my married name because these have been my accounts for a long time and it’s too much of a hassle to change your bank registration.

Then I tell them to take a photo and send it to my Viber. Same number. I say I will acknowledge and tell them when I will send.

I just sent that message and clients ask me to send the account number and whose name the account is. “But I just sent it to you. Please reread it.” Ah, yes, they say.

Do they say, “I’m sorry?” No, of course not. They say “I’m 72 and don’t read without my glasses.” So I reply, “I’m 76 and I always make sure I have my glasses when I get a cell phone message.”

In the meantime my rosaries keep getting stuck. You know, if you want to order a rosary from me today, I can only deliver to you a year from now? I make them myself. I have gotten very good at making them.

You work them with eye pins, not chains. I am enclosing a photo of what an eye pin is. You have to have skill to know how to manipulate an eye pin.

For me now, it’s easy because I took around a year of jewelry-making classes. Someone suggested to me that I hire people to help me so I can meet your orders faster. That’s a good idea but it isn’t as simple as that.

 Eye pins provide the basic structure to rosaries.

Where do I find someone who knows how to work with eye pins? If I have to teach someone to work with eye pins that is taking time off making rosaries. I cannot do that.

Also, during the quarantine I cannot let strangers into the apartment to work with me closely because we might contaminate each other. So until the quarantine passes, I just have to buy the materials myself, store them myself, make the rosaries myself, package them and bill them all myself.

I am grateful that we have a driver who can bring your orders to LBC for shipping after I pack them in brown paper bags, fill up the address sheets, clip your address slip to the paper bag with a colored miniature clothespin, compute the total money I have to give.

I do that all by myself, too. He just puts everything I have done in a green bag and walks away then comes back with the receipts, which he hands to me to stick into a drawer for filing one day when I have the time.

How can I do this twice — for StemEnhance Ultra and rosaries? Want to know my secret? I faithfully drink StemEnhance Ultra that gives me energy, patience and still makes me look around 15 years younger than my age to serve you.