Going Remote…

by Thomas Canfield

This old cartoon is a farewell piece by the famed political cartoonist, Ding Darling. It summarizes how we feel in leaving Epping, NH after being here for 13 years. (Also, our office is about as colorful as Ding Darling’s office.) Epping is known as the “Eppi-center of the Universe.” To us it has been a growing town with some very nice restaurants. The best was the Holy Grail, a former Catholic church that was turned into an Irish Pub. We could not afford to eat there every day, but it was nice to know that such a delicious place was nearby.

     On the downside, we won’t miss the postal service in Epping.  Our mailman goes by the name of “Speedy Gonzales” for delivering the mail before the office is opened for the day. That means all mail orders have to wait until the next day to go out, unless a special trip to the post office is made. The Epping Post Office is located across the street from the Holy Grail, and has the worst parking area of any public building.  The parking spaces look like they were designed for Volkswagens. Even if you go in there with a small car, once you are parked between an SUV and a one-ton truck, you can barely open the doors. The worst time to visit the post office is during the holiday season, when there is a line out of the door for getting packages posted. Just dropping off posted packages can cause dirty looks and a hostile environment. Getting out of the parking lot can be a nightmare, too, with more cars coming in than going out.

     Fortunately, once ACS moves from Epping, such Post Office visits will be like forgotten nightmares. The future structure of ACS will place us in three different communities.  Jill, our bookkeeper, has an office in East Kingston, just around the corner from the post office. She is getting a post office box there to be the official address for ACS. The new address is P.O. Box 68, East Kingston, NH 03827. All mailed orders will go to that post office. Once Jill gets an order, she will scan it and e-mail it to me in Durham. I will be able to access the master computer from home, and quickly send out e-mail orders. The ACS phone number (603-734-4300) is remaining the same, and calls will be forwarded to my cell phone. I will also be able to take orders through my e-mail , tom@astrocom.com. We will be getting orders through our website, www.astrocom.com

      For orders that need to be printed, they will be sent down to Molly in Kensington. She will be in charge of the printer, the master computer, and the binding machine. Molly will print and bind the reports, and she will mail them out. The system may seem like a Rube Goldberg invention of different parts and departments, but we expect this decentralization will work out for us.

      The hard part about the move is that there are so many things we cannot take with us. The old ACS library is being broken up, and we have been inviting Astrologers to haul away old titles for a buck-a-book.  We hope that if the current enthusiastic trend continues, they may be gone by the end of July. We have bits of furniture that may have to be left behind. Our old industrial printer may be sold for parts, and a newer HP printer will be put to use.  Old ink cartridges will need to be recycled. Paintings will be removed from the walls.  Shipping supplies will be packed up. Old papers and odd bric-a-brac will be tossed in the dumpster.  It will be a sad time of disposal.

    Through it all, we hope to maintain a continuity of work and production that will be fulfilling to our customers.  There may be some lag time as the computers and printer are moved to their final destination.  We will do our best to spring back and get the orders out as quickly as possible. July is usually our slowest month, and we can take advantage of that fact to make sure the sales keep moving as we make the move.