March 21, 2014

No More Restocking Fees!

As part of our continuing effort to learn and develop, San Diego Sign Company is happy to announce that we will no longer be charging any fees for restocking products!  

We have received some complaints about our 15% restocking fee.  But, we listened to your complaints; we take it as constructive criticism. We like to evolve the company according to our customer needs and wants.  And, we want you to know that we’ve changed because of what you said!  

If you’re truly not satisfied, we want to make it easy for you to return product.  By eliminating the 15% restocking fee, we think that you’ll be pleased to know there’s no penalty for product return.

As a reminder, the standard rule to return product if you’re not satisfied is within 30 days from product receipt.  Please remember to return it in working order with all original parts and with all plastic protective encasings, all inside the original box. In other words, the product must be in the same condition as it was when you first received it.

Please know that we’re happy to hear any feedback.  We want to know what you like and what you don’t like so much so that we can try to work a new approach within our capabilities to make you most satisfied.

By Victoria Rodriguez

March 12, 2014

Water Works or Electric Company?

Southern California is not new to water development as we have survived and grown because of it.  We have a rich history of pulling natural resources closer so that we may flourish, live the golden life under the sun and potentially get rich.  Mostly, the Colorado River provides us our usable water, but as the population rate is expected to grow, it’s time again to look for other water sources.    

To combat the effects of drought and population growth, the San Diego Water Authority recently developed the Carlsbad Desalination Project. A one-billion-dollar project, the Carlsbad Plant, using reverse-osmosis, will pull in water from the ocean and turn it into drinking water—an expected 50-gallons per day beginning in 2016.  

Currently, a quarter of the project has been completed, with construction workers and equipment tearing up roads, unearthing dirt while replacing it with humongous concrete tubes, and covering up their marks.  We, at San Diego Sign Company, have seen this work up close and personal as it just so happens that the desalination pipeline construction has been on our exact roads to work.

Water is a problem in San Diego, but certainly not in the way it became a problem for us at San Diego Sign Company last Tuesday, March 4, 2014.  You see, the pipeline construction is now on our work street, directly in front of our building.  It’s been headache enough, waiting—car running—for the construction lady controlling traffic to turn her sign from “Stop” to “Slow” so we can enter our parking lot and get to work.  But, on the day aforementioned, no one suspected we would have to deal with an unexpected power outage...coincidence or not?  

Doing what we could without power, (at least we had sunshine!), a few graphic designers and sales representatives went straight to work helping the warehouse do quality inspections of graphic and hardware orders before boxing them up, ready to be stuck with power-needed shipping labels.  Able to “plug” into a wifi hotspot on a co-workers’ iPhone 5, some others gained limited communication with clients by using a few Chromebooks we have up in the office.  Some of us stayed home to work where we had access to power and a computer, until we were notified power was back on.  

With a very late start, getting power back just before 2pm PST, we were all hustling to catch up.  We want you to know that we value your relationship with us, and that we tried our very best to get everything printed, finished and shipped, hoping that it wouldn’t affect you—our customers.  Unfortunately, this affected our East Coast location too.  So, if you were negatively affected, we’re very sorry for any inconvenience.  We understand as the temporary power-outage was very inconvenient, and unexpected, for us as well.

By Victoria Rodriguez

March 6, 2014

Finish Chelsea's Run

It’s been only four years since the murder of 17-year-old Chelsea King, a local Poway student whose story made national headlines, but her impact continues to affect many lives to this day. In 2011, Chelsea’s Law passed in California, helping to protect the youth from sexual predators. In raising awareness, Chelsea’s Light Foundation has been created to empower community members and to prolong innocence for children.

Chelsea’s Light Foundation has adopted annually “Finish Chelsea’s Run” 5K run/walk that originally began when community members came together to honor, remember and make change happen because of Chelsea.  As this run has evolved, they have partnered up with the Girls Scouts of San Diego, and together they raise money for scholarships eligible to college-bound kids in San Diego.

Recently, San Diego Sign Company got the opportunity to donate banners and blue custom table throws for the 4th annual Finish Chelsea’s Run 5K run/walk that now takes place in beautiful and historic Balboa Park. In reciprocation, Finish Chelsea’s Run gave us a few complimentary sponsorship tickets to join, taking place last Saturday, March 1, 2014.  I decided I would go represent our company and get some exercise with two co-workers.

This particular Saturday morning was the first morning in quite a while that I was awake before my kids (and husband), at 5am. I suppose I was motivated to redeem my one-time chance to experience something new, be part of something larger than myself, and bond with co-workers in a way I never could on the clock.

On my early morning drive there, I couldn’t help but notice the gray clouds fill every inch of sky.   It’s strange that the rest of the United States has been dealing with too much precipitation this winter, and yet we linger in an extreme drought in the Southwest. Though it wasn’t raining currently, our dry-spell was broken the day before with light rains.  Wondering if it was going to rain again, I saw a lone seagull soaring above heading west toward the beach.  I drove on, parallel to his flight.

I came up to the 6th Avenue side of Balboa Park, and parked in the VIP parking lot as part of our sponsorship privileges. This was a special treat since Southern California will be forever-crowded, and parking is always a problem. I finally met up with my co-workers, after getting lost in a sea of casita canopy tents and thousands of people in the crowd. Then, we checked-in to get our running bibs and free commemorative shirts.

Before the run began, a little girl sang the National Anthem.  Everyone respectfully stood still, listening to her sweet, small voice.  Then, all eyes turned toward performers on pogo sticks doing extreme tricks while we waited for the announcer’s cue to start. Shortly thereafter, we joined the masses and took off on route, walking. Along the way, there were kids from local high schools to entertain us like cheerleaders and french horn players as well as other kids handing out cups of water. It was a family-fun-filled atmosphere; it was very nice.

We were still on foot when it started to rain.  Now, this rain wasn’t the usual San Diego light drizzle, coming down just to muck up our wild-west-dirt-powdered cars and teasing us of a substantial rainfall.   It rained hard—it was pouring.  I began to feel a little dreadful, soaking wet from walking in the rain.  Arriving at the finish line, our conversation was halted when a young man shouted, “one-ten,” our finishing time.  We walked right over the mostly washed away blue and yellow sidewalk chalk, displaying a quote loved by Chelsea, “They can because they think they can!”  At that moment, as uncomfortable as I was, I could hardly think of anything more dreadful than losing a child.  

For how much it doesn’t rain here, it’s interesting that it downpoured on that day. Call it what you will, but to think of it as significant metaphorically is appealing.  In the memory of Chelsea, and all the innocent children who have been preyed upon, the rain was only appropriate to remind us of the sorrow surely still endured by family and friends.  

Despite the rain, it was a very uplifting event.  With over 5,000 participants that showed up that day, it is heartwarming to know that people do care; good is being nurtured in the world.

When the story of Chelsea King came about in the news in 2010, it's just like anything—you don't know her, so you don't feel the impact. Who knew that I'd be working at a sign company that would donate banners to the 4th annual 5K run and I'd get to go? Realizing how everything and everyone is connected, this is my butterfly effect example. Chelsea King has affected me, inadvertently, long after her death.

By Victoria Rodriguez