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  #1  
Old 10-01-2010, 10:47 AM
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Jroettger Jroettger is offline
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Default tough day with amature control freak overhead

I'm working for the control freak of the century on today's job. Every detail he wants a photo emailed followed by directives. Then it's refill in the engraved platinum area and redo it just right to new inexperienced amateur standard in the quest to give it that traditional old antique feel. I don't mind people pushing me to high standards but this is just killing the job and flow in a way I have never experienced in my 30 years at the bench.
It all thanks to email and text messaging along with digital cameras. I invited him to just come by and watch me engrave every detail before it happens to avoid having to rework his ring (to death).

grumble grumble grumble arrhhhhhh
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  #2  
Old 10-01-2010, 11:57 AM
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paulsph paulsph is offline
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Unhappy Re: tough day with amature control freak overhead

Not on the 'bullseye' of your subject: but I just recognise the kind of experiences/feelings that come with such 'high-control' freaks, so called 'clients' over the years I was fully occupied with professional tattooing...Some people can drive anybody NUTS! My own personal worse case that I remember was: soon (after a half hour of negotiating) I just refused the job and told him very friendly: " If you know everything best about this whole tattoo thing, than you better fix up yourself, and be sure that I'm not going to repair the mess!! Of course, lucky enough the average client was more clever & reasonable to deal with! Kind regards, Paulsph
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  #3  
Old 10-01-2010, 12:52 PM
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Jroettger Jroettger is offline
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Default Re: tough day with amature control freak overhead

thanks Paul, The guy got off the internet and actually called me which is so much easier than photo talking on the web. The old saying "Hire the right person for the job and then get out of the way." is lost on some.
Occasionally jewelry "designers" will proudly hand me some simple first grader pattern design and tell me the customer approved it just like that and not to change a thing. Then when they see how amateurish it looks finished they seem to hint maybe it's my fault it doesn't have the rich traditional look they want and that only an experienced engraver can deliver.
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  #4  
Old 10-01-2010, 05:30 PM
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Daniel Houwer Daniel Houwer is offline
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Default Re: tough day with amature control freak overhead

Hi J,
I know what your going through.
I don't have a lot of patience with this kind of client anymore. Not good for your health.
Rings are not lego to take apart and put together dozens of times.
When people cant read drawings, they should buy ready made things. And if they rush into a design and get after thoughts later, I will do every thing I can to change some things but if not posible they are to late.
Like if they deside the want ruby instead of saphire after all when the stones have been set, well
In my work in Amsterdam I have killed a few pieces because of this and no matter what you tell them, it's always your fault. No future in this.

I hope that you can get a good for both piece of jewelery in the end but don't give in too much. You are the smith so you are in charge.

Good luck,

Daniel
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  #5  
Old 10-01-2010, 08:44 PM
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Jroettger Jroettger is offline
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Default Re: tough day with amature control freak overhead

Thanks Daniel. Usually with most people we reach a consensus on the style of the engraving and then they go away and let me fill in the details with no oversight. I don't mind tweaking a fluid wax model to make it more suitable after the design is set however we all know engraving is best left to engravers.
I think the one thing that really made me fall in love with engraving was that is so sophisticated that most people just back off and leave it to me. I found it brought me much more freedom to be an artist than simply goldsmithing because, other than saying what kind of style they want, people usually leave the engraving all up to me.
Plus engraving is an intense sport best suited to a certain uninterrupted flow as we cover a ton of ground in a tiny playing field during a days work. Bogging it down just kills it.
Hopefully I can still make lemonade out of this lemon.
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  #6  
Old 10-02-2010, 12:45 AM
chickenscratcher chickenscratcher is offline
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Default Re: tough day with amature control freak overhead

Just wanted to say good luck.The unfortunate result is if you make him happy he'll be back because he probably already knows others can't or will not do his bidding, so be ready to set the new level with him.
I once had a pro drasftsman come in with a ring he designed and copy wrighted of the engagement ring for his wife to be. It was to scale and he wanted the ring right on, but the drawing was of a 3 inch diameter ring. I only had to tell him that it was a great design but no one could built it. The big question mark I saw on his face changed to oh sh** I blew it, when I told him that by the time I made it into a real 1 inch ring the stone would fall out the shank would be less than 1/2mm by 2mm and the flowers would fall off. I got the job my way. Tell them the facts and only the facts. I did a lot for him after that. chickenscratcher
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Old 10-02-2010, 04:49 AM
SEngraver SEngraver is offline
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Default Re: tough day with amature control freak overhead

Hi,
Despite all the positives and the negatives in this instance,with all due respect,as the saying goes "take it with a pinch of salt" once in a while.
But customers should not cross a certain limit because after that they are all stress.You were very tolerant.
Jroettger, your name and reputation speaks for itself that is why that person it there in the first place !!
SE
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  #8  
Old 10-04-2010, 07:22 PM
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Jroettger Jroettger is offline
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Default Re: tough day with amature control freak overhead

I think the lesson here for me is to be certain of every detail prior to down payment. At the point of order here we agreed it would be either a "wheat" pattern or a "diamond" pattern past the flanking diamonds in the solitaire. I figured it to be a small detail option but it mushroomed into a reconsideration of every aspect of the ring, even the the points perfectly clear at order point.
That one tiny unclarified detail became license to him to renegotiate every other preset aspect of the design.
Moral of the story: don't ever leave even one detail unclear or else all hell can break loose. The door should be closed (and the customer should know it's locked too) before the down payment is accepted.
This same thing actually happened to me 10 years ago. The woman at the point of order asked me to do just "one" more study option for a "tiny" detail she was unsure of. I did the study option and all hell broke loose and the job totally spiraled down into the toilet. She was so frustrated when it was over that I found out she had a new ring setting made somewhere else. I gave her a scrap value refund for the plaltinum used in the ring I made and melted it.
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  #9  
Old 10-05-2010, 09:45 AM
zota zota is offline
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Default Re: tough day with amature control freak overhead

Hi J,


Do not be chicken-hearted to all the whims of 'customers'
us is a saying: fool to not arrogant like not bad enough - a rough translation
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  #10  
Old 10-29-2010, 11:54 PM
Hybridfiat Hybridfiat is offline
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Default Re: tough day with amature control freak overhead

Exactly why I stopped doing gunsmithing for target shooters. Every day brought a new specification or "minor" change to make it "just right". In the end I just plain refused to do target guns, too much angst
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Last edited by Hybridfiat; 10-29-2010 at 11:54 PM. Reason: Pore speling
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  #11  
Old 11-03-2010, 04:48 PM
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Chapi Chapi is offline
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Default Re: tough day with amature control freak overhead

wow, I just got done sending off a control freak customer. Its always easier to deal with control freaks in person, because you can convey a whole lot of annoyance and disgust with subtle body language. I have learned to avoid the big sigh though. Apparently sighing is too much for most people. When I first started dealing with people and Art, I was told three rules for customer service, and as negative as they are, they usually fit like a charm. Rule number two is : Don't get mad, get their money. That's actually paraphrased, the original had a couple of f bombs inserted and something about hurting em, which doesn't apply to engraving, usually.
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