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Messages - sofadoc

Pages: 1 ... 271 272 [273] 274 275 ... 280
The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Hello Forum
« on: August 21, 2010, 09:49:15 AM »
Man, you have WAY better luck with hospitals than I do. 
They call me. I rush right out. I wait in some manager's office for 20-30 minutes. Eventually, the person in charge comes casually strolling into the office. Then, they page some maintainence man, who shows up 30 minutes later with a trail of cigarette smoke still fresh behind him. He leads me on an obstacle course down several long corridors until we wind up back close to where we started from. The furniture is in a locked storeroom. He pulls out a wad of keys the size of an NBA basketball, and tries them one by one, to no avail. Luckily, a cleaning lady passes by with ONE KEY ON THE END OF A COAT HANGER, and unlocks the door. The furniture is buried alive under a bunch of old file boxes, and leaky plasma. I give them the estimate. Once it's approved, I can return and repeat the above procedure.
When I deliver the furniture back to the hospital, I give them an invoice. If I have dotted ALL my i's and crossed ALL my t's, I'll get my money in 45-60 days.
I have given my local hospital quotes on big jobs before. They always tell me that they can simply replace the furniture for less than half of my quote.
The only business I get from them is little single jobs, such as an occasional exam table, or therapy equipment.
Poppy> Whatever you're doing, keep doing it!!

General Discussion / Re: Quirk's
« on: August 20, 2010, 11:00:05 PM »
I'm by myself in the shop for about 10-12 hours a day, and it gets pretty boring while I'm working.
Man, ain't it the truth? The 4 walls really close in after a while. My wife works at a busy bank all day. So when she gets home, she doesn't want to see ANYBODY. She doesn't understand why I would actually like to socialize with the neighbors, the neighbors's dog, ANYONE!!
For most of us, this is not a "high traffic" retail business. We may only meet a few customers a week. Most of the contacts are by phone, or e-mail.
I would say that working alone all day is the hardest part of my job.
I don't want to stray too far from the original topic (Quirks), but how do some of you handle the isolation? The radio is a good friend, but it still leaves me talking to myself.
My wife and I are leaving tomorrow with another couple on a cruise to Cozumel, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands. Maybe that'll recharge my battery.
I know it'll be tough, but you guys try to keep the forum going without me. See y'all on the 30th. :)

General Discussion / Re: Quirk's
« on: August 20, 2010, 03:53:20 PM »
Sportstalk radio for me. I wear prescription orthotics in thick soled sneakers (I have a scorching case of plantar fasciatis). Those slippers would absolutely KILL me. Got my Diet Pepsi next to the wheel of the machine, and yes, I often knock it off while rotating the wheel. I don't charge any extra for getting soda on the customer's fabric  :D
My desk is right behind me so I can answer the phone without getting up.

Speaking of radio, the station I listen to is always throwing out hypotheticals. Here's one:
You're stranded on a desert island. You only have 2 choices for food & drink. Either cotton candy & Mountain Dew, or hot coffee & Bugles. Which?
Here's another for the ladies:
You can have wild unbridled sex with the man of your dreams for 1 year. BUT, at the end of the year, you gain 25 pounds that you can NEVER lose.
Would ya?

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Retirement
« on: August 18, 2010, 05:30:08 PM »
And you wonder why  I'm a communist.
Sometimes I think that the only reason we don't live in a communist society, is because we don't call it that.
Our government decides which companies to bail out, and which ones to cull from the herd.
As a kid, I used to ask my grandfather why we couldn't just print more money, then we would all have enough. He tried to explain to me why our money system doesm't work that way. Guess he was wrong.
No joke now, I'm planning to rob banks. That way I will either get the money if successful or go to prison and get free room and board if not.

All in all Win/win.
There's only one thing wrong with that plan. You'll need a big supply of Preparation H.
As for retirement, like a lot of small businesses, I bring home the bacon, my wife's job takes care of insurance, savings, 401K,etc.
As long as she doesn't dump me, I'll be OK.

General Discussion / Re: OK, I Gotta know!
« on: August 14, 2010, 06:10:51 PM »
  Mostly for me whenever I smash my finger or ram my toes into the end table in the middle of the night then I'll use the F*** word.
Isn't it funny, if you stub your toe, or smash your thumb with a hammer, phrases such as "Hecky darn", and "Oh pshaw" just don't help the pain subside NEARLY as well as a good ole' F-Bomb?
I'm just glad that I've never incurred any of those injuries. ;)

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Found a great deal on Quickbooks
« on: August 14, 2010, 11:19:43 AM »
I also don't consider Kathy's post to be spam. She doesn't stand to profit from the sale of the product that she recommended. She's a regular contributer to this forum, not a one-timer with a bunch of nonsensical gibberish.
But I am taking Gene's opinion under advisement. In the past, I've recommended products, and suppliers that don't advertise on this website.
Maybe I shouldn't be so quick to.
Hopefully, Ken will see this, and give his view. After all , his is the only one that matters. He's paying the bills for this forum (that we all appreciate very much).

General Discussion / OK, I Gotta know!
« on: August 14, 2010, 10:53:27 AM »
I had a new customer yesterday, who had just moved here to Texas from New Jersey. One of her first observations about Texans, was just how "laid back" we all are. I laughed, and told her that I'd heard that before from transplanted northerners.
Then she said that the hardest adjustment that she'd had to make since moving here, is putting away the "F" word. Where she came from, it was an integral part of everyday speech. She is a church-going soccer mom, who's involved in PTA, and other civic activities. She just couldn't believe that the word isn't a normal part of conversation among the other housewives, and working moms around here.
Don't get me wrong, there are PLENTY of Texans who know how to use the word, and use it well. But I've never heard it from a mom at a PTA meeting.
Does this woman accurately represent the culture in some of the northern regions?

General Discussion / Re: Solid Brass Decorative nails
« on: August 13, 2010, 10:32:42 PM »
Didn't see exactly what you wanted, but take a look at these:

scroll down to page 11  OB 747  Old Brass Daisy

When asked about my competition, I have two anwers. Either it's "Yes, he's very good", or "I'm really not familiar with his work". I have a great relationship with nearest competitor. We borrow from each other, swap stories, and combine our monies on bulk supply purchases. Occasionally, one of his former customers will find their way into my shop. I try to avoid doing their work. I just don't feel right about stealing one of his customers. I've never told him about any of his unhappy customers, and he's never said anything to me about any of mine. I've even made excuses on his behalf a few times. I also try to never send any "problem" customers his way. We have even warned each other about a few potentially difficult customers.

It seems we all have a story about a competitor who's work is "less than stellar".
But I would like to know how you handle negative feedback about your competition. I've always tried to avoid commenting about another upholsterer. It would be easy, when a customer walks in your door complaining about "the other guy", to jump on the bandwagon. After all, negative stories about your competition can only serve to make YOU look better.
But my town used to have several furniture, and sewing factories. They all closed up within a 3 year span back in the early 90's. Suddenly, there were dozens of laid off workers trying their hand at upholstery. There were so many mediocre upholsterers in town, that it gave the WHOLE business a black eye. I soon learned NOT to bad-mouth any of them, as the average customer simply lumped ME in with the rest of them.
Unless I really get pinned down, I avoid criticizing other upholstery shops, and their quality (or lack of).
Just wondering how some of you guys & gals handle it. Do you really benefit from making sure the word gets out about another guy's shoddy work?

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: RE: hours of operation
« on: August 11, 2010, 05:03:42 PM »
My shop is in a commercial downtown location, but some of my neighbors used to take it upon themselves to drop stuff off at my residence.
I once had a customer knock on my door while the Cowboys (my team) were playing in the Super Bowl. I had to get up during the game, and unload her furniture into my garage. Then she decided, instead of backing out of my driveway, she would make a circle in my front yard. She got stuck. I had to spend 45 minutes getting her out. BTW my front lawn is NOT the kind that you would normally feel free to drive a truck on.
And to top it off, she DIDN'T have enough fabric to do the job!!
NOBODY picks up, or drops off at my house anymore. I don't care if they have a $10,000 deposit check with them.

General Discussion / Re: Furniture bags
« on: August 11, 2010, 04:45:05 PM »
I called today for a price. They were in the $150-$250 range, depending on size. Since they only promise "dozens of uses", I think I'll pass.

General Discussion / Remember Spring Mist?
« on: August 10, 2010, 09:00:30 PM »
It was a GREAT product in the 80's. You could spray it on loose, wrinkled fabric, and watch the wrinkles vanish right before your eyes. It would actually shrink fabrics a little.
Then shipping regulations changed, and Spring Mist was re-classified as a hazardous chemical. This made the product too expensive to ship. It was pulled off the market, and re-introduced as Spring Crest. It  no longer contained any hazardous chemicals. But it also no longer worked as well as before. Now, the product merely "relaxes" fabrics. There is also a product called Crease Away, that isn't any better. They are similar to Downy Wrinkle Release, available at Wal-Mart.
Over the years, I've tried to play "mad scientist", and figure out the missing ingrediant, but to no avail.
Anyone remember this stuff, or know of a modern day substitute?
I've tried adding Alum to Spring Crest. It sure made Tom's mouth shrink in the "Tom & Jerry" cartoons. :D

General Discussion / Re: Furniture bags
« on: August 10, 2010, 08:37:59 PM »
Pacific Hide's main office is in Pennsauken N.J.

General Discussion / Re: Furniture bags
« on: August 10, 2010, 05:24:21 PM »
I see that their U.S. distributer is Pacific Hide & Leather. I have an account with that company, I'm going to call them tomorrow and get a price. I noticed that the video said "When used responsibly, they can be re-used dozens of times" If they are very expensive, I would expect more than "dozens" of uses from one in order to consider it cost effective.

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