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: One of those jobs  ( 2610 )
kodydog
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North Central Florida


« : June 23, 2015, 12:53:05 PM »

I wish I'd never taken.

Two swivel rocker papasan chair just like the one pictured. The customer hated the original loose fill cushions. They were smashed flat as a pancake because she is overweight. In her imagination she knew just what she wanted. She pictured two separate cushions stuffed with firm foam. 4" thick and boxed. In the back she wanted extra support for her lumbar and neck. She wanted the sides of the seat cushion to curve up high enough so she will not feel the bamboo with her leg. She likes to sit with one leg tucked.

Notice all the curves in this chair and imagine making a boxed cushion to custom fit. I involved the customer in every step of the process. The first visit to my shop she tested different foam for the seat. I then patterned the seat. The top is smaller than the bottom and the boxing is made in 4 pieces, curving up in the front and back to take the form of the chair. I hand sewed it closed because I have no idea how to sew a curved zipper. I put 4 buttons in it poking them through from top to bottom and also through a tie on the bottom. I tied the seat to the bamboo on the bottom of the chair and pulled it down snug. It looked really good.

I invited her to the shop again and she loved the seat cushion so we decided on the back foam. We figured where the lumbar and neck support should go and how much. I started the whole process again.

All in all it looked good when everything was done. And I delivered them. She sat in hers and squirmed around awhile and decided the neck needed more padding. Okay, not a problem. I took them home and fixed them that night. The next morning I brought them back. She wasn't there but her husband thought they were great. Two days later Rose called her and left a message asking how she liked her chairs. Saturday the customer called and left a message saying, I'm glad you asked because now I'm having a problem with the seat cushion.

I called her this morning and she says the seat cushion keeps sliding forward. Even though they are tied in.

Shes retired, overweight and spends a lot of time in these chairs. Not sure if there's anything I can do except tell her to keep pushing it back. She won't like that.

Ug. What to do?


There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #1 : June 23, 2015, 01:11:48 PM »

As ugly as it may sound, I really don't like to take on jobs like that where I have to make something comfortable for someone with special needs such as the overweight, elderly, or handicapped. I have all the sympathy in the world for them. But time is money. And it usually requires a lot of trial and error to make them happy.

Remember the old TV show "Taxi"? The show was almost cancelled once because of an offensive episode where one of the cabbies was instructed never to pick up a handicapped person because of all the extra time it would take to help them into the cab and load the wheel chair.

I've had to turn down a few of those jobs because I knew that I would end up beating my head against a wall.

Some of the local furniture stores try to "pass the buck" to me when they have customer that is difficult to please because of physical problems. If I accept the job, then the onus is on me to make them happy. Most of the time, we make several vain attempts, then the store ends up giving them their money back. I'm out a lot of time. The store lost money, and the customer still isn't happy.

Everybody loses. The only way to win the game is to not play.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
SteveA
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« #2 : June 23, 2015, 04:09:33 PM »

Is it possible to guard against expectations that are unrealistic ?  The completed chair pictured look fine to me -  you didn't build the frame - brand new cushions - you've done your job and well !   Hope she was a COD -
SA
MinUph
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Mainly furniture. Tarpon Springs Fl.


« #3 : June 23, 2015, 05:00:15 PM »

There should be a round piece of foam under the cushion. Sew some velcro on it and on the bottom of the cushion to hold it in place. The under piece sits in a hole so it doesn't move. We have one of these chairs. It was my MIL and my wife loves it. Shes only 100 lbs though. I changed the design to a shaped back and it works out nice.

Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
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gene
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« #4 : June 23, 2015, 06:02:59 PM »

Tell her to lose some weight. Tell her that if she loses some weight the cushions will feel awesome. If she loses enough fat to get to her ideal weight for body size and gender, her bony butt will feel that ridiculous rattan frame. So, be sure to point out that if she doesn't want to be buying a new chair, she should keep stuffing at least some pizza, soda, and chips into her mouth.

Quote
The only way to win the game is to not play.
War Games. 1983.

I've done a few chairs for folks with bad backs. I've only had one customer who was satisfied. I've added/ taken away, changed, 4 times over the years and each time it has been better for her, for at least a year or so. She has a degenerative disk in her neck.

I'm with sofaD though. Furniture won't make the natural consequences of genetics, accidents, or your life choices go away.

gene

QUALITY DOES NOT COST, IT PAYS!
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #5 : June 23, 2015, 08:05:59 PM »

Quote
The only way to win the game is to not play.
War Games. 1983.
How about a nice game of chess?

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
kodydog
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North Central Florida


« #6 : June 23, 2015, 09:08:31 PM »

Tell her to lose some weight. Tell her that if she loses some weight the cushions will feel awesome. If she loses enough fat to get to her ideal weight for body size and gender, her bony butt will feel that ridiculous rattan frame. So, be sure to point out that if she doesn't want to be buying a new chair, she should keep stuffing at least some pizza, soda, and chips into her mouth.

Gene

Okay, she is shorter than me but outweighs me by about 75 lbs. I think if she took a swing at me I could dodge it. I'm pretty agile. And I think I could make it to the front door faster than her.

There should be a round piece of foam under the cushion. Sew some velcro on it and on the bottom of the cushion to hold it in place. The under piece sits in a hole so it doesn't move.

That makes a lot of sense. I'll run it by her and the added expense. Chances are when I start charging for the changes she'll have a different attitude. It was her design after all.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
cajunpedaler
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« #7 : June 24, 2015, 08:36:24 AM »

I had a job like that in the late 90's.  It was truck seats, GM and Chevy.  In my small town, everyone was buying those trucks.  One fellow in particular stood out.  He wore out his driver's side every couple of months.  I told him, first repair to get a step to get out.  He didn't.  Finally after the third time, same problem, same repair..I took a deep breath and told him straight...I said.."It's physics.  You're short, you're round...the truck is tall.  When you get out, you sliiiiiide out and down.  This problem is not going away until something changes. I can keep taking your money, but this is not going to change."  I fixed the seat, again..and never saw him after that.
Perry

If at first you don't succeed, redefine success. If at first you fail, redefine failure.
bobbin
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« #8 : June 24, 2015, 05:08:36 PM »

What Gene said.  I know you can't do that, but everyone (including the customer) knows what has to be addressed. 

I am reminded of a series of pix on the wall of a salon I used to frequent.   A shot of Princess Diana looking superb,  a shot of a 60+ yr. old woman looking the way we usually look when we hit 60... caption:  I want to look like that.   Lol.  We all "get over it" because we have to. 

There is no way in hell you'll ever be able to deliver what she "wants" given the shape of the frame, Kody.  You delivered the goods based on the supporting frame.  As politely as you're able, explain that your skill and hard earned skills are constrained by the frame that supports your work.  Leave it at that.  Repeat same over again, with increased earnestness, and don't make any "deals".  You did your job, you did it well, and tell her that you "don't do miracles". 

What a drag.  Don't let it get you too down. 

Darren Henry
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some days are better than others


« #9 : June 24, 2015, 07:34:01 PM »

You can't make chicken salad out of chicken s----I mean feathers, no matter how much mayonnaise you use. One of Dad's old sayings.

Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!
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