Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Look out, I'm pissed!

What makes people so fucking annoying?

I just finished dealing with this pain-in-the-ass grandmother/granddaughter team. I should have known they would get on my last gay nerve when I saw them walking up to the front door with a framed picture, a few tube rolls, and a baby in their arms.

The first order of business was to have the broken glass in the picture replaced. "How much will it cost?" the younger of the two women asked. So I measured it up, entered everything into the computer and gave them the price. Around $30 to open the frame, pull everything out, clean off the mat, supply and install the new glass, re-assemble the piece and re-wire it. The younger woman relays the information to her grandmother in Finnish. Grandma is just visiting and doesn't speak much English. No problem.

Grandma gasps and carries on like I just shot her dog. Granddaughter tells me that her grandmother thinks that's expensive. Ya, I gathered that.

They proceeded to remove a few other pieces from the tubes and put them on the table.
As I'm about to set to work picking components for the next piece, the granddaughter handed the baby off to Grandma and announced that she's going back down the street to bring the car up. Apparently she parked about a block away in a restaurant's lot and they walked over. The woman at the restaurant complained to her, but they just continued walking to my shop. Nerve. It's not like I don't have a ton of parking here. Oh well. I was secretly hoping that the lady at the restaurant had it towed, but no such luck.

As you can figure out, I was left here with a woman who doesn't speak English who is holding her crying great-grandchild. Not much I could do until the woman got back. She finally arrived with her car about 10 minutes later and came back in the shop.

I can't possibly convey how much the two of them nattered on in Finnish while I tried to ask questions pertaining to the framing of their pieces. The process took at least twice as long as it should have, and every time I figured out the pricing, gasping and tongue-clucking ensued.

Our labour fees are set up in the computer, but when people are total pricks, we can adjust it. Sort of a "prick fee". Then we can "let them get their way" with a "discount". Basically, this means that they get it for regular price. The irony in all of this is that we generally give a discount to people, but don't go on saying how you should be entitled to it or you don't get it! Well, you think you do, and I guess that's what really matters.

Like I said, they bitched and moaned in two languages over the prices (ranging from $150 to $225 per piece) complaining that it's twice the price that it is back in Finland. As I gave the granddaughter the prices of each one, I would tell her the "regular price" and the price after the "discount", pre-tax.

"You don't need to tell me all that, just give me the total with the taxes in." I told her that I was giving her the before and after price to show her the difference in price with the "discount".
Sure enough, the next piece I worked out I gave her the total price with taxes. "Is that with the discount?" she asked. Sheesh. You can't win.

"That's still so expensive. Can't you do any better on the price?"
"You know," I replied, "generally we tend to give discounts to our regular customers for their loyalty, not brand new ones who come in off the street."
"But do you get people bringing in this many pieces at once?" (They had 5 including the one that was just having the glass replaced)
"Actually, this week, I had one client bring in 11, another brought in 10, another brought in 18, and another is bringing in 34 certificates to be framed. So ya, we do get a lot of people bringing us much larger orders."

She offered a sheepish "Thank you" for the discount. Here's the kicker. I asked them when they needed to have them ready. "Well, my grandmother goes back to Finland Friday next week."

Currently we're on a two week turnaround. So this requires rushing in the products, hoping nothing is on back-order, and hoping that all of the frames come in without any flaws and need to be replaced.

Let's go over this. New customers. Constant bitching about the prices. Expecting a discount. Rush order. After they left, I thought it all through. What I should have done was tell them to take their stuff elsewhere. We're quite busy right now. I'm not desperate for the work. I didn't care much for the sense of entitlement or the insults about our pricing, and I highly doubt that I'll ever see them back here after they pick up these pieces.

Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet. I'm glad I don't take this stuff too personally. Alright, maybe I do, but at least I've got this blog so I can let it all out!

The problem is that people don't get framing done very often, so they have no idea what to expect. And I doubt very highly that it's cheaper in Finland. Because if it were and she's leaving with the framed pictures next Friday she could have had it done there.
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