Wednesday, April 12, 2006


So many knobs, so few bullets

I just stepped in from the chilly, damp air outside of the store where I spent a few minutes chatting with the girl from the office next door. Real swift while I'm still trying to shake this cold I've had for the past few weeks, I know. She was out for a smoke break, and I just popped out to say hello and to ask if it's still illegal to kill people.
"Only if you get caught" was her reply.
"Why? Who do you want to kill?"
"Oh, just a customer. No big deal."
"I feel your pain" she said.

My ordeal began a few weeks back when "Mr. & Mrs. Jones" came in with a wedding photo of their son and daughter-in-law. Not a bad picture, but the photographer saw fit to cut off part of the bride's train. I pointed that out to them when they brought it in. They didn't seem too concerned with it.

After agonizing over mat colours and a frame for well over an hour, we finally had everything settled. The funny thing is that they brought in a framed photo that we had done years ago of their other son's wedding and they wanted to match it. GAK! I hate that. The colour tones in the new picture are completely different, and the old frame is discontinued and no longer available. Mercifully, they relented and permitted colours that actually suited the new picture. Thank God!

So they left the photo, and we matted and framed it, and it looked quite nice. When they came back in to pick it up a few days ago, they loved it.
"Oh, I'm so glad we went with the green mat instead of the blue. It really suits it." Mrs. Jones said, her husband gushing his admiration as well.
Another satisfied customer.

Yesterday, Mr. Jones came in with the picture.
"We're really not happy with the picture," he said. "We don't like how the dress is cut off on the side."
"Oh, you fucking idiot!" I thought.
"You recall that the dress is actually cut off on the photo, though, right?" I asked.
"Well, I'm sure more of it can be shown than we see here. We'd like you to move the mat over a bit."
"Let me pull it apart right now and I'll show you what we've got to work with."

I stepped into the work area and tore off the backing, removed the staples and took the matted picture from the frame. I showed Mr. Jones that I had the mat pretty much as far over as I could without having the edge of the picture pop up through the opening. There was MAYBE 1/16 of an inch it could be shifted over. 1/8 of an inch and the picture popped through. Considering the picture is about 16 x 20, this is hardly noticable to the naked eye.

"Do what you can with it. We'll be in to pick it up Saturday." he said.

Since I had all the pieces for that picture strewn all over my work table, I decided I would complete it and be done with it. So I shifted the picture that 1/16 of an inch, cleaned the glass again, installed the picture, re-backed it, re-wired it, and wrapped it. One bit of grief done. I thought.

This morning I arrived at work, unlocked the store, disarmed the alarm, turned on the lights and saw the phone flashing to indicate a new message. The message was from Mr. Jones.
"My wife and I have discussed it, and we've decided to leave the picture as it was because we don't want our son and daughter-in-law shifted too far off to the side."
Translation: "Oh ya, we're dumbasses. Instead of asking for the impossible, but not wanting to admit our error, we've come up with some other lame reason for leaving it the way you did it originally. Boy do we feel stupid!"

You guessed it. It's staying exactly as it is right now. There is no way in hell that anyone can detect that 1/16 of an inch on a picture that size. Besides, the couple occupy 2/3 of the picture and the train of the dress occupies the other 1/3. They are already off center! The photo was shot that way! I could center the couple, but a good chunk of that dress would have to go.

I tell ya! Some of these people drive me to drink. I just need something stronger than honey lemon tea!

People are stupid that is all there is to it.
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