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  1. 99centTaco is offline 99centTaco
    Feb 11, 2008, 9:34 PM - Need to vent... #1

    Ok I kinda have alittle delima. As most of you all know I do some leather ammo belts. Well for the last whole year I was getting the stitching work done at a alterations shop and the lady there was really nice. Charging only $5 per belt to be stitched. Well when I upgraded the belts her machine can't handle the multiple layers of leather. So I had to use a Tippmann Industrial machine. Which I didn't have at the time but my boss let me use his. (no prob)
    But after last december he had his wife quit her job at office max and wanted her to concentrate on doing leather work from home. After a whole month with no income on her part, they started to struggle. I asked if she wanted to take over the stitching job for me. She quoted me 3 times more than the other lady was doing for me. Well, I was thinking more about helping her out more than tring to make a buck in my pocket. So I agreed. After I got the straps ready for stitching she ruined the first 2. I kinda was shocked. Being that she was "Suppose to be" a experianced leather worker, she can not stitch a straight line. So I still paid her, undid the stitching and did it by hand. After a week I gave her another shot, again the same result. I got fustrated that time.
    After another few weeks went by I had been working on another Altair Belt for someone that requested it. I spent 2 weeks on that belt. All she had to do was follow the line that was given. The stitching is so bad I can't even begin to describe it. I would post a pic of it but I feel I maybe banned for life for showing something so horrific. Yes I still paid her.
    After looking over the damage, the belt isn't really repairable. Not only is it a runined piece of leather but all that work for nothing. I will have to start over. She expects to be doing more work for me. I can't not let it happen again. But it would be difficult to say your work isn't cutting it since she is my bosses wife. I feel there would be weirdness at work if I did. I think I'll just act like I have nothing more for her to do. Only now I don't have a machine, so there will be lots of hand stitching to do.
    I've always tried to help everyone I can but I can't continue to pay for things that I know are not going to come out right. What do you guys think?
  2. tubachris85x's Avatar
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    Feb 11, 2008, 9:41 PM - Re: Need to vent... #2

    Well, its still a 'business' transaction for a service, regardless if its your boss's wife, your still a customer to her, and if the service isnt quality enough, why continue paying for it?

    Logically, you should have not gone the 2nd time, let alone a third. I understand you were tryin to help them out, and thats an honorable thing, but you need to draw the line at some point.
  3. 99centTaco is offline 99centTaco
    Feb 11, 2008, 9:54 PM - Re: Need to vent... #3

    yea I know, but I guess my other reason is, with out her and the machine I can't do it effectively. But I'll just have to get one. asap.
  4. Satxer's Avatar
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    Feb 11, 2008, 9:56 PM - Re: Need to vent... #4

    It's a bad situation on either path chosen. 1, you face the problem of work that isn't good at all and get stuck in the same situation over and over again. 2, you have to confront either your boss/his wife about the lack of quality. Which, in all essence as you said a weirdness will occur.

    You have to decide on wether, you are more concerned about paying someone for work that you in the end just have to do by hand all over again. OR...you confront the others in which could go either way. Possible good, they understand because of the explained situation. Possible bad, future conversing between each other to working can be ultimately bad. But, sometimes the lesser of 2 evils is to pick what feels better to do, something that justifies the proper choice.

    None the less, you did the better thing by trying to help her out. But, when it ends up doing more bad than good, and they aren't aware of that...they will think that you have no problem with their work.

    I mean, if I could try and put myself in your shoes, I agree it is a extremely difficult choice to make. I'm an honest guy. Purhaps the best thing to do, is keep honest. If they are about respect...they would appritiate honesty.
  5. shortimer52's Avatar
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    Feb 11, 2008, 10:07 PM - Re: Need to vent... #5

    Well looks like you have to fix her mistakes every time you use her. So why keep using her? Do it your self and save the money.

    Or talk to her and tell her to get it right.

    Not only is it costing you money but it might cost you your reputation here in TDH. Worth it? I think not.
  6. 99centTaco is offline 99centTaco
    Feb 11, 2008, 10:14 PM - Re: Need to vent... #6

    Oh trust me i'm not going to be using her again. And nothing that I dissapprove of goes out to TDH members. it gets redone just the hard way. i understand what you guys are saying, I just hate sounding like a bad person. i've never told anyone their work was awful. I don't like to hurt feelings. But they can't say i didn't give her a shot. In the process of getting my own machine thats all.
  7. jawafive's Avatar
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    Feb 11, 2008, 10:21 PM - Re: Need to vent... #7

    I would just say I was in between projects and didn't have work for her at the moment. I have a similar situation here. There is a lady I sometimes ask to do work for me. Sometimes it is spot on and then others it's just terrible. Best of luck Taco!
  8. Devilstar2k2's Avatar
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    Feb 11, 2008, 10:21 PM - Re: Need to vent... #8

    Don't mess up my belt, or I'll drive to Texas and choke you.



    Kidding...
  9. TD2253's Avatar
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    Feb 11, 2008, 10:54 PM - Re: Need to vent... #9

    I feel for you Taco! I'm sure she knows that she is doing a bad job and it's just not right to take money for it; you're in awkward position to tell her the truth. I'm sure you will be better off after you get your own machine. I have one of your awesome belts and all I can say is keep up the good work!
  10. whistle8mp's Avatar
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    Feb 11, 2008, 11:04 PM - Re: Need to vent... #10

    Just remember that famous quote that goes '' Good guys always come in last'' Taco my grandmother used to be a fashion designer and is to old to continue her trade, she has given away several machines and I believe has a few left. I'll check and see if any can handle leather and if thats the case I can send it to you as long as you pay the shipping. They will be going to the good will either way and would rather see someone here with one.
  11. Satxer's Avatar
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    Feb 12, 2008, 7:32 AM - Re: Need to vent... #11

    Quote 99centTaco said: View Post
    I just hate sounding like a bad person. i've never told anyone their work was awful. I don't like to hurt feelings. But they can't say i didn't give her a shot. In the process of getting my own machine thats all.
    Telling the truth doesn't make you a bad person, it makes you honest. Just wording it the best way possible is good. Sure you can't just go up and say "your work stinks, I am never using you again." Could it be possible to have a discussion with either the boss or his wife about it? Not to straight up say that she can't do the work anymore, but possibly room for improvement.

    Think of it this way, what would your boss say if your work was lacking? Would he fire you on the spot? Or would he explain the situation of your lack of quality?

    Another thing to look at...say you have her hold off on helping, and when you get a machine, she asks again. It's not easy to explain that you have your own machine because you like getting it done right. She may find you have a new machine and wonder why you aren't using her and may find the reason without words.

    Plain and simple, there is no easy way to explain to people. But if you think of it this way...YOU are the boss/manager in the situation between you giving her stuff to do, and paying her to do it.

    I am an honest person, and I hate lying to people. But, I agree that trying to tell the truth can be difficult.
  12. FettSniper's Avatar
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    Feb 12, 2008, 7:56 AM - Re: Need to vent... #12

    This is a terrible place to be in fella, it seems like your too nice for your own good, but i know where your coming from, it is difficult to say No to some people or that you are not happy with a product, i was in a similar situation a couple of weeks back, got a lady to stitch all the bits needed for my ammo belt thinking that it would be better to get a proffessional but in the end i could of done it better....very frustrating!

    I would suggest just saying you aint got anymore to do for a while and that you are thinking about getting your own machine, then your not actually saying your **** and i want to go somewhere else.
  13. Stormrider's Avatar
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    Feb 12, 2008, 8:28 AM - Re: Need to vent... #13

    My advice is to tell her that the stitching is getting more and more complicated, and youll pay her 1/2 what your paying her now, just to let you use the machine.

    Until you have other options.
  14. Darth Mule's Avatar
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    Feb 12, 2008, 9:49 AM - Re: Need to vent... #14

    This also brings up the idea that if nobody tells her she is unskilled, she may not realize it. Sure it seems far fetched that someone could look at their crooked stitches and think "hey, that's pretty good," but I actually teach sewing classes and I see it all the time. Some people just don't see the difference between perfection and sloppiness. Perhaps you can offer to teach her to stitch more precisely?

    Of course, on the flip, some people think they can do no wrong and get offended when you tell them they need to work on anything. In this case you may have to alter your course of action... Ask her how she lines up her stitches. Make it conversational, then offer to show her some tricks. Make it look like you're sharing some cool time/headache saving methods with her.
  15. The Sniffer is offline The Sniffer
    Feb 13, 2008, 4:02 PM - Re: Need to vent... #15

    Quote shortimer52 said: View Post
    Well looks like you have to fix her mistakes every time you use her. So why keep using her? Do it your self and save the money.

    Or talk to her and tell her to get it right.

    Not only is it costing you money but it might cost you your reputation here in TDH. Worth it? I think not.

    That's true. Perhaps you can be real polite about it and show her the inconsistancies with the lines she stitches.
  16. The Sniffer is offline The Sniffer
    Feb 13, 2008, 4:02 PM - Re: Need to vent... #16

    Quote shortimer52 said: View Post
    Well looks like you have to fix her mistakes every time you use her. So why keep using her? Do it your self and save the money.

    Or talk to her and tell her to get it right.

    Not only is it costing you money but it might cost you your reputation here in TDH. Worth it? I think not.

    That's true. Perhaps you can be real polite about it and show her the inconsistancies with the lines she stitches.
  17. Darth Clouds's Avatar
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    Feb 16, 2008, 5:25 AM - Re: Need to vent... #17

    Hi,

    If I am in your position, I may consider telling her a "white lie" so as not to hurt her feelings. I would tell her that the market competition for the product is very intense now. Customers are very demanding on quality and price. And due to such reasons you cannot afford to pay her for her work.

    If she offers to lower the cost of her services, just either say you can't pay her the asking price due to the competition, or that you are very sure that she would be able to earn more if she spents more time to look for better prospects, period.

  18. 99centTaco is offline 99centTaco
    Feb 16, 2008, 8:48 AM - Re: Need to vent... #18

    Its cool guys, she just knows now that I got my own machine. Thanks for all your advice!
  19. Southern hunter's Avatar
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    Feb 16, 2008, 9:53 AM - Re: Need to vent... #19

    Awkward position to be in no doubt. Remove the emotion from the situation and then look at it again. If it was anyone else, what would you do?

    Instead of telling a white lie, you may want to suggest that you help her with her technique and basically guide her on this. Let her know that you have had to rework some of the belts. She may be able to turn out very high quality work, but is not doing it because you're not letting her know what your standards are. Explain what you expect, and that you would be willing to help her. In return for your help, you could re-evaluate the prices she's charging. Most people want to see different techniques or ways to improve their work.

    She may want to consider sewing cloth parts of costumes, pouches, jumpsuits, etc. for low prices initially then increase her prices as she gets better.Instead of you redoing her work that is not up to your standards, she could sell them as "seconds" or "imperfects" on E-bay or in the Cargo Hold. As long as people know what they are getting, it should be fair to everyone. Custom Mandos, non-cannon costumes, people like me who don't want a part, but can't spend the big bucks for the best stuff, are all potential buyers for the "rejects". I, for one, am not above buying "rejects" or "second-rate" belts if the price is fair. This removes you from her product, lets her recoup her money and you don't have to redo something.

    A business that doesn't turn a profit is just an expensive hobby with a balance sheet and an income tax return. I know this only too well.
  20. Got Maul's Avatar
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    Feb 16, 2008, 9:00 PM - Re: Need to vent... #20

    Truth is truth, yes. But people, this is his boss's wife. Politics is politics. You don't go hurting the feelings of the boss's family and think that there won't be repercussions.

    You did the right thing 99...don't tell her, use someone else or just do it yourself.

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