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MMD > Archives > October 2003 > 2003.10.29 > 02Prev  Next


Rebuilding a Player Piano in the Customer's Home
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All.  Preface: I was going to leave this thread alone, but after
reading a few of the previous responses, I feel someone needs to
shine a light on 'the other side of the coin'.

Working in a customer's home isn't all that difficult if you truly
know what to expect and you properly prepare for the job in advance.
I've restrung pianos, put frames back together, done refinishing work,
installed bass bridges, and done a host of other lesser jobs without
incident.  I know that other technicians like Craig Brougher use to
routinely travel around the country doing major restoration work in
the customer's home, and, like me, he loved the work and the people...
And, he made a good living.

In my opinion, the only real problem is insuring that the customer
understands and accepts that bringing my shop into their home will
undoubtedly be messy.  And I also make it painfully clear that I will
not work in a hostile environment, like a garage in the dead of winter,
or on a back porch in the heat of summer.

All of the experiences I've had doing major work in a customer's home
have been very positive and quite enjoyable, not to mention financially
rewarding.  And in a few instances, doing the work at their home was
actually more enjoyable than doing the work in the shop, and here are
a few reasons why.

  One, you get to focus on one and only one job.
  Two, there are no interruptions.
  Three, you are only expected to work eight hours a day.
  Four, someone else prepares all of your meals.
  Five, you get treated with the utmost respect.
  Six, you get to enjoy the comfort and luxury that only
    the rich can afford.
  Seven, it's like being on a paid vacation.

Also, I'm one of those few technicians who have no problem with the
customer either watching or helping me work.  I know my rates are
high, and feel it's only fair to allow them to get involved in whatever
I'm doing.  In fact, I encourage it when I sense that the customer is
capable of doing the work.  After all, it is their instrument, and Lord
knows that I have more work than I can handle.  So, if I can save them
some money by letting them work, that's fine with me.  I'm not easily
intimidated or threatened by the fact that another man _or woman_ has
the ability to work side-by-side with me.

And, as a side note: When I see a sign like the one that Eliyahu Shahar
mentioned, I walk away.  People who display such signs are arrogant and
self-centered, and they're probably not nearly as intelligent,
experienced, or talented as "they" think they are.

Musically opinionated,

John A. Tuttle
Player-Care.com
Brick, New Jersey, USA


(Message sent Wed 29 Oct 2003, 14:03:43 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Customer's, Home, Piano, Player, Rebuilding

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