I Did It Again

I play the role of deliverer and installer for our picture framing company. It’s a job I enjoy doing because it gives me a unique perspective. Most clients don’t know that I own the company, because I drive the van and wear jeans and climb ladders. This gives me better insight into their true feelings about the product we have made for them.

I do have one big weakness on this job. I continue breaking company policy when it come to hanging things we don’t make. You know what I mean- customers always have a mirror they can’t get on the wall because they bought it at a furniture store, and furniture makers just done care if you ever actually hang the mirror.

I know this is true because they just slap a couple of D-Rings on the back of mirrors and send you on your way. D-Rings hold well enough into the wood of the mirror, but I’ve never found a stable way of anchoring them to a wall. Something like a screw head sticking straight out from the wall invites the D-Rings to slip off after time.

The only true way to secure large mirrors is to use a Z-bar that is secured into the mirror and the wall. Seems simple enough, so why don’t we offer to hang these items clients purchased other places? I was reminded last night. I went to install an octagonal mirror we made for a clients bathroom. When I sold her that mirror she had mentioned she had a larger one she couldn’t figure out how to hang. Company policy dictates I run away from a question like that, but instead I offered to “take a look” at it when hanging the mirror she purchased. Of course what she heard was that I was going to hang it, so she was expecting me to do so.

The mirror was large and heavy. She wanted it hung about 9 feet off the ground. Z-bar had to be installed at the top, and it had a 4″ lip at the top that was very fragile. That fragile lip meant that I couldn’t lay mirror facedown to install the hanging hardware without risking damage. But I had come too far. There was no backing out now, so I had to transport this very delicate and heavy item back to our production area to have the hardware installed. This meant scheduling a second visit just to hang an item I didn’t sell and it would be necessary to bring help because it was going high up and was heavy.

There is no way of charging enough for something like this that offsets the time, and risk of damaging it. My company knows it, but I always believe that I’m doing something that will build customer loyalty, so I break the rules.

Sometimes I wish I had a boss.

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