I must ask this difficult question of the members

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by roguemodel, May 12, 2012.

  1. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    You know, this phenomenon is rife in the saxophone world, with which I'm more familiar, too - superb technicians with poor communication skills and even poorer chops at estimating how long a project will take to complete - which of course often depends on how long a prior project they are working on will take to complete.

    As one who often has problems estimating how long it will take to complete arranging/composing projects, I can sympathise, so I can't be too hard on these technicians. However, where I can be, and will be, hard on them is in their inexcusably poor communications. I have found that, as long as a client is kept informed of the progress (or lack thereof) of a project in real time, they are pretty much understanding. This is Business 101.

    What I fail to understand are technicians who continue to include this basic and fundamental action as a routine part of their work day - a time set aside each day to communicate with clients. In this day and age with clients from more than one generation, now, of must-have-it-yesterday types, it just doesn't make sense not to give your communications a high priority.
  2. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    The more time technicians spend communicating, the less time we spend repairing horns. It is very frustrating when an entire day is taken up by walk-in customers when in the back of the shop there is a mountain of work that people are already waiting for. Estimations are also difficult to do sometimes, because unexpected things do come up, especially on vintage horns. If he is estimating without seeing the horn in person, I can't imagine a time frame could ever be established.
  3. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    You set aside time at the end of the work day - when the shop is closed - and address your correspondence. This does not interfere with your repair schedule since it is the last thing you do before you leave for the day.
  4. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

    Oct 5, 2010
    Tom did my 1959 Bach Mt Vernon. It looks beautiful and plays wonderfully. Have had had two symphonic players give a try and just drool over it. Hopefully, yours will be worth the wait.

  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The normal issue with all of these guys is time management. They have 50 projects going at the same time, then someone walks in the door and they are happy to have someone to talk to. The queue backs up even more.

    Reports like this simply strengthen the throw away, buy new approach because it is impossible to predict what you are getting into.

    Modern 21st century order processing means that the horn is registered when it comes in. When any work is done, that gets booked to the "project" and an automatic e'mail update can go out - total time investment for the tech: entering the amount of minutes (hours) invested and the work unit done. One liners are enough in the trumpet repair world. The software to handle these types of "projects" is open source "free" and would be a great project for some high schooler or business admin college student.............. Heck, if I had a horn waiting this long, I would make him a deal and set the software up for a discount on the repair!
  6. lmf

    lmf Forte User

    May 16, 2007
    Indiana USA
    Tom is busy as we all know. I personally believe "haste makes waste" and would want the person I chose for my brass instrument to take all the time needed to do the job correctly. Those who vouch for Tom knows his work is wonderful and are willing to wait much longer than you have. They take into consideration that craftsmanship is not a hurried process. Those who have mentioned delays with Tom also praise the finished product and coninue to use him again and again for horns they want restored in a quality way. It could be that the problem here is the expectation that the horn being finished for the OP needs to be done exactly on time no matter what? I'd give Tom the time he needs to do the job correctly as he has the reputation for doing.

    Best wishes,

  7. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    There's an adage in my line of work that goes like this. You can have two of the three words apply to your job at the EXCLUSION of the third. The words? Good, fast, and cheap! I can't stand it when someone is constantly calling about a job that I'm doing when details (including time to complete) have already discussed and agreed upon by both parties. Sometimes, events beyond the person's control (weather!) interfere with timing. Most people want the work done good and cheap! Well then, it won't be fast. I've investigated several big name resto guys and the constant gripe with them all is "lack of communication". It is probably more perception with the person who owns the horn. Tom Green is one of the premier guys in this business. I'm sure he's working on more than one horn at a time. Many "old school" repairmen don't twitter, facebook, text, or the like. They may not even have cell phones! Mr. Green does it right and he'll do it right by you too.
  8. harleyt26

    harleyt26 Mezzo Forte User

    Dec 9, 2009
    I am also in a line of work where time schedules must be kept and extenuating circumstances do ocassionally arise.
    The initial estimate of time was three months. I do not constantly bombardment with contacts I send an email or attempt an unanswered call every three months. It is a year past the estimated time with a thousand dollar deposit. And I have not heard from him in over six months. I would just like to know if there are further complications with the project. I know it will be a fantastic job on completion. And there really is no hurry, but what's up? I could not do this in my line of work, how about yours?
  9. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    I think it's apples/oranges. Finding a competent restorer is much more difficult than a landscaper until you get on a grand scale. I know a couple "builders" of athletic fields/golf greens and there aren't as many that can do that well. My point, is Tom is very good but has always been "lacking" on the communication side of things. If one is in a hurry, there is that guy in WVA.! :-)
  10. roguemodel

    roguemodel New Friend

    Jun 6, 2011
    I appreciate the input, I am relieved to hear of similar stories. Like I said. I absolutely didn't not want any negative remarks against Tom to be made unless they were absolutely justified. If it were a horn that did not mean as much, in history and value i wouldn't worry. I have seen his work and that is why i chose him. So, i will sit back and relax and wait for the horn.

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