Warning this kind of a rant!
The other day, I dropped off some sample doors to a customer of mine to help her pick the stain color for her kitchen cabinets. She had already decided she wanted oak for the material and pick the style of doors. The cabinets have been ready to finish now for a week. She saw the sample doors and immediatly was mad about how the grain of the oak showed so much. I couldn’t understand why because she told me she wanted stained oak cabinets in her kitchen when I first met her. During her tantrum she talked about how my cabinets were cheap made with cheap wood and cheap stains. Quietly I agreed cause she gave me a budget of 7,000 to build 18 cabinets with countertops. What did she expect cherry? She was lucky I found such a good price on oak. But, I just kept my mouth shut while she continued to discuss how everyone in the construction industry was either uneducated rednecks or illegal aliens. She eventually calmed down and just asked for my opionion on hidding the oak grain. The reason I decided to blog about this is not to bad mouth her ( she was just upset and expressed it wrong). I am writting to shed light on the bad rep builders get. I am twenty one years old and building is all I know. I do have a degree in drafting and design ( blueprint drawing). But, my heart is in building weather it be furniture or houses. To me the satisfaction of making a living doing what I consider an honest living is the greatest feeling in the world. I have known a lot of good men who have injured themselves some even died building. Men who have dedicated thier whole live to building homes for people. We pervided people with a roof over thier head and a warm place to sleep at night. No, we do not do this for free cause we also have to have a roof over our heads. Now I have gotten used to homeowners and customers taking the frustration of remolding and building thier own homes out on me but, I admitt it has started to take a toll. I have been in business for myslelf for three years now. I have spent half days at school and then spent eight hours in the shop building cabinets. And no matter how weary I got clients would never cut me any slack for missing a deadline. This aint no place for the weary kind ( as the song says). My uncle was an electrician for his entire life and I rember helping him as a kid. He would tell me to go to college don’t get inot this fall-out program. fall-out program was what he colud the building industry because you worked till you fell out and died no retirement no 401K. The only thing that insured you would be able to eat was the quality of your work and the economy. I know that things have changed and a person is able to have back-up plans so to speak but still what you put in you will get out of the building industry. But the general public doesnt care how tired you are or how they can screw entire set of cabinets by not knowing wat they want and they will use you just as much as you let them. ANd the minute you put your foot down you get sued and badmouthed. In today’s society of being two clicks away from anything people do not realize how much time and effort goes into building something. In my cabinets I pour my heart and soul because through my work I can live forever. If I can build a chest of drawers that would last generations then maybe my memory would to. The pieces we build are our fossils. They allow us to leave a mark ever so sublte on this earth. Even as I type this covered in saw dust I have to smile cause no matter how bad the economy gets or how mean customers are I know that this is what I want to do for the rest of my time on earth.
-- As Best I Can