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Dissapointing Woodworking Class

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Review by gfernandez posted 10-21-2014 07:51 PM 4506 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Two years ago I took a woodworking class here in NC with Gregory Paolini and built a bow arm Morris chair (see attached picture). Although there were a few bumps along the way, the main one being he was short an instructor and we all went home with unfinished pieces, it was still a great time and the 6 of us learned a ton of useful woodworking knowledge. Greg was also readily available via phone and email with the many questions I had after the class ended regarding getting my project completed. He has even used a picture of my chair as the example on his website for this class, which I thought was pretty cool.

About 6 months later, I tried to get Greg, who advertised private classes in his shop or yours, to come to Cary for a private class for myself and another local woodworker. Long story short, after initially coming up with a tentative date and agreeing to come, he did not return emails or voice mails over the next several months regarding the project we were supposed to be doing or finalizing a date. When he did finally get in touch a few days before we were supposed to start, I told him that since he never got back to us, we had made other plans. To his credit, he did apologize (see email below)

From: gregory.john.paolini@gmail.com
To: gonzfernandez
Subject: RE: March 13-17
Date: Sun, 3 Mar 2013 20:16:07 -0500

Gonzalo & Sean,

I’m sorry that I won’t be able to see the two of you as soon as I had hoped to – And I owe both of you a huge apology – I really dropped the ball ( a few times) with your project. It really does bother me, not just because it’s unprofessional, but more because it may give the impression that your time was not important to me. Please believe me that the latter could not be further from the truth.

Please know that I fully realize that the lack of communication was completely on my end, and that I take full responsibility for leaving things in a chaotic state. Again, I apologize, and I shall further reflect on this experience, learn, and improve from it.

I hope to work with both of you in the future – And I give you my word, that the next experience will indeed be much improved.

Sincerely,

Gregory Paolini

www.GregoryPaolini.com

Gregory Paolini Design LLC
World Class Woodworking
726 Freedom Drive
Canton, NC 28716
Phone:: 828.627.3948

Fast forward to this spring when I signed up to do a Maloof style rocking chair at his shop. My only issue was that as a small business owner it is really hard for me, from a financial and time perspective, to take a full week off of work (the class went from Monday to Saturday). I called and emailed Greg, explained the situation, and was glad to hear he was amendable to me coming up earlier to do the first day of the course sometime in the July-October range, then join the scheduled class on Tuesday for the rest of the week. This would have allowed me to work that Monday and take the rest of the week off.

After talking with Greg in June, confirming I was enrolled in the class, and being promised a list of dates, I never heard back from him again. I sent multiple emails every 3-4 weeks and left voice mails with no response. That’s 5 months without hearing back from him.

Why am I writing this? I am disappointed as to how it was handled and honestly, just want to vent. I was really looking forward to the class. I’ve also now burned 4 vacation days this week. It may not seem like much, but I rarely take off 4 days in a row due to work. The last time I took a full week off was over two years ago to take the Morris chair class. Greg is a nice guy and a good instructor, but he really dropped the ball. Again. Hope the folks taking the class enjoy it, that rocking chair looks really cool.

Thanks for reading, I feel better getting it off my chest. Now I need to go find something to do this week. I’ve got a honey do list a mile long I’m trying to avoid!

Gonzalo




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gfernandez

5 posts in 1394 days



13 comments so far

View 489tad's profile

489tad

3384 posts in 3092 days


#1 posted 10-21-2014 11:32 PM

Gonzalo your a class act. On your time off pick a project and build it!

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

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gfernandez

5 posts in 1394 days


#2 posted 10-22-2014 12:51 AM

Thanks Dan, I have a project I hope to work on this week!

View NormG's profile

NormG

6216 posts in 3084 days


#3 posted 10-22-2014 12:55 AM

Wow, I do not know what to say. I hope it gets better

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

17566 posts in 3269 days


#4 posted 10-22-2014 08:23 AM

Thats crazy, You have gone above and beyond, no excuse fot how he has treated you. Sorry to hear.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View laketrout36's profile

laketrout36

200 posts in 2107 days


#5 posted 10-22-2014 02:55 PM

Sorry to hear about your misfortune. Time is valuable. Maybe the instructor over extended himself and is having trouble keeping up with classes and arraignments.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117165 posts in 3657 days


#6 posted 10-22-2014 03:18 PM

Gonzanlo
Welcome to Ljs
I’m sorry to hear of your problems trying to attend Gregory Paolini’s class. As a woodworking instructor and business person of 40 years I know it takes a complete package of talents to be in business and one of them is communications . I have never heard of Gregory Paolini before, but perhaps he has things going on in his life that is distracting him from business,it’s seems like you gave him a second chance and he still failed in the communcation department.
I’m not sure where your located but it looks like you may be in the south since that is where Mr. Gregory Paolini is located. May I suggest a Class with Charles Neil ,he is a great teacher and fine artision both in furniture building and regarding finishing.

http://www.cn-woodworking.com/welcome-to-charles-neil-woodwo/

http://www.cn-woodworking.com/upcoming-classes/

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos wood crafting & woodworking classes

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gfernandez

5 posts in 1394 days


#7 posted 10-22-2014 09:54 PM

Jim,
Thanks for the link, I appreciate it. I am in NC, so this is fairly close.

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2786 posts in 2377 days


#8 posted 10-23-2014 01:55 PM

“The last time I took a full week off was over two years ago…” I don’t know what your business is but you need to change that. No one will reflect back on their life and say ‘gee, I’m glad I worked so hard.’ Stop and smell the roses, or sawdust.

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gfernandez

5 posts in 1394 days


#9 posted 10-23-2014 06:46 PM



“The last time I took a full week off was over two years ago…” I don t know what your business is but you need to change that. No one will reflect back on their life and say gee, I m glad I worked so hard. Stop and smell the roses, or sawdust.

- dhazelton

Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply I never take time off, I do. Usually in the form of a long weekend, Thurs-Sun and that works well for beach trips, time off, etc. But full weeks off? Can’t happen very often. If I’m not in the office, no income is generated, but I still have staff to pay.

View sikrap's profile

sikrap

1121 posts in 3439 days


#10 posted 10-24-2014 01:28 AM

Thanks very much fro the review. I will have to remember to never sign up for any of his classes. I could understand messing up once, but to then mess up again with the same client? That’s not a red flag, that’s a full-blown siren.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

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dhazelton

2786 posts in 2377 days


#11 posted 10-25-2014 12:05 AM

None of my business gfernandez, that’s for sure. My father had a heart attack the day he retired and was dead a couple of days later. Hate to see people not enjoying life and thinking it will all happen later.

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

7636 posts in 2881 days


#12 posted 10-27-2014 12:50 PM

I second what Jim said. I have never heard anyone say anything but great things after taking a Charles Neil class.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/

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gfernandez

5 posts in 1394 days


#13 posted 02-04-2015 08:26 PM

I wanted to update everyone on my original post. Greg called me a few months ago, apologized, explained what happened and made everything right. He went out of his way to accommodate me for a 1 on 1 class to build the sculpted rocker. He was a great instructor and wonderful to work with. I left a happy camper and plan on taking another class soon.

I’ve posted a brief review and pictures here:

http://www.ncwoodworker.net/forums/showthread.php?t=55209

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