Monday, March 26, 2007

Karma and Quandary

This all goes back several months. For those of you that have been reading here for awhile, you will remember my posts about a problem that I was having with a local piano tech. Briefly recapped. My first problem was that he and his associate had complaints about some keytop work. They insisted that I had done the job - I hadn't. The matter was never resolved and although they continued subcontracting their key bushing work to me, I never did another key top job for them.

Shortly thereafter, I believe, Mr. Tech S began gossiping to me about the dire straits that Mr. Tech P was finding himself in. Now this kind of bad-mouthing had been coming from Mr. Tech S and his associate ever since I moved here. Not the specific situation, but all other types of "warnings". Quite honestly, I didn't like being a recipient of the gossip and "warnings", nor did I like being quizzed about Mr Tech P's business. I believe it is particularly unprofessional to engage in such talk and have never sided one way or the other between the two (the S camp and the P camp).

Now it did come to pass and to public knowledge through the local newspaper, that Mr. Tech P had some financial obligations that he had not been meeting and had been evicted from his business location. This was the most recent rumor that Mr. Tech S had been anxious to tell me.


I still didn't and don't like the way that Mr. Tech S conducts himself.

Forward a few months...........

An article appears in the Gloucester Daily Times about S's associate, Mr. Tech S2. Seems he and his live-in girlfriend had been out drinking at a local establishment. Girlfriend goes home. Mr Tech S2 moves on to another location with some friends. He returns home later to find his girlfriend in bed with their renter.

Reads like a soap opera doesn't it?

So, just to make matters worse, Mr. Tech S2 allegedly assaults his girlfriend, assaults the renter, and then allegedly goes and gets his handgun and shoots the wall. The police arrive and arrest Mr. Tech S2 and search the premises to find a couple other guns.

I have no idea what has happened since other than the message on the business phone has changed names just slightly. Mr. Tech S seems to be running things by himself now.

Karma just reaches out and bites some folks.

That brings me to the quandary.............

About 4 years ago the two Mr. Tech S's contracted me to rebuild the Duo-Art (pneumatic player) mechanism for a grand piano that they were readying to sell. I did the work and under the duress of working in their shop, got everything put back in the piano and working well. I have subsequently adopted the policy of not collaborating on these things with anyone (other than you, FP). Today, Mr. Tech S called asking for my assistance. Seems that 4 years later he has decided that the piano action needs some work and he has tried to extricate the same from the piano without removing the player parts necessary to do so. Please allow me to emphasize - NECESSARY. And may I add, even to someone not trained in the profession looking at should be obvious that the player stuff is in the way!

Anyway, he tells me he has managed to break some of the ivory on the keys while forcing things. Geez, if it doesn't want to move, you'd think to find out why before doing damage! So now he wants me to come to the shop, remove the player stuff that needs to be removed so that he can do the work he wants to, then I'll have to go back another day to reinstall it. He has offered to make some monetary compensation for my time.

And what my mind has wandered to as a result.....
  1. I'd have to squeeze the time in to an already busy schedule.
  2. I don't like working in his shop.
  3. I have no idea if the player mechanism is still functioning well as the piano could have had any number of "hands on" contacts over the past 4 years, and thus....
  4. I could be blamed for it's present (possible) non function, even though I left the piano functioning properly 4 years ago.
  5. I could be blamed for any mishap that could occur to the mechanism while stored out of the piano while Mr. Tech S does his thing even though said mechanism would be in his care.
  6. I'm not comfortable in a working relationship with this tech.
  7. Where is S2? What if he is there? How worrisome would that be?
On the other hand.............
  1. Maybe I should be more generous.
  2. Am I being too picky?
  3. Are my worries foolish?
At this point, I really do think that I will be swamped with work this week and won't have much opportunity to help him. As an alternative, I am working up a labeled photo with easy instructions (only 4 steps) as to how to remove the player stuff that needs to be removed. Should I feel guilty about avoiding a situation that makes me feel uncomfortable? Realistically I have no professional, ethical, or warranty obligation.


dickiebo said...

"Should I feel guilty about avoiding...."
No fear! Your sixth sense is clearly telling you to keep away. Just send the Instructions, Deb, and tell him that you can't handle any more work.

mary said...

Ditto dickiebo. You owe them nothing and would make a good "fall guy" should you get involved and somehing goes wrong. Trust your intincts.

deb said...

Wait until you see today's paper, Mary. Mr. Tech P has once again made front page news. I'm considering a new ad slogan...."Choose deb piano service, the only sane choice." Just kidding. ;-)

For those that don't get the GD Times, I'll post a short recap later. Heck of a busy day..........