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Rush repair magic.....does it ever get rewarded?

Best thank you I get is a tip.
A tip? You mean just the tip? What the hell is a 'tip' ??
Never saw one in 44 years.

Oh wait, I thought I got one of those once. Guy comes in with wheel strut for an airplane, needs something drilled
out on it on a Bridgeport......now. He mentions another guy I know, so I suppose that was the 'password' and I do
what he needs.......while he waits. 40 minutes. He says 'how much'? I say $40. He fumbles around in his pockets,
then throws some bills on the bench and says 'close enough'. He leaves, I think he might have muttered 'thanks'.
Awhile later I pick up the bills, obviously thinking 'close enough' meant a little extra. It was $20....$5....$1x5.....$30 total.
Thanks ya POS.
 
A tip? You mean just the tip? What the hell is a 'tip' ??
Never saw one in 44 years.

Oh wait, I thought I got one of those once. Guy comes in with wheel strut for an airplane, needs something drilled
out on it on a Bridgeport......now. He mentions another guy I know, so I suppose that was the 'password' and I do
what he needs.......while he waits. 40 minutes. He says 'how much'? I say $40. He fumbles around in his pockets,
then throws some bills on the bench and says 'close enough'. He leaves, I think he might have muttered 'thanks'.
Awhile later I pick up the bills, obviously thinking 'close enough' meant a little extra. It was $20....$5....$1x5.....$30 total.
Thanks ya POS.
You know what a tip is, it's where they don't put the whole thing in.... just the tip. Bit of a courtesy screwing...
 
A tip? You mean just the tip? What the hell is a 'tip' ??
Never saw one in 44 years.

Oh wait, I thought I got one of those once. Guy comes in with wheel strut for an airplane, needs something drilled
out on it on a Bridgeport......now. He mentions another guy I know, so I suppose that was the 'password' and I do
what he needs.......while he waits. 40 minutes. He says 'how much'? I say $40. He fumbles around in his pockets,
then throws some bills on the bench and says 'close enough'. He leaves, I think he might have muttered 'thanks'.
Awhile later I pick up the bills, obviously thinking 'close enough' meant a little extra. It was $20....$5....$1x5.....$30 total.
Thanks ya POS.

Damn.

I count cash then give them their part.

My start into self employment was rebuilding transmissions. First for shops, then for everybody. I had folks try to stiff me after rebuilding their transmission so it became my norm to count cash and doublecheck whatever form of payment is correct. And I don't recall specifics anymore, but I swear I had a similar experience where an older guy through a wad of cash on my bench and asked for the keys. It didn't feel right so I counted it first and he was short. Then it became clear it was intentional as he tried to negotiate, finally coughing up the balance from another pocket.

The way i developed a lot of the automotive products I sell today was by doing vehicle powertrain builds for deep pocketed customers. I had this one guy that was well to do, but really nit-picked the cost of parts. Some aspects of the project did not go as planned, more parts and more labor were required beyond my estimate. I worked on 100% estimated parts and 50% estimated labor paid up front, then actual parts and balance of actual labor paid at completion, before the vehicle leaves. Everything was good until he shows up in person. His attitude was totally different, like I was out to fuck him. On the test drive a hose fails spectacularly, not my fault, just a bad hose, and this guy comes unfucking glued on me in my parking lot. He drives it on his trailer, straps it down, hands me an envelope of cash and drives off in a hurry. His balance was $9500 and he paid me just $3000. The hose was just the opportunity he was looking for to scam me.

I also figured out after the fact he set the paperwork I handed him on my workbench on top of a factory shop manual I bought to work on his vehicle. When he picked his paperwork back up he grabbed the $300 manual too.

I was about 26 years old at that time and that experience stuck with me ever since. I collect payment in full first.
 
My favourite one would be a flake I knew who was basically an iidiot ............he left valuable stuff in a car in a bad area ,then was wanting to search every pawnbroker in the country..............anyhoo,his grandfather left him and his brother a huge area of valuable land just behind the Gold Coast ...........they refused to sell ,and tried to develop on a shoestring ........I fixed up an old dozer he found ,got it going ...........he paid about half the minimal bill ..........some years later he calls me about another dozer he s lined up ,and I says what about the money you owe ...........Hes "Oh ,we sold some of the land ,we re rich now ...."AND RICH PEOPLE NEVER PAY ANYONE !!!!!.
 
Just to add to the dogpile, I've shared this story before. When I worked full time as a tool maker a press went down. The coupling needed a blind broached keyway, something like 30mm wide, 15mm in depth, 300mm to the shoulder. The tool room was going to sinker EDM it. They estimated a ridiculous number, 30 hrs, to sink it. Down press was $800/hr. A friend of mine from the press room came in and asked if there was anything I could think of. I couldn't. He said, what about your shaper, couldn't we do it on your shaper?

He convinced management to allow us to leave work, off the clock because we weren't allowed to leave the property on the clock, and broach the key way on my shaper. Took us just over an hour. At the time I was making $20/hr as a Journeyman toolmaker.

We both thought we were hero's. We saved the day.

Instead, we got an ass chewing. Even though management gave us permission, we still left during the work day, we still clocked out during our shift.

The head of the tool room was pissed, because we showed him up.

We both got a $5 lunch token. Which, wasn't enough to buy lunch, because it cost $8.

So F them. That was a hard learned lesson.

I have a customer that every time they call, it's a giant emergency. I bill them at $400/hr for every minute I stand around waiting on them, for every phone call, and charge them 100% markup on whatever I need to buy for the job. When they pickup, they hand me a check.
 
The work that I do is at regular shop rates. The MAGIC that I HAVE to do comes at a premium. I have this thing that I do with the customer. I make them say " EMERGENCY". As in is this an emergency? They ALWAYS say NO but I need it done yesterday. So I repeat myself but is this an emergency? That's when they say yes. So now THEY have admitted that this is premium rates!

Blank check.

This means that the bill they get for $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ is better that the cost they would have incurred for $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.
 
A rule with these guys ........they get a shop repair underway ,while they search for a cheap used part .......if they find that part ,you will never hear from them again .
 
These walk in emergency situations are why my door is locked behind me, I just don't want to deal with it, so I mostly don't have to. Anybody that knows me, knows I don't want to take on repair work etc, so thankfully they never volunteer me.

I will say, that if I had not been on here way back before I started on my own reading similar threads, I'm sure I would have had all these stories and more to tell because I wouldn't have known to watch for this stuff.
 
Every since I turned 18, 70 now and retired, my job supported in house work, never any outside customers. Had one particular dick boss for quite a few years. No matter how many times I got production out of a bind, I never got so much as a kiss my ass from him. Just a miserable POS. Most of the time his tone just begged for screwing. Other times because of him being unwilling to give me necessary details for a part that needed made, I couldn't get it done. Had other bosses that usually stopped by after the fact to thank me. Those were the ones that I would take care of. Even had production managers make a point to come by the shop and thank me.

I got paid the same no matter how fast I got the job done, but I did appreciate an Atta Boy once in a while. You guys that had to deal with bad customers have my sympathy.
 
I do emergency repairs fairly often for local businesses and neighbors alike and don't charge anything, These things aren't in my normal line of work but are sometimes interesting. Last week I made a little jackshaft for a neighbors lathe, week before I made new hinges for the post office entry door, surgically removed a hitch from the receiver of the local store owners pickup, repaired the local dog groomers drying table, lots of stuff and I get big thank you's, hugs, handshakes, smiles etc. When I walk in their places and want something I get the best of service, I thought that was how things were done, but that is how I grew up I recon, it ain't all about money.
 
It depends on your relationship with your customers. I had very, very good customers who treated me well and I tried to return the favor.

Here's a story... long duration project, I'd been on it for several years getting a medical device to market. No bidding, everything was time and material at a high hourly rate. I got a call at 9 pm Saturday night saying they made a mistake in the drawing of the part we delivered Friday. Could I quickly make a new one? Sure, send over the correct drawing. Went to the shop and made it, simple part with setup still on the machine. They picked it up and I was back to bed in 3 hours.

Then another call after a few hours saying they had made another error and part needed another correction. Okay same story, new part and back to bed.

The urgency was for a presentation to venture capital investors on the following Monday afternoon. Because of my long term involvement I felt like I had a big stake in this product.

I didn't bill them for this emergency. They had treated me so well, like a valued employee, invitations to company picnics, expensive social event dinners, Christmas turkey and so on. They called later to ask how much they owed for the quick response. They insisted on paying so I said whatever you think it was worth. I got a check for $5K..... And when I retired I got a full page single spaced letter thanking me for the help I'd been to the company over the years from the CEO.
 
I do emergency repairs fairly often for local businesses and neighbors alike and don't charge anything, These things aren't in my normal line of work but are sometimes interesting. Last week I made a little jackshaft for a neighbors lathe, week before I made new hinges for the post office entry door, surgically removed a hitch from the receiver of the local store owners pickup, repaired the local dog groomers drying table, lots of stuff and I get big thank you's, hugs, handshakes, smiles etc. When I walk in their places and want something I get the best of service, I thought that was how things were done, but that is how I grew up I recon, it ain't all about money.
I think we are talking about two different subjects. I was raised the same as you, and do the same as you, but not when it comes to large corporations. If my neighbor needs something fixed, or my friend who owns a landscaping company needs a hole drilled, I am happy to help them out.

When I was fresh out of college I worked for my grandfather. One day a guy comes in the shop in a hurry, with a shaft from a machine. Their production line was down and asked if we could straighten the shaft and quote a new one. I'd never seen a shaft straightened so I watched one of the tool makers straighten it. Took him maybe 15 minutes. Guy asked how much he owed. My grandfather said $3000. For perspective, my grandfather would give a stranger the shirt off his back if he thought they needed it. We were constantly welding, machining, making parts, at either ridiculously cheap prices or for free. I was almost as blown away as the guy with the shaft.

After the guy left I asked what the deal was and my grandfather said it was an interest payment. Turns out he had helped that company with an emergency several years prior, to the tune of over $20k in work. They never paid that bill, the plant never closed, the 3 shifts of production never stopped, but the company went bankrupt and so they legally were not required to pay it.

So, helping the small local shop with a repair is one thing. But the company that I do emergency work for will never, ever, help me out.
 
Well,
1. If the job was 'easy', don't be to quick to get it done (or get it done but hold off on delivery a bit).
2. NEVER say 'that went well, no problems'. Or 'it wasn't a bad job'.
Because, generally,
I've watched expressions and body language. And things always seem to go smoother if I say, for example:
"Wow that took a lot longer than I though it would", "Broke a tool" , "That material is a bitch", etc.
Way less likely they will complain about price or delivery time if they hear you had some struggle.
YMMV. It could just be something in the water 'round here, but that's my experience.
That's fair. If a job went well I'll try to not comment on it but there's no way I'd want to infer before and after that I'm getting a better deal than what we agreed on.

On the opposite side, I'm not gonna be one of those slimy shops that pretends we're going above and beyond and making sacrifices to please a customer when we're actually not. Not good ethics.
 
Unfortunately in the Oz economy of booms and long busts ,often you gotta do what keeps the doors open .....1970s recession and the 1980s recession....I survived both ,millions didnt and lost everything .
 
i also cant recall ever being thanked for doing a job ..........one big cuatomer I had was "Crazy Murray Wilson" ...the guy was certifiable ,yet had a big business with maybe 50 employees doing property maintenace and gardening.........he was big guy ,would cry like a child,and used to have tantrums like a child ...he would spin around on the ground ,just like you see in the Three Stooges ,
 
And I don't recall specifics anymore, but I swear I had a similar experience where an older guy through a wad of cash on my bench and asked for the keys. It didn't feel right so I counted it first and he was short. Then it became clear it was intentional as he tried to negotiate, finally coughing up the balance from another pocket.

I was about 26 years old at that time and that experience stuck with me ever since. I collect payment in full first.

Now that reminds me
When I was 12 yrs old, my BIL the self employed contractor who made very good money, had a '71 Chevy pickup, V8, 4spd manual. Trans had a problem, and he was complaining the local dealer wanted $450 to fix it. He started bugging me, 'you should fix it, summer vacation, do something productive'.....etc. So by myself, I took the trans out of the truck, took it apart, (input shaft bearing wrecked, 'nose cone' where the throw out bearing rides, broke). Had my Mon drive me to the dealership and got the replacement parts. Put it back together, I think it was 3 days total.

Every day, once a day he stops by. 'You sure you know what yer doing? I don't think you know what yer doing, I hope you're not wrecking it. Hurry up I need this truck back'! On day 3 him and his helper stop by. I'm struggling to put the trans back up in the truck. He starts in 'I need this damn truck, hurry up, it's taking a long time'. Finally his helper gets down on the ground and helps me get the thing up in the bell housing. End of day 3, it's all working, I drove it back and forth in the alley a bit. He shows up, grumbling it 'took too long'. Takes it on a 'test drive' and that's it, gone.
Couple days later he stops by, skeptical it will last, but 'seems' to be working for now. I say 'I need to get paid'. More grumbling, then he pulls bills out of his pocket and hands them to me. $25, and 'he's broke' but will 'try' to get me some more when he can. That was 51 years ago, still waiting....
 








 
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