Monday, May 01, 2006

Six Month Anniversary!

Yes, can you believe it? Marin Fiber Arts turned 6 months old on April 25th. It's been a fun ride so far, but not without a few bumps along the way, namely: the sign.

It took about 5 months to get a friggin' sign up, which went up about a month ago. The timeline goes something like this:

(NOTE: fictitious sign company names have been used to avoid public humiliation.)

The first company (The Disinterested Sign Company) was contacted back in early October and took forever to get us a quote for sign and installation. It seemed like once they found out how small the budget was, they lost interest.

They recommended a very small sign company (Joe Bob Signs) who again took a long time to ultimately lose interest and not return our calls.

We finally ended up with Slow Signs, who seemed willing to do the job. Several people (including the building management) recommended this company. But again, it took forever to get nowhere (seldom returning phone calls or emails, etc).

Then One Day in Late December, in the middle of a signage funk, a guy left his business card under my door - Local Psychotic Sign Guy. I called him up and he seemed VERY eager (I mean VERY eager) to make me a sign - at a good price. Cool. He needed the reference and was willing to do the job at a discounted price. We were in contact constantly. Once we firmed up a design, I had to get it approved by the City and the Landlord. That took about two weeks - smooth sailing. Meanwhile, Local Psychotic Sign Guy became increasingly vexed. 'Have you gotten approval yet? I want to get this done before we start work on The Big Job which will take all month.' Then Local Psychotic Sign Guy offered to provide the sign at half the quoted price if I developed a website for his small and growing sign company. Sure, trades are good! I worked up a small proposal and budgeted only $400 for my sign - what a deal! Yay. A week later, the guy tells me his boss changed his mind. He found someone else to do the website for free. In other words, he backed down on our verbal agreement. The sign will now cost me $750. Argh, there goes my budget! I was upset. On the other hand, I needed a sign. My response was OK but I'd have to hold off on the sign for a few weeks until I knew I had the extra cash. But I was fuming. A few days later I get a frantic phone call from Local Psychotic Sign Guy: "Can I come over and pick up the deposit NOW? I really need the cash!" Uhhhh, wassup with dat? Are you on the brink of bankruptcy? Need to pay off the drug dealer? Doesn't sound like a stable company, so I basically told him to go away.

What now? I decide to give Slow Signs a second chance. This time I marched into the darned place in person and said "Look. I need a sign NOW. Here is the design, exactly how I want it. Here is the city permit. Can you do it?" Astonishingly they said "Sure, no problem. We can have this up in a week. And it's only gonna cost $500." Uh, ok.

Yah riiight. It took about a week to simply MAKE the sign. A week(ish) later they come out to hang it, only to realize they need to rethink their plan. Not gonna work. Need to make a metal frame for the sign and mount the frame to the overhang. D'oh. Gonna take another week and another 500 bucks. Umm, have you _ever_ done this before? I'm beginning to hate sign people. But it will only take another week, they say. Two to three weeks later (groan), the installation guy comes to drill the holes in the overhang. He's up there on the ladder *trying* to drill holes into metal while the drill bit screeches and seizes up in the holes. Umm, have you _ever_ done this before? Are you really a professional sign installer? Doesn't look like it from my angle (a look of abject terror freezes his face as a drill bit flies out of the drill and hits the storefront window). Maya had to leave the building because the screeching sound of metal against metal made her small intestine seize up.

Magically, the next day, Friday, at 5:45 pm, the sign guy returns to install the sign! He wanted to get it done before he goes on vacation. Hurray, it's up in 15 minutes and it's beautiful! Now the world knows I'm at the back of the City Plaza in downtown San Rafael.

And there was much rejoicing.

1 comment:

Vegan Knitting said...

Rejoice Rejoice!

And you know what, Warren...I didn't even notice the sign today! But I was coming at night from the back entrance to the courtyard. I'll look for it this weekend.

Glad you finally resolved it!