some you win, some you lose

Here’s a lose: a perfectly pleasant man commissioned me to make a throw for his couch, which he said was old and shabby but otherwise very comfortable, back in August. We talked about the colours in his lounge, including the curtains and the Persian carpet, and I assembled a collection of fabric for him to approve via email. Which he did. He also confirmed the size he wanted: 400 by 380cm. Not small at all!

Richard 2 I quoted him R2,580. This includes the backing fabric, top quality local and imported upholstery fabrics, and my labour. Considering it took me nearly a week to complete, this is a bargain. He accepted the price and asked me to go ahead. Here is the finished item:

Long story short – he ignores my emails and smses, and when he did once make the mistake of answering his phone, pretended to be out of the country. I tried again last week, and he informed me that he was terribly worried about his water bill, which was over R3,000, and he’d have to sort that out before anything else. At which point he put the phone down on me.

Hopefully someone else will love it and buy it, but it’s not an easy size to sell – it’s for a really really big 3-seater couch or an enormous bed. But my disappointment is great, partly because I have never been let down by a customer like this before (most of my customers are just the opposite!) and partly because I neglected to ask for a deposit before starting the job. Lesson learned :(


30 thoughts on “some you win, some you lose

    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      Perhaps he has problems I know nothing of, and is simply incapable of being honest and reasonable. In the greater scheme of things, this is just a blip. But I won’t pretend I’m not cross! ;)

  1. Rainbow Junkie

    That’s dreadful! He sounds as he’s changed his mind but what a way to treat you. I suppose if you can’t find a buyer you could undo some seams and make something smaller out of it but sounds as if deposit is the way to go in future.

  2. coppicelearner

    What a bummer! It is really beautiful and just the sort of thing I am planning to make for my old sofa. I hope you find someone nearer than me who can see its beauty and pays you properly for it. Most people are lovely but there are just a few who behave badly. Don’t give up!

  3. tgonzales

    I’m so sorry you are having this problem. Ugh! I don’t like to hear this at all. I started a very large rectangular tablecloth that fit a table for 12 people once; out of size 10 crochet thread without a deposit. I did finally sell it to a relative. Love and hugs, Tamara

  4. katechiconi

    You know, even if you feel some compunction about naming and shaming, you may not be the only person he tries this trick with. Put his name out there, politely. I should point out that he has effectively stolen your fabrics and time, since it’s not an item you can easily re-sell. Other people need to be warned, even if he really is in financial difficulties.

  5. insearchofitall

    I kind of agree with Kate. Though I understand you wanting to just let it go, that’s a lot of time and money to just whisk away. I would be quite displeased myself if that happened.

    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      Yes, even with South Africa’s wonky Rand and junk status in the world’s economy, that money would have bought me more fabric for the next throw, plus some fancy cat food (for the cats, not for me) and filled Teddy’s tank with petrol !

  6. nanacathy2

    He sounds embarrased, ordered something he can’t afford. Send him a final time limited demand, if he doesn’t come through, put it down to experience and put it behind you, or it will eat you up.

    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      I have decided to try with him one last time today, and after that will indeed give up. I almost wish this incident would eat me up – but it really is a tiny thing in a year of complete and utter stuff-ups and personal challenges and legal nightmares, many of which have been beyond my control. One day I’ll write about them – til then, you’ll have to have to wait in suspense….. x

  7. Linne

    I know it probably doesn;t help, but you are not alone in that boat. Unfortunately. My youngest sister and I had a very bad situation with a start-up company that promised to go places, then the person disappeared, owing us for technical services (my sister) and website creation, etc. Several months of work. Ugh. So I can empathise. No great advice here, though. It’s so individual dealing with events like this. For myself, I decided it was partly my karma for some lesson I signed up to learn and partly karma (future) for them. I went back to retail work and life went on.

    I hope you find a buyer for that lovely cover. I would think that lots of people still have comfy big couches. Or, as one commenter said above, maybe you can make smaller items from it. I’d hate to see that,t hough; it’s so beautiful.

    It was funny (interesting) to see your musical choices above. I posted the same song by Tom Petty last week and I remember Jim Croce well. He was one of my favourites when I was in my teens; a lovely voice. Thanks for those and I hope the coming weeks are kinder to you. Hugs. ~ Linne

    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      I picked up a Jim Croce cd for R10 at my local charity shop the other day. It takes me back to when I was a very immature 17-year-old, doing some very stupid things. But I still love his music :)
      Yes, lessons learned. I will not be chopping the throw into smaller pieces, however, it took too long to make :) It will find a loving home one day. Sorry to hear of your own rip-off, some people really want to make you throw up, don’t they :(?!

  8. Pingback: Doing a Tom | Nice piece of work

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