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A Moral Dilemma of my Own


PFG, Picture Framing God
Nov 2, 2001
Centennial, CO, USA
Yikes, I was reframing a G. Harvey for my veterinarian this morning and discovered quite a mess when I opened it up. It is an LE and it was dry mounted and to make matters worse the mat had been ATG'd to the picture. :eek:

The moral dilemma comes in because........I have been her framer for 15 years. This picture had a Michael's sticker on it. From the date on the picture (1994) there is a slight possibility that it was done by a store I did not work in. I had relocated to another store and she lost track of me and told me she had a couple done at a different Michael's right aorund that time.

I know without hesitation that I did not do the work. When you take in 500 orders a week it was hard to control who worked on what and as much as I tried to intercept the more challenging stuff or names I recognized some did get away from me. As good as a manager I thought I was I could not hold back the wave and inspect each piece.

So, what to do, what to do? It was framed at Michael's not personally by me at my store but I do feel responsible because she did bring her stuff to me because she trusted me. Although, if she had personally brought the print to me I would have seen that it was done my be and nobody else. She didn't always do that. I've looked up current pricing on the print and it is only $200. I feel like I need to replace it for her to clear my conscience but I also feel like I didn't do it and I should just keep it to myself.

She is the health provider for my kitties, I don't want any bad karma on my kitties......

I'm conflicted.

I'm baffled.

I'm concerned.

What would you do?
There are some replacement prints available through Somerset House publishing on G. Harvey's work. If you are a Somerset dealer, you can call
and find out if there are any available for that particular print.

I would start there, which would allow you to start with a fresh print. If you are not a dealer, I am and will be glad to make the call for you. Usually replacements are $25. + freight (you send back a portion of the print and they have a new one renumbered the same as the old one); a small price to pay it you are going to really put that all on your conscience and have it eat away at you.

I'd cross that bridge first and then move on to plan B if the answer is no.
Wow, Barb, I am not a Somerset seller but if that is possible it owuld be worth the $25, no question. I will email you with the specifics.....
Kathy, I would feel bad that this happened to her art, but you can't hold yourself personally responsible for something you didn't do.
She should know that your work is not reflected in this job and accept the fact that when you do not make the connection to your special framer in the BB, you are at the mercy of the staff.
If there is issue with the piece, it should be taken to Michael's to be resolved.

You do need to bring it to her attention so you are not seen as an accomplice after the fact. If she truly knows you and your work, she will understand.

EDIT: Then again, after reading Barb's post, for <$50.00 you could be the hero. I would still be forthcoming about what I was up to.
Please don't torture yourself.
How can you be to blame? You are sure that you wouldn't have treated any picture that way.
If you tell your customer,why would she blame you personally? By telling her ,she will surely believe you. After all,if she regularly brought her work to you, she must trust you, and you are hardly likely to 'own up' to this maltreatment of her print if you were responsible for it first time round.
Yeah, that is why I am torn Wally, I would be happy to clear it up with $5o. She is a great customer and wonderful to my kitties. I guess my conscience has a dollar limit because I don't feel the urge as strongly for $200.
You really do have a problem here, but I have a feeling that inside you, you know what to do.

I would like to think that if I was in your position, I would talk to her and explain everything to her just as you have here. You have had a relationship with this person for 15 years and that means something...and I will bet she will have even more respect for you after this than she had for you before, and that is always a good thing to have on your side.

I would also offer to replace the print, with the knowing that she may just take you up on it...I would bet she won't let you, but you never know. What I would be afraid of on down the road, if you leave it the way it is and don't tell her, is if she has it reframed again someday, and you don't do it,and she will think that YOU did this to her print, and you don't want that, I'm sure.

Good luck with this and please let us know how this goes for you...
You didn't do anything wrong.
If she brought framing to Michaels and it was butchered it is up to Michaels to make it right not you.
She didn't go out her way to make sure you would be there the day she brought in work why do you take personal responsibility for some bad framing?

I understand wanting the best for every customer but if you explain to her what was done by an employee of Michaels and not by you, and how you would like to remedy it I'm sure she would be grateful for the care you put into your craft.

I'm sure since you've been on your own there has been a number of botched Micheals jobs done, some of which will probably end up on your counter. Are you going to pay for all the mistakes they make out of your bank account?

Tell her what you found, explain to her how it could be remedied and let her decide but, the day I start paying for the mistakes made from co-workers from a box store is the day I call it quits.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
Let us know how it goes.
I would also like to say that for me, it might be a bit different if I didn't know the person for 15 years...that if she were a new customer I wouldn't offer to replace the print, but I would by all means show ther what you found when you opened up her frame piece...a lesson to be given is here...KNOW THY FRAMER!!!
yeah, I have reframed plenty of botched jobs from many frameshops and don't feel the burden to replace them. This is a personal customer who has followed me to probably 5 different stores, and she takes great care of the kitties.
It sounds like your mind was made up all along.

Then do what you feel is right and what we say shouldn't matter.

If you are as loyal to her art as she is to the cats then do what you think is best.

Either way it shows you to be a craftsperson that respects art and her clients.

To spend $25.00 on piece of mind and to validate customer loyalty is a cost worth spending.

(Just don't make a habbit of it)

THIS is what makes us different from the BBs!

Do what your heart tells you, protect your kitten's karma, and be up front when she comes in!

BTW I had a customer bring in a LE series that she had had float mounted at a Micheal's in Aurora CO. Prior to opening the frame I thought of you. After opening it I apologized to you! Seems float mounting consisted of vacuum mounting it to fome and cutting it at a reverse bevel. The mat monkey had cut off ~1"-2" off the print!
Kathy you are a great lady. I think telling her and telling her you feel reponsible is some way, not that you had done it, but that it might have been your store. Then tell her you would be willing to replace it and that it would come with documentation of this process is great.

I would be your customer for life.
Good for your kitties, they got a good owner!!
If the print looks good and can be reframed, I would. Of coarse I would tell her that your certain that you didn't frame the piece because it appears to be mounted in a manner that you typically don't use.

That’s all true.

The drymount isn't permanent. Maybe you can booger up and remove some of the atg if it didn't ruin the print.

Moreover, tell her, apologize for something you didn't do, and feel better. You didn't do it. Don't feel bad for it.
Why can't you suggest to her that she take it back to Michael's and have them cough up the bucks to fix their misdeed?

Maybe you could provide a note on your letterhead saying what you found and what was bad about it.

Then you could get the print for her and still be a hero.

edie the
michaelscanafforditeasierthanyou goddess
Originally posted by Framing Goddess:

edie the
michaelscanafforditeasierthanyou goddess
Goddess - I really like the way you end your posts.

Emibub, put all these posts in a hat and pick one. Worst that can happen is the customer gets a proper framing job.

John the
onlyloggedontopayhomagetothegoddess Robot
Sorry, I should have read your post and not just the title.

A good vet is irreplaceable. Do whatever you need to to keep her happy.

[ 01-13-2006, 08:24 PM: Message edited by: Ron Eggers ]
Michael's has insurance for stuff like this and they use it a lot. And a 100%-satisfaction-guaranteed policy. The print is replaceable, and I agree with the others. I wouldtell her about it and recommend she take it up with Michael's to have them pay for a new print. Not frame a new print, just pay for a new print and refund her framing. You know you didn't do that, and after 15 years with you, certainly she would know that too. Then you would have the opportunity to do the proper job without paying for someone else's lack of responsibility.
Well, the Michael's sticker is way gone, it was back in 1994, I don't think they would cover it. Barb checked and there are no replacement prints available. I've decided I'm going to start the conversation "Was this one I designed for you?" I guess I will mention it was erroneously dry mounted and see what she says......she is a nice lady I don't think she collects them as an investment. If she seems shook I will punt from there. I really don't want to shell out 200 bucks for it, I guess just letting her know will clear my conscience.

....and believe me I am really not that nice or that good of a person......
It's no longer available. If it can be framed to look good, so do so with a disclaimer on the inside.
Kathy, I'd take JPete's suggestion. Maybe this customer wanted the print re-framed because she knew you didn't frame it during the time ya'll lost contact w/one another, and wanted your quality of workmanship. (What a run on sentence)
Kathy, which G. Harvey print is it? I have a few in my shop also, and would gladly help out if I can.
Sorry for the delayed response.....The print is called "Unto the Least of These", it is part of the "Focus on the Family" line. I'd be happy if any of you had one to sell.