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Food or drinks in framing areas


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
May 31, 2004
I tried to search the archives for this issue and didn't find anything, so I'm going to ask my question. I hope this hasn't been covered 942 times.

We are a small frame shop. I have a partner that constantly has an open soda in the assembly area. I have voiced my displeasure about this practice numerous times and have told him he's just asking for a major problem. On Saturday his open soda can was sitting on the assembly table and once again I told him I didn't like it. He shot back that he didn't plan on spilling it.

I am very upset about this and feel we are putting ourselves at risk of gigantic loss especially if it's spilled on something that cannot be replaced. It doesn't seem to me to be such an ordeal to leave the soda in another room and go take a drink every now and then.

What are your opinions about this practice? Do you have a shop policy in place? I realize we have a little issue with him as he takes offense easily and is rather "anti-establishment" in his thinking. That's another portion of the problem.

Through 26 different employees over the years, I never had to tell a single one of them to keep open drinks away from the work area, so we never had a policy in place. I guess I thought that was common sense, and I guess I was wrong.

If this is a partner, in the literal sense, and someone over whom you have no real authority, I'd say you've got a problem.
No one plans on spilling a soda.

We do have a policy in place, but it's probably mostly for my benefit since I'm usually the klutz.

One again, it's just common sense but sometimes that's not so common.
Not just soda...any liquid.
I knocked over a spray bottle of glass cleaner while tearing off a piece of craft paper for a dust cover (years ago). I didn't think much of it as the glue was wet and I was in a hurry to get the paper on the back of the frame.
When I returned to the "scene of the crime" I found that the bottle had leaked glass cleaning fluid all over a vintage photo of one of my customer's Mother. In fact, the only photo of his Mother, and that she didn't look so good in blue. About $1200.00 (1980 dollars) later I was able to get a repaired copy of the photo (before Photoshop).

It is an expensive lesson that you don't have to experience personally.

I would make sure that your "partner" knows that if his drink spills and damages anyone's art, the cost of repair/replacement will be entirely on him.

Oh, and what Maryann said...there's a reason they're called "accidents". :rolleyes:
The safety guy at the University I worked at for a short stint during his inservice recounted a tale about a Chemistry Professor who always drank Mountain Dew.

Seems the guy brought home some chemicals from the University in a container he had handy, an empty Dew can. Yep, he drank it and "expired". Don't think the Professor "planned" on that!

Better not to have the temptation than to be "cocky" about your ability not to spill. After all I never planned on any of the mishaps I've done, but I have the scars to remind me not to do them again!
What Ron said. Policies are made up when people stop using common sense, and force your hand. If there is a policy in place and it is not adhered to, well, then that whole "not following policy" thing comes up on his performance review, which is typically tied to a raise.

Re: the attitude.. You are a fearless and immortal framer until you stand across the counter from an irate customer, an inch from your face shrieking about the irreplaceable artwork that has been destroyed beyond repair. It is usually best to witness this and not actually be the recipient of said shrieking.

Geez, there's enough mishaps in framing to dodge without adding a soda can into the mix.
I have this rule, and have in the shops I managed before starting my own business.

As Maryann says, no one plans on spilling a soda.

This is not to say I have never been distracted and brought a soda with me to the framing table, and that is why I buy soda in bottles. I also drink bottled water (or tap water I put in a bottle). I put the cap on between sips.
Where liquids can be placed is clearly spelled out in the training manual and pointed out during the training process. A very nice sand casting was covered with coffee one day. It didn't improve it's look and the customer was not happy with our addition to his art.

Besides spilling, moisture rings are left behind and they act as magnents for paper.
I agree with everyone. Drinks should not be near the work tables. I even keep the glass cleaner well out of knock down reach when I'm working on customers work. Like Wally said even the glass cleaner (that is sealed, sorta) can leak when knocked over. I even remove bottles of water, etc even when the lid is on. I live and work in a small town and if I destroyed a piece of customers work by doing something "i didn't plan on" it would be all over town by the end of the week. I don't need that kind of word-of-mouth advertising.

It's just common sense to take any and all precautions necessary to keep customers work safe.

They trust you!
Thank you all for the reinforcement & knowledge. I will share these ideas. I hadn't thought about glass cleaner being a problem, nor had I thought about the moisture rings from where a drink has been setting!

I hope I can keep my sanity and temper in check when I visit with the partner again.

I have another table (with this computer on it) near enough to reach to in one step but removed from my framing table. When I have a drink, and am working on framing, the drink is close, but far enough away. Maybe you could come up with some kind of compromise that would keep both parties happy, like a small table or shelf that the drink could be placed on? Now if I could keep the durn cat off of the framing table....must be something about the carpeted surface.

No drinks allowed. I will, once in a while, set a capped bottle on the table enroute to the bathroom - but not an open one... I have had a helper who used the shelf below the work table - which is okay... but on top. No way.

And definitely not on the design table...

And on a similar subject.... Just this a.m. - I had a couple of prints sitting on the design table... and doesn't the fill-in UPS guy come in with a delivery and set it right ON TOP of the art prints... duh. As he sucked on his tootsie roll pop... duh.
As James suggested, I would build a small shelf or even a "cup holder" somewhere well away from the danger zone specifically for any drinks plus the glass cleaner bottle, etc. Trim it with some funky scrap moulding if you want to make it "cool". We built a cute little shelf and it works great.

Print out this thread and give it to your partner to show him that 0% were in favor of drinks allowed near the art.