looking for work again


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Apr 1, 2005
Maple Valley, Wa
I can't believe this is happening......
For those of you who don't know, the store I currently work at is going out of business. So I got another job lined up, the perfect one of course...They schedualed me to start July 18, but I have already done some work for them, helping them out of a tight spot when they were behind on orders. Yesturday I got a check for the work I did. Then I got on the computer to check my email and guess what......

"We are sorry to inform you that...we no longer have a position open for you...."

I just don't understand, they decided they don't have enough business...yet they are 15 min down the road from us and we are going out of business, and have been sending all of our customers to them. My boss was planning on offering them our customer list (8000 or so)
Are they just not paying attention? Do they just not want anymore business? There is not another frame shop within 20 miles!!
I don't know what I am going to do now......I just want to scream!!

Well...crap I don't know what else to say....If I don't get a job quick we will be very hungry and living in our tent!! oh crap.....I am sorry getting upset now...I hear Mcdonalds is hiring.

Oh, Elsa - I don't know what to say! How awful!

I guess you have to go job hunting again - and hopefully it doesn't include "Want fries with that?"
Well, if your a picture framer, you could consider starting your own little framing business. Could you purchase some of the equipment from the old shop? It would not take very many framing orders to give you the income you would have received working for those folks. How about the old mailing list, think they would give it to you? I started my business in 1976 with $250.00. That was before I rented a shop, rounded up a bunch of junk equipment and some old close out mouldings. When I opened my doors (should be door) I had 34 corner samples I made by putting different finishes on the same mouldings. My sign was hand painted on butcher paper, my sales counter was five feet long and eighteen inches wide. That $250.00 start, almost thirty years ago, has bought me a nice home, stocks, and savings. I am not insinuating that it was easy, it was a bitch, to put it bluntly.

Was it worth it?


Sorry to hear that, Elsa. I am such an optimist and believe things happen for a reason and usually for the best. Hang in there and something will come through for you. Sounds as if they might not have been the best to work with in the long run.
I almost didn't notice, but with your post you are now of Certified Grumbler, II status. See, you have already gotten a promotion here.
Geez, John. By 1977, when I started my shop, it cost a whopping $750 for framing equipment and inventory!

If we extrapolate, Elsa will need $17,157,594,341,220,700.00 to start in 2005.

Elsa, I'm not making light of your situation. I know it must seem bleak, and I won't tell you about the darkness just before the dawn (whoops) but I think you'll land on your feet.
You could always apply to Hobby Lobby. If they turn you down, you won't mind.

Good luck, and don't send your customer list to those guys, keep it for yourself.
Elsa, as Sister said, maybe this is an indication that you wouldn't have been happy there, after all.

That's weird they gave you no indication. I wouldn't want to be employed by someone who doesn't have the guts to tell me in person what the situation is. Email? Good grief.

Best of luck to you- this clears the way for an even greater opportunity you would've missed?!!
Looks like OPPORTUNITY to me. One business is quiting and the other rolls over and plays dead at the drop of a hat. A free client list and you could probably cut a deal with your current future ex-employer to buy the equipment on time. The landlord might even be happy to extend the lease at the current location.

It would certainly be worth discussing.

Best of luck in any venture.
What Wpfay said OPPORTUNITY with a capital "O"

Go for it! It won't be easy, but things happen for a reason, and if someone could hand me a list of 8000 customer names to start, I would be drooling. My list is only 800 after 31/2 years.

Only one question... why is your current employer closing??

Good Luck!

There are many possible explanations as to why you were not being hired at the only other shop in town that would seemingly profit from the situation. Ignoring the most evident or plausible of them would be foolish of you especially if you plan to remain in this industry one way or the other.
Now, being active on The Grumble does not certify as to one's framing or business abilities per say, though his replies do sometimes reveal his potential and real substance. So far you've been encouraged by some nice, genuine business people who instantly recognized opportunities in your given situation. But I bet that more than once same nice persons turned down prospective workers who answered their help wanted sign. Instead of helping you understand why you've been paid and then rejected after being put at task, our TG friends politely and friendly consoled and encouraged you by pretending that their pair was blind and you must in fact be a good framer quite able to run a frame business for yourself.
You may in fact be just so, and I wish you prove me wrong, but that is not what an intelligent reading of your situation would indicate. Sorry, but you'd be better advised to know and work around your own flaws than act on somebody else wishful thinking about you.
Elsa, I was in your same situation last year at about this time. They sold and were dissolving the business, I was to be let go, the one job I had lined up at another frame shop fell through,(they later confessed they were intimidated by my work). There was nothing out there and I had very little capital. But friends kept calling and asking me to do 'just one more before they closed'. I spent quite a while looking around and asking questions about other lines of work. I did not want to move my family at all. I found another frame shop 40 miles away that would hire me but for alot less money than I was making before, I did the math and it would not work. SOOOOO, I opened my own business this last fall. I am just across the street and down one block from where I was before.
The owner of the old store has decided to keep his shop open and is now refered to as 'Bob's Cheap and Crappy Frames' by my clients and close friends. It is not easy, and there are still dark skies ahead, but I am excited, I can't believe it will be one year this fall. I no longer had a cmc or pos or alot of the nice equipment I was use too. I had to learn to cut mats by hand, wow, now I do pretty good. I recently invested in a pos and computer to keep track of paperwork and it helps. I hear my old boss is having another going out of business sale, after the one he has been having each month or so I would expect that one day he will live true to his word and 'close the doors forever'! I watch for used equipment and buy when I can, I'm growing, thanks to the help I receive here on the grumble, and the laugh's which help on those hard slow days. I know if you ask there is a good chance you will get that client list. Hold on to it because you never know, it just might come in handy. Good luck. Keep us posted, we care about you.

Danny boy
I think Cornel is to be commended for taking the unpopular stance here. (He does that a lot.)

We're all pretty good cheerleaders. It may, in fact, turn out that Elsa would be suited for self-employment.

Most people aren't, and some of those are first-rate framers.

After 28 years of owning a storefront framing business, I'm still not certain whether I ever really had the temperament for it. It turns out I really like getting a regular paycheck, paid vacations and sick days, matching funds in a 401K, paid training and the luxury of leaving it all behind at the end of the day.

Good luck with whatever you decide, Elsa, but don't let any of us well-intentioned strangers talk you into - or out of - anything.
Ron, you spent way to much money on your start up. You should have made a deal like I did with Len Aaaron. He sold me all that old equipment and moulding for $1,400.00. If I had had some money, I would not have offered more than a few hundred dollars for all of it. The hook he used was $50.00 per month until I had it paid for.

My first shop was a 1920s one car garage next to an old bungalow on a busy street. My parking lot was the driveway up to the door, you know, the kind with two rows of cement with grass growing in between.

My bathroom was the space between the garage and the building on the other side. Six months later I had a friend install a bathroom with a shower, added to the garage on the outside. That was $75.00 per month. My rent was $125.00 a month. I lived on my sailboat at the time. Darn, I miss that place.


I feel your pain and frustration. Go ahead and stand in a field and yell...let it out. Then, as suggested before look deep inside and decide whether you have whatever it takes and the desire to open your own. But, whether you go forward with your own or not, I encourage you to gather yourself together without the burden of your frustration and ask to talk to the other owner. Ask him/her to be totally frank with you about why they decided not to hire you.

The reasons could be numerous and to speculate without more input would be an excercise in futility.

Maybe you scare them! Sometimes a talented person can be intimidating, especially if they are a little outspoken.

Maybe they just don't see the opportunities before them.

Maybe your work wasn't up to their standards or maybe it was above where they want to go.

There are so many possible reasons and you'll never know unless you talk to them. The insight you'll gain, if handled professionally, will help you immensley whether you open your own show or not.

Dave Makielski
I would suggest you contact the two best reps from the various distributors that called on your store and tell them what you told us. You will be surprised what they might be able to tell you about the company you were planning to move to. Also let them know you are looking for work. Good reps have their pulse on the market and their customers and may be able to guide you in the right direction to either refer you to someone with an opening, or give you good advise on the market potential where you are located.

Alan has a brilliant idea as usual, reps walk into 5-10 stores a day. So if you talk to them you can get some ideas. Use these folks. They know who is who and who you should speak to and better yet why you should not speak to others. Way back when I told my Crescent rep that I was moving out of the area and was wondering if he had any clues for me. He gave me three shops names numbers and who was in charge, one high end shop, the second was the typical medium shop, the third was a local chain. It was a big help, I did not end up with any of the shops, I got turned down from the chain, what a relief. I look back on it now and thank goodness that happened.

Anyway, if you think about your own shop or working for someone you can always use a rep to help you. By the way the rep that helped me is now the President (think president?) of TC Moulding. Never know who they know.

Patrick Leeland
Originally posted by elsa:
I just don't understand...
Are they just not paying attention? Do they just not want anymore business? There is not another frame shop within 20 miles!!
Unless there is more than one Maple Valley, WA,
it appears that you, Elsa, live in the outskirts of the great Seattle, and that within 20 miles there should be over 90 framing facilities, according to the Yellow Pages. YP may be outdated, but not by that much. In this light, the idea of talking to those reps seems a very good one. Fortunately you have many choices within a short commute distance.