CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Sep 18, 2002
Huntington Beach, CA
...did my temp-employee, who has framed at Michael's and other frame shops, do this. I just don't understand.

I got in a signed poster for a 1982 surfing championship. This customer wanted it drymounted, no problem.

My helper was to drymount the poster while I quickly ran to the store.

When I got back my helper showed me the poster...big...big...ouch. A spotted circle of white was showing through the top/middle of the blue, mat looking, border.

How did that happen I ask. There was a small speck and I was trying to remove it using Un-Stick (?) he answered. Did you test it on the edge, no he replies.... do you think this was the right chemical to be used since it is so powerful I ask....

ok, I tried to match the blue using acrylic paint to fix the problem but the paint comes out ssssoooo bland. doesn't have that poster luster.

Question: has anyone fixed this type of problem before and if yes how did you fix it.

(my answer so far is to cut a mat that works with the poster and sell this as a better design. Actually, it looks pretty good)

If the mat looks good, don't waste any more time trying to repair the poster. And don't literally "sell" it as a better design. Tell the customer what happened and offer the mat as a free way to remedy it.

Everybody's different, but I wouldn't tell the customer that somebody else made the mistake. It makes it sound like you're passing the buck, even if you're not. Ultimately, you're responsible for everything that happens in your shop - not your helper, not your vendor, not even an Act of God.
If you can't find a new poster, you might be able to get an airbrush artist to touch it up.
I would do as Ron says, and thank my lucky stars the mistake was on the border and not the image.
I'd go with Ron's suggestion. You can't lay the blame on an employee, particularly a temp. I can hear the upset customer asking why you trusted a valuable piece of art to a temporary employee.
I don't understand the psychology but, for me, it's been a good policy to take the blame for nearly everything - even when I had employees.

If a vendor miscuts a chop and an order is delayed, I'll probably tell the customer I mis-measured. Instead of thinking I'm inept, they seem to think I'm honest and human.

And I DON'T tell them about my talking tape measure.

I went to pick up a pizza order I'd called in at a big franchise joint. It wasn't ready 'cause the order had never been entered into whatever system they used. The manager dragged out the poor kid who was handling the phone and berated and belittled him in front of me. I guess he thought it would demonstrate his commitment to customer service.

I leaned over the counter and said, in a voice I hoped only the manager could hear, "You, sir, are an idiot. I'm surprised you can get anybody to work here."

This is a serious deviation from the original question, but I think the customers we all really want will judge us by the way we treat our employees.
Ron, you are sssoooo right on the mark.

I guess my face is still red and I'm not thinking straight.

...and yes, I always take the blame. Learned all that stuff when in the Corporate world. He didn't do it on purpose and I know that.

Thanks all, great support.
You're quite welcome, Cliffie, glad I could

This reminds me of when I first started my internment with Michael's. I was working in one of the stores as just a framer until they could place me as a manager. The manager was on vacation so I assumed his duties in his absence. One of the fledgling framers had tried to get a speck off of a poster, that speck turned into a pinsize hole and then they used an eraser which caused a big white spot. Then one of the guys went and got paints and added a big fluffy cloud. They were in the process of wrapping it up when I caught wind of what had happened. I told them no way it was going out until the shop manager approved it. I assumed he wouldn't. Sure enough, when he came back from vacation he gave it a thumbs up and said "wrap it up". I was stunned.

I guess the customer accepted it without any knowledge of what transpired. The shop manager said she was getting a one of a kind with the extra cloud. I'll always remember that poster. William Merrit Chase, At the Seaside. We had an exhibit here at the museum of impressionist art and a boatload of this particular image were framed over the next couple of years.

I should have taken it as a warning of what was in store for me as a shop manager and should have run like heck. But I didn't.
So Kathy, I guess you know just what I'm talking about. A speck...a smudge...a swipe...a white circle and a big old wipe mark as the final effort.

Ron's right of course but, gosh, what if the customer kills me? Yea, what about that Ron?

Tom, are you thanking me for thanking Ron and you automatically thought I was thanking you? Like everytime someone on this forum says thanks it's meant for you...wink.

Thank you all!
I once had to tell a customer that I had cut her old, irreplacable woodcut in half. I had repaired it, and put it in the frame to show her. (I figure, show it at its best, not in two pieces, it'll be less of a shock for her)

She couldn't see the seam, even after I pointed it out.

She was impressed by the honesty of admitting to something that could have been hidden from her.

I just blessed my good luck to have a friendly customer.