The high cost of re-work
No term in the craftsman’s lexicon can cause as much pain and suffering as “re-work.” It is the quickest way to destroy profit known to man. Even when the craftsman is being rewarded only with the gratitude of loved ones, the loss of time alone can have substantial impact, if for nothing other than ruining the planned schedule.
The decision to “re-work” is difficult to make when it is being made bilaterally, between craftsman and client. But, the decision can be excruciating when it is made unilaterally. A craftsman, working for his daily bread, needs to know when “it’s good enough”. But when it’s family… you get the “drift.”
I recently posted about my experience with a water based glaze that I had used on a table that I’m building for my daughter and her family. I was not happy with the results, as I examined them in the shop. Anyone who has ventured into my shop knows that the lighting is not of the highest quality. In fact, several of my most earnest friends have suggested that I might find that I would benefit if I would begin wearing a miner’s headlamp. In any event, I took the table base outside of the shop and was even more disappointed than I had been at “low light.”
The finish looked as if certain parts of the table base had been positioned in such a way so as to create a “station” on a tobacco spitting obstacle course. In my head I could envision the competitors “loading up” with great, big chaws of Union Workman, Beechnut and Mailpouch and “firing away.” It was obvious that significant action was required on my part. So after the angel on my left shoulder and the angel of my right debated across the empty space between my ears, I made the decision to…do it over.
No golf game this week. And, my TV binge watching will have to be seriously modified. But here’s the table base sanded and repainted, ready for another attempt at glazing it the right way.
It’s important to be your own “harshest critic.” That’s what keeps your standards high. That said, it’s much easier to do so when you’re not waiting to get paid upon completion of the job.