While I know a lot of printers, I don’t KNOW a lot of printers. By that I mean I am not friends with many other printers. I have my brothers and two long time readers here that are printers that I know and can call friends, but most others would be acquaintances, at best. I still talk occasionally to some other store owners from the franchise I USED to own, but nothing regular. However talking to them all confirms that I am not alone with some of the stories that I have posted here. We are all besieged from time to time by assholes and idiots.
A few weeks back I was talking with my printer friend when he mentioned that he had a situation with his company just that week that had him thinking of me. He likes my writings, and expresses solidarity with me often, but can’t put his name out there due to some of the clients that he has. He has to keep a low profile. So after telling me all that, he begins his tale.
Seems that he has a school as a client who is the typical last-minute customer. They always wait until the last minute to order, everything is rush and have no general sense of urgency until time is almost up. So this year they tell him they want shirts printed to give away for graduation. “Awesome!” my printer friend says . “We need about 6 working days to finish an order of that size. When is graduation?”. They actually tell him they have over a month to plan and they will get him the artwork soon. That is also great, print ready art and no rush job! So he waits. And waits. A week later he still doesn’t have the artwork. They are now 4 weeks from graduation and 3 weeks from the deadline to make the delivery date. So he calls. “Oh, we’ll have art to you soon, I promise!” he is told. Two days later, still no art. So every other day he calls and emails to inquire about the artwork and to remind them of the date he HAS to have artwork by in order to be able to complete the shirts on time.
Now comes 1 week left before the cutoff day. Calls are made every day and follow up emails sent, all proclaiming that the drop dead time for artwork is Friday in order to have the shirts by next Friday. Friday comes and goes with no artwork.
They are now past the stated time for production. My friend, wisely knowing they wouldn’t get him art on time despite having 5-6 weeks to do so padded the amount of days he needed to do the job. If he gets art by Tuesday that week he can still deliver the shirts on time for Friday. So a last message goes out Monday saying that if he gets art NOW, he can still make it, barely. Crickets. So now he is resigned to this not being an order since he has no art. But you and I know what happened. On Thursday mid afternoon my printer friend gets a call saying that he will have the artwork within an hour and can they pick up the shirts in the morning? Hmmm, what do you think? He was probably a lot more polite about it that I would have been able to manage (I might have laughed) but told him that it was a physical impossibility for them to be made in less than a day and that he was sorry but had been telling him for a month when he had to have the order ready by.
My passive-aggressive self for sure would have saved that email string and made sure that if any complaints about no shirts came out that the details would be known to any and all. As it is my friend is highly respected (why he hangs with me, we’ll never know!) and he weathered this fine. The idiot who can’t understand deadlines? Who knows. Maybe he was late for graduation?