Green or black?

The owner of my current store isn’t a daily part of it.  He doesn’t know jack about printing, bought it as more of an investment and has his brother as the ‘owner’ in house, while I get to run it.  It works most of the time.  However one drawback is when he goes to the various owner’s meetings and yearly conference, he falls for EVERY new item they try and push for us to make or sell. Last year he bought a dye sublimation maching and a t-shirt press. Mind you we have had almost zero requests so far for things that can be made on these machines, but the sales guys talked him into it with the ‘untapped market just waiting to be had!’  A year later and we have had 5 whole jobs for the t-shirt machine, probably covering its cost and supplies but not the labor involved.  The dye sublimation machine has been a slight success, however.

What that does is allows us to print in full color on things such as coffee mugs, water bottles, and some flat surfaces like can coozies and name badges.  We have had several orders of decent sizes and for the name badges have even managed to snag a multi-state contract. We belong to a business networking group that supplies name badges to everyone.  We managed to get the contract for that after printing our own and having them seen by the area director.  Plus they are cheap.  So it sounds like we have this HUGE contract, but the badges only cost about $6 each and the typical order being either an initial order of about 20 or singles as new people come into various groups.

So about a month ago we finished several orders and mailed them out.  The badges are burgundy and black on a white background. A week later we get an email from one of the people claiming that their badge is in the wrong colors.  She insists that it is burgundy and green, not black.  OK, not sure how that could happen but whatever, we’ll make her a new one.  So we put hers back into production and about a week later, once we got a few more names, we ran it again.  Then 2 weeks later we get an email from the corporate director.  It seems this lady has emailed the director complaining about the badges.  Says her first was burgundy and green and after waiting over two weeks for the replacement it was the same. So the director forwarded us the email and photos she had attached and asked us to take care of it.  Bossman and myself look at the photos and they are burgundy and black.  Not green. What the f*ck is this woman smoking?  Then I notice the name of her company on the badge.  She is a printer.  Hmmm.  Could she be angling to get us in trouble and snag the contract for herself?

So we immediately rerun the badge.  We take that badge, along with several others and take pictures of them together, noting that they all look the same.  Then we take a close up of hers with a black swatch. We then send the pictures to the director, along with the one the customer had resent (but we renamed it) and tell her to look at these and tell us what colors they are.  She replies back that they all appear to be the correct colors. We then tell the director that pictures 1 and 2 we had just printed and will be sending her.  Picture 3 was what we sent last time that she complained about, which was black, not green. The director just replied back with “Hmmm.  We’ll see what she says about the new one then”. So we sent the badges off to the director so she can see them herself and she would forward the one on.  The director got the badge and sent it on to the lady.

Sure enough, 2 days later there was an email from her to the director complaining about the badge saying that she could do it better.  The director bcc’ed us on the email and just asked her “How do Mary’s, John’s and Alice’s badges look?  Because those three and yours all looked the same when I sent them to you, black and burgundy?” According to the director that was 5 days ago and she hasn’t heard back since.  I hope the bitch chokes on her name badge.  I take my quality seriously.  I swear up a storm here and complain to relieve my stress but I always do as good a job as I can do and do not let crap go out if I catch it. Don’t mess with my reputation.

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