Thread: Weird stringer
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:20 AM   #33
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: tennis courts
Posts: 9,073

Originally Posted by diredesire View Post
A few points I should make: You need to decide and define who you are as a stringer. Are you someone who installs strings into a racquet, or are you someone who practices a craft (some would argue an 'art,' some would argue a 'science')?

repercussions. If you do not have an explicit policy in place, you need to get one in place ASAP. Written, in plain view. You can also refuse to string frames that are not structurally sound. This isn't an issue of being a pain-in-the-butt stringer, it is a PERSONAL safety issue. If the management staff does not see eye-to-eye on this, ask what happens when a frame breaks on the machine, and graphite shards go flying everywhere? What if a customer (OR YOURSELF) is in range of the frame? Someone's going to get sued if, lets say-- eye damage occurred. I think this one is pretty obvious. [As a side note, if you get frames with the graphite worn down, ALWAYS put some head tape on top just as a precaution before stringing. If it blows up {which, to be honest, is rare}, you've got some insurance. Safety glasses is always a good idea when you're not sure, too. I'm being a bit melodramatic here, but if you aren't taking care of yourself, no one else is going to make you].

Don't do teflon tubing: Same issue as above. If he inspects and sees a cracked grommet, he is on the hook for free labor on breakage. If he doesn't warn the customer, there'd better be a policy in effect. If he DOES warn the customer, and they opt out, that's their problem. If he DOES warn the customer, and they opt IN, then there should be a marginal fee for labor and materials (although if it were me, that'd be something I throw in for free - and I'd mention what I did to them when they picked up, so there's no miscommunications).
management. Most managers, if they are removed from the grunt work DO NOT CARE. All they want to know is how what you're asking them to do/asking from them affects their bottom line. Like I asked above -- do you take pride in your work? Are you a craftsman? If the other stringer is taking the tools home with him every day (which is weird for a shared resource shop...) then you should get your own tools. Are you a labor monkey, AND are you taking this as seriously as it needs to be taken to guarantee a good job?

When I strung ITAs this last weekend, I brought almost 3 full tool sets mmunicating with adults and/or juniors, your style of writing and getting your ideas down "on paper," I might suggest taking a more critical look on how you are perceived by others. This is another thing that you're really just going to learn with experience. If you talk about these things casually, an adult is just going to think you're BSing them. This is doubly true if you're young. Many industries always try to get these "add-on" upgrades snuck in with all orders. You need to point to store policy (see above) and articulate the repercussions if your advice is not AT LEAST story, but I have to ask HOW you told him. I think that modern graphite frames are EXTREMELY hardy, tough, and saying "sir, this is going to break any second" is hyperbolic to a certain degree. The guy might not have appreciated what he perceived as a "throw away your racquet and buy a new one" shtick. Especially if workers in your shop are known for working on commission...
just edited out part of your post since its so long.

thanks so much for taking the time to write this dd! i really appreciate your input.

so yea you are pretty spot on. i am the younger 'kid' and this other stringer is much older than me. so there is 2 components going on here. the first is teh stringer. as you said, and i have concluded myself, iam just going to do my own thing. i care about the rackets that i am doing, especially since a lot of them are juniors/good players so i feel even more obligated. (not to say regular 3.0 players dont matter but they arent travelling 600miles for a tournament every month).

so yea in regards to the tubing and bumperguards, he basically flat out said he doesnt do it, which is just plain ridiculous. i dont know any stringer that doesnt do this. i think for him its all about the money. so yea.

which brings to teh 2nd component. you are right there is a disconnect i feel with management. and you are right i shouldnt have said educate them. i appreciate the honest advice and next time i am going to ask them in terms of the bottom line. because thus far i have put it more in terms of what it does for teh juniors, but i guess as a business dollars mean more than anything. so yea. my point was i just figure since we are such a large facility, the pro shop should be more comprehensive. because right now we dont have any of these services. our string selection isnt the best either, but i think that has to do with our sponsors.

another new thing- some member wanted to build up a grip. so of course we dont have any sleeves or heat gun. so thats yet another thing we dont have. thats basically what i am trying to relate to management. i just want to be a better stringer and i feel without such tools i am unable to perform all the things i need to you know?

so i guess my real question is how do i relate this to management so they understand? honestly i dont think it will make them much money, but i think the level of service would skyrocket, and hopefully members will come back more?

to be sure, management has been very very nice to me. its the stringer thats being weird. i just need to do better with communicating with the management.
now junior abuse. mostly its just normal. i dont think any kids are intentionally abusing anything. and i have been talking to them one on one when they drop off their rackets. they are not an issue at all. in fact i am pretty happy to string for them. i should again say i used teh wrong word. its not 'abuse' as just normal teenage carelessness i guess.

finally the smartazz guy had a wilson 6.2. you know the old black and white frame. i basically just flat out told him 'hey so this thing is busted i am not sure i should string this' and he came back with like 'yea i know now string it and dont be a smartazz'. so yea.
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