Thread: Weird stringer
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:56 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by zapvor View Post
so this is what i bought. first day using it its been awesome. the previous ones weighed like 6lbs and were just massive

It's funny, because I actually hate those tools. I got the bronze colored set way back when. I think the tools feel cheap, the 'springs' fall out, and the lamination (plating?) peels off with heavy use. This is mostly applicable to the smooth surfaced tools, though. I don't like heavily serrated gripping jaws on my stringing tools -- they're purpose built for other applications and with enough pressure will generally mar string. I prefer the micro pliers from Crescent for stringing purposes. If you see 'em on sale sometime, snap a set up. It's not important for how little pliers are actually used in stringing, though (assuming you don't pull knots with pliers). I almost only use my pliers for guiding string through blocked holes, which I'm pretty sure isn't the way most stringers use their pliers, so definitely take my opinions here with a huge grain of salt

Originally Posted by zapvor View Post
The shop is definitely informal. The interesting thing is, the teaching side of things are very organized and strict, etc. but the shop is more of the side project, if you will. Definitely not RPNY. So I think thats part of the 'history'; the shop has always been this way, and so its just continuing the same way. Which you are right is fine. Its just that seeing these rackets, and getting to know these members I feel so bad about not giving them type of service they deserve you know? Its one thing if I just learned how to string and worked for sports authority and know nothing about tennis, but I care about the sport, the people, and my job seriously. Why not do the job I know I can? Herein lies the problem-and you are right again-the place is probably very resistant to change. Esp since things are 'fine' as they are now. And also, the cost vs revenue is not in my favor.

Cost vs. revenue is really where you're fighting the uphill battle. The simple solution is to not have the goal (currently) of doing anything on the level of an RPNY. You don't need to be shooting for custom grip molding/customizing, etc. Upping the level of professionalism is a "free" investment that will yield many long term benefits for the club. This is especially true if the other matters are handled with a high level of professionalism. From that perspective, it's a simple sell. It sounds like your biggest obstacle is to get everyone on board. Currently the shop appears to be below the priority line where they want to dedicate resources. If you make it easy for them and take initiative and just present them with a modest, but sensible invoice, I wouldn't be too surprised if they take you up on it, provided you've done your research.

Yea this was my initial question really. How do I go about suggesting changes and improving things without being too disruptive. To be honest, management has been VERY nice to me, only the stringer is being weird. They have listened to my ideas so far and are open to more discussion. Get to this more later. But yes as of now I am still getting to know how everything is, etc. the fact is, the place is truly wonderful. The entire staff has been very nice to me, from the coaches to mangement. Again, only exception is stringer.
Then the very simple issue here is getting the stringer on board. If he thinks in terms of money, you need to talk to him in terms of money. Like I said, get him psychologically on board, even if it means you make him a stakeholder.

So re the stringer: we dont see each other. He comes in the morning, I take the afternoon shift. I am pretty sure at this point he actually avoids me, because he makes sure to find out what time I am coming in, and leaves well in advance. And talking to the other staff, I discover that he doesnt play tennis, etc. its just a job to him. You mention bigger aspirations. Here is a kicker for you guys. He owns his own tennis shop at home! He has now brought to my attention that I should buy my own machine so 'we can make tons of money'. At first I was kind of stunned at this statement, and at this point I really dont want to be part of his 'team' 'making money'. I prefer to work for the facility, for the person that hired me, and not this fellow stringer who's got other agendas. So yes, he definitely has bigger aspirations, and he tried involving me. But now that I have 'disrespected' him as he says, hes stopped that. And yes, he dismisses me. I feel as though he thinks I am a threat to him....

If this is the case, there's a conflict of interest. If he has a shop at home, he's at odds with the current shop increasing their level of service. I would also take the "rise above the politics" approach here, you've got a good thing going with a lot of potential, you're right not to want to squander it. It's likely true that you're a 'threat' to him, but don't take it personally. Just brush it off and do your thing -- OR try to understand his motivations better.

So regarding policy, this is something I will look into. You are right on all your points. But look at it my way. Hes going out of his way to tell people we dont provide such services when they are needed, and tries to undermine me by going to management about it and telling me no. hes not in charge of me. My boss is. I think its downright....'wrong' of someone to do that. How would you like it if I went to your boss and said “let's tell DD he cant do X because I dont want to have to do the same work he is”??? honestly I am not sure if hes plain lazy or what....and yes its not his job description, but again: He just wants money,on the other hand I care about giving the best to my customer.

Like I said before, if it's not a shop policy, he's not wrong. It sucks, and it's "cut and dry" from a stringer's standpoint, but it is simple politics. This is a situation where you just need to sit down and talk with him. Bring a game plan, get him on board. Ask him the logical reasoning as to why, maybe he's got some reasons. Billing and liability are the two big ones I see. This applies to all value-add services if they're not officially supported/offered.

Agree. I will slowly build up a proposal and then present it. But like you say, time. I will learn more and then make the right moves at the right time. Thank you. Now to be certain: management has been SUPERB. I honestly can say I am happy working for them. They are good people, with good intentions and everything. They are just occupied with bigger things, so to speak then a $30 stringjob.

Like I said, there's a priority cutoff as to where to dedicate resources. They aren't looking at the problem because there a cost associated even with LOOKING at the problem. Do the leg work for them and present them with what is essentially a bill. If they're as good as you say they are, AND you've done a proper job of justifying the expense, it should be a no brainer unless there's a freeze on investment/"grants".

Yea bought my own tools. More on the way. And I didnt even get paid yet

It's an investment in yourself -- If you make enough to have to file taxes, you can call it an occupational write off... keep your receipts if it brings you tears
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